The Star Sands of Hoshizuna-no-hama – Taketomi, Japan - Atlas Obscura

The Star Sands of Hoshizuna-no-hama

Taketomi, Japan

White beach sands made of the remains of tiny, star shaped creatures. 


Look closely, and you’ll see that the sands of this beach are very special. In fact, only two places on Earth are known to produce the tiny star-shaped grains of sand that make up Hoshizuna no Hama (Star Sand Beach).

These unique grains are actually the pointy husks of millions of tiny protists known as Foraminifera. Two beaches on the island of Taketomi feature the unusual sands: Kaijihama and Aiyaruhama. Other star sand beaches can be found on the neighboring islands of Iriomote and Hatoma.

Taketomi Island is also known for its picturesque rural architecture and water buffalo. It is part of the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park.


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