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Popular Scuba Diving Spots in the Sea of Miyako Island (Miyakojima): Video Introduction

This video, titled "The Unbelievably Beautiful Diving in Miyako Island" (宮古島のダイビングがありえないほど綺麗な件), was uploaded by Ldive, a scuba diving specialty store located in the Nagoya area of Aichi prefecture.

In the video, you can explore maze-like caves that will make you feel like an explorer and the fantastical blue light illuminates them. The video captures what it feels like to go scuba diving, with encounters with sea creatures, the sound of divers breathing, and the changing colors of the sea as light filters down. Be sure to enjoy the video as you read on.

Miyako Island, a Great Place for Scuba Diving in Okinawa, Japan

Image of a diver
Photo:A diver

Miyako Island, located approximately 300km southwest of the main island of Okinawa, between the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea, is a popular destination for scuba diving. The island is surrounded by several smaller islands, including Irabu Island, Tarama Island, and Shimoji Island.

It has a subtropical maritime climate that is warm, hot, and humid throughout the four seasons. Most of the strata are Ryukyu limestone from uplifted coral reefs, formed by overlapping blocks of sandstone and mud slabs. The entire island has an almost flat, low plateau-like landscape.

The area around Hirara Port, a 15-minute drive from the airport, has accommodations, restaurants, and dive stores, making it a convenient spot for sightseeing on the island. A rental car is recommended for sightseeing. However, sightseeing cabs and local buses are also available to take you to popular sightseeing spots.

Miyako Island and Ishigaki Island are the most popular remote islands in Okinawa. However, if you want to take your time to enjoy the water, we recommend Miyako Island, with its many attractive scuba diving sites.

The West Coast of Shimoji Island: A Popular Spot for Scuba Diving

Image of cave diving on Miyako Island
Photo:Cave diving on Miyako Island

One of the characteristics of Miyako Island's diving spots is the abundance of caves. Some caves are so narrow that only one person can pass through and there are also places where it is pitch black without an underwater light. The darkness of the caves is what makes the blue light that filters through the openings even more incredible. The blue light and the bubbles exhaled by the divers create a fantastic scene. Be sure to check it out in the video.
[Video] 3:00 - A Narrow Cave
[Video] 3:50 - A Diver and the Mystical Blue Light

In the video, you can also see various encounters with sea creatures and other moments that can only be experienced while scuba diving.

The Palace of the Demon King is a popular spot among divers, with its structure resembling a labyrinth with three rooms connected by corridors. The light that filters through the opening and into the corridor 25 meters deep makes it seem like an underwater palace.
[Video] 4:40 - Encounters with Marine Life
[Video] 6:42 - Encounters with Marine Life
[Video] 7:26 - Encounters with Marine Life

Toriike Pond, a Natural Monument Known as the 'Dragon's Eye'

Image of Toriike Pond, Miyako, Island
Photo:Toriike Pond, Miyako, Island

Toriike Pond, often called 'The Dragon's Eye" is a National Place of Scenic Beauty and a Natural Monument. The two ponds are connected via an underground cave, with the pond on the west side being connected to the ocean.

There is also a nearby mini-grotto, which is said to have incredibly beautiful water.

In addition to these, there are other popular diving spots such as "Antonio Gaudi" with artistic overlapping arches that change depending on the angle from which they are viewed, is also located nearby. "Nakanoshima Hall" has a fantastic view of blue light pouring straight down through a series of vertical caverns to a depth of approximately 25 meters. Another popular dive site is "Marine Lake," where you can see a long cave and a view of strong sunlight that shines into the cave like a laser beam.

Irabu Bridge and the Scuba Diving Sites of Irabu Island That Await You

Image of Irabu Island, Okinawa
Photo:Irabu Island, Okinawa

Irabu Bridge, which connects the main island of Miyakojima and Irabu Island, offers beautiful scenery surrounded by the blue seas and skies. Beyond that, Irabu Island is also dotted with popular diving sites.
Blue Cave, is a mysterious cave glowing with blue light located on the north side of Irabu Island, where you can see colorful coral and schools of tropical fish.

Near Blue Cave, there is also Cross Hole, which is said to be the most beautiful place on Irabu Island.

"Shiratori Kindergarten," uniquely named because of the large number of juvenile fish there, and "Snake Hole," where fog is generated due to waves and manta rays often pass by in early spring, are also popular dive sites with many attractions.

Scuba Diving Tours to Popular Points on Miyako Island

Image of a woman diving
Photo:A woman diving

There are various types of diving tours available, including tours that include free rental of equipment such as underwater cameras, underwater lights, and dive computers, tours that include round-trip airfare, lodging, and diving, tours that include rental cars, tours that include box lunches made from local ingredients, and tours that include free photos as a gift.

There are two types of scuba diving: experience diving, in which beginners can participate, and fun diving, in which only licensed divers (C-card holders) can participate.

The experience diving course for beginners includes basic training, such as how to breathe, how to remove pressure in ears, how to handle equipment, and hand signs (hand signals), and you can also enjoy a walk underwater with a guide or instructor.

