• Travel Planning Guide

Travel Budget for Okinawa Visit Okinawa on a Budget or Travel in Style

  • Okinawa Costs


  • Is Okinawa Expensive?
  • How much does a trip to Okinawa cost?
  • Is Okinawa Worth Visiting?
  • Japan Costs
  • Yaeyama Islands
  • How much does it cost to travel to Okinawa? (Average Daily Cost)
  • Okinawa trip costs: one week, two weeks, one month

Is Okinawa expensive to visit?

  • How much do I need for a trip to Okinawa?
  • Accommodation, Food, Entertainment, and Transportation Costs
  • Travel Guide

How much does it cost to travel to Okinawa?

You should plan to spend around $105 (¥15,896) per day on your vacation in Okinawa. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $23 (¥3,525) on meals
  • $9.43 (¥1,429) on local transportation
  • $146 (¥22,080) on hotels

A one week trip to Okinawa for two people costs, on average, $1,470 (¥222,541) . This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Travel Style: All Budget (Cheap) Mid-Range Luxury (High-End)
  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day $ 105 ¥ 15,896
  • One Week Per person $ 735 ¥ 111,271
  • 2 Weeks Per person $ 1,470 ¥ 222,541
  • One Month Per person $ 3,149 ¥ 476,874
  • One Week For a couple $ 1,470 ¥ 222,541
  • 2 Weeks For a couple $ 2,939 ¥ 445,082
  • One Month For a couple $ 6,299 ¥ 953,748

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Okinawa cost?

A one week trip to Okinawa usually costs around $735 (¥111,271) for one person and $1,470 (¥222,541) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Okinawa on average costs around $1,470 (¥222,541) for one person and $2,939 (¥445,082) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Okinawa will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Okinawa on average costs around $3,149 (¥476,874) for one person and $6,299 (¥953,748) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently to Okinawa has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Prices in Okinawa are reasonable and comparable to your average travel destination. Hotels, food, and sightseeing are generally within normal price ranges.

Within Asia, Okinawa is a somewhat more expensive destination compared to other places. It is in the top 25% of cities in Asia for its travel costs. While some cities in the region are more expensive, Okinawa is generally more expensive than most.

For more details, and to find out if it's within your travel budget, see Is Okinawa Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Okinawa?

The average Okinawa trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Okinawa travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Accommodation Budget in Okinawa

Average daily costs.

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Okinawa is $73 (¥11,040). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Okinawa is $146 (¥22,080). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation 1 Hotel or hostel for one person $ 73 ¥ 11,040
  • Accommodation 1 Typical double-occupancy room $ 146 ¥ 22,080

Hotel Prices in Okinawa

Looking for a hotel in Okinawa? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.


Find the best hotel for your travel style.

Actual Hotel Prices The average hotel room price in Okinawa based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $80. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

  • Crown Hotel Okinawa Budget Hotel - Kayak $ 44
  • Okinawa Grand Mer Resort Luxury Hotel - Kayak $ 59

Transportation Budget in Okinawa

The cost of a taxi ride in Okinawa is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $9.43 (¥1,429) per person, per day, on local transportation in Okinawa.

  • Transportation 1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc. $ 9.43 ¥ 1,429

Recommended Services

  • Private One Way Transfer: Naha Airport (OHA) to/from Okinawa Viator $ 128
  • Private Transfer from Naha City Hotels to Nakagusuku Cruise Port Viator $ 59

Flights to Okinawa

Rental cars in okinawa, food budget in okinawa.

While meal prices in Okinawa can vary, the average cost of food in Okinawa is $23 (¥3,525) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Okinawa should cost around $9.31 (¥1,410) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Okinawa is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food 2 Meals for one day $ 23 ¥ 3,525

Entertainment Budget in Okinawa

Entertainment and activities in Okinawa typically cost an average of $14 (¥2,071) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment 1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc. $ 14 ¥ 2,071

Recommended Activities

  • Kayak Mangroves or Coral Reef: private tour in north Okinawa Viator $ 61
  • E-Bike Nature Tour in Shuri Viator $ 91

Alcohol Budget in Okinawa

The average person spends about $15 (¥2,209) on alcoholic beverages in Okinawa per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol 2 Drinks for one day $ 15 ¥ 2,209


  • Naha Local Pub Crawl Viator $ 110

Related Articles

Okinawa on a budget.



Food and dining, transportation, more related articles.

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Okinawa: How to Do the Sub-tropical Islands on a Budget

“Traveling to Okinawa is expensive,” a Japanese friend once told me. “If I wanted to go to the beach, I could go to a Southeast Asian country for much cheaper.” Mention Okinawa and there are bound to be some people who think that it’s just too far or too expensive to be worth visiting. It’s simply not true, though, that going to Okinawa is expensive. I was able to visit Okinawa on a budget, and here’s how.

1. Fly with an LCC (ideally during off-peak seasons)

It’s all thanks to low-cost carriers that going to Okinawa isn’t necessarily costly anymore. For example, Vanilla Air flies from Tokyo to Naha, and the average fare is about ¥ 7,000 . I’ve seen prices drop to as low as ¥ 2,400 due to promo fares and it being off-season, though. If you want to go cheapo all the way, go in January or February, or from October to December.

Meanwhile, Peach Air flies to Naha from Fukuoka and Osaka , with prices starting at about ¥ 4,500 . Peach also flies from Osaka to Ishigaki Island , which is known for its beautiful beaches, for a bit more.

Note that Okinawa is a holiday destination, so some times of the year are a lot busier—and thus more expensive—than others.

okinawa japan how to get to shisa

2. Stick to the main island (or just one island)

There’s a catch to going to Okinawa on the cheap: you might have to forget about going to Okinawa for its beautiful beaches or remote islands (where you can see unspoiled nature).

Island-hopping can also get pretty expensive: sometimes, your only option to get from one island to another may be an expensive plane flight because it’s the only way, or a previously existing ferry service was discontinued. For instance, I wanted to go to Ishigaki Island from Naha (the capital of Okinawa), but there were no longer any ferries going back and forth between Ishigaki and Okinawa Island.

I had to go from Naha to Ishigaki by plane, and the round-trip cost was almost the same as my round-trip Tokyo-Naha flight. Had I not availed myself of promo fares, the Naha-Ishigaki round trip would’ve cost more than the Tokyo-Naha round trip.

Naha Okinawa Japan

That may be a bummer, because those are attractions that Okinawa is known for, but even if you just mostly stay within the eponymous main island, you can still appreciate Okinawa. Even if you don’t get to see Okinawa’s beaches or nature much, there’s still a lot to appreciate about Okinawa’s unique culture and traditions.

Things to do in and around Naha, Okinawa

Naha alone already has its own appeal. Its long, bustling shopping street, Kokusai-Dori has a lot of distinctly Okinawan souvenirs and delicacies, such as shisa (a pair of guardian deities that look like lion-dog hybrids) statues and beni-imo (purple yam) snacks.

There are also plenty of shops where you can try some Okinawan handicrafts and take home some souvenirs you made yourself!

Take a few turns here and there, and you can find yourself in Makishi Market, where you can see various pork products being sold, as well as fruits and vegetables that you can’t easily find in the rest of Japan: goya, or bitter gourd; shiquasa , or Okinawan lime; and so on.

Upstairs are some restaurants serving fresh Okinawan food—don’t be put off by how old-school they may look; the food’s delicious! You can even ask some of them to cook raw ingredients bought downstairs.

Shuri Castle Main Hall

The majestic Shuri Castle is also definitely worth visiting to see Ryukyuan architecture (Ryukyu being the name of the kingdom that ruled over Okinawa and part of present-day Kagoshima ).

Gyokusendo Cave Okinawa Japan

If you want to learn about Okinawan culture, go to Okinawa World or Ryukyu Village, which, while touristy, are opportunities for you to see eisa , a lively Okinawan dance; to try some traditional handicraft; and to wear a  bingata kimono, which is made of cloth dyed and stenciled Okinawan-style.

Okinawa World even has a massive underground cave, Gyokusendo, that you can walk through to see some stalactites and stalagmites.

okinawa trip budget

Beyond Naha but also on the main island is Churaumi Aquarium , a must-see when you’re in Okinawa. This aquarium, one of the largest in the world, has three whale sharks, which is a feat considering how big these gentle giants are. Entrance is ¥ 1,880 per person, but some hotels and Klook have slightly discounted tickets, and the price drops to ¥ 1,310 after 4 pm.

Prefer your fish free-range? Consider booking a marine-life cruise in a glass-bottomed boat.

3. Join a one-day bus tour of Okinawa

Okinawa only has one railway system: the Okinawa Monorail, also known as the Yui Rail, and it only covers parts of Naha. Public buses are few and far between. This leads to another reason for tourists to see Okinawa as expensive and not worth visiting: to go to other places, even if they’re also on the main island, you have to rent a car or take a taxi to get around. But a one-day bus tour can save you the trouble.

The tours are not expensive, costing anywhere between ¥ 3,000 and ¥ 26,400 . There are a variety of options to chose from including group or private tours, the destinations you can visit and the types of activity included. Check out Viator for the full range of available tour packages.

okinawa trip budget

4. Stay at a guesthouse or hostel

This may seem like common-sense advice, but you’ll be surprised at how cheap Okinawa’s guesthouse and hostel rooms can get. Some of them can go as low as ¥ 1,500 a night, because property isn’t as expensive in Okinawa.

There’s a chance, though, that you just might get what you paid for, so be careful (unless you really don’t mind sacrificing comfort and cleanliness), and do check the reviews.

Even the hotels can be pretty cheap. Feeling hesitant to pay what seemed like a too-good-to-be-true price for accommodation, I opted for a budget hotel. I stayed in Hotel Stork in Omoromachi , near several shopping malls, which cleverly uses loft-style rooms to save space. The hotel had free drinks downstairs, polite and friendly staff, and rooms for a little less than ¥ 3,000 a night.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post first published in March, 2015. Last updated in February, 2020, by Kylie van Zyl.

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Gina Bear's Blog

Gina Bear's Blog

Solo Female Travel | Latina Traveler

The Ultimate Okinawa Travel Guide

This ultimate Okinawa Travel Guide has been YEARS in the making. If you’re tired of seeing other travel bloggers “claim” they have the ultimate guide after spending a week on the island, (my eyes roll really far back into my head) then this guide is for you. So let’s cut right to the chase. “Why should you trust me?”

I lived on Okinawa for three years, speak Japanese, and immersed myself deep into the culture by taking karate and sanshin (Okinawa snake skin three stringed banjo) lessons. I DEFINITELY have a local’s perspective on what can make your Okinawa travel incredible. Get ready for the inside scoop because this guide has the best things to do on Okinawa, what to see in Okinawa, and must go places in Okinawa.

where to go in Okinawa

Table of Contents

Blog Posts You Might Like

  • How To Survive Summer in Okinawa
  • The Ultimate Tokashiki Guide

Get Travel Insurance 

A common question I get is what do I need to travel to Japan? One thing I always recommend is travel insurance. Life throws curveballs. Flights get canceled. You get sick. There’s a family emergency.  I highly recommend using World Nomads Travel Insurance which you can book here.   With the World Nomads Travel Insurance, you can expect:

  • Trip Cancelation  – This benefit helps you recover non-refundable, pre-paid trip costs when you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason, including for an unexpected sickness that keeps you from traveling.
  • Emergency Medical  – If you get sick with COVID-19 or another illness, you can get diagnostic tests to confirm your case and other emergency medical benefits.
  • Medical Evacuation  – If you’re in an inadequate medical facility, our plans have benefits that can arrange a transfer to a hospital capable of treating your medical needs.
  • Trip Interuption  – This section helps you get reimbursed for a one-way, economy-class ticket home and any pre-paid, unused portions of your trip for a covered reason.
  • Trip Delay  – If your travels are delayed at least six hours by a covered event, you could get 
  • reimbursed for meals, hotels and other basic expenses .

If this plan isn’t for you then you can check out the different  travel insurance plans World Nomads offers here .

How To Stay Connected in Japan

Japan is super stingy when it comes to their wifi and sharing internet. They’ve gotten a little bit better since I’ve lived there, but not much. I recommend  you book an e-sim card and download it directly to your phone. If you don’t have that capability, you can order a 4G wifi box ahead of time and pick it up at any airport you designate in Japan.

