Okinawa Travel Guide: 1 to 5-day Okinawa Itinerary without a car for first time visitors

Before going to Okinawa, I had no idea what to do or see in Naha and other parts of the main island. And as I was researching all the best attractions in Okinawa, I thought I would need a car to see all the sites.

But after spending over a month on Okinawa Main Island, I can confidently say that you can see many parts of the island on your own and without a car. Plus, you can see the best of Okinawa in only 5 days.

I compiled a solo Okinawa itinerary for independent travellers going to Okinawa for one to five days. If this is your first time going to Okinawa, keep reading and find out how you can travel in Okinawa without a car and see all the best attractions on your own.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through them, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost. Thank you for supporting this website. For more information, please read the disclosure for more info.

Okinawa travel guide: what you need to know

Before you start your solo trip to Okinawa, take a look at some of these useful travel tips for your day trip:

  • Get money from ATMs at the airport or 7-Eleven
  • Get a data-only prepaid SIM card from:
    • Selected 7-Eleven or Family Mart in Naha city centre Esim Plus tourist SIM card from ¥900 for a SIM card and top up 3, 5, 7, 14 or 30 days.
    • OnlineOrder an eSIM from ¥1,099 for 1GB for 5 days (check if your mobile phone support eSim)
  • Plan your visit to Okinawa with the following festivals and events:
    • Naha Hārī (May) – see dragon boat races, sumo tournaments and fireworks at Naha Shinto Wharf. It is Okinawa’s largest Dragon Boat festival.
    • Naha Great Tug-of-war Festival (October) – see a parade and live show, and see the tug-of-war rope, recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest rope in the world.
    • Many Cherry Blossom Festivals in Okinawa (mid-January to early February)
      • Naha Sakura Festival at Yogi Park
      • Nago City Cherry Blossom Festival at Nago Central Park
      • Yaese Cherry Blossom Festival at Yaese Park
      • Motobu Yaedake Cherry Blossom at Mount Yae in Western Motobu Peninsula

How to get to Okinawa Japan

Many international and domestic flights fly into Naha Airport, which is located on the southwestern side of Okinawa Main island.

Since Naha is only 3km from the airport, the easiest and cheapest way to get to Naha city centre is by taking the monorail. I highly recommend choosing a hotel near a monorail station to get around Naha and other parts of the island easily.

How to travel around Okinawa without a car

Many travellers visiting Okinawa will explore the island with a car because Okinawa Main Island is quite big, and certain places can only be reached by car.

However, if you don’t want to bother with car rental, don’t have a driver’s license, or just don’t want to bother with driving and finding parking spots, I have some options for you.


Walking is the best way to see Naha in Okinawa. This is the best option for exploring Naha city centre and the areas around the monorail stations.

Okinawa Urban Monorail – Yui Rail

Okinawa Urban Monorail, also known as Yui Rail, is a monorail linking Naha Airport, Naha, and Urasoe on the main island of Okinawa. This is the best way to travel from the airport to central Naha.

One way ticket starts from ¥230. Or you can use Okica or other IC Cards, a rechargeable smartcard that allows you to take public transportation. Okica cards can be purchased from the ticket vending machine. Purchase amount includes¥500 deposit.

1-day monorail pass (¥800) and 2-day monorail pass (¥1400) are also available. You may get discounts on admission fees to Shuri Castle, Tamaudun, Shikinaen Garden, Okinawa Prefectural Museum and the Former Navy Underground Headquarters.

Okinawa Bus

Okinawa Bus Ltd. has several bus companies that operate different routes throughout the island. Many of these routes start at Naha Bus Terminal next to Asahibashi Station.

Travelling within central Naha costs ¥240 per ride. And if you travel further, the fare is based on the distance travelled.

When you get on the bus, get a ticket. And when you are near your destination, watch the screen with your corresponding number; it will indicate your fee. The fee is paid when you alight. Pay exact change as change is not given.

Alternatively, you can use Okica or other IC Cards. Just tap when you get on the bus and tap out when you alight.

Moreover, 1-day bus pass (¥2,500) and 3-day bus pass (¥5,000) are available. These options are excellent for taking day trips around the island.

High-speed boat or ferry

A high-speed boat or ferry is an excellent way to see nearby islands. Both options are available for visiting Tokashiki Island, Zamami Island and other islands near Naha.

