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10 Things To Do in Miyakojima! A Tourist Guide to Miyakojima Island!

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Miyakojima or Miyako Island as it’s also known is located in the Okinawa prefecture and is not what you expect when you think of Japan! Miyakojima is an island that you can drive the whole way around in just 3 hours but there are plenty of things to do in Mikyakojima because it is full of beaches, crystal clear water, incredible food and local Japanese experiences!

Miyako Island in Japan is popular for Japanese domestic tourists and I can see why! However, Miyako Japan is becoming more popular with foreign tourists and I was surprised at the number of people on my Instagram and Twitter who said that Okinawa was on their Japan bucket list when they saw that I was in Miyakojima in Okinawa!

In my opinion, after visiting the mainland of Japan on a 2 week trip visiting the most popular places to visit in Japan. Your second trip to Japan should be to visit Okinawa if you want to get a bit deeper into Japanese culture, customs and feel like you’re on a vacation in Japan at the same time and the island of Mikyakojima in Okinawa is perfect for that!

Whether you need further convincing that you should travel to Miyakojima, or you’ve already got your flight booked and you need some ideas of things to do in Miyakojima, this is your Miyakojima Okinawa Travel Guide to help you out!

Things To Do in Mikyakojima!

things to do in Mikyakojima
Keep Reading for the best things to do in Mikyakojima!

1. Best Beaches in Miyakojima

A quick google search of Miyakojima will show you many of it’s white, pristine beaches and I’d say that these Japan Beaches are the biggest Miyakojima tourist attractions as not only are they unique to Japan but these days it’s hard to visit beaches like this around the world without crowds of people and noticeable negative sides of tourism. However, in Miyako, these beaches are still perfectly clean and it’s very possible that you’ll get a beach to yourself!

The best way to get around Miyako island is to hire a car and if you don’t do this I’d say that you’re going to struggle to see the island and the best things to do in Miyakojima. However, if you do have a car you can see many of Miyakojima’s beaches during your trip.

For car rental in Miyakojima, have a look at RentalCars who search the world’s top providers to give you the best car rental options!

Yonaha Maehama Beach

Yonaha Maehama Beach is a great place to start, it’s been voted as the best beach in Japan and stretches for a whooping 6-7km, it’s great for swimming and one of the best places to visit in Japan so make sure Maehama Beach is on your Okinawa itinerary!

Sunayama Beach

Sunayama Beach is only small but it’s a hidden gem and I’d recommend it as one of the top places to visit in Miyakojima. There’s a car park at the end of the road and then you need to walk a few meters along a footpath and small sand dune before seeing this incredible beach pop into view! The Miyakojima weather can change suddenly as we found out when it started raining a lot, but as you’ll see below, even with cloud the water at this beach was incredible.

A lot of the beaches in Miyakojima do not seem to have English names, at least not on Google Maps, so I think that the best way to see the beaches of Miyako is to drive around the island (which only takes a few hours) and stop wherever you fancy, this way you’re more likely to get a piece of paradise to yourself and it will be more of an adventure!

things to do in Miyakojima, Sunayama Beach with cloud
It started raining as we got to Sunayama Beach but even with the cloud the ocean was a beautiful turquoise colour!
things to do in Miyakojima, Irabu Island Beach
This soft sand beach is on Irabu Island.. which leads me onto point 2 of things to do in Miyakojima Island!

2. Visit Islands near Miyakojima.

Miyakojima Japan is actually made up of 6 islands and these combine as some of the best places to visit in Japan so don’t stick to Miyako Island only!

The main 2 islands near Miyakojima are Kurimajima, also known as Kurim Island, and Irabujima, also known as Irabu Island. There’s also Shimoji-shima, also known as Shimoji Island which is connected to Irabu Island.

These islands are connected to Miyako Island by huge bridges that are an experience to drive over in their own right. Going to these islands provides an even more in-depth look at the Okinawa prefecture and the Okinawa tourist attractions, specifically in the sense of learning and observing local ways of life which differ to many other parts of Japan.

You’ll notice I speak about Irabu and Kurim Island in the below points, so now you know what I mean and here’s a map of Japan and surrounding islands including a map of Miyakojima to help you plan your trip to Miyakojima and know the best things to do in Miyakojima!

3. Go Snorkelling & Diving in Miyakojima!

There’s no point in having crystal clear water if you’re not going to get in it. You may not have thought that snorkelling and diving is one of the top things to do in Japan but snorkelling is one of the top things to do in Okinawa, and especially one of the top things to do in Miyakojima because the island is a coral island!

I’d suggest packing snorkelling equipment or buying some in Miyako as this way you can stop and snorkel wherever you want, however, if you want to go out snorkelling with a guide which is a good idea if you are not a confident swimmer or this is your first time snorkelling I’d recommend this company which is who I went out with.


Stay connected in Japan by ordering a sim card in advance and picking it up at the airport you land in. There a huge range of sim card options in Japan which you can see and buy here!