How To Get to Okinawa

Most tourists land at Narita or Haneda Airport when they arrive in Japan. So you may be wondering how to go to Okinawa from Tokyo or how to go to Okinawa?

How To Get To Okinawa From Tokyo

Japan’s Okinawa island is just a two and half hour plane ride from Tokyo. By plane is the best way to travel to Okinawa. It’s actually closer to Taiwan than it is to mainland Japan.

How To Get Around Okinawa

Most flights go directly into Naha which is the international airport. Okinawa is not public transportation friendly. You will need to rent a car for your Okinawa travel. If you’re only planning on staying in Naha as an Okinawa tourist, then disregard this. Naha has a monorail that will take you as far as Urasoe. For more information on the Yui Rail and where it takes you, check out the website here .

Okinawa Japan What to do

If you want to go to other stunning beach locations around the island, then I highly suggest you make renting a car a priority. You will need a valid driver’s license and an IDP in order to rent a car in Okinawa . Alternatively, if you’re a YOLO kind of person or you forgot to get your IDP, you can get the Okinawa Bus Pass to cart you around wherever you need to go.

Okinawa travel guide

Okinawa Things To Do

This is going to be a quick glance of the top things to do in Okinawa. As you go further into the guide, I have broken down the island into different sections and tourist attractions in Okinawa I recommend. Hands down these are the top 10 things to do in Okinawa Japan.

What To See in Okinawa

When you travel in Okinawa there are a few must not miss things. Some Okinawa places to visit are:

Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

American village.

  • Tokashiki Island
  • Zamami Island
  • Churaumi Aquarium

Things To Do in Okinawa

These things should definitely be on your Okinawa to do list.

  • Go beach hopping
  • Eat Blue Seal ice cream
  • Try goya stir fry
  • Visit an outer island
  • Visit Shuri Castle

Okinawa FAQ

I lived in Okinawa for three years. My wealth of knowledge is golden. I wasn’t in the military, I speak the language, have local friends, and lived out in actual Japanese society. So my friends, never fear because Gina Bear knows how to make the best of a trip to Japan’s island paradise.

1. What is the best month to visit Okinawa?/ Best time to visit Okinawa Japan?

The best months to visit Okinawa is August through October. This is so you can avoid the intense summer heat. However, September is peak typhoon season.

2. Is Okinawa humid?

Okinawa has a subtropical climate, so yes it is very humid. Sometimes the humidity is so strong, it will feel like you’re swimming through the air and all you want to do is hide in the actual AC unit or go to the beach and dunk yourself profusely. And I’m talking the most unattractive swass during Okinawa in summer.

3. Is Okinawa worth visiting?

The simple answer is… Yes, you ding dong. Visit Okinawa! This beautiful island in the middle of the sea is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived in my life. Okinawa is so worth the damn visit and if you don’t go, I hope you suffer from FOMO for the rest of your life.

4. What is Okinawa known for? / What is Okinawa famous for?

If the Karate Kid starring Ralph Macchio and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, then good job, you get a gold star. While the character of Mr. Miyagi does come from Okinawa, the majority of the film was made in Hawaii. Whomp. Whomp.

In my honest opinion, Okinawa is best known for two things — Okinawa time and the Okinawa diet. The traditional diet there is so high in yummy vitamins and nutrients, the people in Okinawa are known to have the longest life spans in the world.

5. What is Okinawa time?

Now when I talk about Okinawa time… I mean everything is done slowly and whenever people feel like it. In other words, this shit can drive you crazy. If I were you, I’d avoid public transport at all costs and just rent a car while you’re there.

6. Is Okinawa different from the rest of Japan?

Okinawa is also known for other things such as their stunning beaches, mix of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean culture, as well as their own unique culture. Before it became part of Japan, Okinawa was known as the Ryukyu Kingdom and had its own culture, language and traditions.

7. How far is Okinawa from Tokyo?

Would you believe me if I told you Okinawa is closer to Taiwan that it is to mainland Japan? A flight from Tokyo to Okinawa will be hour 3.5 hours.

8. How many days do you need in Okinawa?

Whatchu talking about days, fool? Nah, you need at least two to three weeks to really uncover the stunning beauty and nature Okinawa has to offer to the world.

9. Does it get cold in Okinawa, Japan?

You may think being closer to the equator guarantees warmer weather, but my friend, that is sooooo not the case. In the winter months, it can drop down to 50 Fahrenheit or 15 Celsius. Winter in Okinawa starts in November and ends around the end of February when the temperatures start increasing to 70 Fahrenheit or 21 Celsius in March.

And yes, many were the days I froze my butt off because the humidity makes everything so much colder.

10. Where is Okinawa? / Where is Okinawa located?

Okinawa is located in the Pacific Ocean. It’s located about 300 miles off the coast of mainland Japan.

11. What to do in Okinawa? / What is there to do in Okinawa Japan?

The best thing to do in Okinawa is go to the beaches. The subtropical weather is perfect for enjoying them. I also recommend going snorkeling and participating in the local culture by painting a shisa or coral dyeing .

12. What is the best season to visit Okinawa? / Best time to travel to Okinawa?

The best season to travel Okinawa is autumn, winter, or spring. Summer in Okinawa is very hot and humid. Unless you’re used to that kind of weather I don’t recommend going.

okinawa trip budget

What To Pack For Okinawa

Japan is super STRICT when it comes to luggage restrictions and regulations. So if you’re coming from the US… This is terrible news for you. I highly recommend packing as light as possible so that way when you buy all of your favorite Japanese products, there will be room in your suitcase. My favorite  travel suitcase brand is Béis . I’m obsessed with their weekender bag, carryon, and checked luggage.  Use my code for $15 off your first order and 150 points toward your new account .

Travel essentials for what to pack to Okinawa:

  • Unlocked phone  –  You can book a sim card here.  Alternatively, if you don’t have an unlocked phone,  you can also use this portable wifi router .
  • Toothpaste  – Japanese toothpaste sucks PERIODT. Bring your own from home.
  • Important documents  – Bring any important medical documents in case something happens. 
  • Passport  – This should be a given, but please don’t forget it. Make a copy of your passport and hide it in your suitcase and leave one on your fridge at home.
  • Credit/Debit Cards  – Big shopping malls and most restaurants take credit cards now.
  • Cash – Japan is still primarily a cash is king society.
  • Medication  – Don’t forget your important medicine because I guarantee it will be a nightmare for you to navigate the hospital and then go to a pharmacy to try and get it.

I also recommend downloading the Lonely Planet Japan Guide , Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands , and Okinawa Travel Guide 2024 .

Okinawa Travel Budget

How much money do I need to travel in Okinawa? This is a simple Okinawa travel expenses break down. It honestly depends on you, what you like, and what you’re into. In this Okinawa tourist guide, I will be covering the basics like car rental, accommodation, food and tourist activities.

As one of the poorest prefectures in Okinawa, it is considerably cheaper than mainland Japan. But remember, Okinawa is still Japan and it can get quite pricey. One week expenses in Okinawa will go as follows:

  • Car Rental – $250
  • Accommodation – $320 – $630
  • Food – $182
  • Special activities – $300

Where To Stay in Okinawa

Most people who visit Okinawa tend to stay in the Naha area. While staying in Naha is great because you can easily get to the outer islands, there are so many other great places to be.

  • Aqua Citta (Naha) – This upscale hotel offers pristine views of the city from its rooftop pool and Tomari Port. Aqua Citta is 15 minutes away from Naha Airport.
  • Hotel Nikko Alivila (Yomitan) – With its enormous pool, beautiful private beach, stunning views and exceptional service, this is a place I highly recommend. While I lived in Okinawa, many year end parties were hosted here and I had incredible experiences every time.
  • ANA Intercontinental Manza Beach (Onna Village) – This place is literally like it’s own little city and is so convenient, you don’t even have to leave the property. Guests can utilize a mini-golf course, shops, rental bicycles, canoes, and jet skis. There’s even on-site gym, hot tub, and sauna.
  • Mr. Kinjo (Naha) – Conveninetly located outside Asahibashi Station, the location is great and breakfast is included in your stay.
  • Ocean View Araha (Chatan) – Set in Chatan, 2.5 km from Sunset Beach and 2.8 km from Mihama American Village, Ocean View Araha offers garden views and free WiFi.
  • Hotel Sunset Zanpa (Yomitan) – Set in Yomitan, Hotel Sunset ZANPA provides accommodation with private balconies. The property is situated 5 km from Zakimi Gusuku Castle, 2.5 km from Murasakimura and 2.1 km from Cape Zanpa. The property is non-smoking and is located 1.6 km from Zanpa Beach.
  • Guest House Umikaji (Naha) – This two star guest house is attractively located in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, and set 2 km from Yachimun Street.
  • La’ Gent Hotel (Chatan) – Set 1.2 km from Sunset Beach, La’gent Hotel Okinawa Chatan / Hotel and Hostel offers rooms with air conditioning in Chatan. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is situated less than 1 km from Mihama American Village.
  • Holiday House Ryuky-an (Yomitan) – Located just a 12-minute drive from Cape Maeda, famous for its beautiful scenery, clear waters and snorkelling, Holiday House Ryukyu-an offers a self-catering holiday home with free WiFi access.

Okinawa Japan travel

What To Eat in Okinawa

One of the reasons Okinawans live so long is because of their diet. It’s rich in fish, rice and veggies (especially goya). In my opinion, the Okinawa diet is one of the most healthy in the world.

If you’re looking for something that is off the beaten path and a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the unique cuisine of Okinawa, then I highly suggest taking a traditional cooking class . With this class, you will get a choice of making goya chanpuru or Okinawa soba (two very staple dishes). Before you cook, you’ll also get a tour of the Naha Food Market and see what’s really up.

P.S. Slowly but surely there is also a vegan and vegetarian scene that has been popping up!

  • Okinawa Soba – This dish is buckwheat noodles with pork belly, scallion, fish cake, and boneless pork ribs.
  • Beni Imo Taruto – Purple potato tart is one of my all time favorite sweets in Okinawa. They originated in Yomitan.
  • Goya Champuru – This dish is made with goya (bitter melon), tofu, egg, and pork belly. It’s a popular dish and a classic one you need to try.
  • Okinawan Sea Grapes – My first thought was.. Ew gross, but they’re actually quite nice. The taste is slightly salty with an ocean freshness to it and it is especially nice on a hot day.
  • Yaki Niku – This is Japanese style barbecue and something that should definitely be on your must eat list. You get raw cuts of different meats and cook it yourself on the table. I took all my siblings to Japanese barbecue and its something we still enjoy doing together.

okinawa trip budget

Southern Okinawa

While visiting Okinawa, you’ll definitely be starting in Naha. There’s tons of Okinawa tourist attractions (despite what most ill researched and cranky travelers might have said). Everything I recommend are things I personally have done and loved. The ocean in Okinawa is probably the most beautiful ocean you’ll ever see in your life. I recommend going on a Okinawa Glass Bottom Boat Tour from Tomari Port.

Shuri Castle

The Shuri Castle was once known as the Rykyu Kingdom and home to the royalty. Sadly, in 2019 a devastating fire burned down Shuri Castle . To my knowledge, the castle is still be reconstructed. The grounds are just as beautiful though and I still recommend going. You can even rent a kimono or yukata to make the experience 10x better and the photos even more awesome.

Address: 1 Chome-2 Shurikinjocho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0815, Japan Hours: 8am – 8:30pm Phone: +81 98-886-2020

okinawa trip budget

Kokusai Dori

Kokusai Dori is the main touristy strip in Naha. This is where you start your vacation in Okinawa Japan. Here you’ll find hundreds of trinkets and baubles from stores selling Okinawa themed merchandise. Anything and everything Okinawa culture related is on this street. For cool things to do in Okinawa, I suggest you go karting like Super Mario on the main strip.

okinawa trip budget

Okinawa Whale Watching

If you want to watch the humpback whales, the best time of year in Okinawa is from December through April. While whale watching in Okinawa, you can watch them teach their young how to survive in the open waters. It is a majestic experience. You can book your whale watching tour here .

okinawa trip budget

Shuri Ryusen Coral Dyeing

Shuri Ryusen Coral Dyeing has undoubtedly been one of my favorite experiences ever in Okinawa. Instead of throwing away dead coral, Okinawans found a way to repurpose it and make art out of tragedy. Here you take special dyes in a pouch and press it over coral to make imprints. I think this is a great souvenir for your vacation in Okinawa.