And you can also travel to other parts of Okinawa Main Island, like Motobu. The Jinbei Marine (Takuma 3) high-speed boat starts from Tomari Port dock 7C in Naha and goes to Nago, then Motobu.

Where to stay in Naha Okinawa as a solo traveller

If you are visiting Naha Okinawa for the first time, stay somewhere central and close to a monorail station so you can get around Okinawa easily.

I highly recommend staying near Asahibashi Station or Miebashi Station because you can take the monorail from the Naha Airport to the city centre and walk to your hotel.

I reviewed 6 boutique hotels in Naha and here are my top favourites:

  • Nest Hotel Naha Kumoji – an excellent boutique hotel near Miebashi Station with contemporary rooms, workspace and breakfast area.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Hotel Strata Naha – a 3.5-star hotel next to Miebashi Station. Rooms are decorated with traditional Okinawan textiles and crafts, and an onsite cafe, restaurant and bar on the top floor.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Nest Hotel Naha Nishi – another Nest Hotel, but this one is near Asashibashi Station. This boutique hotel is also well-designed, and has minimalistic guest rooms and a breakfast area.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

How many days in Okinawa as first time traveller

If you are wondering how many days you should spend in Okinawa, then you’ll have to see my summary below.

You can technically see all the best highlights in Naha in two days. But I highly recommend staying a few more days to explore other parts of Okinawa Main Island. And it is possible to see other parts of Okinawa island without a car.

Okinawa itinerary without car: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 days

Here is how to use this Okinawa itinerary guide.

If you are only in Naha for one day, follow the 1 day in Okinawa itinerary.

And if you are in Naha for two days, follow the itinerary for the first two days. And continue until the fifth day.

Here is a quick summary of my 1 to 5 day Okinawa itinerary:

1 day in Okinawa: best things to do in Naha (red pins)

  1. Famous tourist attractions in Naha
  2. Tsuboya
  3. Naha city centre

2 days in Okinawa: things to see around Naha (purple pins)

  1. Attractions in Urasoe City (Urasoemaeda Station)
  2. Highlights around Shuri Castle (Shuri Station)
  3. Other attractions in Naha (Omoromachi Station)

3 days in Okinawa: day trip to Yomitan and Mihama American Village (dark blue pins)

  1. Yomitan Village
  2. Mihama American Village

4 days in Okinawa: day trip to Motobu (turquoise pins)

  1. Ocean Expo Park – Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
  2. Emerald Beach and Bise Village

5 days in Okinawa: day trips around Naha (burgundy pins)

  1. Tokashiki Island
  2. Zamami Island
  3. Organized day tours from Naha 

1 Day in Okinawa: best things to do in Naha

Naha is the perfect city to start your Okinawa trip. It was the political and economic center during the Ryukyu Kingdom. Today, the capital city of Okinawa is the biggest and most populous city on the island.

On your first day in Naha, see all the best attractions around the city centre.

1. Famous tourist attractions in Naha

Walk northwest towards the water and some of the famous tourist attractions on day 1 of your Okinawa trip. There is a lovely manicured garden, shrine, temple, and a white sand beach with crystal blue water.

  • Fukushuen Garden (9am-9pm; closed Wednesdays; ¥200) – a Chinese-style garden built using traditional techniques from Fuzhou, China.
  • Naminoue Shrine (9am-5pm; free) – a Shinto shrine perched on a cliff overlooking Naminoue Beach. Boats entering Naha Port pray for a safe journey, while people visiting the shrine pray for a rich harvest.
  • Naminoue Beach (24 hours; free) – the only beach in Naha. It’s next to a highway, but the water is crystal clear.

2. Tsuboya

The neighbourhood of Tsuboya is synonymous with ceramics. It was once a major center of ceramic production until it was moved to Yomitan, a village 30km north of Naha.

However, you can still see traces of its ceramic past in this area. There are two old step kilns, a museum, and a historic residence.

Check out these highlights of Tsuboya:

  • Tsuboya Yachimun Street – find unique Okinawan ceramics at one of many family-run shops on this cobblestone street.
  • Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum (10am-6pm; closed Mondays;¥350) – get a free audio guide and walk through the museum. Learn about the history of Okinawan pottery and various pottery techniques and see the excavated remains of Hira-gama flat kiln.
  • Arakaki Residence (1-5pm Friday to Sunday; free) – learn about the history of ceramic production in Tsuboya and see an old step kiln.

