List of reasonably priced accommodations
2018.08.13

  Here is a list of not too expensive and karate friendly accommodations in Naha City. The ones marked with a (★) have online English information available. For other ones, send an email in English. When contacting them, make sure to mention that you are visiting Okinawa for karate purposes as some may have discounts for karate enthusiasts.

  Please understand that we can not be held responsible for any issue happening when contacting or staying at one of these facilities as well as regarding the style and services of each facility. This information is only provided as a start for someone looking for a place to stay.

  If you wish to suggest an accommodation, feel free to contact us.

 

Abest Cube Naha★ https://www.abestcube-naha.com/plan.html
Andon Matsuo★ http://www.okinawayado.com/
Asahi Guest house★ www.agari-tida.com/room.html
CamCam Okinawa★ www.camcam-okinawa.com
Guest house Base Okinawa★ http://okig-e.cloud-line.com/nawa.net/
Guest House Sea pappa★ http://www.sea-pappa.com/
Guest House Umikaji★ http://umi-kaji.com/
Hikari no Ie Anex http://www.hikarinoie.jp/
Karate Mate https://okinawakaratemate.wixsite.com/okinawakarate
Kariyushi Hotels★

http://www.kariyushi.co.jp/english/index.html

Karate Friendly Hotel - "Karate Ka" Support menu

Kina Mansion http://www.kina.co.jp/weekly/
Lohas Villa★ http://lohas-cg.com/english.html
Minamikaze http://minamikaze-cg.com/
Minshuku Green House http://greenh.jp/
Minshuku Hakuseisho★ www.hakuseisou.com/
Okinawa guesthouse Grand Naha http://grandnaha.jp/
Okinawa Harborview Mansion★ https://www.okinawa-weekly.com/english.php
Shell House Backpackers Hostel★ http://shellhouse.net/
Stella Resort Okinawa Guest House★ http://stella-cg.com/english.html
Tokyu Stay Okinawa Naha https://www.tokyustay.co.jp/e/hotel/ON/

Other locations

COZY STAY apartment, in Tomigusuku★ https://cozy.okinawa
Karatel, in Yomitan★ https://karatel.jp/
Karate tours in Okinawa
2018.07.09

  Okinawa is the cradle of karate. Therefore, there are many sites and monuments related to karate all around the island. We have listed most of them on this page.

  Unfortunately at that time, our center doesn't have historical tour programs per say. At the moment, people who wish to tour karate sites have 4 options, listed below in no particular order. Be aware that we are not involved and can’t be held responsible for the contents offered by the respective entities.

 

Practical information on Okinawa
2017.09.17

  This page is designed to bring useful information to people who plan a visit to Okinawa for karate or other martial arts purposes. It is in no way completed and will be updated along the way. We welcome your comments and hints that might be helpful to visitors.

 

Accommodation

Hotel rates in Okinawa are generally charged by person, not by room. Also, confirm if meals are included. Some facilities accept credit cards; some do not.

Right-on-the-beach resorts: Most resorts are located beachfront or near a beach. They offer breathtaking views of the beautiful blue waters, sports activities, spa services, delicious cuisine, etc. Prices range from ¥ 20,000 and above.

Near-the-city hotels: These hotels range from resort-like facilities with pools to hotels strictly for business travelers. Prices range from ¥ 5,000 and above. Most are conveniently located near downtown areas.

Local Inns and guest houses: If your budget is limited and experiencing vibrant conversation with locals is on your itinerary, then these are the places to stay. Prices range from ¥ 2,000 and above.

Weekly rooms & Monthly rooms: These types of accommodations come completely furnished with kitchenettes & cookware. Rooms are rented on a weekly or monthly basis and a deposit is required. Prices for weekly rooms start from ¥ 25,000 and above, monthly rooms from ¥ 80,000 and above.

 

Emergency

For the POLICE: Dial “110”. (English ok)

For lost and found, go to the closest kōban (Police box)

For an ambulance or in case of fire, dial “119”.

 

Etiquette

Shoes: Take your shoes off before entering a house, dōjō or any training facility like the Okinawa Karate Kaikan or the Budōkan. Don’t leave your shoes lying in the entrance way but put them in the stands provided. If there is no stand, place them at the entrance, tiptoes facing outward for an easy way out and if possible to the side of the entrance so your shoes are not in somebody’s way. Try not to step on the ground when taking your shoes off. Don’t sit down on the entrance way to tie up your shoes.

