I thought I was just staring at a postcard until I felt the warmth of the fine white powdery sand covering my feet. From that moment, I have finally convinced myself that the picturesque landscape of Sunayama Beach in front of me is real.
About Sunayama Beach
This glorious paradise is situated on the island of Miyakojima which is part Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. It is just 4 kilometers away from the island’s main city of Hirara and 8 kilometers from Miyako Airport. The beach is accessible by taxi, car or tourist bus. Sunayama Beach is popular to both foreign and local tourist. However, it still remained unblemished and peaceful.
Sunayama means ‘Sand Mountain’ which is factually appropriate to its location. To reach the beachfront, you need to hike the elevated sand dunes and follow a path surrounded by bushes and trees. Once you’ve reached the peak of the mountain, you need to go down to get to the shorelines which is very easy especially if you are elated after spotting the stunning spectacle of the beach from the top.
Sunayama Beach is instantaneously identifiable by the arch-shaped rock formation created by centuries of crashing waves shaping a natural passage into the coral reef wall. This arc is renowned all over Japan and became the most familiar image describing the beach. Aside from the arc, the beach also features its fine white powdery sand and awing emerald green water to its visitors.
A perfect day in Sunayama means being lazy on the beach bed, soaking in its crystal clear water or go for snorkeling to explore its underwater treasure. It is also a great location for romantic getaways and family outings. The entire surrounding is flawless that will make you pause and realize how beautiful the world is.
If you are planning to spend a day in the beach, you must bring some packed food and drinks with you as there is no supermarket or restaurant nearby aside from the small stall selling drinks only. However, this shop also lends snorkeling and swimming gears.
Other Attractions to Visit Near Sunayama
If you are in Sunayama beach, make sure that you will also visit the other attractions nearby.
The Miyako Shrine
It was built in 1925. The locals usually come to the shrine for worshiping and attend wedding ceremonies.
Nakasone Tuyumya Tomb
Nakasone Tuyumya is a Ryukyuan local chief of Miyakojima from 15th century to 6th century. The tomb also enshrines his descendants the Chudo-uji clan. Nakasone Tuyumya Tomb is identified as a National Important Cultural Property in Japan.
There is also another catacomb in close proximity which is the Tomb of Chirimara Tuyumya, the crypt of the Miyagane-uji clan who were the descendent of the third son of Nakasone Tuyumya, and was built in 1750.
Pool Tax Stone
A Poll Tax is a tax that the Ryukyu Kingdom imposed only on the people of Yaeyama and Miyako Islands. The islanders who are over 15 years old and taller than this 143 cm stone pillar were obliged to pay the tax.
How to get to Miyakojima?
Miyako Airport has direct domestic flights from/to Tokyo-Haneda, Nagoya-Centrair, Naha, Osaka-Kansai, Ishigaki and Tarama.
Miyakojima is a popular cruise destination. However, only Dream Cruises’ World Dream and Star Cruises’ SuperStar Aquarius offer regular calls in Miyakojima throughout the year.