Island dreamin’ on Okinawa’s fourth-largest island.
Miyakojima is blessed with miles and miles of white-sand beaches and scuba diving spots galore. It’s the largest of a string of small islands surrounded by aqua waters off the coast of the semi-tropical Okinawa Prefecture. Take a few relaxing breaths, sit back, and soak in the scenery.
On clear days, it almost feels like you are driving on the water as you gaze out at a sea of blues and greens.
As the fourth largest island in Okinawa, Miyakojima is one of Japan’s most popular getaway spots, along with Ishigaki. Best known for its pristine nature, the island also has a distinct culture from the other Ryukyu Islands.
Beautiful landscapes and the longest and most-scenic toll-free bridge in Japan are just a few of the attractions to look out for.
Aragusuku and Yonaha Maehama Beach
Located on Miyakojima’s eastern coast, Aragusuku Beach (Map) is the perfect spot for snorkeling and sunbathing. Colorful sea life can be seen swimming in the beach’s clear aquamarine waters. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a sea turtle while snorkeling. Amenities such as parking and showers are also available.
Stretching 7 miles along the Western coast is Yonaha Maehama Beach (Map). Although a bit more touristy than Aragusuku Beach, Yonaha Maehama is one of the most highly ranked sandy beaches in Japan with ample opportunities for water sports and sunbathing.
Once you’ve had enough sun, take a scenic drive along the Irabu Ohashi Bridge (Map), which connects Miyakojima with smaller Irabujima. At 3,540 meters (11,610 feet), it is the longest bridge in Japan to cross without a toll and was built in 2015. On clear days, it almost feels like you are driving on the water as you gaze out at a sea of blues and greens.
Cape Higashi Henna Zaki
More natural beauty on Miyakojima not to be missed is Cape Higashi Henna Zaki or The Eastern Cape (Map).
This nationally designated “Place of Scenic Beauty” is a truly majestic and untouched spot. The area is lush with greenery and sea-lavender (yes, that’s a thing!). Craggy rocks shoot from the ocean floor, seemingly rolling with the crashing waves.
What to eat in Okinawa
Other attractions at the cape include snorkeling and sea kayaking at Boraga Beach (Map) and Yoshino Beach (Map), two of the best beaches in Miyakojima to see coral and tropical fish. Boraga Beach is also home to a mysterious limestone cave with extraordinary stalactite formations.