by Yuan Huang
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Miyako Island

Located in the southwest, 303 kilometers from Okinawa and approximately 380 kilometers from Taipei city, is Miyako Island. This beautiful island features coral-limestone, beautiful coral reefs, white sands and clear blue water that shimmers in the sunlight.

Miyako Island is perfect for swimming and relaxing. The coral reefs provide excellent spots for snorkeling and other water sports. From Nishihenna cape in the North, there is an amazing view of the coral reefs and neighboring islands. Agarihennazaki, in the east, is the home to rocky coral reefs and a white lighthouse, standing watch at the end of a meandering trail.

Yonaha Maehama Beach boasts seven kilometers of white sands. It is famous, worldwide, as the home of the swim leg in the Ironman Triathlon. Nearby, the Ueno German Culture Village, Kikunotsuyu and the Makiyami observatory are all worth a visit.

As well as the scenic delights, Miyako Island also offers the chance to listen to ‘Sanshin’ music, while dining on Miyako cattle and momordica. Another local specialty is ‘snow salt’ – you can buy it from a local grocery store or drug store.

Visitors are free to venture to one of the seven small neighboring islands: Ikema Island, Tara Gando Island, Irabu Island, Shimoji Island, Kurima Island, Ogami Island and Minna-jima Island. Bridges curve elegantly, connecting these islands. Rent a car, and make it a road trip.

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