Immerse Yourself in Art and History: Unveiling Tokyo's Museum at the Imperial Palace - Treasures of the Imperial Family at Sannomaru Shozokan

How to Travel to Okinawa from Tokyo in 2024: Price Comparison

This service includes sponsored advertisements.
article thumbnail image

Okinawa is a resort destination home to blue waters, white beaches, and the Ryukyu palace ruins. Curious about the optimal transportation route from Tokyo to Okinawa? This article compares the travel time and prices between planes, shinkansen (bullet train), ferries, and rental cars.

Latest update :

Okinawa: How to Travel to One of Japan's Top Destinations

Trips to Okinawa from Tokyo: Travel Time and Price Comparison

Photo by Pixta
Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, is an island with a subtropical climate that remains warm year-round. It is brimming with things to see, including crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and ruins associated with the ancient Ryukyu Kingdom registered as World Heritage Sites. There is also a rich selection of activities, such as marine sports, festivals, and more!

After sightseeing in Tokyo, we recommend going to Okinawa to bask in a resort atmosphere. This article features how to travel to Okinawa from Tokyo by comparing transportation methods, time, and prices.

How to Travel to Okinawa

1. Airline Flights
2. Ferry + Bullet Train or Rental Car
3. Rental Car for Travel Stops and Detours
4. Additional Travel Preparations: Hotels and Wi-Fi

1. Airline Flights: Time and Cost Efficiency

tokyo_to_nagoya_20160125c

There are 30 one-way flights departing daily from Haneda Airport for Naha Airport between 6:00 to 20:00 via airlines such as ANA, JAL, and Skymark. The total flight time is two hours and 30 minutes, with prices for a one-way ticket ranging from 6,910 to 67,100 yen.

Want to save on airfare? We recommend purchasing Skymark's discount tickets for early morning flights. There are also flights from budget airlines, such as Jetstar and Peach, that depart from Narita Airport. The cheapest airfare is around 7,010 yen, which is quite inexpensive.

Airport limousine buses operate from Naha Airport to each sightseeing location. This makes it a convenient travel option regardless of which destination you are heading to.

The starting taxi fare in Okinawa Prefecture is also low compared to Tokyo and other prefectures. This makes the service easy to use since several taxis are typically dispatched to the area at once.

2. Transferring to the Ferry from the Bullet Train or Rental Car

 Okinawa from Tokyo 2022-23 Edition: Travel Time and Price Comparison

Photo by Pixta
In the past, the Cruise Ferry Hiryu 21 operated from Ariake Port Terminal in Tokyo to Naha New Port in Okinawa. However, this service was discontinued in December 2014.

Instead, here is an alternative travel route to consider. Take the Shinkansen (bullet train) or a rental car to Kagoshima, Kyushu. Then take the ferry from there.

tokyo_to_nagoya_20160125b

If you decide to take the Shinkansen, then the southernmost Shinkansen station in Japan will be Kagoshima-Chuo Station in Kagoshima Prefecture. Take a route bus for about 20 minutes from the station to Kagoshima Port. You will then need to take a passenger ship.

Since there is no direct route from Tokyo Station to Kagoshima-Chuo Station, you must first transfer to either Shin-Kobe Station or Hakata Station. The total travel time is six hours and 45 minutes, with train fares at 31,060 yen for an ordinary seat.

International visitors can purchase an unlimited ride pass for the bullet train called the JR PASS at a fixed price. This is an amazing deal if you plan to travel around Japan, so please check it out!

Book the JR PASS or the JR Kyushu Rail Pass for cost-efficient travel!

3. Book a Rental Car for Travel Stops and Detours

 Okinawa from Tokyo 2022-23 Edition: Travel Time and Price Comparison

Photo by Pixta
Renting a car will allow you to travel to Kagoshima Port on the expressway. It is approximately 1,400 kilometers from Tokyo to Kagoshima. In total, that is 16 hours of travel time and will cost around 28,000 yen in expressway tolls.

On top of these fares is the cost of renting the car itself. You can enjoy more spontaneous travels and make detours along the way. However, be prepared that it will cost a lot of time and money.

