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Getting Here and Around
Japan TransOcean Air (part of JAL) and ANK (part of ANA) fly from Naha (45 minutes, 11 flights daily) and Ishigaki Island to Miyako-shoto. From the airport to Hirara, a taxi costs about ¥1,300. There are also direct flights with JTA from Tokyo Haneda and Osaka Itami.
Passenger ferries from Naha to Miyako-jima and Ishigaki-jima are no longer in operation. From Hirara Port Miyako ferries make short trips to nearby Irabu-jima, Shimoji-jima, Tarama-jima, and Minna-jima. Tickets can be bought in the Hirara ferry terminal. Boats generally leave every half hour for the 10-minute trip to Irabu-jima (¥410). Boats to the other islands depart less often.
Buses on Miyako-jima depart from two terminals in Hirara and travel the coastal roads around the island. Buses to the north of the island and Ikema-jima (35 minutes from Hirara) depart from the Yachiyo bus station. Buses heading south to Maehama (25 minutes from Hirara) and Cape Higashi-henna (50 minutes from Hirara) depart from the Miyako Kyoei terminal. Buses run every couple of hours from morning to early evening.
Taxi use on Miyako-jima is convenient and reasonable (for Japan). A taxi for the 10-km (6-mi) trip to Maehama Beach should cost ¥5,000 or less. There are several taxi companies; most drivers speak limited English but will be able to get you to the major sights without any problems.
For car rentals, reserving in advance is essential. Nippon Rent-a-Car will pick you up at the airport or ferry terminal. Rates are expensive, beginning at ¥8,085 per day. Perhaps the best option for getting around the island is by scooter (¥3,000–¥4,000 per day) or motorbike (¥6,500 per day). Nippon Rent-a-Car also rents motorbikes, and you can arrange for one to be dropped at your hotel.
Nippon Rent-a-Car (0120/17–0919. www.nipponrentacar.co.jp/english.)
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