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Miyakojima: Island dreaming on Okinawa’s fourth-largest island


Miyakojima is blessed with miles and miles of white-sand beaches and scuba diving spots galore. It’s the largest of a string of small islands surrounded by aqua waters off the coast of the semi-tropical Okinawa Prefecture. Take a few relaxing breaths, sit back, and soak in the scenery.

As the fourth largest island in Okinawa, Miyakojima is one of Japan’s most popular getaway spots, along with Ishigaki. Best known for its pristine nature, the island also has a distinct culture from the other Ryukyu Islands.

Beautiful landscapes and the longest and most-scenic toll-free bridge in Japan are just a few of the attractions to look out for.

Aragusuku and Yonaha Maehama Beach

Yonaha Maehama Beach’s sparkling blue waters

Located on Miyakojima’s eastern coast, Aragusuku Beach (Map) is the perfect spot for snorkeling and sunbathing. Colorful sea life can be seen swimming in the beach’s clear aquamarine waters. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a sea turtle while snorkeling. Amenities such as parking and showers are also available.

Stretching 7 miles along the Western coast is Yonaha Maehama Beach (Map). Although a bit more touristy than Aragusuku Beach, Yonaha Maehama is one of the most highly ranked sandy beaches in Japan with ample opportunities for water sports and sunbathing.

Once you’ve had enough sun, take a scenic drive along the Irabu Ohashi Bridge (Map), which connects Miyakojima with smaller Irabujima. At 3,540 meters, it is the longest bridge in Japan to cross without a toll and was built in 2015. On clear days, it almost feels like you are driving on the water as you gaze out at a sea of blues and greens. 

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© GaijinPot Travel

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