Two years ago, my friends from Hong Kong strongly recommend us to go to Okinawa (沖縄島). But then, there were no direct flights available from Singapore to Okinawa! In this sense, I am so jealous of my Hong Kong or Taiwanese friends! They can always have a short getaway to those awesome neighbouring countries! But we are always going to Malaysia or Indonesia. 😂
Late last year, Jetstar launched the first direct flight from Singapore to Okinawa! I put myself on the notice list for cheap fares and one fine day I managed to book the flights for our family of four (all-in) at slightly above SGD1500 only! That's so cheap right! Woohoo!
While doing my own research to build our own itinerary, I think Okinawa is one great place you can consider as your next family holiday spot!
Bookmark this page as I will update more about our Okinawa Trip along the way!
Interesting Facts about Okinawa
Accordingly to a Be.Okinawa brochure that I picked up,
- Okinawa is the only Prefecture in Japan of which the entire area belongs in a subtropical oceanic climate and consists of 160 islands! Woah! Temperature of around 29 Deg C in summer and warm winter of 17 Deg C makes any season a great time to visit this place!
- Okinawa is closer to Taipei than Tokyo! Thus it has a very different culture from the rest of mainland Japan~
- While Okinawa can be enjoyed all year round, May to Aug are the most popular months to go for summer activities, although be sure to book accomodation in advance as many Japanese tend to head to Okinawa especially during their Golden Week
- If you want to catch some Cherry Blossom, Okinawa's comparatively warm climate means the cherry blossoms start blooming in end Jan to first week of Feb, the earliest in Japan!
- Okinawa is one of the places with the highest number of centenarians, people over a 100 years old, in the world. The Okinawan diet is a healthy one with lots of vegetables, tofu and seafood. There's a saying, nuchi gusui, which means "food as medicine" that the locals believe. A wide variety of vegetables and herbs in Okinawa have been proven to contain more minerals than those in mainland Japan!
- The population in Okinawa is only 1,301,462 as of Dec 2014!
- Okinawa Island is the largest in the Ryukyus, being about 70 miles (112 km) long and 7 miles (11 km) wide and having an area of 463 square miles (1,199 square km). There is only a Yul Rail on Okinawa island, which is something like a LRT that connects the airport to locations within Naha.
- Car rentals are also surprisingly cheap in Okinawa! The cars in Japan are right hand drive, just like in Singapore! Having a car is really convenient to travel around, especially for families! Plus being a moderately small island, Okinawa makes it a perfect place in Japan to rent a car for a self-drive holiday!
Accomodations that I have booked for our upcoming holiday!
Since we will be renting a car out of 5 days of our 7 days trip, we are changing hotels over the 6 nights that we will be spending in Okinawa! Hubby gave me a budget of SGD1800 for 6 nights stay. He told me that anything below this amount I can go ahead to book our stay without consulting him (my hubby is good hor!? haha) I was eyeing an onsen hotel experience but it's very expensive! Lucky me, in fact I am Super Duper Proud that I managed to secure our accommodation as below, within our budget!
1. Ryukyu Onsen Senagajima Onsen Hotel
I would feel the visit to Japan is not completed if I do not get to experience Onsen! I was searching around and was very excited to find this exclusive Onsen Hotel! Located near to the airport and right besides the sea, I am looking forward to having our own private soak right in our room, or at the public onsen overlooking the beautiful sunset of Okinawa!
Damages: SGD450 per night including breakfast for 4 pax!
2. Sheraton Okinawa Sunmarina Resort
This beautiful beachside resort is simply just irresistible! It has its own beach, lighthouse, yacht club, and many beach activities like the mega zip which allows you to zip over the sea! If you go to Tripadvisor to check their reviews, you will realise that many Japaneses actually stayed there! That must means it's good right?!
Damages: SGD308 per night for 4 pax. No breakfast.
3. Okinawa Marriott Resort and Spa
To be honest, I am quite surprised to be able to book this 5 star hotel at such a low rate! Haha. I was looking for a hotel that is further north to ease our travel to the attractions in the north. Among all, I am quite happy with my find! I think my children will love the pool as well as the bathtub in the room! Plus, all the rooms have great ocean view!
Damages: SGD250 per night for 4 pax. No Breakfast
4. Mercure Okinawa Naha
|Superior Room for fitting our family of 4!|
This 3 star hotel is located right next to the Tsubogawa Station of the Yul Rail that makes it easy for us to explore Naha and it's only 5 stations to the Airport! This makes it easy for us to get to the Airport on the last day of our trip without burning a hole in our pocket! The OTS car rental used to be located within this hotel lobby, but it has since moved! :(
Damages: SGD258 per night for 4 pax. No Breakfast
We are so looking forward to our trip!
- Having had a bad experience with AirBnB in our Taipei trip last time even though the reviews were really good, so we steer clear of AirBnB totally. Our top concerns are safety (somebody there to assist if we have any problems) and cleanliness (daily housekeeping) as we travel as a family with small children, which we felt that AirBnB cannot provide. The apartment in Taipei was our first and last AirBnB experience.
- The hotels on Okinawa get fully book really fast as Japaneses love to go there for holidays too! So do remember to book your top choice hotels early!
- Most hotels in Okinawa charge by headcount and not by the type of room. So please remember to indicate your children in your booking or else you might not be able to check in!
- While some bloggers recommended booking directly with the hotels, I find it really difficult even with Google Translate! Many of the booking forms were filled with Japanese words in picture format which cannot be translated. The last thing I want is to make some mistakes in my booking to ruin our holiday there! So I booked my accomodations with Hotels.com instead! It's easy, and some of the booking you can choose to pay upfront or pay directly at the hotel! Plus... you can earn free stays with your nights booked!
Here's Other Interesting Stays I Come Across
1. Churaumi Village 美ら海ビレッジ
Located 5 minutes away from the Churaumi-Aquarium, Churaumi Village are actually a clustered of landed "homes" managed by a young family! There is also a newer Churaumi Village 2 (2号店) where the facilities are newer! You can also park your rental car right in the the porch of your "house"! This can kinda fulfil the dream of staying in a landed property ya? haha
I had lotsa fun browsing through the 360 degree views of the different rooms type! You should take a look too!
2. Condominio Makishi Annesso コンドミニオマキシ アネッソ
I wanted to book this for our Naha stay, however the room that can fit 4 of us were already sold out! :( The greatest draw for this 3 stars hotel is that it's just 2 minutes on foot from the Makishi station, a 10-minute walk to the international street and Makishi public market! It will be so convenient to explore Naha City via the Yul Rail! Also, it has a Penthouse twin bed room that is able to accomodate 4 pax comfortably!
The penthouse twin bed room measures 33 m². It comes with a bedroom and separate living room, a spacious terrace, bath and toilet are separated and there is a washing machine with dryer functions included!
Other Posts on 7D6N Okinawa Family Trip:
Interesting Facts and Recommended Hotels
Getting Around in Okinawa
Car Rental and Self Driving in Okinawa
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