The popular diving license acquisition course includes a plan that allows you to stay at a hotel with a diving store attached to it, and is recommended for those who want to acquire a license in a short period of time (2 to 3 days).

Miyako Blue: The Beautiful Waters of Miyako Island

Image of coral reefs at Yabiji, Miyako Island
Photo:Coral reefs at Yabiji, Miyako Island

Miyako Island has many breathtaking spots where you can enjoy its beautiful waters which have been dubbed "Miyako Blue."

Yabiji is Japan's largest coral reef group, consisting of over 100 large and small coral reefs. Known as the Great Barrier Reef of Japan, it's a popular spot where you can see vibrant coral, tropical fish, and sea turtles in the emerald green sea.

Yonaha Maehama Beach
Yonaha Maehama Beach is a 7km long stretch of white sandy beach and is said to be the most beautiful sea in the East. The sea is a gradient of emerald green to deep blue, and is especially beautiful at sunset.

Cape Higashi-Hennazaki
Located at the easternmost point of Miyako Island, sits the approximately 2km beautiful cape of Higashi-Hennazaki. It offers a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean to the south and the East China Sea to the north, and it has been designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty.

Other popular spots include the Sunayama Beach, known for its fine powdery snow-like sand and rock arches formed via erosion from waves, as well as Irabu Island's Triangulation Point, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of Miyako Blue from a 70-meter cliff.

Traditional Crafts, Delicious Food, and One-Of-A-Kind Souvenirs on Miyako Island

Image of Miyako Soba (Soki Soba), Okinawa
Photo:Miyako Soba (Soki Soba), Okinawa

Miyako Island is known for its unique cuisine and traditional crafts that are popular as souvenirs.

Miyako Island's gourmet foods include Miyako soba, which is Okinawa soba that originated on Miyako Island, Miyako beef, which must be raised on the island for at least 15 months, Miyako adzuki a traditional vegetable, and Doug's Burger," made with yellow fin tuna from Miyako Island and Japanese black beef from Tarama Island.

Other popular products include ripe mangoes with a perfect balance of sugar, acidity, and flavor, chunky sweet and sour island bananas, and additive-free pure brown sugar made from nutrient-rich sugarcane.

The Miyakojima City Traditional Crafts Center sells various items and hosts tours where visitors can experience traditional Miyako Island crafts, such as Miyako Jofu, a traditional textile which is woven with threads made from fibers of the ramie plant, Miyako-ori, a hand-woven fabric made using cotton for the warp and spun ramie fibers for the weft, and Miyako-asaori, in which hemp is used both for the warp and weft.

Other Things to Do on Miyako Island (Miyakojima)

Besides the beaches and scuba diving, there are a variety of other things you can do on Miyako Island. It's recommended that you stay for at least two days to see everything the island has to offer. Here are a few places we recommend checking out when visiting the island.

Miyako Shrine
Miyako Shrine, built in 1590, is the southernmost shrine in Japan (as a shrine under the comprehensive administration of the Jinja Honcho or Association of Shinto Shrines). The shrine has a unique architecture and color that can't be found in other shrines in Japan, and is great for taking photos and exploring the history and culture of Miyako Island.

Hours: Open 24 hours
Admission Fee: Free

Seasah Story
Shisa are mythical lion-dogs found in Okinawan mythology. Seasah Story is a shop that specializes in shisa statues. There are all sorts of unique shisa that can be seen and purchased inside the store. It's a great place to go for souvenirs!

Hours: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Taragawa Brewery
Taragawa Brewery has been brewing awamori, a strong alcoholic beverage unique to Okinawa, for more than 70 years. The brewery also has a unique method for storing awamori in a 60-meter-longcave located 5 meters underground. You can take a tour of the brewery and even purchase your own awamori at the end.

Hours (Tours): 11:00 am, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm. Each tour is 45 minutes to an hour long.
Admission Fee: Free

How to Get To Miyako Island (Miyakojima)

Despite being technically a part of Okinawa, Miyako Island is located quite a ways south of Okinawa. Because of this, the only way to get to the island is via plane.
From Tokyo, you can take a 3-hour flight from either Haneda Airport or Narita Airport.
From Naha, Okinawa, you can take a 50-minute flight to directly to Miyako Airport.
From Osaka, it's a 2 hour and 15 minute flight from Kansai International Airport.

Summary of Miyako Island, a Place Dotted With Popular Scuba Diving Spots

The maze of caves and the underwater world with blue light pouring in from the surface, makes diving on Miyakojima a one-of-a-kind experience.
The fantastic caves will make you feel like an explorer as you encounter all sorts of fascinating marine life. We hope that watching the video and reading this article has you interested in a trip to Miyakojima!

【Trip Advisor】Miyako Island (Miyakojima)

Written By
Last Updated : Jun. 2, 2023
I'm Natsuki. I was born in Tokyo, live in Fukuoka, and have been a writer for seven years.
Scuba Diving and Other Things to Do on Okinawa's Miyako Island! Enjoy Beautiful, Maze-Like Sea Caves, Mystical Underwater Worlds, and Sandy Beaches!
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