When a Typhoon Approaches
Okinawa is a region very susceptible to typhoons. Learn what to be aware of and what precautions to take when a typhoon approaches to ensure that you have a safe trip.
A typhoon is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, and it is characterized by strong winds, large waves, and heavy rain. Typhoons affect Okinawa mainly from June to around September. Because typhoons could affect your travel plans, be sure to check the weather forecast prior to and during your trip.
What to Do When a Typhoon Approaches
- Do not go near beaches or out to sea. It is dangerous because typhoons can cause high tides and large waves.
- As the “eye” of a typhoon arrives, the wind and rain will become weaker temporarily. However, this will be followed by impact from the wind on the other side of the eye when it passes, so please refrain from going outside for any nonessential or non-urgent reasons until the storm warning is lifted.
- Be sure to always check the latest information. Depending on the weather conditions, warnings, alerts, and emergency warnings may be announced.
Check Alerts and Warnings Here : Okinawa disaster prevention information portal(External links)
Check the Latest Weather Map Here : Japan Meteorological Agency(External links)
If You’re Having Language Issues : Be.Okinawa multilingual contact center
Effects on the Transportation System
- If a typhoon approaches, flights and ship service to and from Okinawa may be canceled.
- For flights, check the website, social media accounts, or information counter of the airline you are flying with to confirm your flight status.
- Ship service may be canceled due to high waves.
- Ship service is affected by typhoons for a longer time than flight service. Plan ahead for potential cancellations by preparing alternate travel plans.
- Many companies that operate ships only provide support in Japanese. If you are having trouble communicating, get in touch with the Be.Okinawa multilingual contact center.
Buses and Monorail
- Buses and monorail may suspend service due to the effects of a typhoon. To check whether public transportation is operating, get in touch with your accommodations or the Be.Okinawa multilingual contact center.
- The strong winds may make driving a car difficult, so refrain from driving as much as possible.
- If you must drive, do so carefully at a low speed.
- Power outages may cause traffic signals to stop working. Be especially careful at intersections.
- Bridges and highways may become inaccessible. Be sure to arrive at your accommodation early before the typhoon hits.
- Taxis will be unable to drive long distances in the event of a typhoon.Be sure to do your activities before a typhoon makes travel difficult.
- Policies regarding cancellation fees in the event of a typhoon differ depending on the facility. For details, contact the facility you are staying at.
- If your return flight is canceled, be sure to make lodging arrangements quickly.
Sightseeing During a Typhoon
- Because strong wind alerts prevent the use of most modes of transportation, caution is required.
- The service status of public transportation is always changing. Even if the first departure of the day happens as scheduled, subsequent departures may be canceled due to the weather, so be careful.
1. Fixed-route Bus Cancellations
If service is suspended for fixed-route buses, tourist facilities may close. If this happens, refrain from going outside and wait indoors.
2. If Fixed-route Buses are Running
Check the websites of the facilities you plan to visit to see whether they are open.
Because large waves and strong winds persist for a while even after a typhoon has departed, going near the sea is dangerous. If you have planned marine activities, consider doing different activities instead.
Typhoon Preparedness Manual [PDF:14MB] (What to do during a typhoon, airport information, airline contact information, etc.)