There are many bars in Miyako Island, and you can come across them easily if you walk around the city center. Most bars are managed by people from “naichi.” “Naichi” literally means “inland,” and in Okinawa, it generally means people from other prefectures than Okinawa. Bars are different from izakaya (Japanese-style pub) where you can enjoy traditional Okinawan dishes. So if you want to taste Okinawan dishes, first you should go to an izakaya (Japanese-style pub).
There is a bar called “JailBird” on Shimozato Street in the city center of Miyako Island. It is located near A&W restaurant. I visit this bar whenever I come to Miyako Island. JailBird opens from 8pm to 5am. Like other bars in Miyako Island, usually it is not much crowded.
Local regular customers are often drinking at the counter of this bar. Though I visited this bar for the first time in a year, I saw many familiar faces at this bar while staying in Miyako Island for about 3 weeks this year. This bar also has table seats.
The owner of this bar is originally from Osaka Prefecture, and he is very friendly and talkative. So if you sit on the counter by yourself, you will be able to enjoy talking with the owner (as the owner doesn’t speak English, you will need to speak in Japanese).
JailBird doesn’t have many kinds of beer (they have Asahi, Budweiser, and Corona) or wine, but they have a variety of cocktails. Usually the regular customers of this bar enjoy talking with the owner or other customers while drinking at the counter, so you can say this bar is a place for meeting and talking with people, rather than drinking alone and fully enjoying the taste of alcoholic drinks.
JailBird also has simple light meals. If you feel a bit hungry, I recommend you to try “takoyaki (octopus dumplings).” Although it is a cooked frozen meal, this bar’s takoyaki is very nice. Takoyaki is a traditional food from Osaka, and as the owner of this bar is from Osaka, he knows the real taste of takoyaki. And also, pastas are quite common and popular at bars in Miyako Island. JailBird also has pastas (carbonara and Bolognese).
Many people in Miyako Island are big drinkers, and they often drink until late at night whether it is on weekdays or weekends. And a bar like JailBird is an appropriate place for meeting and communicating with local people.
JailBird location: 571-1 Hirara Shimozato, Miyakojima-shi