2. Naha city centre

Naha City Center is centred around Kokusai Dori, the city’s main street and all the covered shopping streets and attractions in the surrounding area.

Several stations serve central Naha on the Okinawa Urban Monorail, and it is the best place to eat dinner and buy souvenirs.

Look for these highlights while you are meandering the shopping streets:

  • Kokusai Dori Shopping Street – 1.6km long street with souvenir shops, restaurants and bars. On Sundays, the street is for pedestrians only.
  • Heiwadori Shopping Arcade – covered shopping street with souvenir and second-hand shops.
  • Tsuboya Ufu Shisa – it is said that the shisa came to Okinawa from China in the 15th century. The mythical creature inspired by the lion, is a guardian deity and an important part of the Okinawan culture. It invites good luck and blocks evil spirits. You’ll see many of these at the entrances of buildings.
  • Saion Ufu Shisa – this is the brother of Tsuboya Ufu Shisa.
  • Makishi Public Market (8am-10pm) – you can still see the market filled with fresh seafood, meat, produce, and restaurants at the temporary location. The original market location is in the middle of construction.

2 Days in Okinawa: things to see around Naha

On day 2 of your Okinawa trip, visit other parts of Naha and a neighbouring city called Urasoe. The best way to see all the tourist attractions is by taking the monorail to Urasoemaeda Station, Shuri Station, and Omoromachi Station.

How to get around Okinawa on Day 2: buy a 1-day monorail pass (¥800) and get unlimited use for 24 hours. Show your day pass to certain facilities (Shuri Castle, Tamaudun Mausoleum, and Okinawa Prefectural Museum) and get a discount.

1. Attractions in Urasoe City (Urasoemaeda Station)

Urasoe City is just north of Naha City and near the end of the monorail line. It was the birthplace of the Ryukyu Kingdom and still has many historical sites related to the culture today.

While there are many things to see in Urasoe, focus on these two attractions in Urasoe Park so you can have time for other sites later.

  • Urasoe Castle Ruins (24 hours; free) – see what’s remaining of Urasoe Castle from the 13th century. Also, look for Stone paved Road; it was part of the path of King ShōNei Historic Road from Shuri Castle to Urasoe Castle.
  • Urasoe Yodore (9am-6pm; free) – the tombs of King Eiso (west crypt) and King ShōNei (east crypt) are found in the hillside caves where stone coffins were put in the crypts. However, the crypts are closed with a masonry wall but are still cool to see.

2. Highlights around Shuri Castle (Shuri Station)

Hop on the monorail, take it to Shuri Station, and explore the area. There are several sites in the Shuri area that you do not want to miss.

  • Sairaiin (Daruma Temple) (7am-6pm; free) – walk through a series of bright red torii gates and see the daruma dolls (round Japanese traditional dolls aka a lucky talisman) at this Buddhist temple.
  • Shurijo Castle (8:30am-6pm; ¥400) – the former royal palace was one of the best attractions in Naha. But unfortunately, many areas, including the main hall, burnt down on October 31, 2019. But you can still go up to the observation deck for a panoramic view of the area. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Tamaudun (9am-6pm; ¥300) – the Royal Mausoleum built in 1501 for King Sho En and 19 Ryukyu kings who ruled between 1470 and 1879. The tomb has three crypts, but they are not accessible. There is also a small museum, but everything is written in Japanese. Registered as a World Heritage Site.
  • Kinjo-cho Stone Paved Path (24 hours; free) – built in the 16th century during the Ryukyu Kingdom, the ancient cobblestone path connects Shuri Castle to other districts. Today, you can see traditional Okinawan houses and several springs along the path.

3. Other attractions in Naha (Omoromachi Station)

And finally, get back on the monorail and take it to Omoromachi Station in Naha City’s new downtown area. This is a relatively new commercial area in Okinawa. You can enjoy a bit of culture and do some major shopping!

