Miyako-jima – 宮古島

If we talk about the sea in Southern Japan Okinawa comes to our minds, but there are other fascinating islands besides the main one: Miyako-jima, close to Yonaguni Island (the southernmost territory of Japan), is one of them. What’s special about Miyako-jima? Miyako-jima is located about 290 km south from Okinawa main island. Among its neighbors we can find Ikema, Oogami, Shimoji and Kurima islands. The latter one and Ikema Island are connected to Miyako-jima by a bridge. Miyako-jima has a tropical climate, it is therefore possible to enjoy the sea charm from February to November (beware of typhoons during the rainy season). In Miyako-jima some of the beautiful beaches of Ryūkyū Islands are located. Yonaha-mae Beach is probably the most popular one in the Island. You can relax and have fun strolling on the white sand and do some snorkeling. This has been chosen as number one on Tripadvisor’s “Top 20 beaches of Japan” for two consecutive years, 2010 and 2011. Sunayama Beach is a gorgeous place too: located on the western coast of Miyako-jima, its name is thought to come from the white sand laying on the shore. Here you can see a natural stone arch. Painagama Beach is the easiest to reach bathing spot from Miyako City. There are several lodging structures and restaurants a few steps from Hirara town central area, so it’s a place where tourist and locals come to take a break. The name “Painagama” doesn’t sound Japanese, it is Miyako-jima dialect indeed: it is thought that “pai” indicates “south” while “nagama” means “long beach”. Very close to  the Yoshino Coast, in the Southern part of the Island, there is a coral reef, therefore you can enjoy snorkeling here. By swimming only 5 meters from the coast you can already see coral! Many tropical fishes swim in the water, like Chaetodon Auripes, Chromis Notata, and Zanculus Cornutus. Not far from here there is a place called Agari-Hennazaki if you read in Okinawan, or Agari-Byaunazaki according to Miyako-jima dialect. You can learn much from the top of the light house with a panoramic view of 320 degrees around the island and the sea. Thanks to this view this spot is famous to behold the rising sun and it’s on the “best 100 city parks of Japan” list. How …

Kamikōchi 上高地

A plateau that makes you feel at peace, surrunded by clean air, where you can get around while touching nature: this time we are going to talk about a place where to spend a relaxing week-end: here is Nagano prefecture’s Kamikōchi. What’s special about Kamikochi? Kamikōchi is a mountainous area …

Oirase – 奥入瀬

In the following article we’ll be heading to Aomori Prefecture, looking for breathing some pure air in Oirase. What’s special about Oirase? Oirase is a small river streaming from the banks of Lake Towada in Aomori Prefecture. This river follows the Oirase Valley by creating countless small waterfalls and painting-like beautiful …