If you prefer eSIM’s these days, here’s a great option for an eSIM Mobile Data Plan in Japan so you’re connected as soon as you land without the hassle of swapping sims and waiting for connection.


I’m sure you know, or have heard, that the Japan Rail Pass is the best value for getting around Japan!

There are many providers for the JR Pass but this is the official provider and the one I used.

You need to get your JR Pass ordered BEFORE your trip and sent to your home address, so look into buying one here!

Not sure how the JR Pass works and wondering if it will save you money?

Read my JR Pass guide here!

We went snorkelling on Nakanoshima Beach, also known as Kayaffa Beach on Shimoji island. This is a nice secluded beach with amazing coral and marine life so I’d recommend visiting here.

For a safe and secluded snorkelling spot head to the beach opposite the Imgya Suite Hotel on the South Coast, also known as the Imgya Marine Garden. Here there are many places to snorkel and you can hire paddleboards and relax on the beach.

If you want to go diving in Okinawa, I’d also recommend the company I went snorkelling with as a company to go diving in Miyakojima with. The guides speak really good English too so don’t be worried about that if you don’t know diving terms in Japanese!

things to do in Miyakojima, snorkelling in Okinawa
Our guide showing us all the fish!

4. Visit the Viewpoints on Miyako Island

You may be surprised to hear that the highest point on Miyakojima island is just 130m! This is because the island is made up of coral and doesn’t have any mountains. However, there are many viewpoints in Miyakojima which are more great things to do in Miyakojima offering you a stunning look at the island!

Ryugujo Observatory

Ryugujo Observatory is located on a hill on Kurima Island which is just a few km away from Miyako via one of its many impressive bridges. From Ryugujo you get an amazing view of Miyako island in the distance, plus its famous 2km beach! Another popular beach in Okinawa!

things to do in Miyakojima, Ryugujo Observatory
View from Ryugujo Observatory

Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse

Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse on the very Eastern point of the island is a must-visit place in Miyakojima and actually combines 2 viewpoints! Right at the very end where the lighthouse is located, you’ll get an amazing view out into the ocean which is where the East China Sea and the Pacific Sea meet. You can also go up to the top of the lighthouse for 200yen for an even better view.

Another place to stop is just before you get to the small stretch of road that leads to Miyakojima Lighthouse which gives an excellent view of the road and the coast in the distance. In fact, it looks pretty similar to the Twelve Apostles outside of Melbourne, Australia, except it’s a lot less busy!

things to do in Miyakojima, Higashi Hennazaki Lighthouse Viewpoint in Miyakojima
The lighthouse is at the end of the small road you can see in this photo.

Irabu-Ohashi Bridge

Irabu-Ohashi Bridge is another Miyakojima tourist attraction because it’s the longest toll-free bridge in Japan at 3.5km, it’s structurally impressive and it offers incredible views of the bright blue ocean as you drive over it. On that note, make sure to keep a lookout for turtles as they can often be seen from the bridge!

Aside from seeing the bridge as you drive over it, be sure to stop at the car park on the right before you get on the bridge to head over to Irabu as there is a small viewpoint where you can see just how incredible it is!

things to do in Miyakojima, Irabu Bridge and Blue Ocean water
Japan’s longest toll-free bridge! This photo was taken from the car park and viewpoint before driving onto it to go to Irabu!

Remember you’ll need to hire a car in Miyako to see the island properly and do all of these things to do in Miyakojima. For car rental in Miyakojima, have a look at RentalCars who search the world’s top providers to give you the best car rental options!

5. Take an Evening Dinner and Sunset Boat Cruise

This Miyakojima activity is great for Japanese tourists and foreign tourists to Miyakojima. I went out on the Montblanc Hayate evening cruise and really enjoyed it.

The dinner is buffet style with plenty of food to choose from including a Sushi Bar. I was also impressed with the number of vegetarian options. However, the desserts were the highlight with the biggest selection of Mochi I have ever seen!

After dinner, you can head onto the top deck to take in the sunset views and experience sailing under the Irabu Bridge. The basement of the boat is also open and acts as a cinema out into the ocean! On a clear day you can see fish and maybe even turtles through the glass windows at the bottom of the boat, but don’t forget to come back into the dining room to listen to the entertainment and get up for a dance later on!

things to do in Miyakojima, Inside of Mont Blanc Sunset Dinner Cruise
I love that they had decorated the boat for Halloween!
things to do in Miyakojima, Japans longest toll free bridge from boat
Sunset view from the top deck after dinner. On a clear day the sunset would be epic!

6. Stay at Miyakojima Tokyu Hotel & Resort

For the best Miyakojima Hotel, you need to stay at the Tokyu Hotel and Resort. This is the only hotel on Miyako Island with direct beach access which is surprising considering the number of beaches on the island and therefore makes for one of the best Japan Beach Resorts.

Not only does the Tokyu Hotel Miyako have beach access but it also has a huge outdoor pool, 5 dining options and 2 breakfast dining options, tennis courts, mini-golf, bike rental and snorkelling so there are so many things to do in Miyakojima just inside the resort!

