Michele and I were very strategic in choosing a place to stay in Okinawa. We booked our housing for Ginowan which is located in the middle of Okinawa. It made traveling more accessible, especially since we didn’t have a car. And a friendly warning, you will be walking a lot and I would advise you to make sure you get back home around 7:30pm because it gets dark very fast.
Unless you are friends with someone who holds a Japanese license and can rent a car, I’d follow these tips if I were you.
- Fly From Okinawa Itami AiportTrain Ride On The Osaka Monorail
At The Osaka Itami Airport Waiting To Board
Just Landed In Okinawa!
Chilling At The Okinawa Aiport!
2. Ask Advice From the Information Center
Before you board a bus or take a taxi, ask the info desk as much information you need. They are pretty resourceful and have pretty good English speakers. For us, we boarded bus 25 to get to Ginowan.
3. Bus Fee Accumulates, So Walk To The Next Stop
Most standard bus fees starting cost can range from 160-230 yen depending where you are being picked up. A trick to reduce that cost is to walk to the next bus stop that is close to your destination. It sound ridiculous for you to walk to the next stop, but you will be waiting from 15-30 mins for your bus to come. So why not, walk and save some money?
(That Damn Bus 98!!! Meesh and I missed it 3 times, so this particular bus has left an impression on us. Haha.)
4. Location Matters
We chose Ginowan and this area enabled us to travel both northern and southern Okinawa. I would recommend a location like this.
5. Kakazu Park For Amazing City View
The pictures will just do the talking.
6. Visit The Beach
Tropical Beach was the closest beach from where we lived. It took us 30-45 minutes to walk there. It was a memorable walk as we had to be very observant of our surroundings in order to get back, so we would pick and choose distinct features of a building, sights, or signs to remember the area we walked. Nonetheless, you came to Okinawa for a reason, right? And that’s the BEACH!!!! Btw, it’s very beautiful, clean, and clear. Plus you get that awesome tan you were always dreaming about.
7. Visit Mihama American Village And Eat Omutaco Rice
My favorite food in Okinawa was Omutaco Rice. It was extremely delicious. However, Mihama has more to offer than just omutaco rice, go for the live performances, beautiful aesthetics, and some American vibe.
8. Take A Bus Tour To Okinawa Chaurumi Aquarium, Nago Pineapple Park, and Glass House
This was totally last minute, but we searched online on how to get to Charaumi Aquarium and the cheapest transportation we could find was a bus tour. The site of the where we found the bus tour was Veltra. It was an amazing deal because we only played $48 dollars per person to get there and admission tickets for all those places were included in the fee. Also, we got a nice little gift from our bus tour. This is the best form of transportation especially since the Aquarium is far up north of Okinawa.
9. Visit Kokusai Street
If you want to get souvenir shopping done, you have to go to Kokusai street.Do not worry much about the prices, if you see it you should buy it because the prices are all pretty much the same. Get the shisha! They are great little gifts. We took bus 25 to get there, but bus 56 and 98 also takes you there from where we lived.
10. Try Okinawan Blue Seal Ice Cream
I got the sugar cane flavor because I am a fanatic about sugar cane. There are plenty of flavors to choose from but I guarantee it will be very delicious. The ice cream was about 300 yen, so approximately $3.
Other useful tips are to bring bug spray, bendaryl, and sun block! Well you are on an island. It is advisable to be very observant of your surroundings because Okinawa is difficult to get around so it is important to have good sense of where you are. I would suggest to stay at Okinawa for a maximum of 4 days. If you want affordable housing, use airbnb. You will be able to see plenty. Also, be very open to your new surrounding because Okinawa is a nice blend of Japanese and American culture.
-Ask if you need help, but make sure you speak slow English!
And remember, the bus and walking is your friend!