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Okinawa (Nakagusuku Port - 中城湾)


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Currently booked on the Dec 10, 2020 Japan cruise on Spectrum OTS (and hoping that it will not be cancelled - fingers crossed).  The ship will dock at the Nakagusuku Port - 中城湾 in Japanese) instead of Naha Port and I wonder if anyone had any past experience on this port.  Please send any info, advice or local tour / car rental etc... 

Thanks in advance.

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I live in Tokyo and have visited Okinawa on both a land vacation and a cruise. The current benefit to Nakagusuku Port over Naha Port is that the castle in that area did not burn down like the one down south. Otherwise, the island is fairly small and you can get to the major sites from either port. Naha has better shopping, but that’s about the only difference. 
What sort of activities do you enjoy? That would help me point you in the right direction 🙂 

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23 hours ago, KristiZ said:

I live in Tokyo and have visited Okinawa on both a land vacation and a cruise. The current benefit to Nakagusuku Port over Naha Port is that the castle in that area did not burn down like the one down south. Otherwise, the island is fairly small and you can get to the major sites from either port. Naha has better shopping, but that’s about the only difference. 
What sort of activities do you enjoy? That would help me point you in the right direction 🙂 

Thanks for the reply KristiZ -- really appreciate it.

I will be travelling with my DW and 4 more friends so there will be a total of 6 people.  Really just want to see some sights, get a feel of the Japan culture, a bit of shopping and definitely some good food.  We're on the slow and relaxing pace so no need to pack a large number of activities for the day (or two).

I think there's a fish market nearby the pier but I don't think it's "walk-able"

Also considering renting a car but most of the sites that I can find in the area seems to be in Japanese only and I do not know if they will deliver the car to the pier where we dock.  Alternative will be to get a hired car (will most likely need a mini-van) with a driver (hopefully English speaking)

Any suggestion are welcome.  And thanks in advance for your help 

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The good thing about Okinawa is that, due to the prolonged US military presence over the years, most aspects of business are pretty English-familiar.  That trend is less prevalent in the northern part of the island (where it seems you will be docked) but still evident.  If you plan on doing much, make sure you have some Yen. I am not that familiar with the northern part of the island (we lived down south for 3 years) but it is, IMO, a much prettier area.  If it were me, I would probably avoid renting a car.  #1, they drive on the left side of the road and it can be difficult to make that change if you’re not used to it.  #2, the road signs are generally only in Japanese - especially up north. Of course, they have GPS these days, but I still refuse to drive when I go there for work.  It can be pricey - especially if you are constantly converting dollars to yen.

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As @WAAAYTOOO says, I would definitely suggest not trying to rent a car. You would need an IDP to do it, and even if you could find a company that would come to the port with the car (a big if), you will only be able to estimate what time you get to disembark. The immigration process in Japan for cruise ships is definitely one of the, shall we say, least customer service oriented systems I've seen 😉 

You will definitely need some yen if you want to do things on your own. While more places are taking credit card than have in the past, non-cash forms of payment being accepted in Japan is never guaranteed. 

The fastest/easiest way to get around is by taxi. You would need two with a group that size, but that is easy to do. Some taxis take credit cards.

You can also check out something like AirBnB Experiences and see if you can get a local guide for a day.

This is an excellent basic travel guide for Okinawa: https://www.visitokinawa.jp/?fbclid=IwAR1gg15J2v_ro8RgPuDN2bACBViV5d1WIJrcCsFVeq24mBnzkhmH3F8KdYY

Here is the castle near Nagagusuku: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7107.html

If you're there during the week, this is a good lunch spot (please ignore the crap website): https://tantantei-minami-uebara.food96.com/

This is a small chain, but also good local food: http://danbo.jp/store_info/

Heading north from the port will get you to some lovely natural areas.

Enjoy, and feel free to ask more questions!

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