Looking for something more than Kokusai Dori, Shuri Castle, and beni imo taruto? If you’re thinking about a holiday on Okinawa, search no further as I have composed a guide worthy for all travelers going along the road less traveled. Tokashiki is located 30 km west of Naha, spans 9 km north to south, 2.8 km east to west, and it takes the cake for being the best outer island because it’s got a beautiful, laid back, great island feel. In this Tokashiki guide, I will cover ferry cost, transportation, accommodation, and more!
To get to Tokashiki you need to take a ferry from Tomari Port. You can find a timetable and ferry booking instructions for Tokashiki here. To make a reservation, call 098-868-7541 one day in advance. The receptionists speak some English so when you make your reservation, speak slowly and clearly. When traveling during Japanese holidays, book at least a month in advance. The slow ferry takes about 70 minutes and gives more options as you can bring your own transport aboard.
- Solo Round Trip is about 3,200 yen.
- Round trip plus a car is 13,100 yen.
- Round trip plus a scooter is about 700 yen.
If you’re staying overnight on Tokashiki, I suggest you bring a car or scooter. If you’re planning on making a day trip, there are buses to take you to Aharen Beach from the port. The Tokashiki Kanko Bus runs three times a day for 400 yen. For car rentals only, call Kujira rent-a-car at 098-987-2836. For cars, scooters, and bicycles use Aloha Renta Kikaku or Kariyushi Renta Service (Japanese only).
- Bike rentals are about 1,000 yen.
- Scooter rentals are about 2,700 yen for 12 hours.
- Car rentals range from 6,000-8,000 yen for 24 hours.
- Youth Travel Village Campsite– To make a reservation call 098-987-2333. These are usually not needed unless you’re bringing a big party or traveling around Japanese holidays like Golden Week. At the camp grounds, you have access to showers, bathrooms, and foot rinsing areas.You’re about a minute walk from Aharen Beach where you can find shops, restaurants, and corner stores. Sleeping there at night is really comfortable because the sea breeze keeps you comfortable.
- 500 yen per night to camp.
- 300 yen for a 5 minute hot shower.
- 1,200 yen for a 3 person tent or 2,000 yen for a five person tent.
- Tokashiki Guest House– If you’re in the area and you’d have a little more cash to spend, these guest houses are really well equipped for 21,000 yen per night. It includes a barbecue, basic kitchen, and a lovely terrace. This place accommodates up to 6 guests comfortably.
- Kerma Backpackers– For those of you on a budget, I highly suggest staying at Kerama Backpackers. For only 2,500 yen a night, it’s a cheap bargain!
- Kerama Sou Minshuku– This is Japanese style bed and breakfast. This means you’ll be in a tatami style room with a bathroom. The prices vary for different parts of the year. If you or a friend can read some Japanese, check out the website for Kerama Sou here. There is a maximum of 3 people per room. The prices reflect per person and not per room.
- Option 1: Japanese style room with a communal bathroom for 4,2000 yen.
- Option 2: Japanese style room, bus transport, personal bathroom, and breakfast for 6,350 yen.
- Food: An optional menu of barbecue for 2 or more people for 2,500 yen with additional sashimi for 2,000 yen
Tokashiku and Aharen Beach
Like all beaches on Okinawa, these have coral on them, but the white sand, clear and clean water makes up for it. You can easily go snorkeling and see brightly colored fish. There’s many places to rent snorkeling gear around the island. They usually range from 1,000 yen to 1,500 yen. Although my suggestion is you bring you own mask and fins.
Part of the island charm is to grab your friends, grab a grill, and cook out! It’s cheap to buy food if you split it between friends and having an ice cold Orion beer after a hot day in the sun feels so refreshing. You can rent a grill at the camping grounds and buy meat from the local grocery stores. Most of the meat comes frozen and ready-made in little plastic bags.
If you want to eat at restaurants, just be aware everything on the island closes after 5 unless you speak Japanese and can make a reservation with the owners. Most restaurants feature traditional Okinawan food like Okinawa soba and awamori (Okinawan rice alcohol). You can also find sashimi so fresh, they literally took it out of the ocean that day.
Turtles and Whales
If thou shalt venture to get turtle slapth, thou shalt recieveth. Tokashiki is a popular sea turtle mating ground and you can see them during July. Be careful not to get too close because they will bite you! After all, seeing turtles in the aquarium isn’t half as cool as seeing them in the ocean! In the months of January-March, it’s also whale watching season. Hear the whales singing and playing around the island December through March. It’s awesome!
If you’re really interested in going to Zamami, you can easily take a 35 minute ferry there for only 700 yen. You can make a day trip and hop over to Aka and Geruma too. There are two times the ferry leaves from Aharen Port: 9:05 AM and 4:05 PM. From Zamami Port, the ferry leaves at 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM. Since there are two times they leave, I suggest you don’t miss it. If you’re interested in seeing what Zamami looks like, check out this YouTube video with my friend, Kyle Gott.
If you hate crowded places swarming with people, Tokashiki is the better island. In addition, it was recently made into a National Park; therefore, it is kept clean and pristine. People also tend to get a little more freaky on the shiki. You can take that any way you like. It’s the best place to let loose, get comfortable and be yourself. My best photos have come from trips to Tokashiki laughing, cooking, and making great memories with my friends. If you’re interested in a great beach holiday, the best time to visit would be during August-October. You won’t have weather more perfect than during those times. Once you travel to Tokashiki, you’ve traveled to paradise.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Tokashiki today! For additional information, check out the official Tokashiki Village Website.
I had some help writing this post and I would like to give a big shout out and thank you to my dear friends Aaron and Hugo. Without your guidance, support, and translation help, this wouldn’t have been possible!