Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Top 12 Attractions in Miyakojima City

Miyako Island and the islands in Miyakojima (宮古島市) are arguably the best destinations in Okinawa. The seaside scenery and the underwater world are just too awe-inspiring to give them a pass when you visit the southernmost island of Japan. But what are the must-visit places in Miyako-jima? If you have the same question, we have compiled a list of spots you will want to go through!

Enjoy Miyakojima With a Guided Tour

If you prefer a guide to introduce you to the charms of Miyakojima and the surrounding destinations, how about joining one of the below tours?

Miyako Island

Miyako Island is the capital of Miyakojima City, where many of the city’s top attractions are located. As the island is also the main transportation hub to the surrounding seven islands, many people will choose Miyako Island and make day trips to the other seven islands in the city.

Yonaha Maehama Beach (与那覇前浜) and Kurima Bridge (来間大橋)

Yonaha Maehama Beach is the best and most visited beach on Miyako Island. The white, soft, sandy shore and the breathtaking color of the seawater have amazed all its visitors. As the most popular beach on Miyako Island, you can also enjoy a range of watersports at Yonaha Maehama Beach, including jet skis!

And if you fancy a short trip in the sky, there are also tandem parasailing tours you can join!

Ⓒ 宮古島観光協会

What has made the view from Yonaha Maehama Beach more spectacular is the 1,690-meter-long Kurima Bridge. The beach is one of the best spots in Miyakojima to adore the bridge’s magnificence.

For more information about these two spots, refer to our article on Yonaha Maehama Beach!

Ⓒ 宮古島観光協会

Cape Higashi-Hennazaki (東平安名崎)


While Miyako-jima is filled with scenic nature, the most beautiful part of the island has to be Cape Higashi-Hennazaki (東平安名崎). The cape on the eastmost of Miyako Island is a designated spot of Japan’s National Place of Scenery Beauty. The promenade stretching from the car park to the white lighthouse at the tip of the cape will be one of the most amazing walkways you will walk on in your life! 

For more information, refer to our article on Cape Higashi-Hennazaki.

Aragusuku Beach (新城海岸)

For snorkeling on Miyako Island, Shinshiro Beach at Miyako-jima Island’s west is recommended. It is one of the beaches where sea turtles linger. Even if you don’t have the necessary equipment, rental shops are around the shore. Compared to Yoshino Kaigan Beach (吉野海岸), you can expect fewer crowds at Aragusuku Beach. The shower, changing room, toilet facilities and parking lot are free of charge too!

For more information, refer to our article on the Complete Guide to the Beaches on Miyako-jima Island!


Boraga Beach (保良泉ビーチ) and the Pumpkin Limestone Cave (パンプキン鍾乳洞)

If you are after a beach where you can swim anytime during the year, Boraga Beach would be your ideal beach. It is also a beach that has a swimming pool attached. And the special thing about this pool is that it sources water underground instead of seawater. In addition, because Boraga Beach locates just underneath a cliff, you can kayak your way into the Pumpkin Limestone Cave (パンプキン鍾乳洞)!

For more information, refer to our article on the Complete Guide to the Beaches on Miyako-jima Island!

Waido Market (ワイドー市場)

So, where to get some freshly harvested fruits and vegetables?

One of the best places to purchase Miyako-jima-grown tropical fruits is the Waido Market. It is a relatively hidden gem to tourists. Most customers are locals.

Whether it is mangos or dragon fruits you are after, they can all be found at the Waido Market at a cheap price! And when we say cheap, it is usually around 30 to 50% cheaper than other places, such as Atarasu Market (あたらす市場) or Shima no Eki (島の駅)!

For more information, refer to our Miyako Island article.

Miyakojima no Yukishio (雪塩ミュージアム)

Close to the entrance of Cape Nishihennazaki (西平安名崎), there is a salt museum you would want to drop by for the award-winning Miyakojima Snow Salt! Miyakojima no Yukishio Museum may not seem big to you, but during the weekends and public holidays, it can receive more than 1,000 visitors a day!

For more information about the facility and the unique ice cream experience, refer to our article on Miyakojima no Yukishio!

Ⓒ パラダイスプラン

Shigira Beach (シギラビーチ) and Shigira Hot Spring (シギラ黄金温泉)

Shigira Beach is another spot on Miyako Island where you get a higher chance of spotting a sea turtle as you dive down. The beach is really close to the only natural hot spring resort in Miyakojima City. And this wouldn’t be your typical onsen resort as you will feel like bathing in the jungle!

