The Great Tohoku Region’s Miyako city

About Miyako, Japan: Miyako Japan Guide

Finding Miyako: Miyako Japan Map

Miyako is one of the most popular cities in all of the Iwate prefectures from the Tohoku region. Although it is not quite visited compared to its counterparts in the region, Miyako does promise some hidden beauty. In fact, Miyako seems to be a secret yet to be found by travelers from all over the world.

This particular part of Tohoku is found bordering Japan towards the Pacific Ocean. It is really one of the popular “countryside” destinations in Japan since roughly 80 percent of its total land area is covered by mountains.  Among the municipalities that surround Miyako include Yamada, Hanamaki, and Tono – all of these are found in the Iwate Prefecture.

What is interesting about this place is that the population density is really low. For an area of 1,300 square kilometers, the overall population of Miyako is only roughly about 54,000 individuals. This means that for every square kilometer there are only about 43 people. This number might be one of the smallest in the country.  

Traveling to Miyako Japan

Traveling around the city might not be as easy as those in much more urbanized places. There are railway lines but its stations are mostly very far apart. One of the most popular railway lines in the area would be the JR East or the East Japan Railway Company. This train system, known as the Yamada line, connects different parts of not only Miyako but other cities within the prefecture as well. There are also another train line known as the Sanriku Railway which connects Miyako to other municipalities.

Since it is a port, the place is also accessible via boat if they pass through the port of Miyako. This is actually a traveler’s favorite because they can try haggling for fish once they arrive at the destination. For those who don’t wish to ride a boat, there are three national highways in Japan that would lead to Miyako. Among these are the National Route 340, the National Route 106, and lastly the National Route 45.

The best Miyako Japan Hotel

There are a number of good places to stay in Miyako, Iwate but it will always depend on the location and where the individual wants to go. For instance, those who wish to go for a long vacation out on the coasts and the beach may choose to stay in the Onappe Beach Resort which is a small, quiet place. Those who wish to be at the center of the city could stay in the Suzukake Hotel so it will be easier to have a city tour. Another great place to stay would be the Park Hotel Jodogahama, it offers up luxury at a very affordable price.

 Tourist Spots in Miyako

Cultural and Historical Trips

  • Gyosai Market

Located in Miyako, this market is one of the go-to places for both local and foreign travelers for souvenirs and more. There are restaurants that offer delicacies which are authentically served only in Miyako. The Gyosai Market is a great place to see all the interesting seafood which are available locally. There are fresh sea urchins, saltwater eels, shellfish and more. Furthermore, there are restaurants that serve sushi, sashimi, and all other delicious seafood dishes.

  • Kitagami Sanchi Museum of Folklore

This museum is a good place to spot local artwork which dates from early to modern Japanese times. There are exhibitions of artwork from many different Japanese artists that show their interpretations of life, love, and other abstract concepts. There are also exhibitions showing a glimpse of the history of Miyako, their culture, clothing, and language. It is a great place to go to enjoy Miyako’s history and culture.

  • Sakiyama Shell Mound

One of the most famous archaeological sites in Japan, the Sakiyama shell mound is believed to be remains of an ancient settlement of pre-historical Japanese. To ensure that this is well protected and preserved, the Japanese government has considered it to be a National Historic Site. This particular mound is a collection of fish bones, animal bones, shellfish, and more which are “excesses” of these ancient people. More like a garbage pit of their wastes, these shell mounds show scientists and archaeologists the type of diet these prehistoric people had. There are also man-made artifacts like clay pots, jewelry, and fishing gear among the bones.

Nature Trips

  • Mount Hayachine

This mountain is the highest point in the Tohoku region, towering at a height of 1,917 meters. This place is a favorite for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. A lot of people go here during the Spring time in March, April, and May or summer time in August to enjoy the beauty of nature, with its lush greenery everywhere. This mountain is believed to be part of the oldest geological formation in Japan because of the material that it contains – peridotite olivine and serpentine rocks. The tips of the mountains are mostly always alpine until February and there is alpine greenery living in the area.

  • Cape Namidazaki

Instead of beautiful beaches, Namidazaki is more famous for its rock formations. There are beautiful formations of rock off the coast which is a picturesque view. Furthermore, there are a number of cliffs around the peninsula which opens up to deep waters. Although swimming is not easily done in the area, a lot of tourists go to this place primarily for the scenic and beautiful sights.

Relaxation Trips

  • Jodogahama Beach

This place is aptly named as the Pure Land Beach or the Jodogahama Beach because of its awe-inspiring beauty. A virgin paradise hidden among Japan’s many cities, the Jodogahama is a favorite summer go-to destination. However, what makes this place extra special is the fact that it is considered by the government to be a “Place of Scenic Beauty”.

The beach itself is made up of rocky formations and is completely surrounded by white sand. The unusual formations have been shaped by wind and tides for thousands of years. These on the water make it seem like miniature Japanese garden designs.

  • Cape Todo

This particular cape is found in the borders of Miyato, making it among the easternmost borders of the country. It is now a part of a large park known as the Sanriku Fukko National Park. It is believed that it is the easternmost island of Honshu. In Cape Todo, there is a beautiful lighthouse among the rocks which is a spectacular sight to see.

Don’t confuse with the other Miyako

Miyako Islands, Okinawa

Also known as Miyakojima, a lot of people confuse Iwate’s Miyako with Okinawa’s Miyako. This place is one of the several islands off the coast of Okinawa. It was only established recently in 2005 when the old townships within Hirara City merged together. A city of its own, Miyakojima has several islands in its jurisdiction which include Ikemajima, Irabujima, Kurimajima, and more.

To get to the island, there is a small local airport that can transport individuals from the main islands of Japan to the several islands of Miyakojima. These airports include Miyako Airport in Miyakojima island and Shimoji Airport located in Shimojishima island.

This particular place is great for summer vacations because of its pristine beaches. There are beautiful cliffs to enjoy as well. Other than that, it is clearly manifested that there are strong western influences in the island. In fact, there is a German culture village in the city. This place is built to commemorate friendship with Germans when a ship sank near the islands. The crew was cared for by the Islanders and the German Emperor at the time thanked the people through the construction of a tributary monument.

Miyako, Fukuoka

Also known as Miyako-machi, this place is a small town located in the Fukuoka prefecture in Japan. It was established in 2006 when villages in the Saigawa district were merged together. This place is a great place to enjoy historic landmarks, wildlife, and more. One of its most famous tourist spots is the Irahara Dam which saved the town from excessive flooding. The place is also famous for the traditional Noh dance called Kagura which is believed to be passed on from generations since the early Japanese times.