With its rock arch and crystalline waters, it's hard to top beautiful Sunayama Beach, a 15-minute taxi ride from Hirara Port. If you have your own transportation, you can also hop to Maehama Beach, a 7-km. stretch of white sand, or Yoshino Kaigan renowned for snorkeling.
Take in one of Japan's top 13 places of scenic beauty with an easy walk along Higashi-Hennazaki (East Henna Cape), a long spit of land on the southeast corner of Miyako Island that ends at a solitary lighthouse overlooking the aquamarine sea.
Miyako and its four biggest neighboring islands, Ikema, Irabu, Shimoji and Kurima, are joined by sea bridges that offer eye-popping, panoramic views. Explore spectacular beaches, discover coral reefs and taste unique food.
Miyakojima soba is a hearty noodle soup of sliced meat, steamed fish paste and diced green onions, sometimes served with side dishes of mozuku seaweed and pickles. Visit Koja Sobaya, which began making noodles way back in 1932, at 1517-1 Hirarashimozato, a 10-minute taxi ride from Hirara Port.
You'll find a cornucopia of island produce at Atarasu Farmers Market, a 10-minute taxi ride from Hirara Port. Mangoes sold here are prized for their succulent sweetness. Other souvenirs sold at shops near the port include awamori, a strong distilled liquor and kariyushi shirts, similar to aloha shirts.
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