Address: 1 Chome-54 Shuriyamagawachō, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 903-0825, Japan

Okinawa travel guide

Paint Your Own Shisa

One of the best things to do in Okinawa, Japan is to partake in the local culture. Did you know the shisa dog was given to the Ryukyu King to protect him during hard times? Shisa come in male and female pairs. They are used to keep good vibes in your home and keep out all negative vibes. You’ll find them all over Okinawa island and you can paint your own shisa as a great momento .

Address: COI Naha Building 1F, 2 Chome-3-15 Kume, Naha, Okinawa Hours: 8:30am – 6:30pm

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Shikinaen Garden

Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Shikinaen Garden is one of the most stunning gardens in Okinawa. With Chinese and unique Ryukyuan influences, I highly recommend this garden. Shikinaen was once a residence and private escape of the royalty where they went to relax and unwind. It’s one of the best things to see in Okinawa if you love nature and gardens.

Address: 421-7 Maaji, Naha, Okinawa 902-0072, Japan Hours: 9am – 5:30pm Phone: +81 98-855-5936

okinawa trip budget

This is a memorial dedicated to the people who died in the Battle of Okinawa during World War II. Our history books tell us one third of Okinawa’s population was lost during this bitter and gruesome battle. If you’re sightseeing Okinawa, this is a must visit activity. Here you’ll learn about the history and sign a petition to end all wars. P.S. Bring some tissues because you’ll see some seriously sad sights in Okinawa.

Address: 614-1 Mabuni, Itoman, Okinawa 901-0333, Japan Hours: 9am – 5pm Phone: +81 98-997-3844

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Ryukyu Glass Making

Many people don’t know a very unique style of Ryukyu glass making was born in Okinawa. The glass has many bubbles because it is said to emulate the beautiful ocean. I myself have done this experience and made jewelry. To be honest, it is one of my most cherished possessions. Ryukyu glass making is one of the most unique things to do at Okinawa.

Address: 169 Fukuji, Itoman City, Okinawa 901-0345 Japan Hours: 9:30am – 3:30pm Phone: +81 98-997-4784

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Try an ATV Experience

Do you have a need for adventure? Yeah me too. I like going really fast on scooters, ATVs, and golf carts. With this ATV experience in Itoman, you’ll feel like the bad ass you really are. They have a marked trail and its even safe enough to bring kids if you have them.

Address: 1018 Mabuni, Itoman, Okinawa 901-0333, Japan Hours: 9am – 6pm

Central Okinawa

The midlands are my favorite place to play in Okinawa. I lived there and I still know it like the back of my hand today. I honestly think it’s one of the best parts of the island to be on because you have access to the north and south.

American Village is my old stomping grounds and one of my favorite places to visit in Okinawa. Since it is located across the street from the Kadena Air Base, you’ll find many delicious restaurants to choose from. It’s a popular tourist spot in Okinawa Japan. There’s also a huge SEGA arcade to keep you entertained, close proximity to the Aeon Department store, Sunset Beach, and Araha Beach.

As you know, Okinawa is famous for beni imo which is purple potato. Make sure you stop at the Blue Seal flagship store so you can get the ice cream which is to DIE FOR. You can also get your troll on at the Blue Seal ice cream balcony while you overlook the Ferris Wheel. Urban legend in the area has it that if you ride it with someone you’re dating you’ll break up… And to be honest, it happened to me with a guy I was dating, so I’m inclined to believe it.

Address: 15-69 Mihama, Chatan, Nakagami District, Okinawa 904-0115, Japan

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This is one of my absolute favorite shopping destinations in Asia. Why? Since the American military bases are all in close proximity to this mall there are many foreign shops I enjoy like Forever 21, H&M, and American Eagle. The Rycom Mall is one of the best Okinawa Japan attractions because there’s so many shopping choices. I you’re a bigger gal or compadre, I recommend hanging out at the Rycom Mall .

Address: Kitanakagusuku, Nakagami District, Okinawa 901-2300, Japan Hours: 10am – 10pm Phone: +81 98-930-0425

If you truly want to experience Okinawa like a local then you have to visit Yomitan Village. It gets overlooked, but its home to a UNESCO World Heritage site, gorgeous beaches, and home of the purple potato tart. For me, my old village is the creme de la creme of Okinawa sightseeing.

Eat at Ocean’s Pizza

This is one of the better places on the island to eat pizza. The quality is amazing (because Japan) and their lunch buffet is to die for. You can order the lunch special pizza buffet with an amazing view. Now that’s what I call eating an Italian pie in style.

Address: 915 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa 904-0323, Japan Hours: 11am – 9pm Phone Number: +81 98-958-7711

Eat at Dechibica

This is one of the most famous vegan eats on the island. The owners Kiwa and Taku San are seriously wonderfully people. I shamelessly ate at this restaurant once or twice a week and they are truly food artists. They grow their own ingredients or they are sourced locally for optimal freshness.

Address: 904-0314 Okinawa, Nakagami District, 中頭郡 読谷村古堅 古堅648-1-101. Furugen 648-1 Yomitan Hours: 11am – 3pm Phone: +81 98-957-0111

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Go To Zakimi Castle

UNESCO designates World Heritage Sites for a reason. It’s because they’re fucking cool. Zakimi Castle was built in the 1400s by the Chuzan Kingdom which ruled over central Okinawa Honto. The castle served as a safeguard against rebels in the north, after the Chuzan Kingdom defeated the Hokuzan Kingdom in the north and eventually united the island into the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Address: 708-6 Zakimi, 読谷村 Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa 904-0301, Japan Hours: 24/7 Phone: +81 98-958-3141

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Yomitan Pottery Village

Designated as a national treasure of Japan, the Yomitan Pottery Village showcases the unique artistry of Okinawa. There are over 45 practicing artists, some of which are national treasures themselves. Prices of the pottery start at $10 and up. The Yomitan Pottery village was one of the most interesting things to see in Okinawa Japan because of all the culture and art.

Address: 2653-1 Zakimi, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa 904-0301, Japan Hours: 9am – 6pm Phone: +81 98-958-4468

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Zanpa Beach

This beach is especially stunning when the sun shines. It is free to all residents and tourists who want to enjoy a clean and well-maintained beach in Yomitan. I frequented this beach after work and let me tell you, it’s not crowded at all. Every trip to Okinawa needs to include a beautiful beach or five.

Address: 1933 Uza, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa 904-0328, Japan Phone: +81 98-958-3833

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Swim With Whale Sharks

I totally wish I would have known about swimming with whale sharks before I left Yomitan. If you’re a licensed diver, you can swim with these gentle and beautiful giants in the open ocean. What kind of Okinawa guide would this be if there wasn’t a little adventure?

Address: 33 Toya, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture 904-0305, Japan (Ginowan Marina) Hours: 8:30am & 1pm

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Stay At Hotel Nikko Alivila

Hotel Nikko Alivila is one of the most stunning hotels on the island and while I was working as a high school teacher in Okinawa, there were many a school end of the year parties hosted there. If you’re looking to splurge it’s got luxury, spacious guest rooms and beautiful views of Nirai Beach.

You can get lovely massages and walk around European inspired gardens.

Address: 904-0327 Okinawa, Nakagami District, Yomitan, 字儀間600 Phone: +81 98-982-9111

Video Guide To Yomitan

While I lived on Okinawa, I started my YouTube channel. Because I loved Yomitan so much, I decided to make a video dedicated to the beauty and wonderful things to do in my old hometown.

Onna Village

Did you know Onna means woman in Japanese? Situated right above Yomitan, this is more of a resort village. There’s tons of beaches and incredible places to stay to really enjoy your time in Okinawa.

Ryukyu Mura

The Ryukyu Mura is an Okinawa must visit. This is a theme park with a recreated traditional Okinawan village. A wide range of traditional dances and cultural experiences are held inside Ryukyu Mura . You can eat popular Okinawan dishes and purchase a wide range of souvenirs.

Address: 1130 Yamada, Onna, Kunigami District, Okinawa 904-0416, Japan Hours: 9am – 6pm Phone: +81 98-965-1234

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Onna Village Blue Cave

How much of a risk taker are you? I used to be terrified of swimming in the open ocean because I didn’t know what crazy critters lived there. The Blue Cave at Maeda Point was once a hidden gem when I lived there, but now it’s more accessible to the public. Snorkeling (or scuba diving) at the Onna Village Blue Cave is seriously one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever done in my life.

The way it glows and shines like a precious gem is incredible. You’ll be able to see all the stunning coral and exotic fish swimming as well.

Address: Maeganeku, Onna, Kunigami District, Okinawa 904-0414, Japan Hours: 7am – 5pm Phone: +81 98-964-4135

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Ikei Island

There are many gorgeous islands in Okinawa. Ikei is one of my favorite and has an incredible beach. You have to pay 700 yen to enter but it is so worth it. They have showers, pristine waters, and floats you can hang out on. It’s one of the best places to visit in Okinawa for exclusive beaches.

Address: 904-2421 Okinawa, Uruma, Yonashiroikei, 405 Phone: +81 98-977-8464

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Northern Okinawa

Northern Okinawa is much more rural so if you’re really into nature, then the north is definitely a place you want to hang out.

Visit Okinawa World

If you’re looking for a way to really immerse yourself in Okinawa’s unique culture, then you should visit Okinawa World . This interactive museum gives you access to the Nanto Brewery, a culture museum, and cave. It’s definitely worth a visit!

Address: 901-0616 Okinawa, Nanjo, 玉城前川1336 Hours: 9am – 6pm Phone: +81 98-949-7421

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Visit Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

The famous Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is one of the top attractions in Okinawa Japan. I can guarantee you’ve seen it on social media before and have been amazed. They save the best for last and the whale shark exhibit is awe inspiring. It’s also the first aquarium to successfully breed a baby whale shark in captivity.

Address: 424 Azaishikawa, Motobu, Kunigami District, Okinawa 905-0206, Japan Hours: 8:30am – 7pm

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Nago Pineapple Park

At Nago Pineapple Park you’ll have enough fun for the entire family. This is am amusement park that showcases everything pineapple. At the park, you’ll also be able to drink special alcoholic wine made solely from pineapple.

Address: 1195 Biimata, Nago, Okinawa 905-0005, Japan Hours: 9am – 6pm

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Pizza in the Sky

When I tell you this pizza joint is famous, I mean it. Because of the high quality ingredients used and their brick oven way of cooking, expect to wait over an hour to be seated on the weekends. Also, if you couldn’t tell from the name, the restaurant is on top of a mountain making the views and pizza totally worth it.

Address: 1153-2 Yamazato, Motobu, Kunigami District, Okinawa 905-0219, Japan Hours: 11:30am – 7pm Phone: +81 980-47-5537

Okinawa travel guide

Captain Kangaroo

This is another famous burger place on the island. In fact, it is so well-known that it’s sold out before 1pm. Their burgers are huge and it’s insanely popular with foreigners and Japanese alike.

Address: 183 Umusa, Nago, Okinawa 905-0006, Japan Hours: 11am – 7:30pm Phone: +81 980-54-3698

Tanagagumui (Aha) Falls

If the name doesn’t sound Japanese, it’s because it’s not. As one of Okinawa’s hidden treasures (buried way the hell up north), you would be missing out by not jumping off the waterfall, swinging off the rope swing, or hiking nearby. It’s still one of the best kept secrets and a lot of people don’t know it exists.

Also, there are no lifeguards or any rescue personell there. If you go cliff jumping or swimming, then you do so at your own risk. That being said, there is a rope swing and it’s incredibly refreshing to jump in after the hike up there.

Address: Aha, Kunigami, Kunigami District, Okinawa 905-1504, Japan

Kouri Island

Kouri Island is so small you can probably drive around the entire thing in thirty minutes. It’s got great scenery and beautiful beaches. In addition, it also also famous for the heart rocks. Many couples go to take photos there. The stars are especially stunning at night. Kouri Island is near Nago. You can also book a cruising tour of Haneji Island which also has amazing snorkeling.

