You can enjoy a fast drive with a rental car to reach your destination quickly, but a leisurely bus trip is also another way to enjoy Okinawa because you can enjoy different views of Okinawan scenery and see the locals’ daily life from a bus window. This is an excellent choice for those who do not want to drive long distances, and would rather be relaxed and enjoy a leisurely trip.
Your excursion in Northern Okinawa starts by taking an express bus from Naha Airport to Nago and changing to a local bus there. The first bus is an express bus #111, which takes only 1 hour and 45 minutes to Nago City. This is the most convenient way to get to Nago. From Nago Bus Terminal, there are #65 and #66 which run along the same route but in reverse. Chose a bus which makes your trip smooth, and matches your departure time and destinations. Ask a driver or staff at the Bus Terminal for details.
Hokuzan principality once controlled most of Northern Okinawa for more than 100 years before the consolidation of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Nakijin Castle Ruin, where Hokuzan king made his base, is located at a hill of 100 meter high, and you can have a grandstand view of the East China Sea from there, and at about 1.5 kilometers, the castle ruin is within easy walking distance. There is a place of worship here, and plenty of worshippers regularly visit this site. The resting place Gusuku Communication Center, which has cafes and souvenir shops, is situated in front of the castle.
This is a peaceful path with Fukugi (common garcinia) trees that are used as a windbreak in Okinawa because of the strong sea wind and many typhoons. Old Okinawan scenery spreads out before you as if the time has stopped, and you can see ocean through Fukugi trees here and there. The number of cafes, which take advantage of the sceneries, has increased, and you can see some people strolling around. Please keep in mind that the locals live here and be considerate of their situation.
This is a café,which is located at the entrance of Bise Fukugi Tree Road, is a place to enjoy a view of Ie Island and take in the peaceful sea. It is an Okinawa-in-Asia concept cafe, and you can feel an Asian resort-like atmosphere here with its touches of China and Southeast Asian. Rafute (stewed pork) rice bowl, Asian noodles, Chinese style chicken porridge and Chinese teas and homemade sweets are highlights of the menu, and you will be sure to experience a peaceful moment in your trip here.
Churaumi Aquarium hosts 2.7 million visitors every year and has plenty of attractions, such as one of the biggest water tanks in the world, the Kuroshio Sea, where you can see popular whale sharks, and another water tank where you can see corals and tropical fishes. Besides those facilities, there is also Okichan Theater offering dolphin shows, Manatee pool, Sea Turtle Pool, Tropical Dream Center exhibiting tropical and subtropical flowers, and the beautiful planetarium Oceanic Culture Museum. You will never get bored here.
Ie Island is easy to access from Northern Okinawa
The unusual shaped island is Ie Island.
Ie Island is located approximately 9 kilometers northwest of Motobu Peninsula in Northern Okinawa, and it only takes 30 minutes by ferry from Motobu Port. Lately, Ie Island has been on the news nationally for “minpaku” which is a homestay program for high school students’ school trips. The raised part of the island is a symbol of the island, Mt. Gusuku, is also known as Iejima tacchu. Its height is 172 meters, and you can have a 360 degree-view of breathtaking ocean scenery from the top. In the middle of April, beautiful pure white lilies bloom, and you will be surrounded by a sweet smell.
Bus trip may not be easy for those who are not familiar with taking buses in Okinawa, and you might not know which bus number takes you to which destination, even more so if you are unfamiliar with the area you are going. Look at the options to access the aquarium from Naha and Chatan by bus, and be sure not to miss the last bus! You could just follow the same route to return down south, however, if you miss the last bus it will not be possible to return in one day as it is a long distance between the two areas. So, please ask a staff member at Nago Bus Terminal, which is a connecting point, what time you should take a bus from the aquarium to be able to return down south.
Buses from Naha
3 Hours Route (Expressway Bus)
Take expressway bus #111 at Naha Airport, via Naha Bus Terminal and head to Nago Bus Terminal (Approximately 120 minutes).And take bus #65, #66 or #70 to Ocean Expo Park (Get off at “Kinenkoenmae” bus stop / approximately 60 minutes).
3.5 Hours RouteCourse (Open Road Bus only)Take an open road bus #120 at Naha Airport, via Naha Bus Terminal and head to Nago Bus Terminal (Approximately 140 minutes).
And take a bus #65, #66 or #70 to Ocean Expo Park (Get off at “Kinenkoenmae” bus stop / approximately 60 minutes).
*Both courses depart from Naha Bus Terminal as well
*Time tables for buses from Nago Bus Terminal
Buses from Chatan
Take bus #20 at Chatan Bus Stop and head to Nago Bus Terminal (Approximately 85 minutes). Then take bus #65, #66 or #70 to Ocean Expo Park (Get off at Kinenkoenmae bus stop / approximately 60 minutes).
Using sightseeing buses is easy, allowing you to book and travel without a complicated bus transfer. You can even book those buses on the departure day, so you can arrange it on the spot!
Be.Okinawa “Transportation in Okinawa”