You can enjoy a fast drive with a rental car to reach your destination quickly, but a leisurely bus trip is also another way to enjoy Okinawa because you can have views of Okinawan scenery and the locals’ daily life from windows. This is an excellent choice for those who do not drive to travel further. Visit Northern Okinawa by a bus. You will be relaxed and enjoyed a leisurely trip.
This is a course, an excursion in Northern Okinawa, starting by taking an express bus from Naha Airport to Nago and changing to a local bus there. The first bus is an express bus #111, which takes only 1 hour 45 minutes to Nago using express way. This is the most convenient way to get to Nago. From Nago Bus Terminal, there are #65 and #66 run same route but the other way around. Chose a bus which makes your trip smooth, depend on your departure time and destinations. Ask a driver or staff at the Bus Terminal for inquiry.
1. NAKIJIN CASTLE REMAINS
Hokuzan principality had controlled most of Northern Okinawa for more than 100 years before the confirmation of Ryukyu Kingdom. Nakijin Castle Ruin, where Hokuzan king made his base, is located at a hill of 100 meter high, and you can have a grandstand view of East China Sea from there. The walking distance of castle ruin is about 1.5 kilometers. There is a worship site, and plenty of the worshippers visit there. The resting place “Gusuku Communication Center”, which has cafes and souvenir shops, is in front of the castle.
2. BISE FUKUGI TREES
This is a peaceful path with Fukugi (common garcinia) trees using as a windbreak in Okinawa because of the strong sea wind and many typhoons. Old Okinawan scenery spread out as if the time has been stopped, and you can see ocean through Fukugi trees here and there. The number of cafes, which take advantage of the sceneries, has increased, and you can see some people strolling. Please keep mind that the locals live there.
3. CAFE CAHAYA BULAN
This is a café to enjoy a view of Ie Island and the peaceful sea, which is located at the entrance of Bise Fukugi Tree Road. You can feel an Asian resort-like atmosphere at the café, which has a touch of China and Southeast Asian as its concept is “Okinawa in Asia”. Rafute (pork dish) bowl, Asian noodle, Chinese style chicken porridge and Chinese teas and homemade sweets are served. The experience here will be a peaceful moment in a trip.
4. OCEAN EXPO PARK
Churaumi Aquarium holds 2.7 million visitors every year and has plenty of attractions such as one of the biggest water tank in the world “The Kuroshio Sea” that you can see popular whale sharks and another water tank that you can watch corals and tropical fishes. Besides those facilities, there are “Okichan Theater” offering dolphin shows, “Manatee pool”, “Sea Turtle Pool”, “Tropical Dream Center” exhibiting tropical and subtropical flowers and the beautiful planetarium “Oceanic Culture Museum”. You never get bored here.
WHAT IS THE ISLAND CAN BE SEEN FROM OCEAN EXPO PARK??
An accessible remote island from Northern Okinawa, Ie Island
The unusual shaped island is Ie Island.
Ie Island is an accessible remote island and located approximately 9 kilometers northwest away from Motobu Peninsula in Northern Okinawa, which takes 30 minutes by ferry from Motobu Port. Lately, Ie Island has been on the news nationally for “minpaku” which is a homestay program for high school students’ school trips. The raised part of the island is a symbol of the island, Mt. Gusuku, called “Iejima tacchu.” Its height is 172m, and you can have a 360 degrees view of breathtaking ocean scenery from the top. In the middle of April, beautiful pure white lilies bloom, and you will be surrounded by its sweet smell.
BUS ACCESS TO OCEAN EXPO PARK
Bus trip is not easy for those who are not familiar to taking bus as you might not know which bus number takes you to destination, even more so if you were unfamiliar with the area. Look at the way to access the aquarium from Naha and Chatan by bus! Don’t miss the last bus! You could just follow the same route to return, however, if you missed the last bus, you could not be back on the same day since it is a long distance… So, please ask a staff at Nago Bus Terminal, where is a connecting point, what time you should take a bus from the aquarium to get back.
Using sightseeing buses is easy booking and traveling without a complicated bus transfer. You can even book those buses on the departure day so you can arrange it on the spot!