Address: Kouri Nakijin, Kunigami District, Okinawa 905-0406

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Okinawa Outer Islands

Do you enjoy beach bum life? Are you into Storybook blue oceans, sparkling fish, and a sun tan? Okinawa has loads of outer islands like Tokashiki, Zamami, Ishigaki, Miyako, Aka and Geruma. Only an hour away by ferry from Tomari Pot in Naha, you can visit your tropical paradise any time.

Tokashiki is and forever will be my most favorite outer island on Okinawa. I have so many good memories on this island that have added to the experience. Not only is it beautiful, but you can also see sea turtles too. If you’d like to know more about getting around, the dos and don’t and everything in between, check out my Ultimate Tokashiki Guide or book a hassle free one day tour here .

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Kerama Islands

The Kerama Islands are a great day trip and are located 40km from Naha. They are well-known for their pristine white sand beaches, wonderful snorkeling and diving, as well as crystal blue waters ideal for swimming. Going to these amazing islands is such a treat and I recommend a full day island snorkeling at the Kerama islands .

Or if you’re a licensed diver, I heard the Keramas is one of the best diving spots on Okinawa. You can get a diving tour of the Keramas at a discount here .

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Zamami is one of the bigger islands of the Keramas and off the coast of Naha. Tokashiki is its neighbor. You can rent a scooter and easily get around on the island. This island is more hilly so I really don’t recommend renting a bike. Bring your snorkel gear because there are so many beaches with no people and lots of curious sea creatures. Zamami is a great day trip but if you want to spend a longer time exploring you can book a stay at Oceana Portvillage or at Zamamia Guest House .

Aka and Geruma

Aka and Geruma are islands attached to Zamami via bridges. They have cute island folklore about two dog lovers. One of the dogs used to swim back and forth from the islands each day to be with his mate. I also love these islands because they are so untouched by tourism. You can easily rent a bike and have these islands all to yourself.

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Ishigaki is the second largest island in the chain of islands that comprises of Okinawa. You actually need to take a flight down to Ishigaki and cannot travel there by ferry. Luckily, it’s only an hour by plane to get there. As the second biggest island, there is a lot to do there like explore the smaller islands and immerse yourself in the traditional Ryukyuan Island culture. Since this is the next biggest island, you must rent a car to get around Ishigaki . Here are some of my recommended activities:

  • Night Cruise with Stargazing at Ishigaki Island
  • Ishigaki Instagrammble Photo Tour
  • Iriomote and Yubu Island Day Tour

Taketomi Island

The first time I went to Taketomi Island, I got as sick as a dog with a high fever and then a typhoon rolled in ruining the trip. The second time I went… It was a magical and fantastic trip. I can’t recommend going here enough. Taketomi island is what inspired one of the most famous Okinawan songs you’ll hear time and time again. I really recommend taking this eco-friendly Taketomi and Phantom Island tour here .

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Buy Black Pearls at Kabira Bay

Did you know Ishigaki Island is one of the biggest producers of black pearls in the world? They were thought of as so rare and beautiful the Ryukyu Royalty wore them in their crowns and jewelry. Black pearls are expensive, but they are a wonderful Okinawa souvenir. I own a black pearl necklace and it is one of my most cherished possessions. It has sentimental value since I lived in Okinawa and I always said I left part of my heart in the ocean… So I took a part of the ocean with me. I bought my Okinawan black pearl at Ryukyu Pearl and I highly recommend them .

These black pearl farms are located at Kabira Bay so you can see the pearl farmers at work. It’s also a great place to go for an ocean tour. There’s a really cool Kabira Bay and Phantom Island Tour you can take and then come back and go shopping after.

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Miyako is much more rural compared to Ishigaki. It has many amazing beaches, but there’s not much to sightsee for on the island. If you just wanna laze around and go to the beach, then Miyako is definitely more your vibe.

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In Conclusion

I hope you all really enjoyed this ultimate Okinawa travel guide. I really put my heart and soul into it as Okinawa is super stunning and gorgeous. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived in my life and I want you all to experience an Okinawa trip like a local. It truly is a hidden gem unaffected by mass tourism. With its natural beauty, stunning beaches, and unique culture, I guarantee you will fall in love after traveling to Okinawa.

okinawa trip budget

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okinawa trip budget

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Tokashiki Guide: Okinawa’s Best Outer Island

3 Comments on The Ultimate Okinawa Travel Guide

Aha Falls is also the bomb and also buried up north. Rebekha used to organize trips up there aaaaall the time

Yeah! I love Aha Falls! I hope to go back again soon! 😀

Great post, very informative! Thanks for sharing this helpful info.

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Cost of a Trip to Okinawa, JP & the Cheapest Time to Visit Okinawa

The average price of a 7-day trip to Okinawa is $1,899 for a solo traveler, $3,411 for a couple, and $6,394 for a family of 4 . Okinawa hotels range from $51 to $290 per night with an average of $62, while most vacation rentals will cost $60 to $420 per night for the entire home. Average worldwide flight costs to Naha Airport ( OKA ) are between $1,129 and $1,611 per person for economy flights and $3,543 to $5,055 for first class. Depending on activities, we recommend budgeting $47 to $93 per person per day for transportation and enjoying local restaurants.

See below for average , budget , and luxury trip costs. You can also look up flight costs from your airport for more tailored flight pricing.

The Cheapest Times to Visit Okinawa, JP

On average, these will be the cheapest dates to fly to OKA and stay in a Okinawa hotel:

  • January 8th to April 1st (except the week of March 19th)
  • August 27th to December 9th

The absolute cheapest time to take a vacation in Okinawa is usually mid to late September .

Average Okinawa Trip Costs

Average solo traveler.

The average cost for one person to visit Okinawa for a week is $1,328-$2,894 ($190-$413 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $47 to $93 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $615 to $1,385 for economy

Lodging : $64 to $143 per night for one 2 or 3-star hotel room

or $77 to $94 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Average Couple’s Trip

The average cost for a couple to visit Okinawa for a week is $3,300-$5,382 ($471-$769 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $94 to $186 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,230 to $2,770 for economy

Average Family Vacation

The average cost for 4 people to visit Okinawa for a week is $4,472-$9,860 ($639-$1,409 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $188 to $372 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $2,460 to $5,540 for economy

Lodging : $128 to $286 per night for two 2 or 3-star hotel rooms

or $116 to $132 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Traveling Cheap to Okinawa

How cheap can you make a vacation to Okinawa? The cheapest trip to Okinawa is about $129 per person per day for travelers willing to take standby flights, deal with inconvenience, and otherwise limit travel expenses. About 7% of rentals are available in the $0 to $100 range for an entire place, and vacation rentals can be booked for as low as $20 per night. These inexpensive rentals must be booked as early as possible and may not be in the most desirable areas. 1-star hotels are more likely to be available, with rooms starting at around $45.

Even cheaper trips are possible depending on where you live and whether you can drive. Check the cheapest times to fly for more saving ideas.

Budget Solo Traveler

The lowest cost for one person to visit Okinawa for a week is $903-$2,081 ($129-$297 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $24 to $48 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Lodging : $45 to $51 per night for one 1-star hotel room

or $20 to $60 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Budget Couple’s Trip

The lowest cost for a couple to visit Okinawa for a week is $1,686-$3,802 ($241-$543 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $48 to $96 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Budget Family Vacation

The lowest cost for 4 people to visit Okinawa for a week is $3,300-$7,496 ($471-$1,071 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $96 to $192 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Lodging : $90 to $102 per night for two 1-star hotel rooms

or $28 to $96 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Overall it is very difficult to travel to Okinawa cheaply.

The Cost of a Luxury Okinawa Trip

There is no true ceiling on the cost of a luxury trip, so our estimates are based on what most people do in Okinawa.

Luxury Solo Traveler

The high-end price for one person to visit Okinawa for a week is $3,412-$9,140 ($487-$1,306 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $85 to $186 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,827 to $2,798 for first class

Lodging : $165 to $290 per night for one 4 or 5-star hotel room

or $420 to $840 per night for a preferred vacation rental

Luxury Couple’s Trip

The high-end price for a couple to visit Okinawa for a week is $5,834-$13,240 ($833-$1,891 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $170 to $372 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $3,654 to $5,596 for first class

Luxury Family Vacation

The high-end price for 4 people to visit Okinawa for a week is $11,668-$23,960 ($1,667-$3,423 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $340 to $744 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $7,308 to $11,192 for first class

Lodging : $330 to $580 per night for two 4 or 5-star hotel rooms

or $588 to $1,260 per night for a preferred vacation rental

Okinawa Hotel Prices

The cost of staying in Okinawa is much higher than the average city. On average hotels are less expensive than vacation rentals. Luxury vacation rentals are more expensive in Okinawa due to very high property costs. The graphs below show how much cost can vary depending on the type of experience you’re looking for.

Okinawa Lodging Cost by Star Status

The average price for the class of hotel is on the (y) axis. The hotel class (out of 5 stars) is on the (x) axis.

Prices are based on Okinawa hotel averages and may not reflect current prices. In some cases, we extrapolate prices to estimate costs, and hotels with your desired star rating may not be available.

Vacation Rental Prices

The percent of vacation rentals in the price range is on the left (y) axis. Price range is on the bottom (x) axis.

There are a healthy amount of vacation rentals serving all budgets in Okinawa.

Flight Costs to Okinawa

Averaging flights around the world, prices go from a high of $1,611 average in early to mid July to a low of $1,129 in mid to late September. Median flight price is $1,336. These prices are based on millions of flights. For Okinawa our data includes 203 originating airports, and 114 airlines. The area has average variance in price compared with other locations. Flying to Okinawa from an airport like Savoonga ( SVA ) in Savoonga, AK (the United States) for an average $7,244 trip fare will obviously cost a lot more than from an airport like Kumejima ( UEO ) in Kumejima (Japan) at an average of just $100.

Average Flight Cost by Season

Average flight cost by day of week.

The cheapest day to fly in is typically Monday, and the cheapest day to fly back is usually Tuesday. Click here to see data for the cost of flights from your airport. In Okinawa, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive week is about $483, so you can easily save about 43% simply by using our free flight guides and booking in advance.

Daily Expenses Budget

Daily vacation expenses vary more based on what you’re interested in doing. A fine dining restaurant with drinks around Okinawa can easily cost $360 per person or more, while a standard nice meal might be about $24 per person. Private tours can cost $724 per day, but self-guided tours to see the outdoor sights can be free. Costs vary wildly, so recommendations are made based on the cost of living and averages we see for this type of vacation.

Other Okinawa Guides

Travel costs nearby.

  • Okinawa City, Japan
  • Kitanakagusuku, Japan
  • Chatan, Japan
  • Kadena-cho, Japan
  • Ginowan, Japan
  • Central Okinawa, Japan
  • Yomitan, Japan
  • Urasoe, Japan
  • Uruma, Japan

Travel Costs in Popular Places

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Buzios, Brazil
  • Florence, Italy

okinawa trip budget

Exploring Okinawa On A Budget: 5 Money-Saving Tips

津村 駿

Table of Contents

Are you dreaming of exploring the beautiful beaches and rich culture of Okinawa, but worried about breaking the bank? Fear not, because with these 5 money-saving tips, you can experience all that Okinawa has to offer without sacrificing your budget.

Firstly, planning your trip during the off-peak season can save you a lot of money on flights and accommodations. Not only will you avoid the crowds, but youll also be able to find better deals on hotels and transportation.

Additionally, looking for affordable accommodation, such as hostels or guesthouses, can help you save money while still enjoying a comfortable stay. By opting for public transportation instead of taxis or car rentals, you can cut down on transportation costs and even discover hidden gems off the beaten path.

With these tips, you can make the most of your Okinawa experience without breaking the bank.

Key Takeaways

  • Visit Okinawa during off-peak season (Nov-Feb) for cheaper flights and accommodations
  • Use public transportation or bicycles instead of taxis or car rentals
  • Explore free or low-cost attractions like beaches, Shuri Castle Park, and local markets
  • Eat like a local to save money and try authentic Okinawan cuisine

Plan Your Trip During Off-Peak Season

If you want to save some cash, you should plan your Okinawa trip during the off-peak season, when you can avoid the crowds and score some sweet deals.

The peak season in Okinawa is from late April to early May, and from July to September. During these months, the prices of accommodations and flights skyrocket, and the tourist attractions are packed with visitors.

To avoid the crowds and save some money, plan your trip during the off-peak season, which is from November to February. This is the time when the weather is a bit cooler, but still pleasant enough for outdoor activities.

