Getting Around Okinawa After Arriving

Public transportations such as monorail, buses, and taxis are the main transportation in the main island of Okinawa. If you wish to move around more freely, a rental car is a convenient option. On remote islands, using rental cars, rental bicycles or rental motorcycles is recommended because there are not many public transportations. Choose transportation that fits your purpose of your trip and make your plan better.

Yui Rail: Okinawa’s First Monorail, Providing Direct Transport to the Airport

Yui Rail connects 19 stations, from Naha Airport Station, the gateway to Okinawa, to Tedako-Uranishi Station in about 40 minutes. Connected to the airport, the monorail is useful for accessing popular tourist spots, such as Kokusai Street , central Naha, and Shurijo Castle Park . The 1-day ticket, which can be bought at all stations, is the affordable option when using the monorail multiple times in a single day.

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Rental Cars: A Popular Option for Families and Groups!

There are many rental car companies in Okinawa. Check comparison sites before reservation, or rent a car along with flight and hotel for a smooth process after your arrival. You can rent a car at tourist information center at Naha Airport after your arrival, but sometimes rental cars may not be available on the day depending on season. It is recommended that you make your reservation prior to your trip. There are pick-up services from the airport to rental car office. Be sure to confirm when making your reservation.

Notes for Driving
  • In Japan, vehicles drive on the left side of the road and are right-hand drive. If this differs from your country, be careful when driving.
    Traffic rules
  • During morning and evening hours, some lanes on national roads in Naha, Urasoe and Ginowan City are reserved for buses (bus lanes). During the period, driving in the bus lanes is not permitted.
  • If you drive on expressway, it is recommended that you choose a car with ETC, which allows for smooth payments at toll booths. ETC also provides discounts at night and certain other times during the day. ETC card issued by a credit card company is required but some rental car companies offer a lending service, so check when making your reservation.
  • In Japan, the law stipulates that a driver must use a child seat when driving with a child less than six years of age. If this applies to you, install a child seat appropriate for your child’s age and physique. The various rental car companies offer lending services, but the fees and arrangement differ, so be sure to confirm when making your reservation.
  • When driving in Japan, one of the following types of licenses is required. Be sure to confirm beforehand and complete the necessary procedures. When driving in Japan, your own country’s license may be required as well, so be sure to bring it with you.
  1. A Japanese driver’s license (for persons residing in Japan)
  2. U.S. Forces, Japan Operator’s Permit for Civilian Vehicle
  3. Passport + An international driving permit based on the Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva Convention) + Driver’s license from their respective country
  4. Persons with a driver’s license issued in Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany, France, Belgium, Monaco, or Taiwan also require a Passport + Driver’s license from their respective country + An original Japanese translation of the license. (The Japanese translation must be from the embassy or consulate in Japan of the respective country, JAF (Japan Automobile Federation), or the East Asia Relations Commission.)*In regards to 3 and 4, please have these documents prepared in advance in your respective country.
    *4 Referring countries are subject to change.
How to Use Coin Parking Lots with Locking Plates

Many of the coin parking lots in Okinawa feature locking plates installed in the parking spaces. After you park, the locking plate automatically rises and locks the car in place. When leaving the lot and paying the fee, you use the fare machine installed in the parking lot. Entering your parking number into the fare machine automatically calculates your fee, and once the displayed amount is paid, the locking plate keeping the car in place descends. Return to your car, confirm that the locking plate has descended, and immediately leave the lot.

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Rental Bicycles and Motorcycles: Convenient for Short-distance Sightseeing!

Rental bicycles and motorcycles can avoid traffic jams, easily access various locations and are efficient way for traveling short distances. You can get information about rental stores at the airport tourist information center, your accommodations, and tourism bureaus in various regions. Some accommodations and tourism bureaus provide lending services of their own. Those who wish to rent electric bicycles or bicycles for children should confirm beforehand. For those planning to ride around Naha City, there is a cycling share service called ChuraChari, and applications are available through the staff at the counter or the dedicated website (if applying through the website, member registration is required and payments can only be made via credit card). Be sure to protect yourself from sunburns and heatstroke while riding.

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Taxis: Essential means of transportation in Okinawa! Inexpensive Option for Groups

Besides general taxis, there are also shuttle taxis that provide transportation from the airport to your hotel, sightseeing taxis that run between tourist sites, so you can choose the type that best suits your needs. Your hotel can also help make arrangements for whatever taxi you need. It is easy to hail a taxi at the airport, around Naha City, or at the main sightseeing locations, but on remote islands and other such locations, finding a taxi where you are might be difficult, so be sure to confirm beforehand.

