Blue sea, open skies … Okinawa is an everlasting summer paradise loved by tourists from all over the world. The beautiful ocean along with white sandy beaches are just marvelous. If you are going to Okinawa, how do you plan to travel around this idyllic area in Japan?
Public transportation is not very well developed in Okinawa. There is a monorail called Yui Rail, but it only covers the central area of Naha city. Taxis cost a lot, and there are not many bus lines in Okinawa…
So we strongly recommend that you rent a car ! You can visit many sightseeing spots that aren’t accessible by public transport. You can plan your journey more freely if you rent a car. The average rental charge for a 5-seater eco-friendly car for 3 days and 2 nights is around 24,000 yen, and 56,000 yen for an 8-seater wagon. It is much cheaper than taking a taxi.
In this feature, we introduce the ten best spots in Okinawa that you can easily cover by car.
No. 1. Churaumi Aquarium
When you go to Okinawa, Churaumi Aquarium is a must visit. You can’t miss whale sharks gracefully swimming in the biggest tank in the world. In addition to a lot of events including the popular dolphin show, lovely clownfish and spotted garden eels are eagerly waiting for you!. You can stay here for the whole day and never get tired of the calming blue.
No. 2. Emerald Beach
The beach near Churaumi Aquarium, Emerald Beach is by far the best beach among many beautiful ones in Okinawa. You can relax and enjoy this beach as it is always well maintained. Many families visit both Churaumi Aquarium and Emerald Beach.
No. 3. Kouri Bridge
Kouri Bridge is a place that is only accessible by car. A 2-km long bridge that connects Yagaji Island and Kouri Island, driving on this bridge feels as if you are driving directly on the surface of the sea! There is an area called Yanbaru in the northern part of Okinawa, which consists of mountains and forests. There are many kinds of activities conducted in this still pristine natural area. How about participating in some of these activities amidst nature?
No. 4. Mihama American Village
One of the good things about the west coast of Okinawa is that you can visit a fashionable shopping mall right next to a beautiful beach. Mihama American Village is a well-known entertainment complex that consists of many commercial and amusement facilities. It is a great place for both shopping and eating delicious food in Okinawa!
No. 5. Cape Maeda
The sea in Okinawa is so beautiful, why don’t you try some marine activities? The clear water here in Okinawa enables us to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. The subtropical sea is full of colorful fish and lovely coral. The blue cave of Cape Maeda is known to the world as a stunning natural spot.
No. 6. Ryukyu Glass Village
A theme park of Ryukyu Glass, this is where you can experience making glass works, buy glass products, observe the craftsmen’s works and admire exhibits. At the glass workshop, you can observe skilled craftsmen making Ryukyu glass products. You can even make your original glass by yourself with the help of craftsmen, which would make for a perfect souvenir!
No. 7. Shuri Castle
Shuri Castle is a must-see spot located near the airport. It served as the King’s residence during the Ryukyu Kingdom’s reign that continued for 450 years. This gorgeous, graceful castle in vermilion was registered as a world cultural heritage site in 2000. It is surrounded by streets that still preserve the nostalgic atmosphere of the ancient city.
No. 8. Valley of Gangala
The Valley of Gangala is a subtropical forest spread over a valley that once used to be limestone caves. Barren rocks and thriving plants create an interesting contrast. Some people believe this place to be the best spiritual spot in Okinawa, where you can feel the mysticism of nature.
No. 9. Makishi Public Market
Makishi Public market is loved by both tourists and locals. It is lined with a lot of restaurants that serve fresh fish, meat, vegetables and fruit. This is the best place if you want to try authentic Okinawan food. You can buy fresh seafood at the market, have it cooked at a restaurant and savor it straight away.
No. 10. Kokusai Street
If you want to buy souvenirs, go to Kokusai Street. The 1.6 km long street is lined with various kinds of shops. There is literally everything from small knick-knacks to clothes and food. This is the most vibrant spot in Okinawa, bustling with lots of people all day long. You won’t regret if you spare some time to visit Kokusai Street!
How to choose the right car for your trip in Okinawa!
Times Car RENTAL offers multi-lingual support that is available 365 days, 24/7 in 10 languages. If you make a reservation on through the English, Chinese or Korean website, the vehicle can be ready in 30 minutes at the earliest. Vehicles are equipped with multi language GPS that supports English, Chinese and Korean so that you can use the navigation without any trouble.
Times Car RENTAL Naha Airport shop in Okinawa has just reopened after renovation in July 2018. It only takes 3 minutes from the airport to the shop by the free shuttle bus. They also have a reception counter especially for overseas customers.
There might be some of you who dislike the long time it takes at the reception before you can actually start driving. Times Car RENTAL Naha Airport Shop won’t keep you waiting! There are 25 reception counters and 1000 cars! 100 cars can depart at the same time. Furthermore, a huge monitor informs you the status of progress so that you will know when your turn comes.
On top of all that, there is a gas station on the premise which is great as you can refill the gas without any hassle before returning the car!
Special deal for IKIDANE NIPPON users! Only valid for a limited time: 25% discount for Times Car RENTAL! This is too good a deal to miss! This campaign is limited until December 28, 2018, so if you’re planning a trip to Okinawa, get the coupon and rent a car at Times Car RENTAL!
Times Car Rental has 406 shops all over Japan. It covers all major airports and Shinkansen Stations. The shops have staff who speak foreign languages too. Arrive at your destination, go to their counter, fill in some forms and you are ready to drive! Times Car RENTAL won’t keep you waiting for a long time.
Good news for those who cannot come to Japan by December 28, 2018. All the users of IKIDANE NIPPON official app can get a10% discount coupon anytime! IKIDANE NIPPON users can get a good deal any time of the year!
Times Car RENTAL makes your trip in Okinawa more free and special!
■Special deal for IKIDANE NIPPON app users! Times Car RENTAL discounts!
・Rates for renting a car : 10% discount anytime
・Start Campaign : 25% discount until December 28, 2018
・Discounts are applicable only to those reservations made through the special reservation page below, and reservations made by IKIDANE NIPPON app users.
・Discounts not applicable in the following cases:
*During the period from August 10 to August18
*Compact cars (K-0 class)