Okinawa Travel Guide, Japan

Okinawa is the most southern prefecture in Japan, consists of 160 islands. The capital city is Naha. Airport name is Naha Airport. The temperature is different from other areas in Japan; warmer overall average temperatures than mainland. Many people refer Okinawa as Hawaii of Japan. Mostly, the tourists rent the car for sightseeing in Okinawa. I chose taking the bus + bought one daily tour instead of car rental. Many websites explain about the car rental in Okinawa but I will describe taking the bus and buying the daily tour later.



Let's see the pros and cons of not renting a car. 
Pros:
1. If you drive a car, it's hard to take beautiful photo on the way. 
2. You can take the nap.
3. No need to find the parking lot and pay for parking and expressway fee.

Cons: 
1. Transportation cost may be high but not always. For example, bus fare from Naha Bus terminal to Ryukyu Mura is 1,070 yen/person (one way).
2. Bus stop and sign on the bus are in Japanese.
3. Some routes have only 1-2 bus per hour.


Airlines to Okinawa 



- ANA 
- Peach Airline (Low Cost Airline)
- Japan Airlines
- Air China
- China. Eastern Airlines
- Hong Kong Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- China Airlines
- EVA Airways
- Asiana Airlines
- Korean Air
- Jeju Air
- Vanilla Air


Okinawa Travel Guide

1. Available Transportations: car rental, bus, ferry, taxi, monorail (no JR, subway, tram).
2. Monorail Stations: there are only 15 stations; Naha Airport to Shuri Station.
3. Taxi fare starts from 550 yen. 
4. Umibudou (Sea Grape) is popular Okinawan food. For me, I already tried it but nothing special but it's fresh.



5. Convenience Stores have toilets.
6. There are no 7-11 stores in Okinawa, only Lawson and Family Mart.
7. OKICA is an IC card for taking the bus and monorail in Okinawa (500 yen is deposit and a small charged 200 yen will be deduct when return the card).
8. One day pass and two day pass (monorail) and valid for 24 hours or 48 hours from the time of purchase.
9. For me, meal cost is average 600-1,000 yen per meal.
10. Getting on the bus is not always at rear door, sometimes at the front (upon the bus route)
11. You can download Discount coupon for admission at sightseeing places on website.
12. Donki opens 24 hours same as other areas in Japan. Discount coupon can pick up on monorail stations.
13. I don't see Yodobashi Camera, see only Yamada Denki, Bic Camera.
14. Some supermarkets i.e. Aeon charge 3 yen for a plastic bag.
15. Glasses in Okinawa is famous and beautiful but are expensive.
16. You can see Shisa everywhere especially on the roof and at souvenir shops.



17. You can buy the daily tours at the office (Asahibashi station) or via online.
18. Bus tour is one of my recommendation if you do not rent the car or visit the Okinawa with seniors or children.
19. Elevators are available at all monorail stations.
20. Okinawa has money exchange machines.
21. Sakura blooms end Jan - early Feb.
22. There are 100 yen shops but not much like Tokyo, Osaka.
23. Some hotels do not have parking space or must pay additional parking fee.
24. People drink Jasmine tea more than green tea.
25. To say hello in Okinawa is Haisai (for men) and Haitai (for women). 
26. Mostly, price of goods shown do not include VAT.
27. T-shirts on Kokusai Street are not expensive and have large size.
28. Kokusai Street close for pedestrian on Sunday during 12:00 p.m. to 6 p.m.
29. Staff can speak English or Chinese at sightseeing place.
30. Bus does not always arrive on time, may delay a little bit due to traffic jam.
Okinawa is traffic jam in the evening.
31. Blue Seal is popular ice cream in Okinawa.
32. Mostly signs at sightseeing spots are in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.
33. Taking the bus in Okinawa is similar to mainland in Japan.
34. Discount coupon for taking the bus are available in some routes.
35. Not only Asian people but many Europeans visit Okinawa.

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