The small island of Kurimajima is southwest of the Miyako mainland, across from pretty Yonaha Maehama Beach and accessible via Kurima Bridge. While primarily agricultural, the island offers gorgeous ocean views, especially from the Ryugujo Observatory, a three-story building whose design evokes the undersea palace of Ryugujo of Japanese folklore.
Explore these great things to see and do in the Miyako Islands, from diving among colorful coral reefs to exploring a limestone cave by kayak.
Known locally as Kayaffa Beach, this natural beach on Shimoji Island is surrounded by a large reef that keeps the bay protected from large waves. Thanks to its calm and exceptionally clear water, Nakanoshima is a great spot for viewing the many coral and tropical fish that inhabit the area.
These two ponds on Shimoji Island are connected to each other underwater, and one is also connected by an underwater tunnel to the ocean, through which advanced divers can swim. Due to large differences in water depth, salt concentration and temperature, a wide variety of marine life inhabit the ponds.
With its white sand and brilliant turquoise water that stretches out toward Kurima Island in the distance, Yonaha Maehama Beach is truly exquisite and has been called the most beautiful beach in the Far East.
Holding the title of longest toll-free bridge in Japan, Irabu Bridge connects Miyako and Irabu islands, and is well worth the drive simply for the amazing panoramic views, which change according to the level of the tide and the angle of the sun.
Higashi-Hennza-zaki, or East Henna Cape, is a thin windswept protrusion of land reaching out two kilometers into the Pacific, with the East China Sea to the north and the Philippine Sea to the south.
Known for its fishing port as well as beautiful sandy beaches, Irabu Island is the second-largest of the Miyako islands and is connected to Miyako-jima by the long and graceful Irabu Ohashi Bridge.
The festival is held each year on the first Sunday of April at Yonaha Maehama Beach, a popular beach known for having incredibly clear water even as compared to others beaches in Okinawa Prefecture.
Popular locations include the Yabiji coral reef area and reefs around Shimoji and Irabu islands. Many dive tour operators also offer snorkeling and other marine activities.
Miyako Beef is counted among the best kinds of Japanese wagyu beef, acclaimed for its high quality. The cows are raised on beautiful island pastures in the mild Miyako climate.