You can also enjoy the cherry blossoms in January and February, and the whale watching season from December to April. Plus, during this time, you can find great deals on flights and accommodations, and have a more authentic experience of Okinawan culture, as you’ll be mingling with the locals, rather than other tourists.

Look for Affordable Accommodation

okinawa trip budget

You can easily find cheap places to stay in Okinawa by searching for affordable accommodation options. One great option is to look for hostels or guesthouses, which offer shared or private rooms at lower prices than traditional hotels.

You can find many such accommodations in Okinawa, especially in the popular tourist areas like Naha and Onna Village. Another option is to use online booking platforms like Airbnb or Booking.com to find budget-friendly apartments or houses for rent.

These platforms offer a range of options, from small studios to spacious apartments, with prices that can fit any budget. Additionally, you can save even more money by cooking your own meals in the apartment’s kitchen instead of eating out.

With a little research and careful planning, you can find affordable accommodation in Okinawa without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

Opt for Public Transportation

If you’re looking to save money while exploring Okinawa, opting for public transportation is a great way to do so. Buses and trains are both reliable and affordable options, with routes that cover most of the island. Renting a bicycle is also a popular choice, allowing you to explore at your own pace while getting some exercise.

Buses and Trains

Navigating Okinawa on a budget is made easier with the affordable and efficient buses and trains available for exploring the island. Buses are the most common mode of public transportation in Okinawa. The island has an extensive bus network, covering most of the major tourist destinations and attractions. The fares for the buses are reasonable, and you can save even more by purchasing a day pass or a multi-day pass if you plan to use the buses frequently.

The trains in Okinawa are another affordable option for traveling around the island. The Okinawa Urban Monorail, also known as the Yui Rail, is the only train system in Okinawa. It runs from Naha Airport to Shuri Castle, covering a distance of 12.8 kilometers. The Yui Rail is convenient, fast, and inexpensive, making it a great option for travelers on a budget.

With these two options, exploring Okinawa doesn’t have to be expensive, and you can save a lot of money by opting for public transportation.

Renting a Bicycle

Renting a bicycle is a fantastic way to get around and see the sights of the island without breaking the bank. Here are a couple of things to remember when renting a bicycle in Okinawa:

Look for rental shops near your location: There are many bike rental shops scattered all over the island. To save time and money, it’s best to look for a shop that’s near your hotel or the places you plan to visit. You can ask your hotel staff for recommendations or search online for the nearest rental shops.

Check the condition of the bike: Before renting a bike, it’s important to check the brakes, wheels, and gears. Make sure everything is in good working condition to avoid accidents and delays. You can also ask the rental shop staff to give you a quick tutorial on how to adjust the seat and handlebars to ensure a comfortable ride.

Renting a bicycle is an affordable and eco-friendly way to explore Okinawa. By following these simple tips, you can make the most out of your bike rental experience and discover the island’s hidden gems at your own pace.

Enjoy Free Activities

Discovering the beauty of Okinawa doesn’t have to cost a fortune, especially when there are plenty of free activities to enjoy.

For starters, you can visit the stunning beaches the island has to offer, such as Kume Island or Yonaha Maehama Beach. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters or simply lounge on the soft sand under the sun. There’s no need to pay for a pricey beach resort when you can enjoy the same beauty for free.

Another free activity you can do in Okinawa is to visit the Shuri Castle Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit for history buffs and culture enthusiasts. Take a stroll around the park and marvel at the castle’s traditional Ryukyu architecture, which dates back to the 15th century.

Plus, the park offers stunning views of the city, making it a perfect spot for taking photos or having a picnic.

By enjoying these free activities, you can make the most out of your Okinawa adventure without breaking the bank.

Eat Like a Local

Now that you’ve enjoyed some of the free activities Okinawa has to offer, let’s talk about the next way to save money while exploring the island: eating like a local.

Okinawa has a rich food culture that is both flavorful and affordable. As a tourist, you may be tempted to dine at fancy restaurants or stick to familiar chain eateries, but by venturing out to local markets and eateries, you can experience authentic Okinawan cuisine and save some yen.

Here are a few tips to help you eat like a local in Okinawa:

Visit the local markets: Makishi Public Market or Heiwa-dori Market are great options to try local delicacies and fresh produce.

Look for ‘set menus’: Many eateries offer set menus, which are a combination of dishes at a lower price.

Try ‘Okinawa Soba’: This is a local noodle dish that is both tasty and cheap.

Go for ‘Bento Boxes’: These are pre-packed meals that are perfect for a budget-friendly picnic or lunch on-the-go.

By eating like a local, not only will you save money, but you will also get to experience the true flavors of Okinawa. So, don’t be afraid to try something new and venture out of your comfort zone.

Take Advantage of Discount Passes

Don’t miss out on the chance to hop on and off buses and trains with ease by grabbing a discount pass! It’s a great way to save money and explore Okinawa at the same time.

These passes allow you to travel around the city and its outskirts without worrying about transportation costs. There are various discount passes available in Okinawa, each offering different benefits.

For instance, the Okinawa Island Pass is perfect for those who want to travel around the main island. It gives you unlimited rides on the local buses and monorail for 5 consecutive days. The Yui Rail Pass, on the other hand, is ideal for those who want to explore Naha City. It offers unlimited rides on the monorail for 1 day or 2 days.

By taking advantage of these discount passes, you can save money while enjoying the sights and sounds of Okinawa.

Explore Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations

Venture off the tourist trail and discover hidden gems in Okinawa that will make your trip even more memorable. While the popular tourist destinations are certainly worth visiting, exploring lesser-known spots is a great way to save money and experience a more authentic side of the island.

One option is to head to the northern part of the island, where you can find stunning beaches like Kouri Island and Hiji Falls.

Another idea is to visit the historic villages of Nakijin or Yomitan. Here, you can learn about traditional Okinawan culture and try local specialties like soba noodles and goya champuru.

By venturing off the beaten path, you’ll not only save money on admission fees and transportation but also gain a deeper appreciation for the unique beauty and culture of Okinawa.

When it comes to shopping in Okinawa, there are a few key things to keep in mind if you want to save some money. Firstly, be sure to check out the local markets, where you can find fresh produce, handmade crafts, and other unique items at great prices.

Secondly, take advantage of tax-free shopping, which is available for tourists at many stores and can save you up to 8% on your purchases.

By shopping smart, you can make the most of your budget and bring home some great souvenirs from your trip to Okinawa.

Local Markets

You can save some money by checking out the local markets in Okinawa. These markets offer a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, and other local products at much lower prices than supermarkets.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of your visit to the local markets:

Bring cash: Some vendors may not accept credit cards, so it’s best to bring cash with you.

Go early: The markets usually open early in the morning and the freshest products are available at this time.

Haggle: Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices with the vendors. It’s common practice at the local markets and you may be able to get a better deal.

Tax-Free Shopping

If you’re looking to do some shopping in Okinawa, make sure to take advantage of tax-free options available at many stores. This can save you a significant amount of money, especially if you plan on purchasing high-priced items like electronics or luxury goods. Many stores offer tax-free shopping for foreign visitors, so be sure to look for signs or ask the store clerk if this option is available.

To qualify for tax-free shopping, you’ll typically need to show your passport and fill out some paperwork at the store. The store will then deduct the tax from your purchase price, which can range from 5% to 10% depending on the type of item. To help you plan your tax-free shopping, here’s a table of popular stores in Okinawa that offer tax-free shopping for foreign visitors:

Be sure to check the minimum purchase amount and tax deduction rate before making your purchase. With these tax-free shopping tips, you can stretch your budget even further while exploring Okinawa’s shopping scene.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the off-the-beaten-path destinations to explore in okinawa.

If you’re looking to explore Okinawa off the beaten path, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover. You can start by visiting Iheya Island, which is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Another great option is Yonaguni Island, which is home to stunning underwater ruins and is perfect for diving enthusiasts. If you’re interested in history, head to Nakagusuku Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 15th century.

For a unique cultural experience, visit the Tamaudun Mausoleum, where you can learn about Okinawa’s royal past. Finally, don’t miss out on the stunning views from Cape Hedo, the northernmost point on the island and a great spot for hiking and photography.

With so many off-the-beaten-path destinations to explore, Okinawa is truly a treasure trove for adventurous travelers.

Are there any specific discount passes that are recommended for travelers on a budget in Okinawa?

If you’re traveling on a budget in Okinawa, there are a few discount passes that you should consider. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium Pass gives you access to the aquarium and the Oceanic Culture Museum for a discounted price.

The Yui Rail One-Day Pass allows for unlimited rides on the monorail, which is a great way to get around the island. The Okinawa World Cultural Kingdom Pass gives you access to the cultural theme park and the Gyokusendo Cave.

If you’re planning on visiting several attractions, the Okinawa Value Ticket may be your best option. It allows for discounted access to a variety of places such as the Shurijo Castle and the Okinawa World.

Do some research beforehand to see which pass best fits your itinerary and budget.

What are some of the most popular free activities to enjoy in Okinawa?

If you’re looking for free activities in Okinawa, there are plenty of options to choose from. One of the most popular activities is visiting the beaches, such as Sunset Beach or Emerald Beach.

You can also check out the Shuri Castle Park, which offers free admission to the main castle area and gardens. Another option is exploring the Peace Memorial Park, which is dedicated to the victims of World War II.

Additionally, you can take a stroll through the Kokusai Street, Okinawa’s main shopping district, and people-watch while enjoying the local culture. Lastly, don’t forget to catch the sunset at Cape Zanpa, a picturesque spot that won’t cost you a dime.

How can travelers ensure that they are eating like a local and getting the best value for their money?

To ensure that you’re eating like a local and getting the best value for your money while traveling in Okinawa, it’s important to do your research and explore local markets and eateries.

Ask locals for recommendations and try traditional dishes like soba noodles, goya champuru (stir-fried bitter melon), and Okinawan pork belly.

Look for restaurants that offer set menus or lunch specials, which can be more affordable than ordering individual dishes.

Consider staying at accommodations that offer free breakfast, or prepare your own meals using fresh ingredients from local markets.

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try new foods, as this can be a great way to experience the local culture while also saving money.

Are there any specific tips for shopping smart and finding good deals in Okinawa?

To shop smart and find good deals in Okinawa, there are a few things you can do.

Start by exploring local markets and street vendors. These are great places to find fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood at reasonable prices. Be sure to bargain with vendors to get the best deals.

Additionally, consider purchasing souvenirs and gifts at local shops instead of touristy areas, as prices may be lower. Don’t forget to check out discount stores like Don Quijote, which offers a wide variety of products at affordable prices.

Finally, utilize cashback services like Rakuten and PayPay for additional savings on purchases. With these tips, you’ll be able to save money while still experiencing all that Okinawa has to offer.

So there you have it, five money-saving tips for exploring Okinawa on a budget! Remember to plan your trip during off-peak season, look for affordable accommodation, opt for public transportation, enjoy free activities, and eat like a local.

By taking advantage of discount passes and exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, you can save even more money.

Okinawa is a beautiful and unique destination with so much to offer, and it’s possible to experience it all without breaking the bank. By following these tips, you can have an amazing adventure while still being mindful of your budget.

So go ahead and start planning your budget-friendly trip to Okinawa today!

