questions & answers: general japan travel

visiting okinawa in june - worth it?

Visiting Okinawa in June - worth it?

Hi there!

So I'm currently going to be spending 10 days around Japan with a friend in mid/late May (visiting Tokyo (with day trips to Nikko and Hakone) > Kyoto (with day trip to Nara & Hiroshima/Miyajima) > Osaka), but my friend is leaving after those 10 days and I still have 5 days in Japan by myself.

I was thinking of going to Okinawa to see the beaches/do some snorkelling but then I checked that the dates I'd be going (1st - 5th June) fall right in the middle of the rainy season there.

I've heard that it doesn't rain continuously every day but it is generally pretty dreary and grey. Is it worth risking it hoping to get 1 or two days of sun in those 5 days?

The alternatives I was thinking about are either:

(1) flying to Sapporo and exploring a bit of Hokkaido for 5 days, but I'm not sure whether I have enough time to see anything - or -

(2) staying in mainland Japan for those extra 5 days and see a few more places apart from the itinerary described above (any recommendations on where else to go if this is the best option?)

Thank you very much in advance as always!

Marcos

marcosrz
marcosrz

Hello Marcos,

Interesting question. The weather in Okinawa can still be pretty good during the rainy season, although it's called rainy season for a reason. At the same time 5 days gives ample time to explore more of mainland Japan. Both Hokkaido and other parts have much to see and do.

I would probably head down into Kyushu, visit places as Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Yufuin (for Onsen) go to Kagoshima (where you can also enjoy the beach) and maybe take a ferry Yakushima, this is also a great place for snorkelling.

More about Kyushu:
http://www.visitkyushu.org/

Hope this gives you some idea's,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Actually for Okinawa the rainy season is May up to June, so you'd be at the tail end of it. But it is a small island and while there is often rain outside the rainy season, it frequently blows through and you often have cloudy skies and clear skies on the same day.
It's well worth visiting and you can fly down there quite cheaply on low cost carriers like Jet Star or Vanilla Air. Visiting other islands in the group like Ishigaki or Miyako is also a wonderful experience. And if you want to do some island hopping, JAL offers a cheaper fare for that as well.

Flying to Hokkaido is another good choice though - you can fly cheaply using the same airlines listed above. Sapporo has some of Japan's finest ramen, plus it is not muggy or hot, and there are many big natural parks on the island to explore. IF you wanted to stay in the Tokyo area, there is always more to see and do. The gardens on Mito and Hitachi Seaside Park are some of Japan's best, seeing Nokogiriyama in Chiba makes a good day trip, as is visiting Mt. Takao, Kawagoe, Izu, etc. Even Sendai is just 90 minutes away by bullet train.

Toraneko
Toraneko

BTW for snorkeling in Okinawa, see:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7119.html

Toraneko
Toraneko

Thanks so much, you've been really helpful!

In the end I've decided to risk the weather and fly from Osaka to Naha (I didn't realise but I can actually fly straight from Naha to my next destination in India so that works out really well) - hopefully I won't regret it!

In terms of accommodation, is it doable to stay in Naha for the full 4 nights and doing day trips to the surrounding islands? I would like to go to the Kerama Islands (and possibly Kumejima) while I'm there to do some snorkelling but cheap accommodation seems easier to find on the main island - are ferry services relatively frequent?

Thanks again!

marcosrz
marcosrz

Hi again,

Although I've limited experience outside of Okiniwa island itself, a good start about the ferry can be found here.

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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