Japan Trip: Okinawa

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  1. #1

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    Question Japan Trip: Okinawa

    Hey everybody,

    I am planing a 7-days-trip to Okinawa in late September. That will be my first trip to Okinawa and I feel very exicited about it.

    After checking several pages I found out that public transportation network is not that good - compared with Tokyo.

    I wonder if you can help me for following matters. If you have been in Okinawa already, i am looking forward to hear from your experience!

    Have you ever travelled to Okinawa? Any recommendation to go? ( I am planing to go to Naha, Koza and probably one smaller island)

    Is it difficult to drive a car there? (I am thinking of rent a car) I found it difficult in Tokyo and I also driving in HKG is not that easy. I am German and used to drive a car on the right side. Last year I have applied for international driving license. I expected there will be an exam, but there was not. Is it necessary to pass any test or similar, when I want to drive a car in Japan?

    Have u ever tried to hire a taxi for a day?

    Is there any night buses from Naha to the south and north of the island?

    In order to keep costs low, I am thinking of buying the Air pass (can get discount on internal flights up to 50%) Does anybody used Air passes in Japan before?

    Okinawa has their language. But can I still communicate there with "tokyo"- japanese?

    Thanks for your advice in advance!

    If you need advice for travelling in Honshu , please do not heistate to ask me.

    Nobu


  2. #2

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    7 days in Okinawa?

    Cme back from there two weeks ago and to be honest 7 days is far too long. 3 whole days is enough.

    Naha is lovely, And you have to do the Aquarium.

    Stay at a Hotel in the town as its more convenient, We stayed at the JAL City Hotel which was basic but adequate.

    Renting a car is not cheap, and follow one of the tour groups. Much less hassle.


  3. #3

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    Driving on Okinawa is less stressful than Hong Kong or Tokyo - roads are much wider and less busy. Tokyo Japanese will be fine - a few yokels have very strong accents but Japanese and even limited English is spoken at most tourist places.

    Completely disagree with jimbo that seven days is too long - he obviously didn't bother to visit any of the beautiful islands or take advantage of the fantastic snorkelling and diving. When I lived in Tokyo I visited Okinawa frequently and loved it.


  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Completely disagree with jimbo that seven days is too long - he obviously didn't bother to visit any of the beautiful islands or take advantage of the fantastic snorkelling and diving. When I lived in Tokyo I visited Okinawa frequently and loved it.
    Ummm Yes I did actually and have the photo's on my facebook to prove the fact.

  5. #5

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    Well then you're deeply unappreciative of the majestic beauty of the coral reefs surrounding Okinawa then.


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Well then you're deeply unappreciative of the majestic beauty of the coral reefs surrounding Okinawa then.
    You only need a day at most for diving and snorkelling.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Completely disagree with jimbo that seven days is too long - he obviously didn't bother to visit any of the beautiful islands or take advantage of the fantastic snorkelling and diving. When I lived in Tokyo I visited Okinawa frequently and loved it.
    Agree with Geoff to disagree with jimbo. There is lots to see and do in Okinawa. Saying three days is enough is like saying one day is enough to see Hong Kong because one can go to Kowloon/NT, HKG, and the major other island in a day...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    You only need a day at most for diving and snorkelling.
    I disagree. One only needs a day to go for a few dives/a snorkeling trip, but even a moderately keen diver will want to spend more time than that.
    Like saying that it only takes a day to go diving at Sipadan - technically one could, but would only be able to cover a small portion of the dive sites.
    Or like saying that it only takes seconds to walk along a part of the Great Wall of China - technically one could, but most people choose to walk more than just a few meters...
    Last edited by beachball; 28-06-2010 at 02:40 PM.

  9. #9

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    Thank you so much for your all honest answers. There is always a different way to travel. It's same as HKG, some of my friends told me, Hong Kong is so boring, stay here for 3days all tourits spots can be seen. BUT althoug I am staying here for 4 years, I still can do "sightseeing" XD

    Feel released that I can still communicate there and driving is less stressful!

    Basically I would like to get to know Okinawa's life , music and culture and explore their nature on my own within 7 week. I guess 7 week will be not enough, haha.

    I will go to Naha 1 day, Nago 1 day, Koza 1 day, 4 days Ishigaki. From there I will travel to different islands. Most of my accomodation will be 'minshuku' style. I found some living together with a ojiichan and obaachan.

    If possible, I would like to play/rent the wadaiko in Okinawa as well. Do you know a place or course?

    @Geoff
    Which places do you recommend for diving/snorkeling?


  10. #10

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    hi techNIOBUde.... I would contact Doug at Reef Encounters for your diving needs... he can arrange trips on the mainland or the islands. He runs a decent operation and has multi-lingual staff.

    Ishigaki - don't miss Manta Point! A day trip to the Keruma islands (from mainland) is also well worth it. I quite liked Sunabe Seawall too...... and if you have time, heading out to Yonaguni to see the underwater "ruins" is also interesting. Can be challenging due to the heavy current so I would only recommend for confident & experienced divers... I think they only take people with AOW and a minimum of 50 or 100 dives.

    Okinawa Diving, Japan - Reef Encounters - Japan's Tropical Dive Paradise with World Class Reefs! We are the only international full service dive shop.


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