It may be interesting to combine both autumnal Japan and the summer temperatures of the southern islands of Okinawa. In October, the average temperature is 28 degrees and the region experiences a low precipitation rate. In addition, it takes only about 3 hours by plane from Tokyo to reach these paradisiacal islands with a tropical climate, where a completely different Japanese culture remains to be discovered.
Okinawa is a vast archipelago and it is difficult to choose which island to visit. If you want to fully enjoy the scenery and beaches of paradise but also visit and discover the Japanese culture of Okinawa and its small coastal towns, the Miyako-Jima region is a good compromise. You can easily access it from Tokyo Haneda Airport or from Osaka city on your itinerary. For those who first want to visit Naha, the capital of Okinawa, Miyako-jima is only 50 minutes away by plane.
It is said that the ocean surrounding Miyako-jima Island has the clearest water in Japan, the territory being composed of limestone soil; it is transparent and turquoise all year round. Many beautiful beaches surround the island. It is difficult to list each of them. However, here are the ones you shouldn’t miss! To the southwest, you will find the white sandy beach of Yonaha Maehama, often sparsely populated, where you can relax and enjoy the many activities on offer: snorkeling, boat trips. You will also find small bars and restaurants by the sea. There’s nothing like relaxing and letting go of your thoughts in this little piece of paradise.
To the northwest, Sunayama Beach offers a completely different but also sublime landscape. It is composed of a rocky arch overlooking the emerald sea. You will also find spots to rent equipment for diving and other numerous water sports.
One of the most interesting for snorkelling is Boraga Beach in the south-east of the island. You will observe an incredible underwater fauna such as marine turtles and many species of fish such as clown fish! It is also a recommended place for kayaking on the ocean.
The best way to get around this island is to rent a car, or to cycle, the island stretching about 20 kilometres from east to west; it is very easy to reach any site quickly. To the west is the island of Irabu, which you can reach by crossing the 5 km long Irabu-Ohashi Bridge, lost in the middle of the turquoise blue ocean. This island is a paradise for scuba diving with more than 100 superb spots, off the coast or in the many hidden caves along the coast. Also on the island of Shimoji-jima next to Irabu-jima, there is the mysterious Torii-ke pond, which is popular with divers.
You can’t talk about Okinawa without mentioning its delicious cuisine. Each region of Okinawa has its own speciality. Miyako-jima is an important agricultural area, where manju (a kind of papaya), spinach and delicious mangos are grown. The beef is also of high quality. You will also have the opportunity to taste Yashigani, a small coconut crab, or the delicious local soba (buckwheat noodles), often served with shrimp or vegetable fritters (tempura).