Enter Pick Up Location
Okinawa's air terminal. Naha Airport has a domestic and international terminal. As the domestic terminal has more traffic, it is very easy to access and has many restaurants. On the second floor, there is a huge souvenir shop. Once you exit the domestic terminal, the Rent-a-Car lot is right in front of you. Go to the 1st floor car lot, and you can ride a free shuttle bus to the rental car office.
Japan's southernmost region Ishigaki Island is the largest of the Yaoyama Islands, and the only one with transportation facilities. You can see the beautiful sea from any of the island's many famous spots, such as Kabira Bay, Cape Tamatori, and the northern Cape Hirakubo. There are many rental car companies close to the harbor, so it is very convenient for tourists. We recommend renting a car from the company "WBF Rentacar" to travel around Ishigaki Island!
The Prefectural Office station is to the west of Kokusai-dori (International Street) Sitting next to Naha's biggest shopping district, Kokusai-dori, the Prefectural Office station is the busiest in Okinawa. There are many rental car companies within walking distance. There are also many brand new souvenir shops, dessert parlors, restaurant, and massage therapy offices. We recommend starting your trip here and coming back at the end to buy souvenirs.
You can get from Naha Airport, the center of Okinawa, to the center of Naha City by monorail, but if you want to visit the other parts of Okinawa, only buses are available. Not only does it take some time, but there are not many trips, and bus services end early. If you have a rental car, you can split up your schedule and visit many areas.
There are two roads you can take from Naha Airport to northern Okinawa. There's the expressway, which has a toll proportional to how long you use the road, and national highway 58. National highway 58 is famous for being an oceanside road, so no matter where you look, you will see the azure sky and bright blue sea. There are also many beaches along the way, so you can always stop your car and play in the sea for a while. This is the best route for any ocean or beach lovers!
Up north, there's the Great Bridge of Kouri, Nakijin Castle, Churaumi Aquarium, the Mt. Yae cherry blossom forest park; in the center you have Zakimi Castle, Ryukyu Village, and the Mid-Sea Road; in the south, you have the sacred site of Sefa-utaki, the Gyokusen Caves, Ojima, and the Niraikanai Bridge. All these and even more lesser-known locales - wouldn't it be nice to get a rental car and visit everywhere you want?
There are many famous foods throughout the island of Okinawa! If you want Okinawa soba noodles, Ishigaki beef, Agu pork, bitter melons from the mountains, shima-tofu, purple yams, taco rice, seagrapes, chinsuko, Awamori sake, Awamori bell peppers, or Orion Beer, you can only get to the famous shops by car. Eat pizza while gazing on the north sea at Kajinhou - Pizza in the Sky, have fun at the homecooking restaurant Kitayama-shokudo, or enjoy some delicious Agu pork at the specialty restaurant Ufuya! It's all waiting for you, so hurry and visit!
For peak business hours where rent-a-car stores are predicted to be heavily congested, we recommend renting shuttle buses instead as it is more convenient.
Regardless of the Golden Week Holiday of Japan, the lanes of all the car-rental companies will be jammed with traffic during the Obon Festival of August and there might even be cases where you will have to wait an hour when choosing an airport bus liner.
The reasons are as follows:
1. Roads near the Airport are easily subject to congestion.
2. The shuttle bus has a fixed number of passengers, so the number of people who can get on the bus at one time is limited.
3. After each transfer to the sales office, each group of guests must also listen to instructions regarding rental exemptions, etc.
Therefore, during the peak of crowded travel, it is better to charter a bus without directly going car rental shops.
If you are renting a car at WBF Rentacar, take the Okinawa City Monorail to the Oroku Station (two stops, about 5 minutes) from Naha Airport. It is located at the fifth floor of the Naha AEON store connected to Oroku Station. Due to the limited number of vehicles, passengers with reservations can rent quickly.
When planning a travel plan, maintain a leeway of 30 minutes to an hour when renting a car, and start the Okinawa car rental tour without hesitation.
In the case of classic five-seater cars, there is no need for you to maintain a full gas tank at all times, and it is sufficient that you fill the gas tank only when returning the rent-a-car.
Since driving from South to North in Okinawa only takes 3 to 4 hours, there will be no need for you to refuel numerous times during your travel.
It will cost around 5,000 Yen. Please choose the "return with a full gas tank" plan when choosing your plan options.
The roads near the Churaumi Aquarium and resorts such as the Onna Village are quite wide and not many cars pass through them, so you will be able to drive without much hassle.
Though the National Routes near Naha Airport and Naha City can get quite congested, compared to popular tourist spots such as the Churaumi Aquarium and resort areas such as the Onna Village, the roads are wide, experience less traffic and are quite easy to handle.
And while there might not be any lights during the evenings, you need not worry; if you drive safely and slowly, you will be alright.
Going towards unmanned islands via rent-a-car is prohibited.
When boarding a boat, please park your car in the main island.
Some rental plans will allow you to return your rent-a-car at a different location than where you originally rented it.
The return locations of rented cars will vary on rental companies and rental plans.
Apart from the monorail 「Yui Rail」located in Naha City, there are no trains in Okinawa and the main method of transportation will either be by cars or buses.
