Miyakojima, Okinawa

Miyakojima (宮古島市 Miyakojima-shi, Miyako: Myaaku, Okinawan: Naaku) is a city jurisdiction located on several islands in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

The modern city of Miyakojima was established on October 1, 2005, from the merger of the old city of Hirara, the towns of Gusukube, Irabu and Shimoji, and the village of Ueno (all from Miyako District). As a result of the merger, Miyako District only has one remaining village.

As of December 2012 the city has an estimated population of 54,908 and a population density of 268.45 per km2. The total area is 204.54 km2. The city had 24,728 households.[1] The mayor of Miyakojima is Toshihiko Shimoji (born 1945), who took office in the second mayoral election of the city in 2009.[2]

The islands administered by the city of Miyakojima include:



Miyako ikema bridge
Miyako aeontown miyakominami 2011
Fukuzato Dam Okinawa 1
Miyako city hall 2014
Flag of Miyakojima

Official seal of Miyakojima

Outline of Miyakojima (in red) in Okinawa Prefecture
Outline of Miyakojima (in red) in Okinawa Prefecture
Miyakojima is located in Japan
Location of Miyakojima in Okinawa Prefecture
Coordinates: 24°48′20″N 125°16′52″E / 24.80556°N 125.28111°ECoordinates: 24°48′20″N 125°16′52″E / 24.80556°N 125.28111°E
RegionKyushu (Okinawa)
PrefectureOkinawa Prefecture
 • MayorToshihiko Shimoji
 • Total204.54 km2 (78.97 sq mi)
 (December, 2012)
 • Total54,908
 • Density268.45/km2 (695.3/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeBanyan
- FlowerBougainvillea and tiger's claw
- BirdGrey-faced buzzard
- ButterflyPaper kite
- FishDouble-lined fusilier (Pterocaesio digramma)
- ShellChiragra spider conch (Lambis chiragra)
Phone number0980-72-3751
Address186 Hirara Nishizato, Miyakojima-shi 906-8501
Websitewww.city.miyakojima.lg.jp(in Japanese)


The city of Miyakojima is served by two airports. Miyako Airport (MMY), the main commercial airport, is located on Miyako Island; and Shimoji Airport, initially a private field, is now a Class 3 facility operated by the prefectural government located on Shimojishima. This nearby island is close enough to be connected by a causeway bridge to the larger Miyako Island.

Notable residents


Japan Airlines maintains a ticketing office on Miyakojima island in Miyakojima city. It is only for domestic flights.[3]

German influence

Ueno German Culture Village

In 1873, the German ship Robertson was shipwrecked on Miyako Island.[4] The crew were saved and cared for by the local islanders. As a gift for the islanders' kindness, and as an excuse for German warships to enter Ryūkyūan waters, Kaiser Wilhelm I erected a monument on the island in 1876, known locally as the German Emperor's Tributary Monument or the Friendship Monument.[4] After Japan annexed the Ryūkyū Kingdom, Japan used this as evidence of a history of friendship between Japan and Germany.[4]

In 1987, the Ueno German Culture Village opened in Ueno village, Miyako.[5] Internet websites under the name Ueno German Cultural Village can be easily found, however Ueno Village, Miyako Island, no longer exists as a jurisdiction since, as mentioned above, all of the separate cities, towns and villages on the island were merged into Miyakojima city in 2005.


The climate of Miyakojima is on the boundary between a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) and a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with very warm summers and mild winters. Precipitation is abundant throughout the year; August is the wettest month, and January and July are the driest.


  1. ^ 宮古島市の人口 [Population of Miyakojima City] (in Japanese). Miyakojima City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan: Miyakojima City. 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  2. ^ 市長プロフィール [Profile of Mayor] (in Japanese). Miyakojima City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan: Miyakojima City. 2012. Retrieved Dec 18, 2012.
  3. ^ "JAL Group Offices Information." Japan Airlines. Retrieved on July 22, 2011. "MIYAKO Only Domestic Ticketing Available Address 223 Nishizato Hirara Miyako City, 906-0012" Map
  4. ^ a b c Kerr, George. Okinawa: History of an Island People. Tokyo, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1958. Page 410.
  5. ^ http://www.hakuaiueno.com/ 沖縄宮古島の「うえのドイツ文化村」ホームページ
  6. ^ "Miyakojima Climate Normals 1981-2010" (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved February 16, 2014.

