Six Perfect Miyakojima Spots to Take Okinawa Pictures
9 October 2015
Kurima Bridge
During your luxurious holiday on the Okinawan island of Miyakojima, you will surely want a snapshot (or one hundred!) for each of your happy memories. This heavenly setting will afford you many a stunning photographic opportunity, but if time is limited, you are going to want to know exactly where to go and when. Below we have chosen six sensational places, including Sunayama Beach, Maehama Beach and beyond, that are more than just favorites of Okinawa photography buffs; rather, they are wholly unique to Miyakojima itself.


#1: Imugya Marine Park (“Ingya”)

 Imugya Marine Park (“Ingya”)
Let’s start our Okinawa photo journey very close to our resting point: Imugya Marine Park (often called “Ingya” by the locals). The marine park is, as the name suggests, an area where people typically flock for fun activities in the water, such as snorkeling and swimming in the naturally formed pool. This inland sea spot has many bridges and walking paths in tranquil shades of deep green; you will feel a perfect calm descend upon you as you aim for those scenic shots. 

 Imugya Marine Park (“Ingya”)
If you visit this area off season you can make the climb up the paths to the main viewpoint, and gain a clear and quiet surrounding view of the area. As you look out to the ocean, you will be treated to wonderful views from up on the rocks out onto the crystalline turquoise waters. It is often described as a “landscape garden by the sea”, so why not head down there to see it for yourself?


#2: Higashi Hennazaki Cape

Higashi Hennazaki Cape
Continuing our journey eastwards, there is the breathtaking Higashi Hennazaki Cape which juts out for a full 2km from the island. This cape marks the easternmost point of the island and is widely considered the most popular spot for watching the bright sunrises and deep sunsets that naturally paint the ocean horizon day after day. On the walk down, the shimmering, undulating ocean appears an endless stretch of emeralds. This jaw-dropping view, not to mention the stark coral and numerous rocks rising from the water, might entrance you so much that you forget to take pictures—which would be a shame as you haven’t even reached Miyakojima’s main sightseeing spot.


#3: Lighthouse

Built in 1967, there is a lighthouse that acts as a meeting point for those wanting to catch the early morning sunrise. In fact, you can get almost a full panoramic view here, and at 320 degrees this is certainly a one-of-a-kind picture opportunity! Before packing your camera, though, don’t miss the chance to learn more about this quaint island landmark and Cape Hennazaki itself.


#4: Sunayama Beach

 Sunayama Beach
From sunrise to sunset and heading right across to the other side of the island, we land on Sunayama beach. There is plenty of parking here as many are expected to come and see the sun set on this idyllic island paradise. About half an hour away from the exquisite Shigira resort, Sunayama is famed for its towering rock arch, formed by centuries of crashing waves. The arch acts as a natural window through the coral wall and out to the ocean. 

 Sunayama Beach
Whilst this area is not considered as ideal for snorkeling or swimming as others around Miyako, the photo opportunities afforded by the gleaming white beach and its magnificent companion more than make up for that. If you have heavy camera equipment, just note that the sandy walkway from the car park, through the forest and to the beach is a fairly steep trek back up. The views once you get there are something to truly savour, and keep for all time with the touch of a button. Your set of Okinawa pictures would never be complete without at least a few snapshots of this “sand mountain,” which holds so much more beauty than its humble name suggests.


#5 Maehama Beach

Maehama Beach
Maehama Beach is our final stop and only a short 15 minute drive from our repose back at The Shigira. Rated as one of the best beaches in the whole of Asia, the sparkling sand stretches out for 7km, allowing you to soak up the views and the snapshots at your leisure. The landscape is hauntingly minimalist, the vast white beach and the green waters at its edge creating a mysterious visual symphony that is ripe for picture-taking. As its coast is facing west, many photographers visit to take pictures especially at sunset. You will have a chance to capture Kurima bridge, coral, shells, and the seemingly limitless sandy beach. More on the bridges in #6!


#6: Kurima, Ikema & Irabu Bridges

Miyako island stands alone as a stunning holiday destination, but it is actually part of 8 islands in the Miyako chain that are also fodder for Okinawa photo aficionados. Three of these islands can be accessed by sweepingly beautiful bridges: Kurima island, Ikema island and Irabu island all have long, open bridges from the main island of Miyako. The contemporary design of these bridges and the dazzlingly azure waters around, mean the view of the coral and even the fish, are great for quick snaps as you look back on Miyako itself, and onwards to the little islands. Stopping for a picture anywhere near these bridges is highly recommended.

One more thing: During your stay at the Shigira resort, don’t forget to enjoy the great sea views from the hills of the south. As the rest of the island is so flat, this is the only place where you can look down into the ocean. The list of great spots for Okinawa pictures could go on and on! Miyako is a beautiful haven of greenery, scenery, landscape and seascape. Be sure to pack your camera charger, a large memory card, and get ready to start snapping!


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