  • Okinawa Prefectural Museum (9am-6pm; closed Mondays; ¥530 General, ¥400 Art Museum, ¥800 temporary exhibition) – learn about Okinawa’s Ryukyu culture through its permanent collection which has over 100,000 artifacts.
  • T Galleria Okinawa by DFS – enjoy duty-free shopping with over 140 brand-name stores at this upscale mall.
  • San-A Naha Main Place – local shopping mall with a department store, grocery shop, restaurants and a movie theatre.

3 Days in Okinawa: day trip to Yomitan and Mihama American Village

During the late 1970s, Okinawa’s ceramic production moved from Tsuboya in Naha to Yomitan Village, 30km north of Naha. The area thrived as the population grew. Today, it is one of the best attractions on Okinawa Main Island.

Yomitan has other highlights, including a lighthouse at the northern tip of Yomitan and many beaches dotting the pristine coast. For this itinerary, we’ll focus on the area around Yomitan Village.

How to get around Okinawa on day 3: get a 1-day bus day pass (¥2,500) at the tourist information centre or Naha Bus Terminal. FYI – it costs ¥1,100 from Naha to Yomitan, ¥630 from Yomitan to American Village and ¥740 from American Village to Naha. Buying the day pass is about the same same amount but you may end up taking more bus rides and it will save the hassle.

1. Yomitan Village

Yomitan Pottery Village (Yochimun no Sato)

Yomitan Pottery Village is the heart of the ceramic scene and has over 50 artisanal potters. Each pottery workshop sells its creations and operates at different times. If there is a specific shop you want to visit, check the hours of operation before you go.

See the large step kiln in the centre of the village and nearby coffee shops. And if you are visiting in November, check out Yomitan Yachimun Pottery Market. It is Okinawa’s largest pottery market, and it only happens once a year.

Zakimi Castle

During the early 15th century, Zakimi Castle was built to protect from invaders from the north. It was built with several innovative masonry techniques to create a solid stonewall and a strong foundation for the castle.

However, only the wavelike stone walls remain today. But this is still worth visiting since Zakimi Castle is one of the best-preserved examples of an Okinawan castle defensive design. And it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is free to visit the castle. But there’s a fee for Yuntanza Museum (9am-6pm; ¥500) at the entrance. It has exhibits showcasing the history of the castle and the area’s craft heritage.

How to get to Yomitan: from anywhere in Naha, take bus 20, 28, 29 or 120 (see route for bus 20 and 120 from Naha Bus Terminal to Yomitan Pottery Village). Alight at Oyashi Iriguchi bus stop and walk 14 minutes.

2. Mihama American Village

Located in Chatan, a town in central Okinawa, Mihama American Village is a large entertainment complex and an outdoor shopping centre with a theme-park-type atmosphere.

Mihama American Village got its name because over 50% of Chatan is covered by US military bases. This is the area where you can find everything Americana, from food and shopping to everything else.

Here are some things to check out:

  • Shop and eat at Depot Island, a large entertainment and shopping complex
  • Visit Christmas Land, a store filled with all things Christmas
  • Visit nearby beaches like Sunset Beach and Araha Beach
  • See large-scale woodblock prints at Bokunen Art Museum
  • Watch the sunset at the Sunset Walk promenade
  • Eat American or Mexican food (Tacos Cafe Taco Loco is really good!)

How to get to Mihama American Village: walk 14 minutes to Uza Kominkan bus stop from Zakimi Castle and take bus 28 or 29 (see the route for bus 28 & 29 from Zakimi Castle to Mihama American Village). Then, walk 4 minutes towards the harbour.

How to get back to Naha: take bus 20, 28, 29 or 120 at Mihama American Village Iriguchi bus stop (see the route for bus 28 & 29 from Mihama American Village to Naha Bus Terminal).

4 Days in Okinawa: day trip to Motobu

Motobu is a small town on the northwestern Okinawan Main Island, 85km north of Naha. The Motobu Peninsula is known for several attractions, including Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium at Ocean Expo Park, Nakijin Castle Ruins and cherry blossoms in Yaedake Sakuranomori Park.

Because of the accessibility and timing of the high-speed boat, day 4 of your Okinawa itinerary will focus mainly on around Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and the surrounding area.