External links

Fukuzato Underground Dam

Fukuzato Dam is an underground dam constructed in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture. An underground dam is a wall constructed to save underground water from pouring into the sea so that it can be put to human use.

Hiroyuki Oze

Hiroyuki Oze (小瀬 浩之, Oze Hiroyuki, September 2, 1985 – February 5, 2010) was a Japanese baseball outfielder from Daitō, Osaka who played professionally for the Orix Buffaloes. He played two seasons for the club, hitting .262 in his rookie year in 2008 and .303 in 2009, his final professional season. Before joining the Buffaloes, he played at Jinsei Gakuen High School and Kinki University, where he was drafted in 2007. Oze received the memorable nickname "José" from Orix alum Ichiro Suzuki during the latter's visit to Buffaloes spring training.

Oze died on February 5, 2010, in an apparent suicide by jumping from the tenth floor of his hotel during spring training in Miyakojima, Okinawa.

Ikeda Bridge

The Ikeda Bridge (池田矼, Ikeda-bashi) is a 10-metre long, 3-metre wide, arched, Ryūkyū limestone (琉球石灰岩) bridge near the mouth of the Sakita River in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is the only bridge of its kind on the island of Miyakojima and was designated a Prefectural Historic Site in July 1977. It is one of the extra 20 bridges of "100 Noted Bridges in Japan".

Irabu Island

Irabu Island (伊良部島, Irabu-jima) (Miyako: Irav), is an island in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The island is connected to Miyako Island by a 3,540-metre-long (11,610 ft) bridge, which was completed in January 2015 . There are multiple language variants spoken on the island: Nakachi-Irabu, Kuninaka, Sawada-Nakahama, and Sarahama (which is a variant of Ikema language spoken by descendants of emigrants from Ikema Island).

Jun to Ai

Jun to Ai (純と愛) is a Japanese television drama series. It debuted on October 1, 2012, and was broadcast until March 30, 2013. It is about a girl named Jun Kanō, raised in Miyakojima, Okinawa, who moves to Osaka to work in a hotel. There she meets a man named Itoshi Machida, with whom she falls in love. It is the 87th NHK Asadora.


Kasuri (絣) is a Japanese word for fabric that has been woven with fibers dyed specifically to create patterns and images in the fabric. It is an ikat (resist-dyeing) technique. The patterns are characterized by a blurred or brushed appearance. The warp and weft threads are resist-dyed in specific patterns. Prior to dyeing, sections of the warp and weft yarns are tightly wrapped with thread to protect them from the dye. When woven together, the undyed areas interlace to form patterns. Many variations are possible. Kasuri patterns may be applied to the warp or to the weft; or to both the warp and the weft. There are many techniques used to create kasuri. The cloth is classified with different names depending on the method used.

List of botanical gardens in Japan

This list of botanical gardens in Japan is intended to include all significant botanical gardens and arboretums in Japan.

Akatsuka Botanical Garden (Itabashi, Tokyo)

Aloha Garden Tateyama (Tateyama, Chiba)

Amami Islands Botanical Garden (Amami, Kagoshima)

Aoshima Subtropical Botanical Garden (Miyazaki, Miyazaki)

Aritaki Arboretum (Koshigaya, Saitama)

Atagawa Tropical & Alligator Garden (Kamo, Shizuoka)

Botanical Gardens Faculty of Science Osaka City University (Katano, Osaka)

Samuel Cocking Garden (Enoshima)

Enoshima Tropical Plants Garden (Fujisawa, Kanagawa)

Fuji Bamboo Garden (Nagaizumi, Shizuoka)

Fukuoka Municipal Zoo and Botanical Garden (Fukuoka, Fukuoka)

Futagami Manyo Botanical Gardens (Takaoka, Toyama)

Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands (Hakone, Kanagawa)

Handayama Botanical Garden (Okayama, Okayama)

Hattori Ryokuchi Arboretum (Toyonaka, Osaka)

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens (Nagoya, Aichi)

Himeji City Tegarayama Botanical Garden (Himeji, Hyōgo)

Himi Seaside Botanical Garden (Himi, Toyama)

Hiroshima Botanical Garden (Hiroshima, Hiroshima)

Hirugano Botanical Garden (Gujō, Gifu)

Hokkaido University Botanical Gardens (Sapporo, Hokkaidō)

Ibaraki Botanical Garden (Naka, Ibaraki)

Ibusuki Experimental Botanical Garden (Ibusuki, Kagoshima)