This is a 4-star hotel in Miyakojima so the bedrooms are high quality with friendly staff, and it’s in a great location just 15 minutes away from Miyako Airport! It’s especially perfect if you have children that you want to keep entertained!

things to do in Miyakojima, View of Miyakojima Tokyo Resort Hotel
The view of Tokyu Resort from my room.. wow!
Double Room in Miyakojima Tokyu Resort Hotel | things to do in Miyakojima island
Such a nice double room at Miyakojima Toyku Hotel!

7. Dress up in a Kimono in Miyakojima!

Getting dressed up in a Kimono one of the popular things to do in Japan for tourists and here on Miyakojima, you can do this in the most authentic way and it will be one of your Okinawa highlights I think! It was one of the best things to do in Miyakojima that I did!

A lot of females will hire a Kimono in Kyoto and wear it around the city, there is nothing wrong with this and from what I have heard Japanese people like that foreigners are embracing the traditional wear, however, they can be put on quickly and not in the traditional way.

At Miyakojima Botanical Garden there is a lady who can dress you in a Kimono so you can take photos in the garden in this beautiful outfit.

The website is Miyakotaiken however it is in Japanese, bookings are often made over the phone but may be difficult to make if you do not speak Japanese. What I would suggest is going into the Botanical Garden in Miyakojima and seeing if she has a slot free for you.

There are many other Miyako activities you can do here like going to the crafts village and workshop so it’s a nice place to visit and one of the really good things to do in Miyakojima for children.


Japan isn’t the cheapest country to travel but you can save money in Japan, here are my budget tips for Japan:

How to Save Money in Japan!

Free Things To Do in Japan!

Save Money with the JR Pass!


Here’s my 2 week Japan itinerary for first time visitors which will help you plan yours and you can adapt it whether you’re in Japan or longer or less time.

8. Pet Goats at a Goat Cafe

For one of the more unique things to do in Miyakojima, head to Shirou Nouen Goat Cafe, also known as Go at Cafe which is a cafe with lots of goats on site.

You’ll find this cafe in Miyako on the South Western part of the island on the way to Kurima Island.

things to do in Miyakojima, goat cafe playground in Miyakojima
Photo of goats playing next to the cafe from Yelp.

9. Have a Local Dinner and Entertainment at Kiyama

For amazing food and one of the best restaurants in Miyakojima head for dinner at Shimauta Izakaya Kiyama Restaurant in Downtown Miyakojima.

The restaurant is popular with tourists but is also visited by locals however, what I liked is that it has a very local feel to it still. The menu is full of dishes that are popular from Okinawa, it’s small and intimate with friendly staff and they also offer nightly entertainment shows at 18:30 and 20:00 with Sanshin local music which will put you in a fantastic mood and give you a taste of the many local experiences and the many things to do in Okinawa.

things to do in Miyakojima, Okinawa Food
This food at Shimauta Izakaya Kiyama Restaurant was delicious and they had plenty of vegetarian options
things to do in Miyakojima, local entertainment in Miyakojima
These two played brilliant Okinawa music for us

10. Try Blue Seal Ice Cream

Finally, no holiday in Okinawa is complete without trying the famous ice cream of Okinawa Island- Blue Seal! There is a store in the downtown part of Miyakojima which sells a huge number of flavours but you’ll also see stands dotted around the island. The Salt Flavours are particularly popular and famous in this region and I really liked the Cookie Salt flavour. I also had the Sweet Potato Ice Cream which was a taste sensation!

Sweet Potato ice cream from Blue Seal | things to do in Miyakojima island
Salt Cookie and Sweet Potato Ice Cream.. just a standard option in Okinawa!

How to Get to Miyakojima?

You’re convinced that you need to go to Okinawa and Miyakojima, but how to get to Okinawa?

Flying is the answer. You can fly from Tokyo to Miyako Airport in 3 hours, Japan Airlines run a regular service and you can check out all of the times and prices on Skyscanner.

In my opinion, you need about 3 days in Miyakojima island to enjoy it, so if you want to stay in Okinawa for longer I’d suggest checking out the other nearby islands:

The island of Okinawa. This is the main island in the prefecture and popular with tourists. The best way to get to Okinawa is to fly into its airport Naha Airport.

The island of Ishigaki. This is another popular island in Okinawa, people often question whether to go to Miyakojima or Ishigaki so if you have time you could do both. Ishigaki has an airport, or you could cruise between the islands like I did on a Costa Cruise, we left Miyako in the evening and had arrived in Ishigaki by morning!

How to Get Around Miyakojima?

Remember when it comes to how to get around Miyakojima, you’ll need to hire a car to see the island properly and do all of these things to do in Miyakojima. For car rental in Miyakojima, have a look at RentalCars who search the world’s top providers to give you the best car rental options!

My trip to Miyakojima and this post is in collaboration with All About Japan, all thoughts and opinions are my own.