When I first arrived on Okinawa, I was a little shocked to find out there are no trains on the island. Okinawa’s public transportation network consists of busses only, with the exception of a monorail which connects central Naha, making it somewhat challenging to get around and really explore all of Okinawa. As I was staying a little north of Naha, I had no choice but to use the busses as my primary means of getting around. To be fair, the bus network on Okinawa is pretty comprehensive, however the travel times and prices really left me wondering if there was a better way.
Whilst I don’t necessarily dislike traveling by bus, there is one limiting factor when traveling by bus on Okinawa - the inability to stop, pull over and enjoy the beautiful scenery for more than the momentary glance you get as you zoom past on a public bus. I decided to visit Nippon Rent-a-Car in central Naha to look into renting a car for a couple of days so I could explore northern Okinawa, have the freedom of stopping to enjoy the view whenever I liked, and escape the tourist buzz by visiting seaside villages and having a real opportunity to explore.
Nippon Rent-A-Car has a huge range of smoking/non-smoking vehicles: From small compact cars, to comfortable sedans, and large people-moving wagons, Nippon Rent-A-Car can cater to all needs. Prices start from as low as 7,035 yen per 24 hours and increase according to vehicle size.
I decided on a Toyota Prius which was comfortable and efficient. What I liked about Nippon Rent-A-Car was the friendly service from the staff. They insisted on showing me a range of cars which were best suited to my itinerary, explaining the features and benefits of each car, taking into consideration my luggage and personal preferences. They explained how to operate the car, and gave me a thorough lesson on how to use the GPS Navigation system which spoke to me in Japanese, English, Chinese & Korean. Nippon Rent-A-Car also provided me with an English language map which highlighted most of the attractions on the island, along with map codes that I could input into the GPS and within seconds be on my way. Nippon Rent-A-Car also provides infant and child seats for all its vehicles to ensure your entire family is secure.
It was interesting to note that if I had caught the bus to Churaumi Aquarium from Naha, it would have taken me approximately three hours, one transfer and almost 2,000 yen each way. Having a car however, took me only 1.5 hours, and i was able to stop at whichever beach or headland I desired along the way. Say there’s two of you that want to visit the Churaumi Aquarium, that’s roughly six hours of travel at the cost of 8,000 yen. The rental car almost pays for itself on just this trip alone.
One thing I learned visiting Nippon Rent-A-Car after I had already arrived on Okinawa was that you can in fact book through the internet, often at cheaper rates, and have a Nippon representative waiting for you at the airport arrival hall to take you directly to the rental office ensuring you can be on your way in very little time. This along with Nippon Rent-A-Car’s exceptional customer service, will ensure an easy, stress free and convenient start to a vacation on Okinawa. I highly recommend renting a car with Nippon Rent-A-Car if you are visiting Okinawa as it really does give you much more freedom, comfort and flexibility during your stay.