Very small and remote, Taketomi Island is a time capsule of Okinawan tradition. No cars are permitted here—locals travel by ox-drawn cart. Traditional Okinawan two-tiered housing, with resplendent clay-tile roofs and Shiisa gargoyles, are still intact and provide authentic insight into traditional Japanese living. With a population of just over 300, it will come as no surprise that life on this picturesque island is on the quiet side. However, that simply makes exploring the idyllic white beaches that encircle the island and exploring the village on a rented bicycle all the more other-worldly.