The preserved village on Taketomi Island doesn’t allow cars, so visitors have a choice of getting about by foot, by bicycle, or by suigyūsha (water buffalo). This last choice is very popular among travelers who want to get a unique tour of the island. During the ride, which lasts about a half hour, the guide will both inform you about the island and the village and will entertain you by singing and playing local music on a sanshin (traditional stringed instrument). The guide will be free to do this for you, as the water buffalo are highly skilled in finding their way around.
Of the Yaeyama Islands, Ishigaki-jima is the main island. In that sense Ishigaki embodies the island cluster best, making it a logical location for where visitors can find the Yaeyama Museum. The museum displays pottery, historical and traditional textiles, various items from local festivals, and even wooden canoes. Each exhibit holds a tangible piece of history from the islands, giving travelers a better idea of where they are sojourning. The museum is closed on Mondays, but on its open days it stops admitting visitors one half hour before closing time.