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Are you planning a trip to Okinawa and want to immerse yourself in the local culture? Learning a few essential Japanese phrases can go a long way in making your trip enjoyable and hassle-free. You don’t need to be fluent in the language, but

10 Delicious Foods To Try In Okinawa

Are you ready to embark on a culinary journey of the senses? Look no further than Okinawa, Japan for a plethora of delicious foods to try. From savory to sweet, and everything in between, Okinawa offers a unique blend of Japanese and Okinawan cuisine

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okinawa trip budget

5 Iconic Landmarks To See In Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is a bustling metropolis that boasts a unique blend of traditional and modern cultures. It is a city that never sleeps, where the neon lights of skyscrapers and the traditional architecture of temples and shrines coexist in perfect

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5 Exciting Festivals In Tokyo

Tokyo is a city that never sleeps, and it is a place where one can find a wide variety of exciting festivals throughout the year. These festivals not only offer a glimpse of Japanese culture, but also provide an opportunity to experience the joy

okinawa trip budget

5 Family-Friendly Activities In Tokyo

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5 Thrilling Theme Parks In Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, with a plethora of attractions and activities for locals and tourists alike. One of the most exciting things to do in Tokyo is to visit its numerous theme parks. These parks offer a

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5 Relaxing Onsen (Hot Springs) Near Tokyo

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5 Temples And Shrines To Visit In Tokyo

Tokyo is a city that is steeped in history and tradition, and one of the best ways to experience this is by visiting the many temples and shrines that can be found throughout the city. These sacred sites offer a glimpse into the country’s

okinawa trip budget

7 Beautiful Cherry Blossom Spots In Tokyo

Tokyo is a city that is vibrant and bustling at any time of the year, but it takes on a special charm during spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Cherry blossoms, or sakura in Japanese, are a national symbol of Japan,

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5 Unique Souvenirs To Buy In Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is a hub of culture and tradition. It offers a plethora of unique experiences to its visitors, ranging from its delicious cuisine to its vibrant nightlife. However, one of the most memorable experiences of Tokyo is the opportunity

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7 Beautiful Parks In Tokyo For Relaxation

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7 Free Things To Do In Tokyo

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8 Instagram-Worthy Spots In Tokyo

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7 Unique Experiences To Have In Tokyo

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7 Hidden Gems In Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

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10 Must-Visit Attractions In Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is a bustling metropolis known for its futuristic technology, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant city life. The city is home to a plethora of attractions that cater to all interests, ranging from historical landmarks to modern-day theme parks.

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A Foodie’s Guide To Tokyo: 10 Must-Try Dishes

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A Guide To Tokyo’s Neighborhoods: Where To Stay And Explore

Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is a bustling metropolis that draws in millions of tourists every year. This vibrant city is a blend of traditional Japanese culture and modern technology, making it an exciting destination for travelers from all over the world. With

okinawa trip budget

10 Offbeat Museums In Tokyo Worth Visiting

Tokyo is a city that is renowned for its cultural and historical attractions, and is considered one of the most fascinating cities in the world. While the city is home to many iconic landmarks and museums, there are also a number of interesting and

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Exploring Tokyo’s Art Scene: Galleries And Museums

Tokyo is known for its vibrant art scene, home to some of the world’s most renowned galleries and museums. The city is a hub for contemporary and traditional Japanese art, as well as international works from around the globe. With a rich culture and

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The Battle Of Tokyo’s Skyline: Tokyo Tower Vs. Tokyo Skytree

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Exploring Tokyo On A Budget: 5 Money-Saving Tips

Tokyo is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and vibrant cities in the world, with its unique blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge technology. However, exploring this bustling metropolis can be quite expensive, especially for budget-conscious travelers. Fortunately, there are several ways to experience

okinawa trip budget

Exploring Tokyo’s Parks And Gardens: Nature In The Metropolis

Tokyo, the bustling and modern metropolis of Japan, may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of green spaces and nature. However, amidst the towering skyscrapers and busy streets, Tokyo is home to a vast array of parks and gardens

okinawa trip budget

The Ultimate Shopping Showdown: Ginza Vs. Shibuya

Tokyo is a city that offers a unique shopping experience for visitors and locals alike. With a plethora of shopping districts, it can be challenging to decide where to start your shopping journey. In this article, we will explore two of Tokyo’s most popular

okinawa trip budget

Tokyo Cuisine: A Culinary Journey Through The City

Tokyo, the bustling capital city of Japan, is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and flavors. Its culinary scene is renowned worldwide for its exceptional variety, quality, and innovation. From traditional Japanese dishes to international cuisine, Tokyo has it all. This article aims to

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The Ultimate Tokyo Itinerary: 3 Days Of Adventure

Tokyo, the bustling capital of Japan, is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. With its towering skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, and vibrant neighborhoods, Tokyo has something to offer for every kind of traveler. For those seeking adventure, Tokyo is

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Tokyo By Night: 7 Spectacular Views Of The City

Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is renowned for its bustling streets, vibrant culture, and breathtaking views. The city comes alive at night, with a dazzling array of neon lights, bustling night markets, and an electric atmosphere that is sure to captivate visitors. For

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Tokyo For Anime Lovers: Must-Visit Otaku Destinations

Tokyo is a city that has captured the hearts of anime lovers around the world. As the birthplace of some of the most iconic anime series and characters, Tokyo is a mecca for otaku enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in the world of anime.

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Tokyo On A Shoestring: Budget-Friendly Sightseeing Options

Tokyo is an incredible city that offers a unique blend of traditional culture and modern technology. However, it is also known for being a notoriously expensive destination, which can be discouraging for those on a tight budget. But fear not, as there are plenty

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Tokyo Nightlife: 7 Hotspots For An Unforgettable Evening

Tokyo, the bustling capital city of Japan, is a hub for vibrant nightlife and entertainment. Known for its eclectic blend of modernity and tradition, the city offers a plethora of options for tourists and locals alike to explore its nightlife scene. From karaoke bars

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Tokyo For History Buffs: 6 Historical Sites To Visit

Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is a bustling metropolis that is known for its modernity and technological advancements. However, beneath the surface of this futuristic city lies a rich history that dates back centuries. For history buffs, Tokyo is a treasure trove of

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Tokyo Street Food: 8 Tasty Bites To Try

Tokyo is renowned for its vibrant street food scene. From savory snacks to sweet treats, the Japanese capital has an abundance of mouth-watering options that cater to all tastes and preferences. Whether you are a foodie looking to explore the city’s culinary offerings or

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Tokyo Shopping Spree: 8 Must-Visit Shopping Districts

Tokyo is a bustling metropolis renowned for its vibrant culture, historical landmarks, and unique shopping experiences. From designer boutiques to traditional Japanese markets, the city offers a diverse range of shopping districts that cater to every taste and budget. In this article, we will

okinawa trip budget

Tokyo Shopping Guide: Luxury Brands And Unique Boutiques

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Tokyo Travel Guide: Tips For First-Time Visitors

Tokyo is a vibrant city that offers a unique blend of traditional Japanese culture and modern technological advancements. As one of the most populous cities in the world, Tokyo can be overwhelming to first-time visitors. However, with proper planning and preparation, tourists can make

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Tokyo Vs. Kyoto: Which City Should You Visit?

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Tokyo Transportation Guide: Navigating The City With Ease

Tokyo, the bustling capital city of Japan, is known for its modernity, culture, and efficient transportation system. For tourists and locals alike, navigating Tokyo’s vast transportation network can be intimidating at first, but with a little knowledge and preparation, it can be a breeze.

okinawa trip budget

Tokyo’s Best Museums: A Cultural Exploration

Tokyo is a city that is rich in culture and history, and its museums are a testament to its past and present. From ancient art to modern technology, there are a plethora of museums to explore in Tokyo. This article will take you on

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Tokyo’s Best Rooftop Bars: Sky-High Drinking Experiences

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okinawa trip budget

Tokyo With Kids: 10 Fun Activities For The Whole Family

Tokyo is a bustling city that is full of life and energy. It is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, and it has a lot to offer to families who are looking for a fun and exciting vacation. Whether you

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Tokyo’s Quirky Cafes: Cats, Owls, And Hedgehogs

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Tokyo’s Best Ramen: A Noodle Lover’s Guide

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Tokyo’s Street Fashion: Trends And Iconic Styles

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Home » Asia » Japan » Okinawa

EPIC OKINAWA Itinerary! (2024)

Okinawa is a collection of islands just off the Japanese mainland. It has a tropical climate, crystal clear seas, white sandy beaches and everything else you need for the perfect island getaway.

The people that live on the island have the highest life expectancy in the world! Because who would want to die when they live in absolute paradise?!

If you’re planning on visiting Okinawa, you need to strategically plan your Okinawa trip so you can hit all the best sights and activities during your stay.  You’re in good hands though. Here’s what you should be adding to your Okinawa itinerary.

okinawa trip budget

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Best Time To Visit Okinawa

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When looking for the best time to go to Okinawa, it’s important to note that you can’t possibly go wrong! Once you visit Okinawa, you’ll realize that it’s absolutely wonderful all year round.

However, there’s a time to suit everyone’s preferences, and it’s important to start planning your Okinawa itinerary during a time of year that works best for you!

When to Visit Okinawa

It tends to be warm and humid all year round, making it the perfect beach destination. The busy season runs from July to August as the schools go on holiday and the beaches become very crowded. During this time, prices for accommodation tend to escalate too!

If you’re trying to find out when to visit Okinawa, it’s important to decide what you’d like to do there. If you want to spend most of the time on the beach, anytime between March and October is a great time to go.

Here’s what you can expect year-round in Okinawa!

While you’re planning your itinerary for Okinawa, you’re sure to be looking for the best place to stay in Okinawa .

Your accommodation should be highly dependant on how many days in Okinawa you’ve decided to stay. If your trip to Okinawa is only going to last a few days, then staying somewhere central is essential to making the most of your vacation in Okinawa.

Okinawa itinerary

Nago is a popular neighborhood on the main island. There are a few of Okinawa’s hostels located here. It’s a great place to stay if you’re a first time visitor, or only spending one day in Okinawa. While beaches are the main attraction in Nago, there are plenty of other interesting Okinawa points of interest that are likely to catch your eye.

Iriomote is another great place to stay while you’re in Okinawa. It’s an island that offers completely different scenery to that of the others as it’s covered in dense jungle. For adventure lovers, this is a great Okinawa attraction that will leave you excited for your return!

Your trip to Okinawa simply wouldn’t be complete without great accommodation spots to make sure you have a comfortable stay. These are our favorite places to stay, and the ones you should be adding to your Okinawa itinerary.

Best Airbnb in Okinawa – Delightful Bright Room in Nago

Delightful Bright Room in Nago

Fancy an Osaka Airbnb ? Minutes from this beach is this little apartment that is absolutely THE spot you want to stay for the first time visiting the city! Lounge around the leather couches or get cozy with a cup of matcha overlooking the little town of Nago! Don’t miss the beautiful sunsets from this place located in the heart of the city.

Best Budget Hotel in Okinawa – My Place

okinawa itinerary

My Place is located in Naha and provides stunning harbor views from many of the rooms. The stunning wooden rooms give a wonderful tropical vibe and are well decorated. The hotel offers discounted tours for its residents, so be sure to ask at the front desk when you check-in.

Best Luxury Hotel in Okinawa –  ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort

okinawa itinerary

This luxury resort takes up the entirety of an island and offers nothing but luxury. Surrounded by ocean, you can spend your time at the outdoor water park or lounge on the beach while being served cocktails or a 5-course meal!

Best Hostel in Okinawa – Okinawa Sora House

okinawa itinerary

Okinawa Sora House is perfectly located close to the monorail that can transport you to anywhere on the island. The ferry port is also just a short distance away, perfect if you plan on doing a bit of island hopping during your stay. And you’ll be just a 10-minute walk from the main street, which is a plus for those who like to be a part of the action. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re backpacking through Japan!

Okinawa Sora House is one of our favourites in Okinawa but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

In order to complete your Okinawa itinerary, you’re going to need to know how to get around the city.

On the main island of Okinawa, monorail, trains, buses, and taxis are the main forms of transport. However, on more remote islands, hiring a car, motorbike or bicycle are all great ways to get around as there are fewer or no forms of public transport.

It’s not recommended that you hire a car or motorbike on the main island, as parking fees can be a little excessive, and since there are so many options for public transport, there’s no need to hire.

Okinawa Itinerary

Rented bicycles and motorbikes are the perfect transportation for getting around on the smaller island. It gives you the chance to do lots of sightseeing as you travel around the islands!

When traveling from island to island, there are plenty of ferries that will take you from port to port, making the islands easily navigable.

Now that you know how to get around the islands, you can start planning your Okinawa trip itinerary with ease! Be sure to add some of our favorite activities to your Okinawa itinerary to make the very most of your trip! Note that transport in Japan can be pricy – if you are backpacking Japan on a budget this may well be your greatest expense.

Okinawa Peace Memorial Park | Okinawa World | Shuri Castle | Whale Watching  | Cape Manzamo

Day 1 / Stop 1 – Stroll Through Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

  • Why it’s awesome: The Okinawa Peace Memorial represents the end of the battle that was fought on the island and is dedicated to those who died in the battle.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Little Soba restaurant is a quaint restaurant just a short walk from the peace memorial grounds. They serve very good soba noodles and delicious ice creams at a reasonable price.