Ishikawa Forest Experiment Station (Hakusan, Ishikawa)

Itabashi Botanical Garden (Itabashi, Tokyo)

Jindai Botanical Garden (Chōfu, Tokyo)

Kagoshima Botanical Garden (Kagoshima, Kagoshima)

Kanagawa Prefectural Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura, Kanagawa)

Botanic Garden, Faculty of Science, Kanazawa University (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)

Kawaguchi Green Center (Kawaguchi, Saitama)

Experimental Station for Landscape Plants (Chiba, Chiba)

Kiseki No Hoshi Greenhouse (Awaji, Hyōgo)

Kitayama Botanical Garden (Nishinomiya, Hyōgo)

Kobe Municipal Arboretum (Kōbe, Hyōgo)

Koishikawa Botanical Gardens (Bunkyō, Tokyo)

Kosobe Conservatory (Takatsuki, Osaka)

Kubota Palm Garden (Masaki, Ehime)

Kyoto Botanical Garden (Kyoto, Kyoto)

Makino Botanical Garden (Kōchi, Kōchi)

Manyo Botanical Garden, Nara (Nara, Nara)

Michinoku Mano-Manyo Botanical Garden (Kashima, Fukushima)

Mito Municipal Botanical Park (Mito, Ibaraki)

Miyajima Natural Botanical Garden (Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima)

Miyakojima City Tropical Plant Garden (Miyakojima, Okinawa)

Mizunomori Water Botanical Garden (Kusatsu, Shiga)

Nagai Botanical Garden (Osaka, Osaka)

Nagasaki Subtropical Botanical Garden (Nagasaki, Nagasaki)

Niigata Prefectural Botanical Garden (Niigata, Niigata)

Nikko Botanical Garden (Nikkō, Tochigi)

Nunobiki Herb Garden (Kōbe, Hyōgo)

Omoro Botanical Garden (Motobu, Okinawa)

Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden (Kōbe, Hyōgo)

Sakuya Konohana Kan (Osaka, Osaka)

Sasebo Zoological Park and Botanical Garden (Sasebo, Nagasaki)

Seinan Gakuin University Biblical Botanical Garden (Fukuoka, Fukuoka)

Shimokamo Tropical Botanical Gardens (Kamo, Shizuoka)

Southeast Botanical Gardens (Okinawa, Okinawa)

Suigō Sawara Aquatic Botanical Garden (Katori, Chiba)

Suma Rikyu Park (Kōbe, Hyōgo)

Tajima Plateau Botanical Gardens (Kami, Hyōgo)

Tama Forest Science Garden (Hachiōji, Tokyo)

Tennōji Botanical Garden (Osaka, Osaka)

Botanical Garden of Tohoku University (Sendai, Miyagi)

Tokyo University of Agriculture Botanical Garden (Atsugi, Kanagawa)

Botanic Gardens of Toyama (Toyama, Toyama)

Tropical & Subtropical Arboretum (Kunigami, Okinawa)

Tsukuba Botanical Garden (Tsukuba, Ibaraki)

Wakayama Prefecture Botanical Park (Iwade, Wakayama)

Yamashina Botanical Research Institute (Kyoto, Kyoto)

Yokohama Municipal Children's Botanical Garden (Yokohama, Kanagawa)

Yumenoshima Tropical Greenhouse Dome (Kōtō, Tokyo)

Masanobu Kikukawa

Masanobu Kikukawa (喜久川 政信) Hanshi is a Japanese martial artist and chairman of the Shorin-ryu Shinkokai style of Okinawan Karate.Kikukawa was a longtime student of Sokuichi Gibu Hanshi and Seiki Toma Hanshi. After withdrawal from Gibu's association in 1985, Kikukawa co-founded the Shinkokai association along with colleague Tatsunori Azuma in 1985. In the early 1990s, Kikukawa emigrated to Victoria, British Columbia where he founded the Canadian division of the Shinkokai association, while Tatunori Azuma(東辰徳 1952~2012) continued representing the organization in Okinawa. Kikukawa opened an acupuncture clinic in Surrey, BC; he works with a group of family practitioners in Victoria BC Canada.


Miyako Island (宮古島, Miyako-jima, Miyako: Myaaku (ミャーク); Okinawan: Naaku (ナーク)) is the largest and the most populous island among the Miyako Islands of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Miyako Island is administered as part of the City of Miyakojima, which includes not only Miyako Island, but also five other populated islands.

