city in Iwate prefecture, Japan
Asia > East Asia > Japan > Tohoku > Iwate > Miyako (Iwate)

Miyako (宮古) is a small city of approximately 51,000 people (2020) on the eastern-most coast of Honshu, Japan's main island. The main attraction is its surrounding national park and the Jodoga-hama beach.

Understand edit

Tourist Information Site edit

The local tourist association has a Japanese-only guide site.

Get in edit

 
Miyako Station on JR East Yamada Line

By train, the JR Yamada line is frequently used, which brings you from Morioka to Miyako in around two hours. There are only four to six round trips per day on the line. Seat reservations can be made on the rapid services.

For about the same price (just under ¥2000), you can take the more frequent "106 Express Bus" run by Iwate Kenpoku Bus (岩手県北バス). There is about one bus per hour, the earliest leaving Morioka/Miyako around 6 and the last at about 08:30. From Morioka Station, go out the East Exit and board the bus at stop number 7 (乗り場7). From Miyako, board the bus in front of the JTB Travel Agency.

Get around edit

Half a dozen buses leave from the stops in front of the station. From stop number 3 buses leave hourly for the Jodogahama beach and get there in about 20 minutes. Get off one stop earlier at the Terminal Building (ターミナルビル) and walk along the coast for some 500 m to save a few yen and see more.

See edit

 
Jodogahama beach

Jōdogahama beach (浄土ヶ浜) is the only real attraction around Miyako, but it alone is worth planning a stopover in the city. Jōdo in Buddhism is equivalent to "Heaven" in Christianity. There are also some nice hiking trails around the same area. The beach Visitor Center is about a 15-minute ride from the Miyako train station; the local Kenpoku Bus runs 1-2 times an hour. The last bus goes back soon after 18:00 (17:00 November - April).

Do edit

Buy edit

Eat edit

  • Snake Eyes (蛇の目本店; Ja no me honten) (on the left when exiting Miyako Station). Serves a wide variety of Japanese food to suit any taste. English-speaking staff is also available.
  • Yoshi-zushi. Some locals say this is the best sushi in town. The restaurant serves blowfish and also has a large Japanese sake selection.

Drink edit

 
A boat inland after the tsunami in March 2011

Elk is the premier hostess bar in town, coming in at around ¥700 for a beer (nothing by Tokyo standards). To get there walk down o-dori (coming from the station) and you will see a sign for it on your left. The atmosphere is friendly and it's a great place to practice your Japanese. The clientele are made up of local politicians and branch directors, so it's also a good place to make connections if you're in Miyako long-term. It is open on all week until 01:00 except Mondays.

Tomato Club is a hostess bar (4-3-21 O-doori). Cheaper than the Elk but you get what you pay for. The barstaff are less pretty and sometimes less friendly. Also, you will need to bring some Japanese skills with you.

Sleep edit

  • Suehiro-kan Youth Hostel, a 2-minute walk from the station. It's an old but clean place with no curfew, though you might be hard pressed to stay out late in the city.
  • Miyako Station Koyou (宮古ステーション古窯) is a business hotel located about five minutes away from the station, with clean, modern rooms and free broadband internet connections available to those with computers. Each room also has two free pornographic television channels.

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