The largest of the Miyako Islands, Miyakojima is renowned for its beautiful beaches and for having some of the best diving and snorkelling in Japan. It lies between Okinawa’s main island and the Yaeyama Islands, with spectacular bridge walks and a dramatic cape.
Things to do in Miyakojima
Relax at one of the white sandy beaches that fringe Miyakojima, many of which boast reefs where you can snorkel amidst colourful coral and a variety of marine life. Venture below the water’s surface at Yoshino or swim in the crystal-clear sea at Sunayama Beach, then watch the sunset from the shores of idyllic Maehama Beach.
Want to see one of Okinawa’s Places of Scenic Beauty? Make a day trip to Cape Higashi-Hennazaki to marvel at the long, narrow stretch of jagged limestone cliffs protruding into the Philippine Sea. A dramatic, two-kilometre-long walk leads to the tip of the cape where a whitewashed lighthouse offers 360-degree ocean views.
Spend an afternoon wandering through the Miyakojima City Botanical Garden, which features tropical plant species from Miyako, Hawaii, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. It was created on the site of a former Ryūkyū pine forest and now boasts more than 1,600 different plants in addition to tranquil water features.
Enjoy the views of Miyakojima while walking or cycling across the bridges that link to its neighbouring islands. Follow the Ikema Ohashi Bridge over the turquoise waters to Ikema Island at the northern tip of Miyakojima or head south across the curved Kurima Ohashi Bridge to the picturesque Kurima Island.
Getting around Miyakojima
There are direct flights from Miyako Airport to Tokyo, Osaka and Naha, while buses travel throughout the island. However, having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of exploring Miyakojima’s attractions.