The travel time from Kagoshima New Port to Okinawa Naha Port on the Marix Line, a passenger ship, is 25 hours with fares ranging between 16,770 yen to 39,090 yen. You will also need to pay an additional car transportation fare if you bring your rental car.

These travel methods require time and money. However, please consider these options if you wish to experience traveling by Shinkansen, ferry, or car. Alternatively, this route is for those yearning for a slow, relaxing trip.

MATCHA offers an exclusive 10% discount coupon for international visitors when renting a vehicle from Nippon Rent-A-Car, one of Japan's leading rental car companies.

Naturally, there are numerous Nippon Rent-A-Car offices around Tokyo and Okinawa. Be sure to check it out if you're considering renting a car!

Please refer to this article when choosing a travel method that best suits your traveling style!

Additional Travel Preparations: Hotels and Wi-Fi

After deciding on your travel itinerary and travel method for Okinawa, the next thing to book is accommodations.

If you're looking for an accommodation or hotel in Okinawa at a value, please check out Agoda or Booking.com.

In the MATCHA article below, we've introduced recommended hotels with great accessibility to popular sightseeing destinations in Okinawa, including Kokusai Shopping Street and the American Village. Feel free to refer to this article for more information!

Places that offer free Wi-Fi in Japan are limited. International visitors will find it handy to rent a pocket Wi-Fi during their travels.

MATCHA offers a 20% off coupon for NINJA WiFi, so please take advantage of this discount!

We hope everyone will create wonderful memories of their Okinawa travels!

FAQ

What is the best way to get to Okinawa?

To reach Okinawa, a Japanese island destination, the most common and convenient way is by flying into Naha Airport (OKA), the largest airport in Okinawa. Direct flights are available from major cities in Japan and select international locations. Domestic flights from cities like Tokyo and Osaka or budget airlines can be cost-effective options. Alternatively, ferries departing from cities on the mainland and occasional cruises offer slower but scenic journeys to Okinawa.

How do you get from Tokyo to Okinawa?

Traveling from Tokyo to Okinawa offers two primary transportation options: air and sea. The fastest and most common method is taking a direct flight from Tokyo's airports (Haneda or Narita) to Naha Airport in Okinawa. This flight takes around 2.5 to 3 hours and provides convenience for travelers seeking a quick journey. Alternatively, travelers can opt for a ferry from Tokyo to Okinawa, although this choice is less common and more time-consuming.

Is there a ferry to Okinawa?

Ferry services in Okinawa mainly link Okinawa Island with nearby islands such as Ishigaki, Miyako, the Kerama Islands, and Kume Island, catering to inter-island travel within the prefecture. While these options facilitate exploration within Okinawa, for those journeying from mainland Japan (like Tokyo) to Okinawa, direct flights to Naha Airport are the practical and popular choice due to their efficiency.
 
Ferries from mainland Japan commonly depart from ports in cities like Kagoshima, Fukuoka, and Osaka, offering picturesque routes such as Kagoshima to Naha, Fukuoka to Naha, and Osaka to Naha, presenting travelers with a scenic maritime alternative to air travel.

Is there a ferry from Tokyo to Okinawa?

There is no direct ferry service from mainland Japan (Tokyo) to Okinawa. Traveling between Tokyo and Okinawa by ferry would involve multiple transfers and a significant amount of time, making it a less practical option compared to flying. However, there are ferry services available within the Okinawa prefecture itself, connecting Okinawa Island with other nearby islands within the Ryukyu archipelago.

Is there a bullet train from Tokyo to Okinawa?

Currently, there is no direct Shinkansen (bullet train) service from Tokyo to Okinawa due to the geographical distance and the sea separating Okinawa from mainland Japan. However, travelers can use a combination of transportation modes to reach Okinawa, starting with taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Fukuoka or Kagoshima in Kyushu. From these cities, ferry services are available to Okinawa, with common routes being Fukuoka to Naha and Kagoshima to Naha.

Written by

The MATCHA editorial department. Our articles feature useful travel information for visitors to Japan, from how-to guides to recommended places to visit.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting. Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We kindly ask our readers to exercise careful judgement when making a purchase or booking a service online.