How to get to Motobu: Take Jinbei Marine (Takuma 3) to Motobu Toguchi Port from Tomari Port in Naha. The high-speed boat departs from port 7C at 8:30am, taking 2 hours. Then take a cab to the aquarium. On the way back, take a cab to the port and hop on the 4pm boat. Buy tickets at the ticket offices at Tomari Port and Toguchi Port. It costs¥1,000 each way.

1. Ocean Expo Park – Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Ocean Expo Park is a state-run park in the western Motobu Peninsula region that originated from Expo 75, a World’s Fair held at the exact spot in 1975.

While most exhibits were removed, many new ones have been added to the park, including the most popular attraction: Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is the most popular attraction at Ocean Expo Park. It has the world’s largest aquarium, with a tank capacity of about 10,000 tons.

The highlight has to be seeing the whale sharks and manta rays at the Kuroshio Sea tank. Besides the giant tank, you can see other tropical fish and other sea creatures in the coral, deep sea, and other fish tanks.

When leaving the aquarium, ensure you don’t miss several attractions outside. You can see the Manatee pool, sea turtle pool and dolphin lagoon.

It costs ¥2,180 when you buy a ticket at the aquarium and ¥1,950 at Umichurara (souvenir store on Kokusai Dori) or the tourist information centre. The aquarium is open from 8:30am-6:30pm.

Native Okinawan Village

If you have time after the aquarium, see traditional Okinawan life in a reconstructed village from the Ryukyu Kingdom era at the Native Okinawan Village. Also, see the Omoro Arboretum with native Okinawan plants. The entrance is free.

2. Emerald Beach and Bise Village

For the remainder of the day trip, spend some time around Emerald Beach at the far northeast corner of Ocean Expo Park and Bis Village.

Emerald Beach

The Y-shaped white sand Emerald Beach is one of the 6 Michelin Guide’s top beaches in Okinawa, and it is the only Michelin-starred beach on the main island (I didn’t know beaches could have Michelin stars – who knew?!)

See the white sand and crystal aqua water around this famed beach. You can swim and rent equipment from April to October. But you can still visit the beach during other months.

Bise Village

Just north of Emerald Beach is Bise Village, a coastal village known for its many Fukugi Trees (garcinia trees) that protect the village from natural causes, including typhoons.

You can walk around the village and see rows of Fukugi Trees, Sea Almond Trees, cultural properties, unusual stone walls made from poritid corals and more.

If you rent a bicycle, you can cycle all the way to Bisezaki, the northern tip of the peninsula. The water there is shallow and blue.

5 Days in Okinawa: day trips around Naha

On day 5 of your Naha trip, take an excursion to one of the nearby islands or join an organized trip with fun activities around the waters of Okinawa.

Here are some options for day trips around Naha.

1. Tokashiki Island

Only 35 minutes from Naha, Tokashiki Island is the largest of the Kerama Islands, which is part of Keramashoto National Park. The tropical island is known for its white sand beaches, crystal “Kerama blue” water and magnificent viewpoints.

Here is a 1-day itinerary for exploring Tokashiki Island on your own:

  • After arriving at Tokashiki Port, take the local bus (¥400) to the end at Aharen Enchi. There are several lookout points.
  • Walk to Aharen Beach, a white sand beach and enjoy some water activities.
  • Follow Sondo Aharen Road to Tokashiku Beach and snorkel with sea turtles.
  • Hike back to the port via Sondo Otani Road. Along the way, see Taiwanese cherry blossom trees, West and East Lookouts, and the Site of Mass Suicide.
  • Continue on Sondo Seinen no le Road back to Tokashiki Port.
  • Browse around Tokashiki Village before getting the ferry back to Naha.

How to get to Tokashiki Island: take either Marine Liner Tokashiki high-speed boat or a regular ferry from Tomari Port to Tokashiki Island. Choose the high-speed boat (¥2,630 one-way and ¥4,910 roundtrip; 35 minutes) because it is faster than the ferry (¥1,790 one-way and¥3,210 roundtrip; 70 minutes). High-speed boat leaves Tomari Port at 9am at dock 7B and returns at 5pm at Tokashiki Port. Reserve a ticket in advance between May to October or buy one at the counter at Tomari Port.

2. Zamami Island

Zamami Island is known for its white sand beaches, “Kerama blue” water and a gorgeous sunset. It is also part of the Kerama islands, and it’s reachable by a 50-minute high-speed ferry ride from Naha.

