Generally people travel by car when they do backpacking in Okinawa. However if you do not have the driving license, spend a few thousand of Yen to join the local bus tour is another choice.
Recently I joined a bus tour covers most the beautiful spots of North Okinawa for example the beautiful Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, the Nakijin Castle Remains and Kouri Ocean Tower. Now I will introduce them to you.
The Three popular Tourist attractions
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
The famous Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is located in the national country park of North Okinawa. The mascot of the aquarium is the whale shark that you see on the picture.
The bus tour arrived the aquarium is around 10:30am, just on time to see the dolphin performance at 11:00am. The main characteristic of the theater is having the bright blue Pacific Ocean as the backdrop.
Nakijin Castle Remains is the castle of the Lord of Hokuzan of the Ryukyu Kingdom during Sanzan Period. The ceramics being uncovered are mainly from China and South Asia countries like Vietnam and so and so. There is a Hokuzan Nakijin Castle history monument, which the content was crafted at fourteen years of Qianglong. It records the story of the Lord of Hokuzan. History lover really have to go and have a look.
Kouri Ocean Tower
The ocean tower is on the Kouri Isalnd, which can see the Pacific Ocean and Kouri Bridge in distance. It is the second longest bridge in Japan with free admission fee. According to the tour guide, the sea of Okinawa reflects different color at different time’s log and it up to seven different colors. Not sure how many colors that you have seen?Advantage and Disadvantage of Bus TourCheap and Convenient
This time the tour that I joined only costs 5,800 Yen, which included all admission tickets. The tour itinerary was well planned, with tour guide induction and car pick up. This tour departed from the Southern Naha. It took almost two hours from south to north by bus. The bus is suitable for people who has no driving license or people who dislike long-distance driving. As the bus tour doesn’t has the participant limitation, so even you travel alone, or you want to travel with low budget, bus tour is not a bad choice.
Time, location, language barriers
As it is a tour the departure time and places to visits are all limited. You cannot go wherever you like or go anytime as you wish. The tour stayed in the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium for around three hours and around one hour of each other tourist attractions. The aquarium is huge, three hours seems not have sufficient of time to have fun there, but the weather is way too hot, spent three hours there is pretty enough actually. The tour guide is Japanese and speaks Japanese only. However, they will offer the MEMO with different foreign languages for foreigners. So everybody knows when to gather but the attractions’ detail explanation is not translated.
Now the Okinawa rainy season is over, not like areas in Honshu that just starts the rainy season. So if you visit Okinawa now, all sunny day basically. The bus tour does not go beaches normally. If you want to go beaches, you need to figure it out on your own. There are many different bus tours. The tour that I joined is focus in the northern part and it is a one-day tour and not included lunch. Other bus tours only visit the attractions in the southern part, or just a half-day tour, some includes lunch. You can arrange and select the tour on your own preference.
Last, this is the bus tour that I joined.