Initial Taxi Fares(As of October 2019)

Main Island of Okinawa: 560 yen for regular taxis (Additional fare: 70 yen per 365 meters)
Remote Islands of Okinawa: 460 yen for regular taxis (Additional fare: 60 yen per 336 meters)

*From 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., a night surcharge (20%) is applied.
*The rear doors of taxis open automatically. To avoid injury, wait until the door opens before getting in.
*Taxis that have received national operating permission have green license plates. If you board an unauthorized taxi with a white license plate, you will not be covered by insurance if you get into an accident. To ensure your safety and security, use nationally authorized taxis.

Taxi App

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Buses: For Those Seeking Easy Access to Tourist Sites
Airport Limousine Bus

Besides fixed-route buses, there are also limousine buses that provide transport from the airport to your hotel, as well as tour buses that provide efficient transport around the main tourist sites. With limousine buses and tour buses, it is best to reserve in advance for a smooth process.

  • Information on Airport Limousine Buses, Route Maps, Timetables, and Fees : Okinawa Bus
Express Shuttle Bus

By using “Express Shuttle Bus”, you can make your time in Okinawa a better one!
With “Express Shuttle Bus”, you don’t need to drive in a different country. It will surely take you to your desired destination smoothly and directly. You have plenty of destination choices to choose from, so please check the websites below to find your best one.

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Fixed-schedule Tourist Buses

Example Course 1: Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and Nakijin Castle Course (Northern part of main island)
Example Course 2: Shuri Castle Historical Site (Southern part of main island), etc.

Course Details and Reservations

Fixed-route Buses

You can pay by cash or an OKICA IC card (SUICA, PASMO, and other IC cards are not accepted for fixed-route bus). OKICA cards can be purchased at ticket machines and counters at monorail stations, bus company’s office and some FamilyMart in Okinawa (unregistered type only).
5,000 yen and 10,000 yen bills cannot be exchanged on buses, so prepare change beforehand. Note that 1-yen and 5-yen coins cannot be used. When sightseeing around Naha City, using the 1-Day Unlimited Pass for Naha buses (660 yen) or the Bus – Monorail Pass that provides unlimited rides on both the bus and monorail for one day (1,000 yen) can save you money.
This ticket can be purchased at the Naha Airport Office (domestic terminal 1F), the Naha Bus Naha Sales Office (inside Naha Bus Terminal), and Naha City Tourist Information Center, among others. There is also “Okinawa Bus Pass (*1)” that allows unlimited use of buses and monorails on the main island of Okinawa, so you can purchase a ticket that best matches your vacation plans. The fixed-route buses on Okinawa’s main island connect almost all regions, but on remote islands, there are a limited number of routes and buses. If you wish to travel by bus, be sure to confirm beforehand.

(*1) Okinawa Bus Pass
Get unlimited rides on buses and monorails for the applicable route within the designated time period! Enjoy leisurely gazing at the scenery as you head towards your destination, and have some drinks wherever you please. This bus pass is a convenient way to have an amazing trip.

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Main Island of Okinawa: Course Numbers for Main Tourist Sites

Northern Area Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium 20,  120,  (from Nago Bus Terminal) 65,  66,  70
Central Area Chatan American Village 20,  28,  29,  43,  120
AEON MALL Okinawa Rycom 21,  25,  23,  27,  31,  77,  80,  90,  92,  110,  223,  227
Southern Area Shurijo Castle Park 1,  7,  8,  9,  13,  14,  17,  25,  46,  97
Okinawa Outlet Mall ASHIBINAA 55,  56,  88,  98
Sefa Utaki 38
Okinawa World 54,  83
Peace Memorial Park 34,  89,  (from Itoman Bus Terminal) 82,  107,  108

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  • Bus-navi Okinawa  : General Information System for Fixed-route Buses on the Main Island
    *Search routes, timetables, and fees for the main island of Okinawa
  • Bus Map Okinawa 
    *Information on routes, fees, free entry tickets, and bus companies for all of Okinawa

Other Useful Information

Express Ferry

If you want to explore north central region and avoid heavy traffic, we recommend you use “Express Ferry”. You can enjoy the scenery of Zanpa Cape and Manzamo, famous coral cliffs.
*They operate from April to November

Course Details and Fare