My partner and I were looking for somewhere special in Asia to take our honeymoon.  We considered multiple locations – Fiji, the Philippines, etc – just about anywhere tropical in Asia.  We ultimately settled on somewhere in Okinawa due to the ease of travel (we were already in Japan finishing up a trip through Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima), but still wanted something more remote and secluded than the Okinawan mainland.

We found the Yaeyama Islands, Japan's southernmost and westernmost islands, which are much closer to Taiwan than mainland Japan.  The Yaeyama's largest island, Ishigaki, has an airport and daily flights from Osaka, where we flew from.

Hoshinoya is a luxury chain of hotels and resorts created by a popular Japanese hotelier company, Hoshino, and their property on one of Japan's oldest and historically preserved places, Taketomi island, seemed perfect for a week away together.

One of the many beautiful paths throughout the property.

It's important to emphasize that Hoshino has stayed true to the continuity and overall pervasiveness of Taketomi's history and centuries-old image throughout the property.  I'm sure the opening of the property was conditional on keeping the culture and image of Taketomi authentic by the Japanese government, but even so, Hoshino truly nailed the balance of authenticity and uniqueness.

The pool, which is a focal point of the property.
The building holding the event space, restaurant, and gift shop.
The building's interior. Most of the property's community events take place here.

Maps of both Taketomi Island and the Hoshinoya property are provided and were much appreciated when learning to navigate the property and island.  Hoshinoya provides a daily bus system that makes getting around the island easier in addition to getting to and from the property.  While no one is allowed to enter or exit Hoshinoya's property any other way, I couldn't imagine not having the busses to take us back after hours of walking and gleefully rotting at the beach.

More beauty everywhere you walk. 
The view from just inside our property, looking outward.

The property's grounds are beautiful and a pleasure to walk around and get lost in.  Japanese-style pajamas are provided and encouraged to be worn around the premises.  It did feel slightly culty at first, but overall it was a nice touch and we loved wearing them around the property.

The view of Hoshinoya from the overlook on the property. The villas look exactly like the residential properties throughout the island.

Each villa is sizeable and has plenty of space for spending an extended amount of time.  Since it was just the two of us we had the double villa, which had plenty of space for a week.

The view of our villa from the front, just inside the privacy wall.

The bedroom was great, and very Japanese with tatami flooring and a "futon" bed.  I use quotes around "futon" because it is more comfortable than most beds I've slept on, let alone futons – and it's huge, it felt like 2 queens joined together.

View of the token incredible bathtub and many resorts.
The view outside from the main living area.
Was nice to have an outdoor table to chill at.

The in-room meal service was phenomenal – an employee not only delivers your food, but sets up your table with real silverware, condiments, and anything else you may need.  Then when you're done, you simply call the front desk and they send someone over to pack it up and clean and wipe down your table.

While the multicourse French dining at the restaurant was good, the room service was almost as good at a fraction of the price.  We ate the curry (pictured above) almost every night.

Us in our Hoshinoya robes after dinner in the restaurant. Again, the dinner in the restaurant was fine, but it was expensive. Still fantastic, but for the money just order room service, it's incredible!
View of my wife at the property's lookout.
Taken from the property overlook
The view of the overlook from down below. Very cool to get a higher-up view of the property and some of Taketomi island.
Another path.

Throughout the resort's grounds, you'll find elevated paths to get around, weaving in between the area's natural landscape.  There isn't a single part of the property that doesn't feel authentic to the island and Ryukyu culture.  Hoshino did an amazing job merging the properly seamlessly into what has already existed for centuries.

Since all villas look essentially the same, you can always verify your unit if you get lost.

Despite Hoshinoya not being located in a central part of the island, Hoshinoya's bus service made getting just about anywhere most times of the day incredibly simple.  Buses are on a predetermined schedule to various stops on the island until around 5 P.M., and after that can be scheduled and reserved if you want to venture out a little later.  Incredibly important and crucial amenity, as no outside traffic other than official Hoshinoya buses or vehicles are allowed in or out of the Hoshinoya property.

A small section on the southern part of Kondoi Beach.

The beaches were fantastic, particularly Kondoi Beach on Taketomi Island's westside.  My wife and I both agreed that this was probably the best beach we'd ever been to.  The sand was nice, and the water was warm and shallow.  You could walk out waist-deep for 100+ feet out to a sandbar.

Hoshinoya Taketomi was simply one of the best resort/hotel experiences we've ever had.  The hospitality was nothing short of amazing, the food was some of the best we had in Japan, and the island itself is perfect for a multi-day getaway.

Hoshinoya's Taketomi property perfectly blends the best parts of staying at a resort and the best parts of doing something culturally important and unique.  You don't have to settle for a boring, bland hotel just because you want beautiful beaches and water.  Come see some of the most authentic (and often not talked about) Japanese culture while experiencing some of the best hospitality and comfort the country has to offer.

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