....This time, with a car! And, boy, what a difference it makes!
I can now tell you all the beaches on the island and few other spots to see too!
(Two years ago, this is what I wrote..)
|On the way to Maehama beach|
2014 yields this....
Clockwise around the island starting from the
Tokyu Resort Hotel.
|Maehama beach and the bridge to Kurimajima in the distance|
The Tokyu Resort is very nice and recommended, but by certainly no means essential to making your stay on the island awesome. (While the rooms overlook Maehama Beach, which is owned and joined by a walkway to the hotel, visitors outside of the hotel may of course come and enjoy Japan's best beach ever¬!
In season, the beach caters for many activities, there is a pedal boat, a safe, cordoned off area for families to swim and play as well as the entire ocean for snorkeling!
|The path towards Yonohama Bay|
Yonaha Bay &
Yonohama Beach which was shallow enough to wade far out.
Following the coast line further north and the signs will direct you to Sunset beach,
Painagama Beach ...
|Quirky little shop at the parking lof by Sunayama Beach|
|All important map at Sunayama Beach|
|The sandy path to Sunayama Beach|
As we drove around the island, we were fortunate to be able to find the Yuki Shio Saltworks
(http://www.yukisio.com/). It's the salt mill but the salt is something else - it contains the most minerals in the world (!) and a place in the Guinness world of records as a result. It looks like snow and tastes pure and fresh and...salty!!! It was on the list of recommendations, and you might not consider it on a vacation to miyako, but actually, it was worth it! We ate ice cream and tried ALL the flavours of salt as topping!!
|Ikema island cafe|
Sea Grapes, Umi Budou, 海ぶどう
My husband loves sea grapes more than me, I am sure, so he was super overjoyed to have found this farm. The freshest and most amazing experience ever. You can buy a massive box for 400yen, which by far beats the small souvenirs ones in Naha shopping street!
Follow the boardwalk and enjoy the tranquility of the nature around. Mangroves are swampy marshes of tropical fun! This is more of a must-see than the tropical garden! It is far more unique to observe the ground and the creatures popping up and down and scampering around.
We saw butterflies and small lizards, but it was the small red crabs and their amazing beady eyes that won the show! You gotta stand still though!!
The thing is that we are on a tropical island surrounded by nature anyway, but this beautiful inland park is free to enter and is just lovely place to be!
|perhaps fugu - puffer fish!|
|Seems like a touristy area, so the clean-up should start soon, I guess?|
Last time, we were able to do a fair bit of snorkelling on this beach. This time round, it was earlier in the month of March plus it was later in the day and the tide was out. Still, there were many things to find on this beautiful beach....
Bora beach para
There is a restaurant and parking here, so I imagine the beach is (or will be) clean and popular. We didn;t have the time to explore this one so no pictures. Sorry!
Cape Higashi Hennazaki
This cape is a lovely stretch of path that takes you out to the edge to really appreciate the views around you.
Ingya Marine Park
German Culture Village
I have no pictures of this save these from the last visit -
even from a German person's perspective who might be yearning for a bit of homegrown culture, this is a peculiar place. Still, it is a novelty for those never to set foot in Deutschland. These police figures can be found around the island in connection with the Deutsch theme park; yes, it really is quite amusing!
|The bridge to Kurima island|
Our path leads us back to the Tokyu resort, but not without a quick detour over another bridge. Last time, we tried to cycle over the bridge but got quickly lay and tired half way. We learnt this time that we didn't miss much at all!
There is next to NOTHING on the island, even less than Ikema, which is rather lively in comparison!
We drove around the island, stopped to admire a dirty beach on which someone had been playing around with the rocks and built endless cairns!
|The view of Tokyu from Kurima|
|What's this? Sea cucumber? なまこ？|
There is a wonderful pottery shop adjoining a coffee snack place, run by the same family at the beginning of the island. Strongly recommend a visit!
Miyakojima, Miyako island or even 'paradise' is worth a visit from Japan / Okinawa mainland.