Perfect for swimming, surfing, and jet skiing, Aoshima is Miyazaki’s most popular beach. During the swimming season, there are a variety of shops and stalls set up at Aoshima Beach Park, with live music and other performances scattered throughout the day. The park’s season runs from late April to the end of October. While you’re here, check out Aoshima Shrine for a bit of myth and legend, and fill your stomach with nikumaki onigiri, a Miyazaki Prefecture original!
The island itself is connected to the mainland by a bridge. You can cross the bridge at any time of the night and day, and unlike many tourist traps in Japan you do not need to pay. In the center of the island surrounded by a palm and bamboo forest, you will find an otherworldly shrine said to bring good luck to lovers. Surrounding the island, you will find rock formations called the Ogre’s Washboard, strange parallel gouges formed by sea erosion over thousands of years. When the tide is low, scavenging for interesting sea creatures along with locals is a fun activity.
If you’re looking for more than water sports, rent a bicycle (they have two-seaters!) from a hotel and cycle south toward the fishing village of Uchi Umi. It’s a great ride with plenty of spectacular views, and along the way you can stop and hike up the hill to the Phoenix Roadside Station for some ice cream. Once you arrive, why not hit up the surfer-vibed Cinema Heaven to catch an outdoor movie? The owner is super friendly and speaks amazing English!
At Kaeda Gorge you can find a campsite, enchanting clear blue water, and trails that wind through lush green mountains.
Shirahama Auto Campground
Shirahama Auto Campground is where to go to camp in a tent or rent out a small cabin for beachside shenanigans.