Okinawa Tourist Attractions: How to enjoy Miyakojima



Miyako Island is a beautiful remote island located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, known for its clear blue ocean and white sandy beaches. Located approximately 300 km southwest of the main island of Okinawa, the island is blessed with a mild climate throughout the year. Miyako Island attracts many tourists from Japan and abroad not only for its natural beauty, but also for its rich culture and variety of activities.

One of the most attractive features of Miyako Island is its beautiful beaches. Yonaha Maehama Beach, Sunayama Beach, and Yonaha Bay are just a few of the many scenic spots. Yonaha Maehama Beach, in particular, overwhelms visitors with its white sands and clear waters. It is also a great place for snorkeling and diving, where visitors can see colorful coral reefs and tropical fish.

Another attraction is the rich culture and history of Miyako Island. Old traditions and customs have been handed down from generation to generation, and through local festivals and events, visitors can experience the unique culture of Miyako Island. In addition, the cuisine of Miyako Island is another thing to look forward to. Visitors can enjoy dishes made from fresh seafood and local specialties.

Miyako Island is also an attractive destination for nature lovers. The views from Cape Higashiheannana and Ikema Ohashi Bridge are spectacular, and hiking and biking can be enjoyed. In addition, there are many hot springs on Miyako Island where you can relax and enjoy your time.

Access is also very convenient. Miyako Airport has direct flights from Japan and abroad, and is easily accessible from major cities such as Naha, Tokyo, and Osaka. Getting around Miyako Island is also possible by renting a car or bicycle, allowing you to freely explore the sights.

This article will introduce in detail how to enjoy Miyako Island. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, rich culture, history, and natural attractions, and have a wonderful time on Miyako Island. Visit Miyako Island and enjoy its diverse attractions to the fullest.

History and Culture of Tourist Attractions

Miyako Island is an attractive tourist destination not only for its beautiful natural scenery, but also for its rich history and culture. This section details the historical background and cultural characteristics of Miyako Island.

Historical Background

Miyako Island has a long history, dating back approximately 2,000 years. Archaeological excavations have uncovered remains from the Jomon Period on the island, indicating that people have lived on the island since ancient times. During the Ryukyu Kingdom period, Miyako Island flourished as an important trading center, especially with China and mainland Japan. Miyako Island’s unique culture developed during this period, and its influence can still be felt today.

Cultural Characteristics

The culture of Miyako Island is strongly marked by its unique traditions and customs. The local people cherish their old traditions and pass them on through annual events and festivals. One of the representative festivals is “Pangtu,” which has been designated as an important intangible folk cultural property of Japan. It is a unique event in which mud-covered Pāntu go around the town to drive away evil spirits and pray for a good harvest.

The music and dance of Miyako Island are also a major attraction for visitors. In particular, performances on the sanshin, a traditional instrument, and eisa, a powerful dance form, offer a wonderful opportunity to experience local culture. These performances can be seen at many events and festivals.

The cuisine of Miyako Island is also an important part of its culture. Fresh seafood and local cuisine featuring the island’s specialties such as Miyako beef, mozuku seaweed, and brown sugar provide an unforgettable taste experience for visitors. In particular, Goya Chanpuru and Soki Soba are typical local delicacies.

Furthermore, Miyako Island is home to many traditional crafts. In particular, crafts such as Ryukyu glass and Miyako textiles are attractive souvenirs for visitors. These crafts are filled with the skills and passion of local artisans, and allow visitors to deeply experience the culture of Miyako Island.

The history and culture of Miyako Island, along with its beautiful nature, offer visitors many moving experiences and learning experiences. Feel the history from ancient to modern times and experience the unique culture to fully appreciate the true charm of Miyako Island.

Places to visit

Miyako Island is a tourist destination that attracts many visitors with its beautiful natural scenery and rich culture. Here we introduce the best time of year to visit Miyakojima, its main attractions, and some things to keep in mind when sightseeing.

Suggested Time of Year

The best times to visit Miyako Island are spring and fall. Spring (March to May) is the season when the weather is mild and flowers are in full bloom. Autumn (September to November) is cool and pleasant after the typhoon season. Summer (June to August) is the best time to enjoy ocean activities, but since many tourists visit the area, it is recommended to do activities early in the morning or in the evening if you want to avoid crowds.

Major tourist attractions and popular spots

Miyako Island offers many attractive tourist spots. The following are must-see spots.

  • Yonaha Maehama Beach: A beautiful beach with white sand and clear waters where you can enjoy snorkeling and diving. The sunset time is especially spectacular.
  • Misaki Higashiheyana Cape: Located at the easternmost tip of Miyako Island, this cape offers a 360-degree panoramic view. You can enjoy the magnificent view of the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
  • Ikema Ohashi Bridge: This 1425m long bridge connects Miyako Island and Ikema Island, offering beautiful views of the ocean as you drive across. From the bridge, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the emerald green ocean.
  • Sunayama Beach: This beach stretches beyond the dunes and offers a beautiful contrast between the blue ocean and white sand. It is a beautiful contrast between the blue ocean and white sand, and is a perfect place for quiet relaxation.
  • Miyakojima City Museum: Learn about the history and culture of Miyakojima. Traditional artifacts and historical materials are on display to provide visitors with a deeper understanding.

Points to note at tourist attractions

When visiting Miyako Island, it is advisable to keep in mind a few precautions.

  • UV Protection: The sun on Miyako Island is very strong, so be sure to use sun cream, hats, sunglasses, etc. to protect yourself from UV rays.
  • Means of Transportation: Renting a car is the best way to get around Miyako Island. Make reservations in advance to ensure smooth sightseeing.
  • Environmental Protection: To protect the beauty of nature, it is important to take out trash and follow the rules of nature conservation. Please be careful not to damage marine life and coral reefs.


