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Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

Gothenburg, Sweden
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17 posts
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Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

Hello!

We are a Spanish-Swedish couple travelling to Okinawa with our 4 year old kid in the end of October. We will stay one week in Ginowan since I will attend a conference there. Afterwards we want to explore Okinawa for 8 days and we are a bit confused arranging the trip planning. We would like to stay for 4-5 nights in a nice island where we can find good beaches, have a good Okinawa cultural experience, practice snorkelling, and probably surfing. We are hesitating between staying those nights in Miyakojima or Kerama islands. We see that the plane tickets to Miyakojima are a bit expensive and to Kerama islands we just need to take a ferry, but we still hesitate since we see good reviews about Miyakojima. What do you think? is it worthy to spend the plane tickets money and stay 4-5 nights in Miyakojima?

We were thinking to stay the last 2 nights in Naha, is it enough with 2 days to explore Naha? An option could be to stay 4 nights in Miyakojima and 3 nights in Naha, then maybe we could include a one day trip to Kerama islands. Opinions are welcome, thanks in advance!

Okinawa, Japan
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21 posts
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1. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

Hello.

I think Miyako and Kerama are both good islands.

But ,in my opinion, exploring around Miyako islands without car is a bit hard because miyako is large.

So it might be good to choose whether you drive or not initially before you decide the islands.

And I think exploring around Naha for 2 nights is pretty enough.

There shuri castles event from 28th-30th of October and 3rd of November.

http://oki-park.jp/shurijo/event/182#a03

http://oki-park.jp/shurijo/event/182#a05

And This article might suit you:)

…jnto.go.jp/en/special_okinawa02.html

Hope you enjoy your stay in Okinawa!

Gothenburg, Sweden
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17 posts
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2. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

Hi! Thanks a lot for your answer :)

We would like to rent a car in Miyakojima (in case we go there) if it is possible but we are not sure if our European driving license works in Japan... I think we have to apply for an International driving license. We also have some problems to find accommodation in Kerama (already with 3 months in advance...), what makes us a bit eager to go for Miyakojima as well... Do you think 5 nights sound as a good plan for Miyako?

Okinawa, Japan
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21 posts
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3. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

I highly recommend to get driver license for exploring Okinawa.

Although I'm not sure about the registration, it might be good to ask embassy and others.

I also think kerama's accommodation is more family owned.So it might be longer to take a reservation than booking site.

And kerama has composed by two village(Zamami village and Tokashiki village).

It seems to me Zamami is more easier for forieigner to travel because they give a lot of information in English.

You can get some tips about kerama's accomodation from here:

https:/…

On the other hand miyako area is commercially based, you could travel easier than Kerama.

It would be slightly cooler from the end of October, It might be good to have a option without beach I think.

Chatan-cho, Japan
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206 posts
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4. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

I'd stay on Miyako to explore, but leave a little more time in Naha at the end. To drive here you'll need an International drivers permit usually issued by your home licensing office.

Gothenburg, Sweden
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5. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

Hello!

Thanks a lot for your tips. I will contact the Japanese embassy in Sweden to ask about the international driving license since I see it will give us a lot of flexibility to drive around.

We have heard that temperatures in Okinawa in the end of October are around 23-25 degrees, and that is why we are focusing on finding places with good beaches where we can practise snorkelling. Is it really like this? or is it much cooler? Does it rain a lot during that period (end of October-beginning of November)?

So far the price for the fight Naha-Miyakojima is still pretty high. I've got to know that flight prices can go down like two months before the date. I am not sure if this is right (I have read it somewhere in this forum) but I will wait a bit more. Meanwhile I will check accommodation possibilities in both Kerama and Miyako.

Kurt I, you recommend to leave more time in Naha at the end of our trip. We thought that 2 days were enough to visit Shurijo castle and explore the city (I really want to go to the fish market!). What would you recommend to see in Naha?

And again, thanks a lot for your answers! I am getting crazy to arrange this trip but we are really looking forward to it.

Chatan-cho, Japan
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206 posts
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6. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

I think October is a little warmer than 25 on most days so you'll be ok snorkeling, rain is always possible here but we're well past rainy season.

This is prime tourist season so airline prices are a little high right now but you should be able to price out a ticket Naha- Miyako in October now. We go there to visit family a few times a year and it's usually not bad round trip but I guess price is in the eye of the beholder. I find tickets right now for around $115-130 US roundtrip.

Shuri Castle is a must, it's near the Japanese Naval Underground HQ's but that's not for everyone. I always recommend Gyokusendo / Okinawa World because I like it, underground caves with stalagmites and stalactites, Okinawa village, glass blowing, brewery lots of shops.. oh found it here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

Shikina En is also near Naha/Shuri: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

The fish market is off of Kokusai street in Naha, full of shops and stores on the street and the area where the fish market is at is much like a mall, lots more shops. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

I've taken visitors around Okinawa before, and I'm not offering a service but mentioning a past job and you can do Shuri Castle, Shikina En and Kokusai Street/Fish Market in a day with time for a casual dinner somewhere. I'd do Okinawa world day 2 or the other way around if it's raining since the Fish Market is indoors mostly. If you have specific questions about a place let me know but this is what I'd recommend with a filler after Okinawa World, maybe Yachimon (pottery) street if you like that sort of thing & a pottery museum is nearby: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

Gothenburg, Sweden
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17 posts
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7. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

Wow! Thanks a lot for this extremely useful information! All those activities sound very interesting, we will see if we can leave 3 days for Naha then :)

Which flight website do you use to get those prices for the connection Naha-Miyako? I use skyscanner and the price I get is around 300 US roundtrip...

Thanks a lot again!

Virginia Beach...
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548 posts
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8. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

We are going in Oct and th car rental told me that we need a International permit not a license. In US you pay $15 at AAA and you don't have to take a test. If you are going to Okinawa to live then you need the license.

Chatan-cho, Japan
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206 posts
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9. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

I checked skyscanner & even easier right here on Tripadvisor and still come up with avearge prices around US $100 and some less than that. Make sure you're seeing flights including JTA/JAL/RAC I'm not sure why but those have always been the cheaper flights.

Okinawa, Japan
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21 posts
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10. Re: Miyakojima or Kerama islands?

I also checked skyscanner, It cost around $50 for oneway.

It might be good you check the price directly on airline company's website.

JAL/JTA/RAC

http://www.jal.co.jp/en/

ANA

https://www.ana.co.jp/asw/index.jsp?type=e

The price depends which seats and time you choose.

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