However, since returning your rented car to where you originally rented it will take time, there are plans prepared where you will able to choose a separate location to which you can return your rented car. Please note, however, that not all the rental plans will let you choose the return-location of your car.
You will only be able to choose within the Okinawa Main Islands; there are no such services in the outlying islands.
You will be able to check whether or not you can return your car to a different place in the Reservation Screen. In the selection column of 「Return Locations」, if there are different store branch names displayed other than the original pick-up location, then you will be able to return your rented car to a different location.
However, there might be cases where you will incur additional fees if you are planning on returning your car to a different location. These additional fees are displayed in the 「One Way Car Rental Fee」column.
If there are no other store branch names displayed, then that is a rental plan where you can only return your rented car to its original pick-up location.
Please input 「Undecided」at the Flight Number column.
Rent-a-car companies will prepare vehicles based on the pick-up time you have selected in your reservation. In case your arrival time at Okinawa will vastly deviate from your planned arrival time, please contact Customer Service.（* Early mornings and midnights might be outside business hours.）
Advice and pointers such as "Go to gasoline stands as fast as you can" and "Naha City will be heavily congested during peak commuting hours (07:00 ~ 09:00 and 16:00 ~ 19:00) will be freely given if you are renting a car in Okinawa.
「Go to Gasoline Stands as fast as you can」
...... As Okinawa is a slender-shaped island from North to South, it will take a while to travel from Naha to the north (for example, it will take about 2 hours to reach Naha Airport from Churaumi Aquarium). It will take time to find gasoline stands along the way. Though there are normally few hassles to be had at the Okinawa Islands and in Naha, we recommend you secure ample time for refuelling your gas tank.
「Congestion! Especially at Naha City's commuting hours（7：00〜9：00,16：00〜19：00）」
... Driving is the main method of transport in Okinawa. Many people who work in Naha City commute from the central regions of the Island and from the north. Because of this, there are many cases where travelers might have returned to the Airport but couldn't get out of traffic. Please secure enough time for the return, including returning you rented car. For travelers who will immediately head to the airport after returning their rent-a-car at car rental stores near the airport, we recommend that you return your rented car 2 hours before your flights depart.
Even if you reach the store without encountering traffic, there might still be cases where you will lose time due to shuttle bus services waiting for the returns of other rented cars.
Since there are many store branches near Naha Airport, you will be able to reach it quite quickly. Have fun, and end your Okinawa trip!
「There are many bridges that between the islands, and the feeling is similar to traveling across the seas ..... before you know it, you will have pushed past the speed limit and issued a ticket」
... You will be able to enjoy the scenic vistas of Okinawa while also enjoying the wind. Okinawa enthusiasts visit all year round, not only in summer. There had been a few car-rental drivers who pushed past the speed limit after losing themselves in the scenery. Please be mindful not to focus too much on the sights and be careful at the speed in which you drive.
「Many Road Incidents cannot be Predicted」
... Okinawa has its own transportation rules. An example would be the 「Bus Lane rule」. This is an attempt to free up traffic by designating lanes to only two-wheelers and designated vehicle types. Standard vehicles including rent-a-cars are prohibited on using this lane. However, this is not held all day; the Bus Lane Rule is only in effect during the mornings and afternoons.
The 「International Bus」first operated in Okinawa has its very own unique rules and regulations.
Every Sunday from 12:00 to 18:00, Naha Kokusai Dori will become a 「transit mall」. In this period, standard vehicles will be restricted from passing through and pedestrians are given priority. If you have parked your car in parking lot during this duration, you will not be able to use your car until 18:00 PM. If you are planning on seeing a nearby tourism site, please leave your car and proceed by foot.
There is also another more special rule, the 「Unexploded Ordnance Bomb Disposal Rule」. As a result of World War 2, there are many unexploded bombs buried in the soil of Okinawa. Though there are no actual cases of the bombs exploding, should it happen that we encounter an unexploded ordnance, the local authorities will carefully deal with it and we will proceeed in evacuating into safe zones. Since such procedures are done from morning to evening many times, we recommend that you establish your itinerary with enough leeway in time.
Even amongst the hotels of Okinawa, large resort-like Hotels have enough space in their parking lots.
The problem is finding if there are any available space for *you*. Even among hotels in Okinawa, large resort-like hotels have sufficient space in their parking lot.
It is not uncommon for large amounts of travelers to use the parking lots of these large resort-like hotels for their own. Though a majority of the parking spaces are free, there might be cases where a fee will still be charged. In that case, we recommend checking in with the hotel. Naha City, on the other hand, is completely different. Hotels located in the heart of Okinawa either do not have enough parking space or they require to park your car in a differrent parking lot.
There are many paid parking lots, and most of them charge 500 to 1,000 Yen per day. Since the parking space of Naha Hotels are limited, it might be best to check the state of the parking lot beforehand if you need to park your car.
Also, since it is easy to get lost during your rent-a-car travels, please do not panic and wait in a calm place; if you know the location of the hotel, you might be able to find the entrance of the parking lot. For a rare rent-a-car tour in rare Okinawa, prepare several things beforehand, charter a car and enjoy Okinawa!