Vegetarian's Japan Guide

A Guide to Yonaha Maehama: Miyako Island’s Best Beach

If you plan to visit Miyako-jima, Yonaha Maehama Beach (与那覇前浜) is the spot that you have to visit. It is the most beautiful beach on Miyako Island or even the entire Okinawa. The beach stretches about 7km southwest of the island and is formed with fine powder snow-like white sand. With the sandy beach, together with the highly transparent aqua ocean, there is no one spot at Yonaha Maehama Beach that isn’t stunning! Plus, it is the only few beaches on the island that have lifeguards stationed in the swimming season!

If you find the beach’s name is too long, so do the locals. That is why the Yonaha is often abbreviated, and the beach is commonly known as Maehama Beach (前浜ビーチ).

  • The swimming season is usually from April to October.
  • The car park is free.
  • Yonaha Maehama Beach is fully equipped with toilet and shower facilities and changing rooms.
    • The facilities are open from late March to October.

For those who are looking for some exciting water activities to do, book an electric surfing, jet skis, fliteboards, or dividing session with one of the watersports activity providers close to the beach. The price is usually reasonable, and many can communicate in English.

Yonaha Maehama Beach is also the starting point of the triathlon Miyakojima tournament.

What to Watch out for at Yonaha Maehama Beach

Since the current is parallel to the beach, there is almost no need to worry about being taken away by rip. But, you might end up at the beach’s other end if you just let the current carry you.

So, do keep an eye out for where you are when you swim at Yonaha Maehama Beach!

Ⓒ 宮古島観光協会

Important:
☛ While rare, Yonaha Maehama Beach does have rips, especially after a typhoon.
☛ Although they do have a pretty look, avoid being close to the Portuguese Man O’War. Also, Chironex yamaguchii, commonly known as hub jellyfish, is another marine creature you want to avoid. The hub jellyfish season is usually from June to September. In front of Miyako Tōkyū Hotel (宮古島東急ホテル), a protective net is installed.

Tandem Parasailing at Yonaha Maehama Beach

Rather than viewing the carol reefs by going into the water, another way to adore its beauty is from the sky. Tandem parasailing is another very popular activity at Yonaha Maehama Beach. Although a bit more expensive, it allows you to enjoy the thrill of flying while enjoying what the beach has to offer at the same time!

70 meters above the ocean is all you need. Although the tropical fish would be too small to spot from above, you will surely see the carol reefs and maybe even a few sea turtles!

If you are interested in parasailing at Yonaha Maehama Beach, refer to Miyakojima Parasailing Blue Honu’s (宮古島パラセール ブルーホヌ) website HERE and translate it to English using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar.

The Best Time to Visit Yonaha Maehama Beach

  • Before 9 am when there are fewer people around.
  • Just before sunset for the enchanting sunset scenery and a sky full of stars after sunset.
    • The sunset view from Yonaha Maehama Beach can be viewed from February to October. From November to January, you have to head to Kurima Island.

Tip: A big event is held on the 1st Sunday in April each year to celebrate the start of the swimming season. Rituals, live music, treasure hunting, and more are held on the day.

Kurima Bridge (来間大橋)

Kurima Island (来間島), also in Miyakojima City, is actually really close to Miyako-jima Island. How close? So close that you can swim there!

But as many of us aren’t trained to be an athlete, crossing the 1,690-meter-long Kurima Ōhashi Bridge (来間大橋) to Kurima Island is a better option to travel between the islands. Plus, the views that you will get from this bridge that has an artistic curve are just magnificent (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Ⓒ 宮古島観光協会

If you wonder what is on Kurima Island, the most famous spot is Ryūgūjō Tenbō-dai (竜宮城展望台). It is an observatory with the image of the dragon palace in the Japanese folktale. Not only is the architecture amazing, but the scenery of Yonaha Maehama Beach and Kurima Ōhashi is also a must-see in the area!

Furthermore, the island is known for its mango production. After you have had your fill of the awe-inspiring view, how about enjoying some mango ice cream or a cup of mango smoothie?

How to Get to Yonaha Maehama Beach

  • From Miyako Airport (宮古空港), take the limousine bus and get off at Miyakojima Tōkyū Hotel-mae (宮古島東急ホテル前). The beach is then a 10-minute walk.
    • The bus trip takes around 15 minutes.
  • From Nishizato Ōdōri Street (西里大通り) in Miyako-jima Island’s urban area, take Miyako Kyōei Bus’s (宮古協栄バス) Yonaha Kadekari Line (与那覇嘉手苅線) and get off at Kamiji Minami (上地南). The beach is then a 20-minute walk.

Maipari Miyakojima Tropical Orchard (まいぱり 宮古島熱帯果樹園)

Close to Yonaha Maehama Beach, there is a tropical orchard that keeps all fruit lovers happy. The orchard doesn’t just have fruit trees but farm animals that you can meet!

Ⓒ 098free.com

Pari means field in Miyako-jima’s language. So just like its name has suggested, the orchard is a field growing fruits next to Maihama Beach. The orchard has so many tropical fruit trees that it is almost like a jungle!

Of course, you can do fruit picking in the orchard. And if that is too much hard work for you, head straight to the orchard cafe for fresh juice or tropical juice ice pop (^_-)-☆. Depending on the season you visit the orchard, they might have freshly cut mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, guava, and more for you to enjoy.

You can refer to HERE for the cafe’s menu.

Touring Maipari Miyakojima Tropical Orchard

In addition to fruit picking, there are electric carts for you to board, which will take you around the orchard. Joining the 25-minute Tropical Guide Tour (トロピカルガイドツアー) is the easiest way to explore the spacious orchard ground with more than 6,000 trees.

Even if you don’t understand what the Japanese guide is talking about, it is still a better way to enjoy the orchard than relying on your feet.

Ⓒ 098free.com

For those who prefer to stroll around the orchard themselves, refer to HERE for the orchard’s Japanese map, which will give you a visual idea of what to expect on the day.

Ⓒ 098free.com

Another highlight of Maipari Miyakojima Tropical Orchard is the Miyako Horse. The Japanese native horse breed is designated as an Okinawan natural monument. Categorized as pony, they are smaller in shape, but their hoofs are large and hard, suitable for walking on the hard Ryūkyū limestone promenade, and helped the islanders with farming.

Maipari Miyakojima Tropical Orchard’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information

  • Maipari Miyakojima Tropical Orchard is open from 10 am to 5 pm.
    • Tropical Guide Tour’s last admission is at 4:30 pm.
    • The orchard is closed on Wednesdays from October to March.
  • The admission fee is
    • 700 yen for adults
    • 350 yen for elementary students
  • The cost to join the Tropical Guide Tour is
    • 1,400 yen for adults
    • 700 yen for elementary students
    • The cost includes the orchard’s admission fee.
  • Maipari Miyakojima Tropical Orchard is less than a 5-minute walk from Yonaha Maihama Beach.

Tips:
☛ If you stay at the hotels close by, check with the hotel reception for coupons that can be used at Miyakojima Tropical Orchard!
☛ You can get a discount if you pre-purchase the admission ticket online HERE. You can translate the website to English using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar.

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