So you are arriving to Naha airport!
As with much of public transportation in Japan, once you take the Okinawa monorail once or twice, you will be a pro at riding it!
There is a monorail station located within walking distance of the airport.
This means that if you’re staying in a main part of Naha, it’ll likely be pretty convenient to get to your hotel from the airport by taking the Okinawa monorail aka Yui Rail.
And, the monorail from the airport only goes in one direction, so you don’t even need to make sure you are taking the monorail that’s going in the correct direction!
How to get to the Naha airport monorail station
Follow the signs!
After you’ve collected your baggage…
You’ll leave the secure area…
And then you can look for the signs pointing to the monorail!
And then you will make your way to the monorail airport station.
You will see the station almost immediately upon exiting the airport, and it will be a walk of a few minutes.
How to buy a monorail ticket
You need a ticket before you board the monorail, and you can buy this when you get to the monorail station.
You’ll find the ticket machines right next to the ticket gates.
Before you make your way directly in front of the ticket machine though, you will want to know:
- What monorail station you are getting off at
Google Maps can be a reliable way to figure out which monorail station is closest to your destination.
So you can input your destination as your hotel, and it’ll likely tell you the station you’ll be looking to go to.
Then, once you know which station you want to go to, have a look at the route map above the ticket machines.
You can locate your station to figure out the cost of your train ticket. (This will also show up on display on the ticket machine too for confirmation.)
So the ticket cost for the monorail from the Naha airport will be around 200-300 yen (US$2-3)
Now that you know the cost of the ticket, you can head to the ticket machine.
Then click on how many adults and children you’re buying the ticket for.
If you’re just buying for yourself, you don’t have to do anything, as 1 adult is the default.
And from there, you’ll click on the “monorail ticket” option, and then basically just follow the prompts!
There is an English version that you can switch over to, so first look for that button.
Instead of buying an individual train ticket each time you want to take the monorail…
Okica card: Okinawa’s IC card
There are also IC cards in Okinawa.
There’s really no cost benefit in getting an okica card, but it will make traveling on the Okinawa monorail much easier and more convenient.
Instead of having to buy a monorail ticket every time you want to ride one, you can instead have your okica card loaded up with cash, and then swipe through the ticket gate without stopping by the ticket machine each time.
So this is something to consider getting if you’ll be taking the monorail around Naha a few times. There is an extra fee (well, “deposit”) of 500 yen (US$5) to buy this.
Can you use your suica card or icoca card in Okinawa?
Typically, you can use various IC cards like suica, pasmo, and icoca across different regions of Japan that accept IC cards.
But these IC cards that you buy in Tokyo or Kyoto…
You will NOT be able to use in Okinawa.
So this means that if you want the ease of using public transportation in Naha, you’ll need to get the okica card.
How to buy the okica card
It’s pretty easy to get an okica card, and you can do this at the same ticket machine that you would buy a monorail ticket.
So once you arrive at the monorail airport station, you would go over to the ticket machine, similar to if you were to buy an individual ticket.
Basically just follow the prompts!
For this, you will click on the button for “IC card.”
You can go for “personal” with your name and info on the card in case you lose the card, or you can go for the regular “general” okica card.
Since you need to pay the deposit of 500 yen, if you select 1,000 yen option, consider that it only leaves you with 500 yen on the card.
It’ll probably take you around 300 yen to get to your hotel.
So it would probably be best to load the card with the 2,000 yen option.
Then you get your Okinawa okica card!
Another option as you may have seen in the prompts above is the monorail pass.
There is a “1 day monorail pass” and “2 day monorail pass” that you can get as well.
How much does the monorail pass cost?
- 1-day pass – 800 yen (US$8)
- 2-day pass – 1,400 yen (US$14)
These are valid for 24-hours and 48-hours from the time you buy the pass.
Check here to confirm the current price of the monorail pass.
Once again, you can buy the monorail pass in the same way that you buy the individual ticket or okica card.
Just follow the prompts!
So you have an okica card, monorail ticket, or monorail pass!
Next, you will go through the ticket gate!
Whether you have a card, ticket, or pass, you will swipe to get through the ticket gate.
With an okica card, you tap the indicated area with your card.
With a ticket or pass, you’ll place the bar code side down to get through the ticket gate.
Then you can take the elevator, escalator, or stairs to get up to the platform.
Wait for the next train to arrive!
Then once the monorail arrives…
Off to Naha city you go!
Luggage on the monorail?!
You won’t be alone!
What are the monorail timings from Naha airport?!
In short, they are pretty frequent so you likely won’t have to wait long for the next monorail to come.
Below are the listed timings at the monorail airport station.
Photos taken April 2019
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
HAPPY OKINAWA MONORAIL RIDE FROM NAHA AIRPORT!
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
The super fast train in JapanIn general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure.
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NEW way of buying individual shinkansen train tickets online!I will start by saying I have NOT bought train tickets online this way (yet!) to verify this! (But it's on my list for my next trip to Japan!)
There's an online train ticket booking method that's popular for other parts of Asia, and they are just now branching out to Japan.
You can now buy train tickets online here for popular shinkansen train routes. (And some bus routes too.)
I've used this booking site for taking the train from Thailand to Malaysia, and it worked out well, so I would expect it to work out well in Japan too!
The thing is, though, that you need to pick up the physical train tickets in person.
So it won't be enough to just buy the tickets online. I had to do this in Bangkok for my train ticket - and it was easy! So again, I would think it'd be easy for Japan train tickets too.
Search for popular routes in Japan here. For example, Tokyo to Kyoto.
If you end up buying train tickets online this way, I would love to hear how it goes! Whether that's good, or if it came with some challenges!
Natural disasters in JapanUnfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.
My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon.
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
Best travel guides for JapanIf you're at step 1 in your planning process, have a look at this Discover Japan book.
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