Beaches of Miyako-Jima
Katie & Graham
9th January 2019
Miyako-Jima is an island in the Okinawa prefecture of Southern Japan. It enjoys a year round sub-tropical climate and has some of the best beaches we have ever had the pleasure to set foot on. We spent 6 days here in October exploring the island by scooter and here are our favourite beaches…
1. Maehama Beach
This is Miyako’s most famous beach and its easy to see why. It is a long stretch of pure white soft sand with perfectly clear shallow waters. There wasn’t much coral here close to the shore so not great for snorkelling but the beach itself is postcard perfect!
There were a few too many jet skis and other tourist related attractions here for our liking but it is definately worth a visit.
2. Aragusuku Beach
This beach is all about the snorkelling! There are mulitple corals just a few metres from the shore, with the most beautiful marked out by buoys. We were lucky enough to meet a friendly local man who swam with us and showed us where to spot all the best fish. We saw so many clown fish – it was amazing!
The beach itself has lovely soft sand and a small beach bar. Unfortunately when we visited there was a fair bit of rubbish which had washed up further down the beach. However, there had just been a typhoon so it may well have been related to this. It didn’t matter so much anyway as we spent hour after hour watching the multitude of rainbow coloured fish in the warm waters!
3. Ohama Beach, Ikema island
This beach is absolutely stunning. You can find it by crossing the bridge to Ikema island in the North and as soon as the bridge ends park up on the right hand side (there is a car park). Walking down towards the water will bring you to Ohama beach. The water here is magical and creates a beautiful effect where bright green water meets the turquoise of the sea. Also, the sand is amazing and we were the only people there!
4. Ikizu Beach, Ikema island
We stumbled on this beach on our last day, so we were very sad we couldn’t make the most of it. It is entirely secluded with no nearby buildings and we didn’t see another vehicle even drive past let alone any other people! It is a small, sandy beach with the typical beautiful waters which we have come to expect from Miyako-Jima. You can find it on google maps on the west coast of Ikema island.
5. Funakusu Beach, Ikema Island
We were recommended to visit this beach by a local, and although it was a bit of a drive it was worth it. There were only a couple of other people there and the snorkelling was amazing with corals and plenty of fish right off the beach! There are two small sections of the beach separated by rocks so it was easy to get a bit of privacy.
We were also advised to go to Sunayama beach, and it gets a lot of good reviews on the internet. All we have to say about it is that it was very underwhelming. It was overrun with tourists and large groups on guided snorkel tours. The sea was cloudy and dirty and we left within 10 minutes of arriving!
Other things to see…
The bridges that link Miyako with its neighbouring islands are infamous and its easy to see why. The water surrounding you whilst you drive over them is breathtaking. It was well worth our little self-taught ‘crash course’ in moped riding just for this!
Where We Stayed
We stayed at Guest House Miyakojima as we were on a budget and Miyako has very few wallet friendly options for accomodation. Luckily this place had a very well equipped kitchen and we ate nearly all of our meals here which managed to save us a lot of Yens! They also offer super cheap scooter rental which was perfect for seeing the island. We would say it is essential to have your own means of transport to make the most of your stay here.
Where we ate
As we mentioned we cooked most of our own meals, but we did visit one very cute cafe on Kurima island called Pani Pani which did delicious coffees and flat breads for lunch – would highly recommend (and you’ll get to drive over one of the bridges!).
Thanks for reading – we really hope you get the chance to visit this amazing place and experience what we believe to be soe of the best beaches in the world!