Miyakojima weekend itinerary. © touristinjapan.com
Itineraries, Okinawa

Miyakojima weekend itinerary

This is a weekend itinerary for Miyakojima. The itinerary assumes arrival Friday afternoon and departure Sunday evening. It includes the absolute highlights of Miyakojima, of course including the stunning beaches and beautiful nature.

Miyakojima, a part of Okinawa Prefecture, is a group of paradise islands located far south, just a few hundred kilometers off the coast of Taiwan. The island group consists of Miyako island, Kurima island, Irabu & Shimoji islands and Ikema island. Miyakojima is famous for the pristine beaches, superb snorkeling and high chances of spotting sea turtles.

Itinerary Map

Weekend itinerary for Miyakojima

Friday

15:00Arrive at Miyako Airport (MMY)
15:30Rental car pick-up
16:00Check-in at hotel
17:00Quick swim at beach near hotel
18:30Sunset from Sunset beach

Saturday

08:00Breakfast at hotel
09:30Higashi-Hennazaki Cape
11:00Imgya Marine Garden
13:00Maehama Beach, swimming
15:00Explore Kurima island (and bridge)
16:30Nagahama beach (Kurima), swimming
18:00Dinner
21:00Stargazing

Sunday

08:00Breakfast at hotel
09:00Check-out at hotel
09:45Irabu Bridge
10:00Makiyama Observation Deck (Irabu)
11:00Snorkeling at Nakanoshima Beach (Irabu)
13:00Toriike pond (Irabu)
15:00Nishihenna Cape and View of Ikema bridge
17:00Arrival at Miyako airport (MMY)

All photos above © touristinjapan.com.

Planning a trip to Miyakojima

Flights

Miyakojima airport (MMY) is connected to several major cities around Japan. It is possible to fly in from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Naha.

Flights to Miyakojima

Transportation and airport transfer

It’s highly recommended to rent a car if you are only staying for a weekend. It’s the easiest, fastest and most practical way to get around the island. If you are not renting a car, then check with your hotel if they offer airport pickup. Alternatively it’s possible to hire a taxi at the airport.

Cheap Car Rental in Miyakojima

Accommodation

Hotel Recommendations for Miyako island

Miyakojima Veronika (budget)
If you are looking to travel on a budget, then Veronika guest house could be something for you. The hotel is located a bit north of Hirara, away from the touristy areas. Prices are almost as reasonable as on the smaller islands. There are free bikes and free wi-fi available.
Book now

Hotel Sea Breeze Casual (mid-class)
Hotel Sea Breeze Casual is a nice 3-star mid-class hotel, located on the southern coast of Miyako island. The rooms are modern and clean. There is a pool, souvenir shop, restaurant and laundry facilities. It’s a great place to stay as a couple of a family, if you want to be near the sea.
Book now

Shigira Bayside Suite Allamanda (Luxury) Recommended
The beautiful 5-star hotel of Shigira Bayside has huge, amazing suites overlooking the east-china sea – some with private pools. The hotel has a private beach with snorkeling and canoeing. There is also a spa and an amazing restaurant, Maralunga.
Book now

Find more hotels in Miyakojima

Restaurant suggestions

Miyakojima has a lot of great, local food you must try when exploring these pristine paradise islands. Miyako specialties you can’t miss are: Miyako Soba, Miyako Beef, Fresh mango and papaya, Mozuku sea weed, Goya chanpuru and of course a local awamori to wash it down. Don’t miss the local snow salt either!

Miyakosoba. © touristinjapan.com

Find Restaurants

All photos above © touristinjapan.com.

Details of Miyakojima weekend itinerary

Details of Saturday

Higashi-hennazaki cape, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Higashi-Hennazaki Cape

Higashi-hennazaki is a narrow, 2km long (1.24mi) cape which extends out of the eastern side of Miyako island. The cape has the Pacific Ocean on one side, and the East China Sea on the other. Along the coast line of the cape are large rocks, scattered in the mesmerizing blue water. At the tip of the cape, a slim and elegant, 24.5m tall, white lighthouse protrudes from the ground. The cape is designated a national place of scenic beauty.

Location: see map.