So how about spending a night at Shigira Hot Spring when you visit Shigira Beach?

For more information, refer to our article on the Complete Guide to the Beaches on Miyako-jima Island for Shigira Beach and our Miyako Island article for Shigira Hot Spring!


Yamatuga Well (大和ガー)

Miyako Island isn’t all about beaches and watersports. When you need some dry time, there are several cultural and historical sites on the island.

One of our favorites is Yamatuga Well, used by officials and imperial family members.

The magnificent Yamatuga is a National Historic Site. As you walk in, it kind of feels like you are entering a Greek temple or some sort!

For more information, refer to our article on the Top Historical and Cultural Spots on Miyako-jima Island.

Irabu Island (伊良部島)

After the magnificent Irabu Bridge was completed in 2015, Irabu Island has become the next most traveled island among the eight islands in Miyako Islands. The island features a couple of off-the-beaten-path beaches and a mysterious blue cave!

Irabu Bridge (伊良部大橋)


Irabu Bridge, which connects Miyako Island with Irabu Island, is Japan’s longest toll-free bridge. The bridge doesn’t just have an artistic shape, but the scenery from the bridge is simply awe-inspiring!

The bridge has a total length of 3,540 meters. With many coral reefs underneath the breathtaking azure-colored ocean, any photos of Irabu Bridge will undoubtedly receive a lot of attention on social media.

For more information, refer to our Irabu Island article!

Blue Cave (青の洞窟)

Speaking of Blue Cave in Okinawa, the one at Cape Maeda (真栄田岬) on Okinawa’s main island is much more famous, but it should be noted that Irabu Island also has one!

The light that sneaks into the cave goes straight through the highly transparent water and is reflected by the white calcareous seabed. So it is almost as if the illumination from the bottom of the sea gives off this cave blue lighting.

For more information about diving and snorkeling at the Blue Cave of Irabu Island, refer to our Irabe Island article!


Shimoji Island (下地島)

Shimoji-shima Island is the other island in Miyakojima City equipped with an airport. Although its size isn’t the biggest in the region, Shimoji Island has a few natural attractions you won’t want to miss out on when you visit this part of Okinawa!

Tōriike Pond (通り池)


On Shimoji-shima Island, there are two round ponds with color changes in accordance with tidal conditions. The caves, resulting from the seawater erosion of the limestone layer, are where you might see someone popping out of the pond. Before you get too excited, they aren’t mermaids! They are divers keen to see the mysterious but amazing phenomenon called thermocline!

For more information, refer to our article on Shimoji Island.

Kurima Island (来間島)

Besides Miyako Island, the next best island in Miyakojima City has to be Kurima-jima. The island features observation decks that provide spectacular views of Okinawa’s second longest bridge, Kurima Bridge (来間大橋), with the stunning ocean as a backdrop and a couple of more hidden gems for beach-goers!

Ryūgūjō Observation Deck (竜宮城展望台)

The three-story observatory inspired by the dragon king’s palace is a popular sightseeing spot on Kurima Island. It is built atop the island’s tallest hill, making it the best spot on Kurima-jima for a panoramic view of the breathtaking ocean, the Kurima Bridge, and Miyako-jima’s best beach, Yonaha Maehama Beach, at the back. You also have Irabu Island (伊良部島) and Irabu Bridge (伊良部大橋) on your left.


But refer to our Kurima Island article for some catches about this observation deck!

Ikema Island (池間島)

Ikema Island is another island connected to Miyako Island by a very long but majestic bridge. On top of being the island closest to Japan’s largest coral reef system, the ocean in this part of Miyakojima City is the most enchanting, with various kinds of blue and green color blending together!

Yabiji Reef (八重干瀬)

The Japanese version of the Great Barrier Reef is the Yabiji Reef (also known as Yae-Kise), located north of Miyako and Ikema Island. This largest coral reef group in Japan spans around 25km by 6.5km and is composed of over 100 reefs, making it a National Place of Scenic Beauty.

The most amazing thing about Yabiji Reef is that the reef appears above the sea several times a year!

For more information, refer to our article on Ikema Island.

Ⓒ 宮古島観光協会

Discover the Attractions in Okinawa’s Capital, Naha City

Kokusai-dori Naha Okinawa Japan
Click the photo for a list of attractions in Naha!

Your trip to Miyakojima probably would involve a stopover at Okinawa’s Capital, Naha. So instead of waiting for the connecting flight at Naha Airport, how about spending a day or two touring the city with an energic vibe?

For more information about places to visit in Naha, refer to our Guide on Naha City!

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