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Benson

Travelled to 11 countries / regions

Written 31 briefs
Went there in summer 2017

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Asia > Japan > Okinawa > Useful Info
Submitted on Jun 25, 2018 Useful Info

Best way to get around Okinawa is by car

  • Okinawa is pretty spread out, definitely not as dense as the rest of Japan. A lot of the nice sights are far from the main city (which is Naha)
  • Naha is fine and definitely worth checking out (like the Shurijo Castle), but I found the best sights in Okinawa are its nature and they're mostly on the northern half of the island or the southern tip of the island
  • Aside from a single line of monorail that runs in Naha, the only other public transportation option is buses, which I find hard to use
  • So, I'd definitely recommend renting a car from the airport
  • Cost: it's much more expensive to rent a car here than America. I used Hertz and the average car (like a Corolla) costs about USD $65 per day. I rented a Mazda MX5 (Miata) and it was over $100 per day
  • You need an International Driving Permit (IDP) as well as your state-issued driver's license. You can get your IDP easily from your local AAA (costs $20 and took me 30 minutes). You don't need to be an AAA member to get it.
  • Driving conditions
  • Drive on the left side: like the rest of Japan you drive on the left side of the road. It's not a big deal if you haven't done it before. I never drove on the left side before but adjusted pretty quickly. Making turns is the trickiest part (especially because the roads here are ridiculously narrow)
  • Speed limits are lower here. The only interstate here has a posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour. The local roads are narrow and winding, it took me about twice as long to drive 10 miles here as back home. There are speed cameras on the interstate here so don't speed
  • Parking: I didn't stay in Naha (I stayed at the InterContinental Manza Beach, which is right in the middle of the Okinawa island) so I'm not sure what the parking situation is like there, but when I was driving around in the north it was pretty easy to find free or roadside parking spots everywhere I went
  • Ferry: some nearby islands are really worth checking out (I went to this completely off-the-beaten-path island called Iejima that a local recommended to me), the ferries that served these islands hold cars as well. I just drove my car onto the ferry to Iejima and it was pretty smooth


My car on Iejima (Ie island)