Tokashiki Island is one of the Kerama Islands off the coast of Naha, Okinawa. If you are visiting Naha and have seen the main attractions Tokashiki Island makes a good day trip away.
There are two ferries that will get you to Tokashiki from Tomari Port in Naha city. There is a slow ferry that takes about 70 minutes, and a fast one that takes 35 minutes. You buy your tickets from the building with the green wavy roof. At the time of writing the fast ferry for adults was ¥4620 return, and the slow ferry was ¥3080 return.
For most of the year there is a single boat of each that can take you to Tokashiki Island in the morning, and take you back to Naha in the late afternoon / early evening. The fast ferry gets you nearly eight hours on the island, and the slow ferry gets you nearly five. If you miss your ferry back then you might be stuck on the island for the night!
Here is the fast ferry (Marine Liner Tokashiki Express) from the inside and outside. There is an upper deck as well where you can feel the sea breeze as the boat bounces along (and it does bounce if the sea is anything but still!).
Tokashiki hire car
If you really want to see the island you might want to hire a car. On arrival at the Tokashiki port we found a man at the tourist counter in the ferry building who pointed us to the car hire place. We had to go round the building, up some stairs, and into a bar / restaurant. This is where they do the car hire!
Our car cost us ¥4725 for 6 hours, plus ¥1050 for insurance, plus we would need to pay ¥800 minimum for the petrol when we got back. They took the mileage before we left and if we drove more than a certain amount we’d have to pay extra.
The car was very small, but you don’t want a big car here. The roads are narrow, winding, and hilly. But if you want to see the whole island rather than just visiting a single beach a hire car is the way to go.
Snorkelling on Tokashiki
We wanted to go snorkelling so we made our way to Aharen Beach. We didn’t have any kind of map other than what was in the tourist leaflet, but using that and a compass we managed to find the beach after a few wrong turns.
We parked the car in a quiet grassy square that had other cars parked on it and walked to the beach.
We needed a coin locker and fortunately by the beach is a small camping ground. There you can use a locker for ¥300. There are also showers and an area where you can change. A few of the people around the camp site seemed a little odd; they were gawking at us as if they’d never seen a foreigner before – reminded me of The League of Gentlemen.
Hiring the snorkelling equipment was straight forward. There was a proper stall near the beach where a snorkel, goggles, and flippers could be hired for ¥1000 per set.
After changing and locking our clothes and bags in the coin locker we spent about two hours swimming and snorkelling. They is some good coral in the roped off swimming area, as well as yellow, purple and other multi-coloured fish.
My camera isn’t water proof so I didn’t get any photos of this area, other than these two looking back down the street with the snorkel hire through the rained on car window as we left.
Driving around Tokashiki
We spent several more hours driving all around the island. By the time we were done we must have driven over most of the island’s roads – it isn’t very big.
There are other things to do on the island (parks, observation points). And in January to March you can get another boat to allow you to whale watch. But we were more interested in having a drive and admiring the scenery. It is very green inland and very blue out to sea.
Just before our 6 hours was up we returned the car. There was no extra petrol charge as we were within our mileage.
Then we had a drink, before getting the boat back to Naha.
A good daytrip, and something fun to do if you want to go somewhere quieter than Naha.