Top 10 Travel Tips in Okinawa
1. Local Language and dialect (Okinawan Hogen)
If you are familiar in speaking Japanese, you might want to know that the local Okinawan used to have their own language before becoming a part of Japan. They now call their language as Uchina-guchi (Local mouth) or Hougen. The tones, pronunciations, and words of the Japanese language that Okinawans uses are different. Now, only elders use Uchina-guchi and most of the young locals only know a few words from the Uchina-guchi, although their dialect still remains.
2. Discounts on major tourist spots
There are numerous discounts that you can have if you actually look for it. Of course there are multiple Duty Free shops all over the island, however there are also discounts in tourist spots. You can ask for a package plan at Ryuubou Travel (1-1-2 Matsu-no, Naha-shi, Okinawa prefecture. 〒900-0014), which gives more than 50% discounts for over 12 tourist location. Convenient stores also provide discounts for tourist spots as well, don’t forget to check it out.
3. Need to get a rental vehicle.
Okinawa does not have much transportation option and to go around the island, you definitely need to rent a vehicle. Rental vehicles are fairly cheap and if you are prepared with an international driving license, they would assist you to let you rent the vehicle. (Don’t go cheap on the insurance, it’s only a few bucks, have one!)
There are monorails, however it only reaches to the main city of Naha and does not reach up to the major tourist spots.
Buses are also available going all over the island, however to one town to the other, the bus cost about 500 yen which is pretty expensive for a transportation option. However if something breaks out, you can use the bus 28 or bus 120 running up and down the route 58 (from Naha, Ginowan, Chatan, Yomita, and Nago). Also if you want to go to Okinawa city, take the bus 62 to go to Okinawa city. There is not a particular website that tells you the route but you can see the route map at the bus station (usually torn up but there’s another one in the next station.)