When you spend a day on Zamami Island, here is what you can do:

  • Visit Furuzamami Beach and rent equipment to snorkel, scuba dive, or standup paddle board.
  • Hike up to Takatsukiyama Observation Deck and see a panoramic view of the Kerama archipelago.
  • See humpback whales return to warm Zamami during the winter season.
  • Rent a bicycle and cycle around the hilly island.
  • Take a local boat to Aka Island.

How to get to Zamami Island: take the Queen Zamami high-speed ferry (¥3,200 one-way and¥6,080 roundtrip; 50 minutes) from Tomari Port to Zamami Port. The high-speed boat leaves Tomari Port at 9am at dock 7A and returns at 4:50pm at Zamami Port. Reserve a ticket in advance between May to October, or buy one at the counter at Tomari Port.

3. Organized day tours from Naha

If you are not keen on self-guided day trips, there are many organized day tours that you can join while you are in Naha.

Many of them can be booked locally, but if you are going during high season (i.e. summer), you might want to secure a spot on a tour so you don’t miss out on a fantastic trip.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Powered by GetYourGuide

What to eat in Naha Okinawa

Okinawan cuisine differs from typical Japanese cuisine due to its unique geographical location and influences from China, South East Asia and the US. So even if you typically eat Japanese food, you must try the local food in Okinawa and see what the fuss is about because it is so good!

I have a food guide to eating in Okinawa, but here is a quick summary of food you must try in Naha:

  • Okinawa Soba – Okinawan noodle soup made with wheat noodles, fish cakes and pork belly
  • Taco Rice – Tex-Mex ingredients (ground beef, lettuce, cheese, tomato) on top of rice
  • Goya Champuru – Okinawan stir-fry with bitter gourd/melon
  • Okinawa Agu Pork – primary pork breed in Okinawa
  • Okinawa Onigiri – spam and egg Japanese rice ball
  • Beni imo – purple sweet potato
  • Umibudo – a type of edible seaweed aka “sea grapes”
  • Okinawa ice cream – try local flavours like Okinawan salt cookiesShikuwasa sherbetBeni imo, and Ryukyu Royal Milk Tea

Where to eat in Naha Okinawa

Traditional Okinawan food in Naha is served in local diners, izakaya restaurants and other food places. Just make sure to check the hours of operation before you go. Noodle shops and some restaurants open between 10am-3pm while many izakaya restaurants only open after 5pm and stay open until late.

If you want to watch a show during dinner, some touristy izakaya restaurants have live singing performances during dinner service. Typically, there are two rounds of performances each night. Look for signs at the entrance of izakaya restaurants like the one below.

If you only have a few days in Naha, try one of these places. They are some of my favourite places to eat in Naha.

  • Okinawa Soba Eibun – a very popular noodle shop serving Okinawa soba
  • Shuri Soba – go early and try Okinawa soba with noodles or without
  • Nuchigafu – instagrammable set lunches and dinners serving Okinawan cuisine
  • Yunangi – homey izakaya restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner
  • Dachibin – best izakaya restaurant in a renovated Japanese-style house. Surcharge is applicable
  • Pork Tamago Onigiri – they sell spam and egg onigiri and variations of this classic Okinawan snack
  • Blue Seal – Okinawa’s most popular ice cream brand. Find one of many shops in Naha

Looking for tours in Okinawa? Check out these experiences:

Are you going to follow this itinerary for Okinawa?

I certainly hope so! I put a lot of thought into creating the best Okinawa itinerary for anyone travelling in Okinawa without a car.

You can see the best highlights in two days, but I highly recommend staying for 5 days to get a feel for the rest of the island.

Let me know in the comments below if you like this itinerary or have any suggestions to make it better.

Thank you for reading my solo Okinawa itinerary

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Japan:

Introduction to Japan
Kyushu region

Like this post? Pin it on your Pinterest board!

About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!


  • Ming
    November 26, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    Awesome! Simply amazing. I will follow your itinerary. Going to Okinawa on 1 Feb 2024.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Queenie

    • queenie mak
      November 26, 2023 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Ming, thanks for your comment. I went around the same time this year and saw cherry blossoms. And the weather was quite nice – not too cold and many sunny days. I also have a post on trying Okinawan food if you are interested in trying their cuisine (pretty different from typical Japanese food). Enjoy your time in Okinawa!

