With its tropical climate, Hawaii-like shores and exclusive culture, Okinawa delivers the best mix of island time and Japanese sophistication. But how do you get there?
Okinawa is Japan’s most southerly prefecture. Its string-of-pearl archipelago reaches virtually inside sight of the shores of Taiwan. And its ancient culture tends to make it as unique as it is far from its mainland kin.
We really like the fascinating blend of Ryokyu (Okinawa’s original name) and the wider Japanese cultures you come across in right here. It 1 of the lots of issues that make Okinawa a fantastic travel location.
Nevertheless, having to Okinawa is not necessarily the easiest issue in the planet. Right here are our strategies for navigating your way to Okinawa and generating the most of your trip to the Land of the Increasing Sun.
How to get to Okinawa and why it is worth the work
Direct flights to Okinawa
Flights to Japan – specially Tokyo – are becoming ever-additional frequent and reasonably priced. But flying straight to Okinawa is not usually that simple.
If you are in China, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore, you will be capable to fly direct to Naha, Okinawa’s international airport (and Japan’s 7th busiest).
But if you are coming from anyplace else in the planet, you will have to get a connecting flight south. The great news (if you are flying from Tokyo) is there’s a likelihood you will see Mount Fuji from your plane window!
Connecting flights to Okinawa
Of course, lots of flights and lots of flight firms leave Tokyo for Okinawa.
But here’s the difficulty.
There are two key airports in Tokyo – Narita International and Tokyo-Haneda International – and not all airlines use the exact same airport for Tokyo arrivals and Okinawa departures.
JAL for instance has international flights arriving into Narita, but its connecting flights to Okinawa fly from Haneda. And it can be a two-hour trip involving airports.
Triple-verify your connecting flights and flight instances to make certain you know which airport you will need to be in and that there’s sufficient time involving flights if you have to attain the other airport.
How to get from Narita Airport to Haneda Airport
As you’d count on with Japan’s most significant city, there is a multitude of techniques to travel involving Narita Airport and Haneda Airport.
The finest selection we identified, which was reasonably priced, handy, swift and very simple, was to book seats on the Narita Limousine Bus. You can book seats in advance or basically spend when you get there.
This direct coach service requires involving 60-90 minutes (based on targeted traffic) and fees about $30pp every single way.
Uber/Taxis are a further selection, but they’re not affordable in Japan. In truth, a study on taxis about the planet names Tokyo as the most costly.
Trains leave Narita for the city extremely consistently and are reasonably priced. Nevertheless, to get to Haneda, you will have to modify trains – possibly additional than after. Not perfect when you are lugging bags about.
Creating the most of your Tokyo time
When we initially arrived in Tokyo, we flew into Narita, but booked a evening in a hotel close to Haneda airport so we wouldn’t have to rush for our Okinawa flight the subsequent day.
We took the Narita Limousine Bus to Haneda, checked in then hopped on a train into the city.
The Kelkyu-Kuku train goes from Haneda Airport to Higashi-Ginza Station in about 35 minutes and fees about $7 per particular person every single way, then it is about a 10-minute stroll to the centre of Ginza and the heart of Tokyo’s purchasing and cocktail bar district.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi, which is certainly a great deal faster.
How to take a taxi in Japan
Whilst I’m on the topic, taking taxis in Tokyo is rather an practical experience. The automobiles themselves appear rather boxy and old, but they are in truth rather modern day.
But there’s a course of action to employing taxis right here.
- Often method the taxi from the curb side, by no means from the targeted traffic side.
- You will not be capable to flag taxis down in the street in Ginza. You can only catch 1 at a taxi stand. Other components of the city, you will be capable to just hail taxis in the street even though.
- Do not attempt to open the passenger door oneself – the doors are automatic, and the driver will open and close them for you!
- If you can not speak sufficient Japanese to give directions, show the driver on a map and they’ll take you straight there. You do not have to be concerned about taxis ripping you off in Japan. It is not their style. But drivers’ English is not usually extremely great.
- Taxis usually do not accept credit cards, so money is the finest selection. At the finish of the trip, verify the metre and place the money in the small basket at the front of the automobile.
- Do not attempt and tip the driver. Tipping in Japan can be noticed as an insult. Do not threat it.
Of course, an less difficult way round it is to book an Uber.
Arriving in Okinawa
As opposed to Tokyo, public transport in Okinawa is not fantastic, but like Tokyo, taxis right here are just as pricy. So if you want to get about quickly, you will will need to employ a automobile. It is not also costly and the rental firms will meet you at the airport to take you to the offices.
Driving in Japan – specially Okinawa – is simple and entertaining, even though the GPS program they have there is rather strange. You usually will need a ‘map reference number’ to find a location, but the individuals at desk of your automobile employ enterprise must be capable to clarify it.
Here’s our story on how to employ a automobile in Japan and what to count on.
Okinawa is property to a great deal of Japan’s military defence. It is also property to a significant and controversial contingent of USA military. Mainly because of this, Okinawa’s Naha Airport hosts lots of fighter jets.
Retain your eyes peeled for them taking off and landing although you are at the airport. It is rather some thing to see.
If you are searching for additional of our stories in Japan, click right here.
And for other stories on Okinawa, verify out:
15 issues you have to consume in Okinawa
The heart of Okinawa: Energy Spots and exactly where to come across them
Exactly where to keep in Okinawa – Okuma Resort critique
It sounds like a lot of bother to get to Okinawa, does not it? Effectively, probably it is, but the additional work to get to Okinawa is undoubtedly worth it. Immediately after all, the road much less travelled is the road much less worn.
And that is surely correct of Okinawa.