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Tour Ishigaki Island on an Electric Scooter!
post : 2018.12.31 06:00
The “gogoro” are electric scooters from Taiwan and they’ve arrived in Japan! Starting in 2018, they are available for rental on Ishigaki Island. The light blue body of the scooter is fresh, cute and is definitely eye-catching as you ride through the island. It’s been getting more and more attention, especially after a nationally broadcasted TV show focused on this new and great way of touring Ishigaki.
I was actually a test rider for gogoro, and I have to say, it was great! Because the scooter is electrically-powered, it’s very smooth and quiet, but when slowing down, it’s designed to make noise so that the pedestrians around you will be able to hear you approach.
Also, as it runs on rechargeable battery, it’s environmentally friendly. The recharging is done completely by solar power. Everything about the scooter is state of the art, like the keyless functions, and when you turn it on, as well as the various signage sounds, which are futuristic and fun.
Presently, there are five recharging stations on Ishigaki Island, where you can stop by and exchange the batteries. There are charged and good-to-go batteries waiting at two locations within the city area, at Kabira Bay, and in the Ibaruma area in northern Ishigaki. The gogoro are the only scooters in Japan that you can stop by at a battery station and exchange the battery and not wait for it to recharge. The gogoro are presently available only in Taiwan, Paris, Berlin, and now Ishigaki! Ishigaki was chosen as the first place in Japan to introduce the gogoro, taking into consideration, their “Eco Island” efforts for a more ecologically friendly tourist destination.
I took the opportunity to go on a long scooter tour of Ishigaki with a friend during the summer, and the breeze was so refreshing! The sky seemed bigger and nature felt closer than traveling in a car.
The fully charged battery will likely be enough for a ride around the island, but it’s reassuring that you can check the meter on the scooter to see how much battery you have left for your ride.
The photo above is on the road just before Hirakubosaki at the northern end of Ishigaki Island. A road like this on a scooter is a refreshing change from riding in a car. My friend here is used to the strong rays of the island and is dressed very light, but when you go, be sure to wear sunscreen.
Another great thing about touring on a scooter is that you can make quick stops and never miss great photo opportunities. It’s also hassle-free, especially in town when finding parking may be a challenge. An adventure on to more narrow roads is more inviting while you might be hesitant to go in a car. On our tour, we took a turn onto a narrow road and ended up discovering this great beach shown below.
We took a little break at the Ibaruma Farms direct sales shop and enjoyed their icy cold pineapple juice♪
I had a fantastic time going on a long ride on the gogoro, feeling the nature of Ishigaki as I rode in the spectacular scenery. When you visit Ishigaki Island, be sure to enjoy the great beaches and the various marine and mountain activities they offer, and I also hope that you’ll add a tour of the island on these great scooters. If you feel like riding together with a friend, they have scooters for two, too. Give gogoro a try!
For Inquiries and Rental Reservations
Address: 287-1 Maezato, Ishigaki City, Okinawa
Business Hours: 9:00-18:00
You can reserve on-line, too.
Rental Fee: From 1,000 yen/hour
*Rate is current as of August 2018.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Masumi Sasamoto