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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Kaiji Beach & Hoshizuna


Kaiji Beach on Taketomi Island in the Yaeyama Islands of Okinawa is famous for its star sand or hoshizuna.

Kaiji Beach, Taketomi, Okinawa, Japan

To paraphrase the information boards on the beach: "Star sand is the sedimentation of the foraminifera's dead shells (Baculogypsina sphaerulata). Live foraminiferas can usually be found on seaweed and other marine plants. Star sand is said to bring happiness, though a sad folktale tells of how a giant sea serpent eats the babies of stars and later their remains wash ashore as hoshizuna.

Kaiji Beach, Taketomi, Yaeyama, Okinawa, Japan

Visitors hunt for the sand on the beach or you can see samples under a microscope at the small stall set up selling trinkets and small bottles of sand as souvenirs.

Taketomi is a short 10-15 express boat ride from Ishigaki Ferry Terminal. Kaiji Beach is a 15-20 minute walk from the main settlement on Taketomi or a short cycle ride.

Kaiji Beach, Taketomi, Yaeyama, Okinawa

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