No Car? No Problem! Recommended Spots in Okinawa for Solo Travelers!
With its laidback island lifestyle, Okinawa is a great place to visit for solo travelers. Although there are tour packages available specifically for solo travelers, they may not be a great fit for those who prefer to sightsee freely without a rigid itinerary.
In this article we will introduce sightseeing spots that can be reached without a car and are also great places for solo travelers. Feel free to refer to this article if you’re planning a solo trip to Okinawa.
Table of Contents
- [Naha City] Places that can be reached without a car
- [Beyond Naha] Places that can be reached without a car
- Recommended hotels for those with no car
[Naha City] Places that can be reached without a car
The first place on many visitors’ itineraries is Kokusai-dori Street, which is an area with around 600 shops and restaurants. It’s a 5-minute walk from Kencho-Eki-Mae Bus Stop at the southern entrance of the street and a 1-minute walk from Makishi Station at the northern entrance.
With a wide array of local Okinawan food and gift options, visitors can enjoy dining and shopping to their heart’s content.
We recommend stopping by Kokusai-dori Noren-Gai, which opened on February 1, 2020, for a bite to eat. There is a great lineup of Okinawan foods with 32 shops spread across 4 areas – Kokusai-dori Yokocho, Naha Ichiba, Ryukyu Yokocho, and Okinawa Ganso Ramen Yokocho. Have lunch or grab some beer at this lively establishment.
Spots that can be reached on foot from Kokusai-dori Street (Japanese only)▼
Nearby Kokusai-dori Street! Get a taste of local Okinawa at Heiwa-dori Street!
Shurijo Castle Park
Shurijo Castle Park is recommended for those who want to learn about Okinawan history. It’s a 15-minute walk from Shuri Station on the Yui Rail.
Shurijo Castle was the center point of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The remains of the castle have been designated as a World Heritage site as well as a cultural heritage of Japan. There is much to see with its buildings that preserve the atmosphere of the Ryukyu Kingdom era, the impressive castle gates, such as Shureimon Gate, and the verdant dark green plants.
There are also many charming spots near Shurijo Castle Park. One of those spots is Zuisen Distillery, which has a history of producing awamori liquor in the castle town of Shuri since 1887. We recommend stopping by if you’re planning to explore the Shuri area. If you’re not planning to drive, you can taste awamori without worry
Naminoue Beach is a 15-minute walk from Kencho-Mae Station on the Yui Rail. It is a man-made beach under a bypass and is the only beach in Naha City.
Although located near the city center, you can still experience swimming in the clear blue ocean and taking a stroll along the sandy shoreline.
Diving, snorkeling and SUP, are also available, for those interested in trying marine sports.
By the way, if you walk to the beach from Asahibashi Station on the Yui Rail, you will pass lots of hidden spots.
See the article below for details (Japanese only)▼
Explore secret spots in the Asahibashi area of Naha – everything from multicultural lunch options to coffee
[Beyond Naha] Places that can be reached without a car
Senagajima Umikaji Terrace
Senaga Island is a small island that is connected to Okinawa Island by a sea road. There are local buses from Naha Airport to the island, so it can be reached in around 15 minutes even without a car.
Senagajima Umikaji Terrace, located on Senaga Island, is a popular spot for dining and shopping. Enjoy the view of the ocean and sunset as you have lunch or shop.
Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa
Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa is a shopping facility with a wide variety of brand-name shops, that was modeled after the architecture of ancient Greek buildings. There are events held throughout the year, so even if you’re not into shopping, you can come just for the events.
Without a car, it can be reached by local bus from Naha Airport, Yui Rail Akamine Station, or Naha Bus Terminal. See this link for more details.
Toyosaki Chura SUN Beach
Toyosaki Chura SUN Beach is located near Outlet Mall Ashibinna and iias Okinawa Toyosaki. Take a bus from Naha Bus Terminal and get off at Michi-no-Eki Toyosaki bus stop, then walk 8 minutes to the beach.
