Accessing Miyakojima: Car Rentals, Buses, and Miyako Airport
30 October 2015
Miyako Airport
If you are reading this article, you probably already know at least a little bit about Miyakojima, a heavenly tropical paradise that is part of Okinawa’s island chain; you may even be planning a visit! What you may not know is how easily accessible it actually is from Japan’s bustling Tokyo capitol, or how easy it is to get around once you arrive. From flying into Miyako Airport to shuttle, bus, bicycle and Miyakojima car rental services, we have the information to help you navigate smoothly during your trip.


Flying to Miyako Airport

When making the trip to Miyakojima, Tokyo’s Haneda Airport is the best option. Haneda Airport, a convenient connecting hub that, apart from being very accessible, also has a great array of shops and restaurants to keep you entertained while you wait to pass through onto your flight.

You can either fly directly from Haneda to Miyako Airport with Japan Transocean Air (JTA), which whisks you from sky scrapers to sky-brushing palm trees in just a few short hours. Indirect flights from Haneda to the Okinawan capital, Naha, can be booked with JAL or ANA. From Naha, you must use either Jetstar or Skymark. 

Off peak, tickets might be as cheap as ¥12,000 but these tickets won’t stay so cheap for long so be sure to book early! As you can imagine, the prices change during peak season and can get quite high compared to early bookings typically a few months in advance. 

Whilst the direct options to Miyako Airport are incredibly popular, visiting Naha is definitely worth it. Flights there can be quite a bit cheaper than flying directly, and you can have the opportunity to discover great tourist spots such as Shuri Castle or the famous Kokusai Dori with its typical Okinawan restaurants and 'omiyage' (souvenir) stores. 

Naha is not only a nice money-saver but a great place to spend a night before flying to Miyakojima, giving you another small adventure along the way. Hotels are usually quite cheap and readily available there, and from Naha it is only a short 50 minute journey across to Miyakojima island.

Miyakojima Airport Shuttle Services

The island’s small size makes it extremely easy to get around, with English information points dotting the island and friendly people willing to help. Furthermore, most hotels offer a shuttle services from Miyakojima Airport. If you have the fortune of booking a reservation with us here at Shigira Resort, then naturally our shuttle bus will be there to take you directly to your hotel. Shigira Resort shuttles are free, and it only takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to reach your hotel once you board. Guests at The Shigira may avail themselves of our chauffer service, explained in more detail below.

Hirara Bus Services

Miyakojima has a bus service with routes throughout Hirara, the main port town. Due to the pace of island life the buses are few and far between, although just as on mainland Japan they are timely, reliable, smooth and modern. As long as you remember to look at the many timetables posted near tourist sites, hotels, restaurants, cafes and other places of interest, buses are an easy option allowing safe travel even from remote bus stops. Finally, as drivers are extremely friendly and are sure to speak at least some English, there’s little need to worry about language problems when using the buses.

Miyakojima Car Rentals

International Driver’s License

For those interested in exploring the island on their own, there are plenty of Miyakojima car rental options. Before you can even consider renting a car, though, remember that you must be at least 18 years of age and in possession of an International Driver’s License (IDL). As certain IDLs are not valid in Japan, aspiring drivers may even have to get a Japanese driver’s license. Plan ahead and talk to your home agency to make sure that you can get behind the wheel by the time your vacation begins!

Booking before or after You Arrive

While booking directly at Miyako airport when you arrive may seem convenient, the high prices and low car availability may surprise you. Using a rental company can actually be much cheaper. Prices can start as cheap as ¥3,000 per day for a small cube car. There are many different car types, shapes, and sizes, from mopeds all the way up to family wagons, to accommodate your needs. TIMES Rental, NISSAN, ORIX and SKY are some of the Miyakojima car rental options available. For your added convenience and peace of mind, pre-booking can be made in English either by phone or email.

As prices do vary by season, be wary of peak visiting times such as Golden Week (early May) and summer vacation times, as Miyakojima car rental companies will be taking many bookings and may even be full. If you would prefer to first use the airport shuttle and then collect your car upon arriving at your hotel, that can certainly be arranged with most rental companies. Call ahead to book and confirm your requirements.

Driving around Miyakojima

Once you have your car fueled and ready, driving on the island is simple. Like the rest of Japan, The roads have numbers that are very easy to follow. For example, the 390 will take you from East to West and it is on this main road that you will find the Garden Shigira where you can try the famous food of the island; Miyako Soba. Satellite navigation works around the island and most rental cars will be fitted with one for your convenience. Furthermore, all the cars are automatic to make that drive even smoother. There are maps at most tourist spots and at nearly every beach so that you may double check your journey. It is also very easy to ask if you have any problems navigating.
Driving around Miyakojima

Bicycle Rentals

On sunnier and more relaxing days you may want to cycle around on the island’s quiet roads. Again, hotels typically offer bicycle rentals and as the island is mostly flat, cycling is a very pleasurable way to soak up the scenery and the sunshine. The roads are straight and easy to manage, although when hitting some of the island hopping bridges you may find yourself stopping for a breather and a photo stop! Bicycles offer a great chance to discover places you may not have planned to visit.
Bicycle Rentals

Shigira Resort Car Rental & Bus Options

In addition to the aforementioned convenient shuttle service running between Miyako Airport and our various resorts, we also have an in-resort bus service. There are 2 buses moving in a loop, with a one-way trip taking just over 20 minutes. As your exclusive connection between 3 of Shigira’s 4 resort hotels, the bus not only comfortably conveys you to our sumptuous collection of restaurants but also allows easy access to Shigira Ougon Onsen, our heavenly hot spring. 
Staying at The Shigira, our 4th and most exclusive resort, affords a whole new level of luxury: You can eschew the buses for an exclusive chauffer service! Our chauffer will drive you to and from the airport, as well as in and around the resort area where you are staying.

Of course, as wonderful as the resorts are, we know that you’ll want to get out every once in awhile. That’s why Shigira Resort also offers a rental car service with many options available. At Shigira Field House Rental, not only can rent a vehicle for anywhere from 3 to 24 hours, but you also have the choice of seating for up to 5 people. We offer child seating and also cater to those with special needs, including wheelchair accommodation. 

Whether or not you choose to stay at Shigira Resort and however you choose to get around, we hope you thoroughly enjoy the wonderful journey that various vehicles—not to mention your own two feet—can take you on during your stay on Miyakojima.

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