Miyako Airport

Miyako Airport (宮古空港, Miyako Kūkō, (IATA: MMY, ICAO: ROMY)) is an airport on Miyako-jima (Miyako Island) in Miyakojima, Okinawa, Japan.

Miyako Nanseien Sanatorium

Miyako Nanseien Sanatorium, (National Sanatorium Miyako Nanseien) is a sanatorium for leprosy and ex-leprosy patients at Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, starting in 1931.

Miyakojima City Museum

Miyakojima City Museum (宮古島市総合博物館, Miyakojima-shi Sōgō Hakubutsukan) opened as the Hirara City Museum of History and Folklore (平良市歴史民俗資料館) in Hirara, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan in 1989. Upon the merger of Hirara into Miyakojima in 2005, the museum reopened as the Miyakojima City Museum. It is dedicated to the area's natural history, history, folkways, and culture.


The Paantu (Miyako: パーントゥ) festival is an annual festival on the island of Miyako-jima in Japan's Okinawa Prefecture.Every year during the ninth month of the lunisolar calendar, male villagers will dress up as paantu, supernatural beings meant to spread good luck and scare away evil spirits. The common feature is a wooden mask with a large forehead, small eyes, and a thin mouth, and the spreading of sacred mud onto newly built houses or onto newborn children's faces. In some villages, the Paantu are accompanied by traditional animist noro priestesses.In other villages, the Paantu will chase after small children, making them cry, or chase after people who are avoiding having their faces smeared with the sacred mud.


Shimoji-shima (下地島), (Miyako: Sïmuzï) is one of the Miyako Islands, a part of the Ryukyu Islands. The island is administered by Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

Shimoji-shima is included within the Irabu Prefectural Natural Park and is the main setting for the anime series Stratos 4.

Shimojishima Airport is located on the island.

Shimojishima Airport

Shimojishima Airport (下地島空港, Shimojishima Kūkō, (IATA: SHI, ICAO: RORS)) is located on the island of Shimojishima in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It has the longest runway of any island in Japan south of the main island of Okinawa. Mitsubishi has built a low cost carrier terminal which began operating passenger flights in March 2019.

The prefecture operates the airport, which has been classified as a Third Class airport (otherwise known as a Type-3) since May 1979.

Ueno German Culture Village

Ueno German Culture Village (うえのドイツ文化村, Ueno Doitsu Bunka Mura, German: Deutsches Kulturdorf Ueno) is a theme park in Miyakojima, Okinawa. It is located in Ueno district.

Ōten Shimokawa

Ōten Shimokawa (or Hekoten Shimokawa) (下川凹天, Shimokawa Ōten, May 2, 1892 – May 26, 1973) was a Japanese artist, considered to be one of the founding artists and pioneers of anime. Little is known of his early personal life, other than that his family moved to the Tokyo area when he was nine years old. Here he began working for Tokyo Puck Magazine as a political cartoonist and manga series artist.

At the age of 26, Shimokawa was hired by Tenkatsu Production Company to create a short animated film. Shimokawa used several animation techniques that were, at the time, unique: using chalk or white wax on a dark board background to draw characters, rubbing out portions to be animated and drawing with ink directly onto film, whiting out animated portions. At the time, celluloid cels (rather than modern acetate film) were costly and scarce in Japan, having to be imported. These techniques cut production costs, material costs and completion time.

The resulting film was Imokawa Mukuzo Genkanban no Maki, released in 1917. Though not the earliest animation created in Japan, it is considered to be the first "true" Anime film, as it was the first to be publicly shown in a theater. The film ran only five minutes. As with many animation works created in Japan before the mid-1920s, no trace of the film, or any of Shimokawa's five other short films, has survived.

Shimokawa's animation work was cut short by chronic health problems, and he returned to work as a consultant and editor for other production companies making animated films in the 1930s and 1940s. Not much is known of his later life; indeed, very few works bear mention of his contribution beyond his own personal works.

Climate data for Miyakojima, Okinawa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 20.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 18.0
Average low °C (°F) 16.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 130.8
Average relative humidity (%) 72 75 77 80 82 84 80 80 79 75 73 70 77
Mean monthly sunshine hours 86.4 82.6 112.0 123.2 151.1 191.9 246.7 220.5 184.6 153.8 112.0 101.3 1,766.1
Source: JMA (1981-2010) [6]
Core city


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