Access from Tokyo airports

There are direct flights to Miyako Island from Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport, the major airports in Tokyo.

Narita International Airport.

  • Direct flights from Narita International Airport to Miyako Airport (Miyakojima) usually take about 3.5 hours. Major airlines operate the flights, and you can enjoy a smooth trip by booking your tickets in advance.

Haneda Airport.

  • There are also direct flights from Haneda Airport to Miyako Airport. The journey time is approximately 3 hours, and like Narita International Airport, several airlines offer flights. Haneda Airport is used by many travelers because of its proximity to the city center and convenient access.

Access from Naha Airport

Naha Airport is located on the main island of Okinawa and is the main hub for access to Miyakojima. Travel from Naha Airport to Miyako Island is very convenient, and the following transportation options are available.

Domestic Flights.

  • There are frequent direct flights from Naha Airport to Miyako Airport. The trip takes about one hour, and several airlines offer flights. The large number of flights allows you to choose the one that best fits your schedule.


  • Ferries also operate from Naha Port to Miyako Island. The trip takes about 8 hours and is recommended for those who wish to enjoy a relaxing trip by sea. However, ferry service is subject to weather conditions, so advance confirmation is required.


Miyako Island attracts visitors not only with its beautiful nature, but also with its delicious cuisine. From fresh seafood to local cuisine using local specialties, you can enjoy gourmet foods unique to Miyako Island. Here are some recommended meals and restaurants.

Recommended Meals

Miyako Island cuisine is characterized by fresh ingredients and unique flavors. The following dishes are a must-try when you visit.

  • Miyako soba: Miyako soba is characterized by its unique sticky noodles in a broth made from bonito and pork bones. Toppings are usually sliced meat or fish cake.
  • Miyako Beef: High quality Miyako beef is known for its tenderness and flavor. It is especially recommended to enjoy it with steak or grilled meat.
  • Umibudo: A specialty of Okinawa, umi budou (sea weed) is known for its crunchy texture. It is usually tasted simply with vinegar and soy sauce or ponzu (Japanese citrus juice).
  • Mozuku Tempura: Tempura made with mozuku seaweed from Miyako Island is crunchy and healthy.

Recommended Restaurants

There are many attractive restaurants on Miyako Island. The following restaurants are especially recommended.

  • Goya.
    This restaurant offers traditional Miyako Island cuisine. You can enjoy local delicacies such as Miyako soba, rafte, and goya chanpuru (bitter melon stir-fry). The restaurant features a homey atmosphere and friendly staff.
    Address: 570-2 Hirara Nishizato, Miyakojima City, Okinawa
  • Uoku.
    This restaurant boasts dishes made with fresh seafood. Sashimi, sushi, sea grapes, and other seafood can be enjoyed to the fullest. In particular, the fresh seafood purchased from the market every morning is exquisite.
    Address: 3-1 Hirara Nishi Nakasone, Miyakojima City, Nawa Prefecture


Miyako Island is rich in specialty products that reflect its rich nature and culture, making it a wonderful shopping destination for visitors. Here are some recommended local products and souvenirs to get on Miyako Island.

Recommended local products and souvenirs


Miyako-ori is a traditional textile of Miyako Island, characterized by its beautiful colors and unique patterns. A variety of handmade scarves, bags, table runners, and other items are available. High quality and beautiful Miyako textiles are ideal as special gifts.

Ryukyu Glass.

Ryukyu glass is a popular craft throughout Okinawa, but you can also find excellent pieces on Miyako Island. With its bright colors and unique design, Ryukyu glass is a practical and beautiful souvenir, such as glasses and vases.

Salt from Miyako Island.

Miyako Island salt is known for its flavorful taste. There are a variety of natural sea salts and flavored salts, which are ideal for accenting dishes. Snow salt, in particular, is rich in minerals and is a specialty of Miyako Island.


Awamori, a traditional Okinawan distilled spirit, is a popular souvenir on Miyako Island. Awamori is made at local distilleries and has a unique flavor and deep taste. Purchased together with a Churaumi glass, it makes an even more special gift.

Fruits from Miyako Island.

Miyako Island is also a fruit-growing area taking advantage of its rich climate. Sweet and juicy fruits such as mangoes, pineapples, and dragon fruits are perfect as a reward for yourself or as a souvenir. Especially during the summer season, you can enjoy the fruits in season.

Local foods.

Foods made from Miyako Island’s local products are also recommended. Foods such as brown sugar, mozuku seaweed, and umi budou (sea grapes), which offer a taste unique to Miyako Island, are a great way to commemorate your visit. Seasonings and sweets made from local recipes are also popular.


Miyako Island is a beautiful remote island located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, known for its clear blue ocean and white sand beaches. Spring and fall are the best times to visit, with Yonaha Maehama Beach, Sunayama Beach, Cape Higashi Heianana, and Ikema Ohashi Bridge being particularly popular tourist spots. Miyako Island has a long history and flourished as an important trading center during the Ryukyu Kingdom period, and retains its own unique culture and traditions. Delicacies such as Miyako soba noodles, Miyako beef, and umi budou (sea grapes) are also attractive.

The island is easily accessible by direct flights from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport, or by domestic flights from Naha Airport, and rental cars are convenient locally. On Miyako Island, visitors can also enjoy local specialties and souvenirs. Miyako textiles, Ryukyu glass, Miyako salt, Awamori, and fruits from Miyako Island are just a few of the many items available to commemorate your visit.

With its natural beauty and rich culture, Miyako Island offers visitors many moving and wonderful experiences. Whether relaxing on the beach, exploring history and culture, or savoring delicious local cuisine, a visit to Miyako Island offers a wide variety of ways to enjoy the island and its charms. The wonderful experiences you will have on Miyako Island will make your trip even more special.