During World War II, there were many battles fought on the island, but the final battle took place in the southern part of the island near Itoman city. The battle caused huge destruction and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

At the Peace Memorial Park, you’ll be able to learn about the events that happened in Okinawa during world war II and browse the history museum.

Stroll Through Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

The history museum displays wartime photographs and other war memorabilia and objects that will point to the events of that time. There is also a cornerstone of peace monuments, where you’ll see the names of those who died in the fateful battle.

There are over 50 monuments on the location, some of which are dedicated to everlasting world peace, and others pray for the souls of those who passed away in battle.

Many people come to this memorial area, some to learn about the morbid history of Okinawa, and others to play ball games on the open fields. Feel free to enjoy the grounds while still giving respect to those who fought for peace on the beautiful island.

Day 1 / Stop 2 – Explore Okinawa World

Around 10 minutes drive from previous stop.

  • Why it’s awesome: Okinawa World is a theme park that’s dedicated to Okinawan culture and is an exciting and entertaining experience.
  • Cost: Adults – USD $15 and Children – USD $8
  • Food nearby: Kedama (Cat Cafe), is an experience all on its own. Just a 4-minute drive from Okinawa World, you’ll find it to be very interesting. Enjoy a delicious meal while stroking a purring feline, there really is no better way to enjoy a meal!

The theme park is made to look like a traditional Okinawan village and has traditional architecture, foods, crafts, music, and many hands-on activities.

Visiting Okinawa World is an eye-opening experience. If offers you an insight into the ways and traditions of the Okinawan people, but in a fun and entertaining way!

Actors play the part of traditional Okinawan people from the Rykuyku kingdom and make it feel like a truly authentic experience.

okinawa world

Visit the craft village and make your own craft to take home before exploring the local village with its iconic red roofs. You can then explore the beautiful limestone cave that has formed over an underwater coral reef. This is a beautiful place to take photos as it shows the true natural beauty of Okinawa.

Visit the souvenir shop to be sure you’re taking home something to commemorate this fantastic day and the exciting experiences you’ve had.

This is an activity that you simply must add to your Okinawa itinerary.

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Explore Shuri Castle

Around 25 minutes drive from previous stop.

  • Why it’s awesome: Shuri Castle was once a royal palace when Okinawa was its own kingdom.
  • Cost: USD $8
  • Food nearby: Just a 6-minute drive away, you’ll find Ryukyu Sabo Ashibiuna, a cozy restaurant with lovely outdoor seating. They serve traditional Japanese food and it’s beyond delicious! It’s the perfect place to stop by for a mid-morning meal!

Because Okinawa was once its own kingdom, it has a very different history to that of Japan’s mainland. Once ruled by the Ryukyu kingdom, this incredible castle was once the home of the royal family of Okinawa.

Shuri castle was destroyed during a terrible incident during World War II in 1945, but was rebuilt in the early 90s and proclaimed the castle of the Ryukyu kingdom and named a UNESCO world heritage site.

Shuri Castle

This incredibly beautiful castle is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Okinawa. It is a real treat for the eyes.

The colorful Japanese style building is covered in floral patterns and ornate decorations! It has an open courtyard in its center, that visitors can explore at their own leisure. If you’d like to take a guided tour of the intriguing castle, that can also be arranged for an extra cost.

If you’d like to take a self-guided tour of the castle, multilingual audio guides are available at the entrance, so you won’t miss out on the learning opportunity.

Day 1 / Stop 4 – Go Whale Watching

Around 1 hour drive from previous stop.

  • Why it’s awesome: See the whales breach as they migrate across the ocean.
  • Cost: Dependant on which tour you take
  • Food nearby: C&C Breakfast Okinawa serves the most wonderful breakfasts on the island, and after a morning of whale watching, that’s exactly what you need! The restaurant serves a variety of wonderful breakfasts and even has vegan and vegetarian options.

Going on a whale watching excursion is a must during your time in Okinawa. The humpback whales migrate about 9000 kilometers every year from Alaska to Japan. These 15 meter long creatures weigh over 30 tons, and they’re magnificent to see in the water.

Between January and March every year, they are very prevalent in the Okinawa area, and it is quite a spectacle to see them playing in the waters.

On many tours, guests see mother whales swimming alongside their calves, which is a beautiful and magical sight.

Whale Watching

If you haven’t seen a whale spraying water out of its blowhole, you sure will after taking a whale watching tour!

Tours can be taken from any of the islands, especially the main island. So you won’t have to do a whole lot of traveling before departing on the tour. Be sure to check for availability in advance, as you sure don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity.

If you’re visiting Okinawa between January and March, this is sure to be one of your favorite activities on your Okinawa itinerary.

Day 1 / Stop 5 – Watch the Sunset at Cape Manzamo

Around 2 hours drive from previous stop.

  • Why it’s awesome: Cape Manzamo is a 20-meter tall cliff face that faces the East China Sea.
  • Food nearby: Sea House is just a 6-minute drive from Cape Manzamo and serves absolutely delicious seafood. If you’re a vegetarian, their tofu is amazing too and should be enjoyed in a generous portion. Sea House is the perfect place to stop for dinner before heading back to your hotel.

If you are travelling to Okinawa during summer, you may have time to go to Cape Manzamo to watch the sunset. Cape Manzamo is a beautiful cliff face that has formed naturally over thousands of years. It’s a spectacular sight and well worth the trip to Onna Village.

Many tourists visit this location, but not many of them know that the best time to visit is while the sun is setting. We recommend you aim to get there a few minutes before sunset so you can enjoy the incredible scenery.

Cape Manzamo

From the top of the cliff, you’ll see dramatic views of the rough sea below and craggy caves that have formed into the cliff face.

Be sure to take your camera along for this trip as you’ll want to remember this beautiful view!

During low tide, a picturesque tidal pool is formed at the bottom of the cliff face. This has become a popular scuba diving spot as there is plenty of marine life to see around this area. If you’re an avid scuba diver, be sure to learn about this spot before heading into the water!

okinawa trip budget

Wanna know how to pack like a pro? Well for a start you need the right gear….

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  Fishing | Taste of Okinawa | Makishi Market | Naha City

We’re sure after your first day full of exciting activities in Okinawa, you’ll be ready for your second! Here are a few more activities you simply must add to your 2-day itinerary in Okinawa!

Day 2 / Stop 1 – Go fishing

  • Why it’s awesome: Okinawa is known for its fishing industry, so why not join in?
  • Cost: Free! (Just buy your own fishing rod)
  • Food nearby: Heki is a traditional Okinawan restaurant that serves absolutely excellent food. This is a great place for meat and fish lovers, as they have a great variety of meaty options.

Okinawa is known for its thriving fishing industry, so there’s no better place to pull out your rod and throw a line in the water.

There are an absolutely endless amount of fishing spots around Okinawa’s main island and the surrounding islands, you really can’t go wrong.

The waters are teeming with exotic marine life. There are many fish species that you can expect to catch in this region, tuna, marlin, and mahi-mahi are just a few of the most commonly caught species around the islands.


If you’re a more experienced fisherman, why not hire a fishing charter. This will allow you to change up your fishing position a few times and increase your chances of a great catch. The charters will allow you to make use of their fishing equipment, so you won’t need to organize your own.

Make sure you’re aware of the fishing limits and restrictions in the area before setting out as you don’t want to be guilty of overfishing.

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Take an Okinawan Cooking Class at the Taste of Okinawa

  • Why it’s awesome: Learning the traditional cooking method of Okinawa is a fantastic experience that will leave you more knowledgeable than you were before.
  • Cost: USD $60 per person
  • Food nearby: You’ll have plenty to eat after making your tasty Okinawan dish at the Taste of Okinawa. But, if you’re not in the mood for eating your own creation, you’re more than welcome to take a seat at the restaurant and indulge in a chef-made meal and a beer tasting.

What better way to learn about the Okinawan culture than a class on how to prepare and make a traditional Okinawan meal. At the Taste of Okinawa , you can do just that!

You’ll begin this Okinawan cooking experience by taking a short tour of the nearby market. On this tour, you’ll learn about the locally grown products and select the specific ingredients you’ll need to create a traditional dish.

Okinawan Cooking Class at the Taste of Okinawa

After the market tour, you’ll be a lot more knowledgeable about the ingredients you’re using and you’ll head back to Taste of Okinawa to begin your course. During the course, you’ll get the chance to showcase your cooking skills with the help of a guiding chef!

The chef is multilingual, allowing them to communicate with all the students in the class.

You’ll create an appetizer, a main dish, soup, and a dessert. This is a wonderful hands-on Okinawan experience that will allow you to meet new people and bump into one or two fellow travelers.

Day 2 / Stop 3 – Shop at the Makishi Market

Around 5 minutes walk from previous stop.

  • Why it’s awesome: The market is known locally as “the kitchen of Okinawa”.
  • Cost: Free to browse!
  • Food nearby: There are plenty of local dishes to try at the market. In fact, we recommend buying a bunch of small meals while you’re walking around so that you can try a bit of everything. There are unique dishes in this market that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, so it’s important to give them a try!

The Makishi Market, known as ‘the kitchen of Okinawa’, dates all the way back to the second world war. As you may have guessed, you can find all sorts of edible goods at this market. Fresh produce,   meals, and all sorts of traditional dishes to indulge in.

The market started during World War II and has continued to be the life and soul of the Okinawa food trade ever since. It’s not just for tourists and locals, but chefs come from all over Okinawa to source their ingredients for even the most prestigious restaurants in the area.

Makishi Market

There are now over 400 shops here, some selling local ingredients that can’t be found anywhere else in Japan. The local dishes sold at the market are of amazing quality and a must-try during your holiday.

If you love unique dishes, foods, and markets, this is the perfect place to spend the afternoon!

Day 2 / Stop 4 – Enjoy Naha Nightlife

Around 10 minutes walk from previous stop.

  • Why it’s awesome: See the city come alive at night as a bustling hub of activity continues throughout the night.
  • Cost: Free to walk around!
  • Food nearby: Churansan Tei serves late-night food to those heading out on the town. You can expect delicious Japanese cuisine and small plates of seafood! Everything they serve is absolutely delightful and satisfies the palate completely!

Many of the islands in Okinawa are quiet and peaceful in the evenings, which is wonderful if you’re looking for rest and recuperation. However, if you’re looking for lively entertainment, busy restaurants, and nightclubs, then Naha is the place to be in the nightlife scene.

The difference between Okinawan nightlife and that of other places in the world is the fact that many of the nightclubs play traditional Okinawan folk music, making for a very interesting and unique evening!

Naha night life

Many of the restaurants are open until the early hours of the morning, so if you decide to take a pause from all the clubbing, there are plenty of places to relax and have a casual drink and a seat while you gear up for another round.

You couldn’t possibly get lonely during a night out in Naha, as there are so many people out and about just like you are. Be sure to go club-hopping as there are so many great clubs to choose from! Having a taste of each is the best way to experience Okinawa nightlife.

Okinawa Sora House 1

Okinawa Sora House

Okinawa Sora House is perfectly located close to the monorail that can transport you to anywhere on the island.!

  • Air Conditioning
  • Reception (limited hours)

Churaumi Aquarium | Scenic Drive | Snorkeling and Scuba Diving | Kokusai Dori Street | Kouri Island | Iriomote Island

If you’re spending more than 2-days in Okinawa, you’re going to need a few more activities to add to your 3-day itinerary in Okinawa. Here are a few of our favorite must-do activities in Okinawa!

Visit Churaumi Aquarium

  • Churaumi Aquarium is the biggest aquarium in all of Japan.
  • Adults entrance fee costs USD $17 and Children fee is USD $9
  • If you’re hungry, try the Ocean View Restaurant Inoh. This casual restaurant offers spectacular sea-views and is a great place to bring kids. The food is wonderful and the portions are a great size!

The Churaumi Aquarium is a very popular attraction in Okinawa! In fact, since its opening in 2002, it’s attracted over 20 million visitors, and we’re sure you’ll want to be one of them.

The main attraction is called the Kuroshio Sea, which is a very large fish tank that holds over 7 500 000 liters of salt water. The tank contains whale sharks, manta rays and hundreds of other sea creatures that swim freely within the tank.