  • Peter
    December 29, 2023 at 11:42 pm

    Thank for for this really great post!

    We are staying in Naha for 4 days at the end of March 2024 and this has been so incredibly useful for our planning!
    Looking forward to trying as much of the foods you mentioned in your other post!

    • queenie mak
      December 31, 2023 at 1:06 am

      Hi Peter,
      Thank you for your comment. I went in January and February and it was cold but got warmer. I bet it will be super nice at the end of March. And I hope you can eat many of the Okinawa food – so different from traditional Japanese food and it’s so good! Enjoy your trip!

  • Sharita
    January 3, 2024 at 7:26 am

    This is perfect! I am spending a few days in Okinawa later this month, and I’m also planning to travel without a car, so your guide is perfect!

    • queenie mak
      January 3, 2024 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Sharita,
      I was in Okinawa last year in January and February – it was a bit cold at first but it got warmer. Stay warm and hope you will have a good time! Happy travels!

  • Ng Bee Hwa
    January 23, 2024 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Queenie Mak,

    i will be spend on Okinawa in Feb… without car. Good transportation… But did you walk or take a bus to Zakimi Castle Ruin from Yomitan Pottery Village (Yochimun no Sato)?

    • queenie mak
      January 23, 2024 at 8:54 pm

      Hi Ng Bee Hwa,
      Yes I walked between Zakimi Castle and Yomitan Village. It is a 30-minute walk but leisurely. There is also a bus but I just checked on Google Maps that it comes every 2 hours. It’s not frequent so walking might be a better option. Hope this helps! happy travels!

  • Lian
    January 25, 2024 at 11:59 pm

    Thank you for this to-the-point informative guide! I’ll be going mid-Feb 2024 with my family, including 10 and 13 year old. I hope they will enjoy trying the bucketlist of foods to try from your post!

    • queenie mak
      January 26, 2024 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Lian,
      Thanks so much for your comment! I was in Okinawa in Janunuary and February – really good time to be there. I hope you will have fun in Okinawa with your family. I think your kids will really like Okinawa onigiri and all the ice cream at Blue Seal! Happy travels!

  • Barbara
    April 15, 2024 at 12:21 am

    Hi Queenie,
    I am from Poland and would like to come on June/July with my husband and son (14) to Okinawa. I am very very grateful that you wrote all these tips – GREAT JOB!!! VERY HELPFUL!
    I wonder if there is any transportation to stay for a week near one of the beaches like Manza or Zampa Beach to have the possibility to spend some time on the beach after coming back from the trips. Is there any transportation there?
    Thatnks a lot in advance for your answer!

    • queenie mak
      April 15, 2024 at 9:30 am

      Hi Barbara,
      Aw thanks so much!
      From Okinawabus website, there are limousine buses to both places.
      For Manza Beach, the limo bus goes to ANA Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort.
      For Zampa Beach, the limo bus goes to Grand Mercure Hotel.
      When you are in Naha, go to the info centre at Naha Bus Terminal and confirm. They are very helpful and speak English. Enjoy your trip!

  • Stan
    April 16, 2024 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks for great sightseeing plan!
    I’ve done first 2 days in 1, except museums 🙂
    One note, it doesn’t make sense to go to Kokusai Dori shopping street before 11am, because most of stuff is then closed.

    • queenie mak
      April 16, 2024 at 6:03 pm

      Hi Stan,
      Thank you so much! And I appreciate your feedback because I’m not a big shopper so I don’t realize that not all shops are open in the morning. I think the main area of Naha is so amazing that everyone should see it first. Perhaps it’s better at the end of the day so you can bring all your purchases home and not carry it around the whole day. Thanks for the input – I’ll adjust my itinerary!

    • Stan
      April 17, 2024 at 9:57 am

      One more update, 1 day bus pass is now 2500 yen.

      • Stan
        April 17, 2024 at 9:58 am

        And best bus to go to Yomitan is 120 🙂

        • queenie mak
          April 18, 2024 at 8:28 pm

          Hi Stan, prices has certainly gone up since last year. Thanks for the update. Really appreciate it!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.