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Imgya Marine Garden, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Imgya Marine Garden

Imgya Marine Garden is a small, protected area of water (almost like a natural harbor) and is ideal for snorkeling – especially for beginners. There are also some beautiful walking trails which can be enjoyed here. The location can be a little tricky to find – there are two beaches with this name. The neighboring resort has a beach which uses the same name – but this is not where you want to go. Instead continue past the resort and past the diving center eastward on route 235. 100m east of the diving center is a parking lot – this is where you can access Ingya Marine Garden.

Facilities: Showers, Toilets, Parking.

Location: see map.

Find more beaches

Maehama beach, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Maehama Beach

Maehama beach, located with a view of Kurima Island, is one of the most iconic beaches on Miyakojima. The white, sandy beach is supposed to be 7km long, so despite being the most visited beach on the island, you are likely to find some privacy.

Facilities: Showers, Toilets, Parking

Location: see map.

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Kurima bridge, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Kurima Bridge

Kurima bridge connects Kurima island to Miyako island. The bridge is 1’690m. long and opened in 1995. It has a beautiful shape, with a bump on the middle, from where there is a great view over the strait. Read more about the bridges of Miyakojima.

Location: see map.

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Kurima island, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Kurima Island Exploration

Kurima Island is a small island, located just off the coast of Miyako island. It is quite a remote island, with few inhabitants and visitors. The island is mostly covered by sugar cane and tobacco fields. However, Kurima has some of the most beautiful beaches and views of the Miyako island group. The small and drowsy town on the north-eastern side of the island has a few cafes and souvenir shops for the occasional tour bus which decides to come by.

Location: see map.

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Nagamahama beach, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Nagamahama Beach

Nagamahama Beach is located on the western side of Kurima Island. It is a remote beach where you are very likely to have it all to yourself.
This is probably one of the most overlooked beaches in the Miyako Islands. As you emerge through the narrow, sandy tunnel of lush green plants, you are met with a view of turquoise water and a perfect, white sand beach. It is so beautiful that it’s hard to believe it is real.

Facilities: none

Location: see map.

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Dark sky and stargazing, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Stargazing

Miyakojima has one of the darkest night skies in all of Japan. It’s the perfect place to gaze at the millions of stars, and dream yourself to other worlds. It’s also a great opportunity for photographers to experiment with night sky photos.

Location: away from the city and hotels.

Details of Sunday

Irabu Bridge, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Irabu Bridge

This 3’540m. long bridge connects Miyako island and Irabujima. The bridge opened in 2015, and is probably as close as a bridge ever comes to being art. It curves its way over the water like it is a natural feature. Before crossing the bridge, stop at the parking lot on the Miyako side to enjoy the magnificent view.

Location: see map.

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Makiyama observation deck, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Makiyama Observatory

Makiyama observatory, which is shaped like a bird, overlooks Miyako island and is the only place where you can see both Irabu bridge, Kurima bridge and Ikema bridge at the same time. The mountain on which it sits, is named after the Maki bird (grey-faced buzzard) which comes here in the fall to rest before moving on. There is also a nature trail near the observatory.

Location: see map.

Nakanoshima beach, miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Nakanoshima Beach (snorkeling)

Nakanoshima beach is an amazing snorkeling location. While the beach is not ideal for sunbathing, it does have an incredible coral and fish life. Nakanoshima is probably one of the best beach-access snorkeling spots in all of Miyakojima.

Facilities: Roadside parking.

Location: see map.

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Toriike pond, Miyakojima. © OCVB

Toriike Pond

Toriike Pond is on the cover of many brochures in Miyako, and for good reason. It is truly a beautiful, natural area. There appears to be two separate ponds, however they are connected underground. There is also an underwater cave associated with the pond, which has made it a highly regarded diving spot. The spot is designated a Natural Monument of Okinawa – and it has a legend of a mermaid!

Location: see map.

Nishihennazaki cape, Miyakojima. © OCVB

Nishi-Hennazaki Cape

A long, beautiful cape extending from the northern tip of Miyako island. Three large wind turbines are installed on the cape, harvesting the strong winds blowing across the sea. There are parking facilities near the tip of the cape, making it easy to explore the beautiful landscape.

Location: see map.

Ikema Bridge, Miyakojima © touristinjapan.com

Ikema Bridge

The 1’425m. long bridge to Ikema is a work of art. With its elegant bump on the middle, it has connected Ikema island to Miyako island since 1992. It is best viewed from the Ikema Island drive-in. Read more about the bridges of Miyakojima.

Location: see map.

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