As mentioned at the start of my blog, a visit to Okinawa island was in my friend’s bucket list. She planned the entire trip for me and for once I was just going with the flow !
You can fly from Tokyo to Naha Airport of Okinawa and hire a car at the airport. It is advisable to drive around the island as it is much easier and will help you visit more places if you have a tight schedule.
Note: Pre-book your car. The company that you hire your car from will take you to their car rental office in a shuttle from the airport. ( Yes the car hire is outside the airport 😊) So, please go to the rental cars shuttle bus stop.
Here are few things you can do in Okinawa over the weekend:
- Visit the Shuri castle. You have a parking fee but entry to the castle is free. You can walk around the castle for some lovely views and pictures.
- Ryukyu-sabo Ashibiuna – Try having a meal at this restaurant which is housed in a old private Okinawan residence overlooking the garden.
- Relax in a resort of your choice ( We stayed at the Ana Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort ) and choose hotels/resorts which offer activities like diving so that you don’t have to drive to another place just for these activities. Please pre-book your slots for Scuba diving ! You can reach out to the resort/hotel you are staying at for pre-booking,
- Drive through the Kouri Ohashi Bridge for a great view of the blue ocean and relax by the beach.
- Visit the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium which was the largest aquarium in the world until 2005 and a home to huge whale sharks and manta rays.
- We also visited the Mihama American village where many American military bases are located and their entertainment complex theme of Americana resembles big American outdoor shopping malls , restaurants, cafes and a large parking lot.