Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Ways To Travel From Tokyo To Okinawa! A Thorough Comparison
In this article we compare various ways of traveling from Tōkyo to Okinawa. Okinawa is famous for its beautiful natural scenery and World Heritage sites.
Written by MATCHA
Okinawa's shallow beaches are famous for its clear blue color.
The Okinawa Prefecture 沖縄県 is a prominent tourist destination in Japan. It has plenty of beautiful natural scenery (the blue, transparent ocean and the white beaches), as well as valuable cultural assets such as the remnants of the Ryūkyū Kingdom (*1), designated as World Heritage sites. Visitors can also enjoy marine sports, or watch the local festivals. If you've experienced the urban areas in Tokyo, try the resort areas in Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture in Japan. In this article, we will compare how long it takes and how much it costs to travel from Tokyo to Okinawa, based on the latest information available in January, 2016.
*1: The Ryūkyū Kingdom ruled the Okinawa islands before the islands became a part of Japan. Its culture is unique, with distinctive features.
By Plane -ssThe No.1 Choice
From the Haneda Airport there are about 30 flights leaving for the Naha Airport each day. They are operated by ANA, JAL and the Skymark Airlines. The first plane leaves around 6:00 a.m., and the last flight is around 8:00 p.m. The flight takes around two and a half hours, and a one-way ticket ranges from 13,790 yen to 44,090 yen. If you want to save on transportation, look for the various low-priced tickets offered by Skymark Airlines.
From the Naha Airport, there are shuttle bus services to the various sightseeing areas. Also, there are many taxi services in Okinawa, and their base fare is inexpensive compared to Tokyo and other prefectures, which makes it a convenient option.
By Shinkansen, Rental Car and Ferry
Hiryū 21 (飛龍 21), a ferry handling both cargo and passengers used to run between the Ariake Port in Tokyo and the New Naha Port in Okinawa, but this service ended on December 5th, 2014. The alternative route is going to Kagoshima, where a regular liner service to Okinawa is available. You can reach Kagoshima by Shinkansen or a rental car.
The southernmost Shinkansen station is the Kagoshima Chūō Station (鹿児島中央駅) in Kagoshima Prefecture. It takes 20 minutes by bus from the station to the New Kagoshima Port, where the regular liner leaves for Okinawa. There are no direct trains from the Tokyo station to the Kagoshima Chūō Station, so passengers must change trains at either the Shin-Osaka Station or the Hakata Station. The train ride takes about six hours and forty minutes, and the regular seat fare is 28,820 yen.
In case of a rental car, the user must drive on the expressways to reach Kagoshima. The distance between Tokyo and Kagoshima is of approximately 1,400 kilometers, the drive will take about 16 hours, and the expressway toll is roughly 27,000 yen. You will also have to pay for the rental car. A side trip along the way may be fun, but this route will take a lot of time and money.
Marix Line runs the regular liner service from the New Kagoshima Port to the Naha Port in Okinawa. The trip takes about 25 hours, and the passenger fare ranges from 14,610 yen to 36,530 yen. If you're going to board with a rental car, there will be additional charges. This route is for those who want to ride the Shinkansen and ferry, prefer moving around by car, and don't mind the long travel time.
People who prefer traveling by boat, looking for a unique, leisurely trip, or have to transport a car, should consider using the ferry. But in the case of going to Okinawa from Tokyo, the airplane seems to be the best choice.