Churaumi Aquarium

The aquarium also has many other displays including their coral reef and deep-sea exhibit. If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day in Okinawa, this is the perfect activity to keep you entertained, and you’ll be able to learn a great deal about the marine life in the Okinawa region.

Go on a Scenic Drive

  • Okinawa is known to have the most scenic drives out of anywhere in Japan.
  • To rent a car generally only costs around USD $47 per day.
  • You’ll get the chance to see more of the beautiful island.

Many of the islands in Okinawa are joined together by bridges, making it easy to create a long, even a full-days drive through the islands. Throughout most of the islands, you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular scenery as you drive.

Rolling forested hills will give way to rocky sea cliffs and calming sea views. There are plenty of places along the way to stop for magnificent views of the ocean and surrounding areas.

Okinawa roads are generally very wide and safe, and you’ll be pleased to know that traffic has never been a problem in Okinawa. So you can ride through the cities and countryside without fear of sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.

Scenic Drive

If you’re planning a full-day drive, be sure to pack a picnic that you can enjoy somewhere along the road, or find an incredible restaurant along the way. There are many of those to choose from in Okinawa, so you’ll never get hungry!

For those who aren’t too keen on an Okinawa walking tour, this is the perfect way to explore the island, and take incredible photos of the wonderful sights you’re sure to see along the way.

If you don’t want to hire a car, going by bus is always an option, however, you’ll lose a lot of the freedom you’d have if you went by car.

Go Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

  • Beautiful diving and snorkeling spots
  • Coral reefs to explore
  • You’ll pay around USD $50 for a day of snorkeling or scuba diving

It’s no secret that Okinawa has some of the most biodiverse, beautiful and unique oceans in the world. With coral species that only exist off Okinawa’s shores, they’re dead set on protecting them! And boy are we grateful!

There are so many diving, snorkeling and scuba diving options in Okinawa. Try your hand at cave diving, which is done with underwater lights to illuminate your path. This is a really magical experience and you’re sure to see some interesting underwater life.

You could head off to the Kerama islands, which have become one of the most popular snorkeling sites in Okinawa. They are home to the most stunning coral reefs, that host an overwhelming amount of sea-life. You’re likely to encounter a few sea turtles and many tropical fish.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

If you visit Onna Village, you’ll find two great snorkeling sites that are based at the bottom of a cliff. Cape Manza and Cape Maeda are lovely places to snorkel as the underwater scenery is just as beautiful of that above water. The seas are very calm in the area, making it the perfect place for beginner snorkelers to start out.

Diving off Miyako island is also an amazing experience as the water is a bright and tropical blue. Making the most of the time you have in Okinawa is imperative to having a great trip. Be sure you add this amazing experience to your Okinawa itinerary!

Browse Kokusai Dori Street

  • Kokusai is the shopping hub of Okinawa
  • 2 kilometers long
  • Located in Naha city

If you love a good shop-til-you-drop experience, you’re going to thoroughly enjoy a trip to Kokusai Dori Street. The name of the street means “International Road” and it’s not hard to imagine why. It’s located right in the heart of Naha city, making it extremely accessible if you’re staying on Okinawa’s main island.

Looking for the perfect souvenirs to take back home to your family and friends, you’re sure to find it in this massive shopping hub. It’s easily comparable to Bangkok’s Khaosan Street. You’ll find it’s a bustling hub of activity at any time of day, and during peak season, tourists flock to this incredible street.

Kokusai Dori Street

Filled with every kind of shop you can possibly think of, as well as a multitude of restaurants, cafes and salons, you simply cannot run out of things to do here. In fact, if you’re spending a week in Okinawa, we recommend taking an entire day from your Okinawa itinerary to explore and browse this lively area.

Many of the stores are open right up until 10 pm at night, giving you plenty of time to explore each one. Live music can be found in many of the restaurants, ensuring you’re well entertained the whole evening.

No vacation is complete without a shopping experience whilst mingling with the locals. You’re sure to love this activity hub in the heart of Naha city.

Travel to Kouri Island

  • 1-hour drive from Naha city
  • Cross the spectacular Kouri bridge
  • See the heart rock

During your holiday in Okinawa, you’re going to want to spend some of your time exploring the other islands. The main island is wonderful, but the other islands have a great deal to offer too.

Kouri island is absolutely beautiful! It has arguably the best beaches in all of Okinawa . White sands, and turquoise waters perfect for snorkeling or diving! It’s a must-visit while you’re staying in Okinawa.

The good news is that Kouri island is just a 1-hour drive away from Naha city! There is a spectacular bridge that attaches Kouri island to the main island, making it very easily accessible for tourists and locals alike.

Kouri Island

The views you’ll see from the bridge are unmatched! Take in the scenery as you drive over crystal clear blue waters! There’s nothing like a wonderful view to take your breath away!

Once you’re on Kouri island, spend the day exploring and perhaps swimming and snorkeling in the beautiful clear water.

If you don’t feel like renting a car, there are plenty of buses that will take you to Kouri island, and you can even do a bus tour around the island. This way, you’ll learn a lot about this beautiful island paradise while taking in the spectacular views.

Be sure to visit Tinu beach to see “Heart Rock”, a heart-shaped rock that sticks up out of the water and makes for some beautiful photos.

Take a Trip to Iriomote Island

  • Known for its jungle vegetation
  • Less touristy than the main island
  • The whole island is a national park

Iriomote is very different from the rest of the islands in Okinawa. It’s jungle vegetation and wildlife inhabitants set it apart from the rest! In fact, 90% of the island is covered in dense jungle.

The easiest way to get to Iriomote island is by speedboat from Ishigaki island. This generally takes around 40 minutes, but is well worth the trip.

You’ll want to spend all day exploring Iriomotes rich and abundant nature! The best way to explore the outskirts of the island is by sea kayak. This should be arranged before you make the trip!

Just like all the other islands in Okinawa, the beaches are absolutely gorgeous and the sea water is crystal clear. This makes snorkeling and diving a great option while you’re on the island. But that’s not all there is to do.

Iriomote Island

Hiking through the jungle vegetation is a great way to get to know the island a little more. If you’re lucky, you may even see an Iriomote cat. These cats are critically endangered and are only found on Iriomote Island.

If you’d like to spend a little more time in the water, paddle boarding is a great activity to take part in. The water is flat and still, making it an easy way to get around from one side of the island to the other.

Just like Japan’s mainland, Okinawa is a very safe place, however, it’s always good to take precautions and be vigilant during your vacation abroad!

The sun in Okinawa is very strong, so it’s important to protect your skin against sunburn and sunstroke. Be sure to use a strong SPF sunscreen when you travel to Okinawa, as you don’t want to spend your holiday with sore and itchy skin.

There are many beaches in Okinawa where swimming is banned due to dangerous sea creatures and sudden tidal changes that could sweep you out to sea. Be sure to check signs on the beach to make sure you’re swimming in a safe area.

The authorities in Okinawa also ask beach-goers not to swim during low tide as they may damage the extremely rare coral reefs found in the area.

There are many different snake species on the islands that are considered highly dangerous to humans. These snakes become hyperactive in the heat of the day and can be found in open grasslands, forested areas and sometimes even in city parks. It’s best to keep your eyes peeled for snakes and make sure your ankles are covered when going out into open grassy areas.

Snake bites are not an extremely common occurrence in Okinawa, but they do happen, and we’d rather they didn’t happen to you! All in all though, you should be fine as long as you apply basic safety precautions.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance for Okinawa

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

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If you’re spending more than 3 days in Okinawa, you’re going to need a few more activities to add to your 3 day Okinawa itinerary. Here are our favorite day-trips from Okinawa, that we’re sure you’ll love.

Full-Day UNESCO and Historical Sites Day-Trip from Okinawa

Full Day UNESCO and Historical Sites Day Trip from Okinawa

While this tour takes place on Japan’s mainland, it’s an important tour that will help you understand Japan a whole lot better!

This 9-hour tour excludes the time you’ll spend traveling from Okinawa. You’ll get the chance to see some incredible historical landmarks, indulge in a tasty Japanese style lunch and explore some of Japan’s most mystical temples.

Be sure to take your camera along for the day-trip as you’ll see some stunning views along the way. You’ll also get the chance to stop off at any location you feel drawn to, to snap you few photos before continuing on your tour.

Mt Fuji and Hakone Cruise and Bus Tour

Mt Fuji and Hakone Cruise and Bus Tour

This day trip also takes place on Japan mainland, but it’s well worth the trip!

You’ll start your trip with a visit to Mt Fuji and experience its splendor. You’ll stop at the entrance to climb the mountain and make your way up the path. You’ll have access to one of the mountains most epic viewing points to stop and take photos before heading to a buffet lunch with breathtaking mountain views.

You’ll then head out on a cruise on Lake Ashi, which also offers spectacular views and incredible photo opportunities.

3 Island Day-Trip From Okinawa

3 Island Day-Trip From Okinawa

During this day-trip, you’ll get the chance to visit the 3 most interesting islands in the Okinawa island region.

On Iriomote island you can enjoy mangrove views, then you’ll visit Yufu island and take an exciting water buffalo tour before sitting down to an indulgent lunch.

You’ll then head to Taketomi island where you’ll take a bus sightseeing tour. You’ll see the village with its quaint red roofs and buffalo leisurely walking around. After your bus tour, you’ll head to the main beach for some sunbathing, before heading back to Okinawa’s main island.

Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

This tour will see you visiting Japan’s mainland and going on a quest to find your zen. You’ll visit an ancient mountaintop temple and marvel at the incredible views of the valley below.

You’ll then be instructed in the art of meditation by a real Buddhist monk! This is quite an experience and definitely sets the mood for the rest of your weekend in Okinawa.

You’ll get the opportunity to partake in a peaceful green-tea ceremony in a sacred zen temple, before wandering through an ancient bamboo grove.

All these wonderful activities will make you feel at peace and put you in a great mind frame to enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Temples Tour to Kamakura

Temples Tour to Kamakura

On this 10-hour tour, you’ll have to visit Japan’s mainland to explore some of the many religious temples in the country.

You’ll visit Japan’s ancient capital – Kamakura , and visit the cities most iconic Buddha statue. As well as a variety of old temples and sacred buildings.

Along the way, you’ll visit many traditional buildings and learn about the history of the samurai. You’ll also get the chance to stop off for lunch at one of Japans best seaside restaurants and enjoy incredible ocean views.

You’ll then get the chance to undergo a kimono makeover and walk away from the tour with your very own traditional kimono. It really is a day trip not to be missed.

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Find out what people want to know when planning their Okinawa itinerary.

How many days do you need in Okinawa?

5 days in Okinawa are ideal if you want to explore multiple islands, see the best sights, and have time to relax on the beaches.

What should you include on a Okinawa 3 day itinerary?

Make sure to include these in your Okinawa itinerary! – Okinawa Peace Memorial Park – Shuri Castle – Makishi Market – Kokusai Dori Street

Where is the best place to stay in Okinawa if you have a full itinerary?

If you want to spend more time exploring and less time travelling, staying somewhere central like Nago is ideal. It offers great beaches and plenty of attractions.

Is Okinawa worth visiting?

Okinawa is often overlooked by travellers, but we think it’s definitely worth a visit. Tropical islands, marine life, and cultural experiences make this place a treat for the senses.

Now that you know all the top places to visit in Okinawa, you can start planning your ultimate Okinawa itinerary.

Although not as popular as many other island destinations, it comes with so many perks. You won’t see throngs of tourists crowding the Okinawa landmarks, and the beaches will be fairly quiet most of the year, leaving you to enjoy the island paradise in peace!

Now that you know what to do in Okinawa, you can begin planning a trip to Okinawa with ease. Your next holiday is sure to be a winner if you stick to out Okinawa itinerary to make the very most of your vacation. If you still need some more isnpiration, check out our list of unique places and hidden gems to visit in Okinawa.

Touring Okinawa has never been this easy! Choosing a few activities from our selection of the very best ensures your holiday will be jam-packed with exciting entertainment! What are you waiting for? Your paradise awaits you!

okinawa trip budget

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!


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Thanks for all the wonderful information. Very detailed, it should definitely come in handy! Just a quick note, after some research, I don’t recommend visiting Iriomote Island, due to the risk of causing damage to the Iriomote cats (critically endangered as you mentioned) and environment: https://hakaimagazine.com/features/the-risky-fame-of-a-rare-island-wildcat/ Thank you!

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