There are several areas: a beach swimming area, marine sports area, and BBQ area. The spot we recommend at the beach is “Niinii-no-Oka”, which is a small hill with a view of Ukaha Island.
iias Okinawa Toyosaki
iias Okinawa Toyosaki is a large-scale shopping center that was built in 2020. The concept of the facility is, “Be intelligent, be beautiful, and be yourself every day.”
Besides shops selling everything from fashion items and knick-knacks to equipment for activities, the facility also houses the DMM Kariyushi Aquarium, and the team park Stem Resort. Here, you can enjoy shopping, entertainment, activities, and dining all at one place.
As there is a shuttle bus operated between iias Okinawa Toyosaki and Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa, a car is not necessary. We recommend utilizing the shuttle bus and stopping by both iias and Ashibinaa.
Related Article (Japanese only)▼
Visit hug 3 do (hug-san-do) in iias Okinawa Toyosaki for ice cream wrapped in hugs and infinite smiles
American Village can be reached by bus from Naha City and Naha Airport. The facility was modeled after the West Coast of the United States and is comprised of many shops and restaurants in an exotic townscape.
American Village can be enjoyed at all times of day. Enjoy the sunset in the evening and the illuminations at night. Even if you’re only window shopping, you can have a great time exploring the area and perusing the various shops. See this link for information on how to get to American Village.
Recommended hotels for those with no car
Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku
Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku is just a 3-minute walk from Yui Rail Akamine Station. If you take the monorail from Akamine Station, you can go to Kokusai-dori Street, Shurijo Castle Park, and other spots even without a car.
The guest rooms at this hotel are modeled after capsule hotels. The rooms are simple and comfortable, but are equipped with good security systems, such as security cards, safes, and lockable curtains.
There are around 1000 comic books at the lounge space on the 2nd floor, great for those who want to relax at night during their trip.
Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku
Address：1-27-1 Uehara, Naha-shi, Okinawa
Article about Accommodation Experience (Japanese only) ▼
Just 1 stop from Naha Airport! Reliable security, single-gender floors, comfortable environment at Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku
See the following link for more information about Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku! (Japanese only)
Hotel GranView Garden Okinawa
Hotel GranView Garden Okinawa is a hotel in Tomigusuku City, which borders Naha City. Take the Yui Rail from Naha Airport, get off at Akamine Station, and take a 30-minute bus ride to the hotel.
The hotel is conveniently located near spots such as, Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa and Toyosaki Chura SUN Beach.
The single rooms have a great view of Tomigusuku City’s cityscape. With spacious bathrooms in each room, guests can unwind and refresh after a tiring day of travel and sightseeing.
Hotel GranView Garden Okinawa
Address：3-82 Toyosaki, Tomigusuku-shi, Okinawa
See the following link for more information about Hotel GranView Garden Okinawa (Japanese only)!
Hotel Sun Okinawa
Hotel Sun Okinawa is just a 2-minute walk from Yui Rail Kencho-Mae Station. In addition to being close to the airport, as it is near a monorail station, it is also a convenient place to stay for those planning to go sightseeing, but don’t want to rent a car or take a taxi.
The single rooms have high ceilings, making them spacious and perfect for relaxing.
Furthermore, the hotel restaurant serves Okinawan cuisine, awamori liquor, shikuwasa citrus fruit juice, among other Okinawan specialties.
Hotel Sun Okinawa
Address：1-5-15 Kumoji, Naha-shi, Okinawa
See the following link for more information about Hotel Sun Okinawa (Japanese only)!
There are many sightseeing spots in Okinawa that can be reached without a car and that can also be enjoyed by solo travelers.
You may be surprised by just how much fun you can have, from shopping and dining to activities and sightseeing. As long as you choose a hotel in a convenient location, you will be able to have an enjoyable, hassle-free trip.
Enjoy the freedom and adventure of exploring Okinawa on your own via Yui Rail, local bus, and shuttle bus.