Around Okinawa | 4 Days Self-Drive
Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture, consisting of a few dozen, small islands in the southern half of the Nansei Shoto, the island chain which stretches over about one thousand kilometers from Kyushu to Taiwan.
Okinawa Prefecture can be divided into three major island groups, the Okinawa Islands (Okinawa Shoto) around Okinawa Island (Okinawa Honto), the Miyako Islands (Miyako Retto) around Miyako Island and the Yaeyama Islands (Yaeyama Retto) around Ishigaki Island.
Okinawa’s climate is subtropical, with temperatures barely falling below 15 degrees in winter.
The seas surrounding Okinawa’s islands are considered among the world’s most beautiful with coral reefs and abundant marine wildlife. Consequently, snorkeling and scuba diving are among Okinawa’s top attractions. The islands making up Okinawa Prefecture, are also known as the Ryukyu Islands, named after the native culture, which is distinctly different from that of the rest of Japan in terms of language, cuisine, arts, etc.
Driving in Okinawa: seriously easy-going
As Okinawa’s public transport system is rather limited, seeing the sights by rent-a-car is the way to go.
The roads outside the capital are wide and generally traffic-free, offering an exhilarating and relaxing way of enjoying the amazing sites around the main island, including the beautiful Cape Manzamo by the seaside and the hundred-year-old restaurant Hyakunen-koya Ufuya.
Drivers in Okinawa are friendly compared to other countries and big cities, including those in Japan. All rental cars come with English-language SatNav, making it easy to explore the island at leisure.
Like the rest of Japan, Okinawans drive on the left-hand side of the road, and an international drivers license, passport and credit card is required.
Pick Up and Drop Off at the same place.
Around Okinawa | 4 Days Self-Drive | Itinerary
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Day 1 – NAHA to ONNA
Once you arrive at Naha Airport, you will be greeted by a representative who shuttle you to the rental car agency to begin your trip.
Depart Car Rental Shop
-Ryukyu Mura (50 min)
Ryukyu-mura is a theme park where you can see the authentic culture, entertainment and nature of Okinawa.
– Accommodation in Onna (30 min)
Day 2 – ONNA
Departing Onna Accommodation (Onna)
– Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (45 min)
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium shows you all marine life residing in the oceans of Okinawa. The main tank, “Kuroshio Sea” is the focus point of the trip with its impressive size with a depth of 10m, length of 35m, width of 27m. Marvel at the sharks, rays, whale sharks and countless fish that inhabit the Kushiro Sea, and enjoy a coffee or snack right next to it at the café.
– Bise Fukugi Trees (5 min)
– Kouri Bridge / Kouri Ocean Tower (30 min)
Kouri Bridge is the longest toll-free bridge with a span of 1,960 meters in Japan featuring the spectacular ocean views which will dazzle your eyes as you cross the bridge.
– Nago Pineapple Park (25 min)
– Cape Manzamo (40 min)
Manzamo was named by the king of the Ryukyu kingdom when he visited there in the beginning of the 18th century. From here the view of the waves from the cliff top over the coral reef and dazzling emerald ocean has been designated as Okinawa’s scenic beauty spot
– Accommodation in Onna (10 min)
Day 3 – ONNA to NAHA
Departing Onna Accommodation (Onna)
– World’s Cultural Heritage Sefa Utaki (70 min)
Sefa Utaki was created by the goddess Amamikyo during the 15th – 16th centuries and is a historical sacred spot that served as one of the key locations of worship in the religion of the Ryukyuan people for millennia.
– Valley of Gangala (20 min)
– Okinawa World (5 min)
Okinawa World is a theme park that presents the local history, culture and nature and that has a main attraction of 5km long cave Gyokusendo.
– Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa (30 min)
– Accommodation in Naha (20 min)
Day 4 – NAHA
Departing Naha Accommodation
– Shurijo Castle Park (15 min)
Shurijo Castle was the administrative centre of the Ryukyu kingdom and was the focal point of foreign trade as well as the political, economic and cultural heart of the Ryukyus.
– Kokusai Street (15 min)
Visit the busy Kokusai Street for some final souvenirs and last-minute chances to eat the delicacies of Okinawa before your flight home.
– Naha Airport (15 min)
*car ride times are approximate driving times for Okinawan roads. An International Drivers licence is necessary to drive in Okinawa, please arrange all necessary documentation before arriving.