The Miyako region, located 300 kilometers southwest of mainland Okinawa, consists of eight large and small islands. Miyako Island, which has the largest land area, is at the center along with Irabu island and Ikema Island. Long bridges over the ocean and its vivid coral reefs connect the islands. This magnificent view can only be seen in the Miyako Region. There are also many beautiful spectacles created by nature including the varied coastline and breathtaking beaches along the island. Moreover, the wide variety of must-see spots such as historical sites and cultural facilities will keep visitors busy.
Access: 45 minutes by air from Naha Airport.
The allure of the flat high-mountainless Miyako Island is the coastal scenery that can be seen from various locations. Agarihenna-zaki where you can see the ocean and its beautiful color gradation was selected as having one of “The 100 Most Beautiful Lighthouses in Japan”. “Ueno German Culture Village”, where one can find a museum similar to an old castle in Germany, is noted for attracting the attention of people away from the scenery on this tropical island. This park was built around the theme of the true story of when the residents of the island rescued the crew of a German ship stranded offshore Miyakojima in 1873. You can enjoy both the tropical air and the European atmosphere at the same time
Ikema Island is connected to Miyako Island by Ikema High Bridge which spans nearly 1425 meters across the ocean. Yabiji is located in the north of Ikema Island. It is composed of more than 100 large and small coral reefs, and one of the largest clusters of coral reefs in Japan. Normally it is submerged, but several times a year, during the spring tides it emerges from the deep. You can go ashore during the festival on March 3rd of the lunar calendar. Since it is like a paradise in the sea, where tropical fish can be seen swimming around the colorful coral, Ikema Island is known as a top diving spot.
Irabu Island/Shimoji Island
Irabu Island and Shimoji Island are blessed with crystal clear waters while Sawada Beach is famous for being selected as one of the “Best Beach 100 of Japan”. Mysterious “Tori-ike” Pond on Shimoji Island is a popular destination among divers, and although the pond looks like two ponds, the ponds are actually connected underwater. Legend has it that the pond as it is today resulted from a large wave that crashed over the pond to rescue a mermaid captured by humans. Since the pond is deep and connected to the ocean, freshwater and seawater combine to create a wonderful spectacle of ever-evolving colors.