Sitting: When in a dōjō or in a tatami room, don’t sit with your legs out in front of you or pointing at another person; Sit in a seiza position and if not possible sit Indian style.

Smoking: Recently, non-smoking regulations have spread. Therefore, many restaurants adopt the non-smoking/smoking area system. For example, Kokusai Dori is a smoke free street. By law, tobacco can only be purchased by those 20 years of age and above.

Tattoos: Irezumi in Japanese. Tattoos are still seen by many as a symbol of Yakuza, the Japanese mob, and criminality. Many places like sauna and public baths may refuse the entrance to their establishment to people with tattoos, regardless of the size and design.

What to wear in and out the dōjō: Kids walking to and from the dōjō in karategi is a common sight in Okinawa but less common with adults. Going to the training venue wearing a karategi pants and a normal T-shirt is usual. Do not wear watches, socks, rings and the likes during training.

 

Hospital

Emergency hospital: Naha city: 098-877-1199 (you can go there by monorail getting off at Byoin-mae-eki station) Official website

Adventist Medical center: 098-946-2833 (English speaking doctors available – 30 minutes from central Naha – 10 minutes in car from monorail Shuri Station) Official website

Okinawa Red Cross Hospital: 098-853-3134 (in front of Yogi Park, next to Naha Police Station)

 

Internet

Free wifi: Starbucks and Mission Coffee have free wifi. Mission Coffee will give the password for free. Starbucks is for free as well, you just need to register with an email address once. They have a flyer with English instructions if you ask them. It works in every Starbucks, at least in Japan.

 

Karate, kobudō & martial art stores

Ishimine Shōkai: Located in Naha City Sueyoshi district. Offers karate uniforms and other martial goods. Official website

Ippondō: Located in Gate 2 Street in Okinawa City, it offers a wide variety of goods and souvenirs. Official website

Shureidō: The most famous Okinawa karate uniform brand. Offers martial artists clothing and accessories. Located in Naha City, close by the Sōgenji wall. Official website

 

Laundromat

If your hotel doesn’t have a laundry service or a washing machine within the establishment, there are many laundromat (coin laundry) available in most cities. You will need 100 yen coins for both the washing machine and the drying machine. Laundry detergent is available depending on stores. It generally costs 300 yen to wash and 100 yen every 10 minutes of dryer time.

 

Miscellaneous

Baths: You are supposed to shower before you get in the bath. If you use the public bath, don’t soap up in the tub!

Convenient stores: Family Mart, Lawson and the recently opened Seven 11 are the most popular. Most are open 24hours.

Helpline: Japan Helpline is a 24 hour service, toll free and offers advice in many languages. Dial 0570-000-911.

Library: The Okinawa Prefectural Library is located above the Naha Bus Terminal (after moving from Yogi Park). The library is open from 9:00AM - 7:00PM on weekdays and 9:00AM - 5:00PM on weekends. Closed on Tuesdays, 4th & 5th Sundays, holidays, June 23rd, New Years, & special book arrangement days. Books specializing in Ryukyuan history, culture and karate are available on both the 1st floor (general floor) and 2nd floor (Okinawa matters reference room).

Massages: Many hotels offer massage services. Just ask the front desk. While there are many stores called Temomin that offer quick back, head and foot massages, Chiropractic clinic (Seitai in Japanese) are also available for efficient massages. It usually costs 3,000 yen for a 30-45 minutes session. Other experiences are the cobblestone reflexology footpaths found in parks and hard and soft reflexology.

Nommunication: Many Okinawan people enjoy having a few drinks after a long day of work. It’s the time of day when people get together to enjoy conversation and a few drinks.

Tipping: Don’t tip! As in mainland Japan, tips are not a tradition, therefore it is not necessary nor expected.

Western toilets: Convenient stores have public western toilets. Politely ask if it is alright to use the toilets or purchase something.

 

Money

Banks: They are closed weekends and National holidays. Banking hours are Mon- Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm (May vary depending on the bank). You can exchange traveler’s checks and foreign currency at most main branches.

Currency exchange: The Bank of Okinawa has set some cash exchange machines in major shopping malls. Your can change 8 currencies there. In Naha, visit San-A Main Place in Shintoshin and AEON Naha in Oroku.

Withdrawing money: In most case, it is not possible to withdraw money from a regular ATM machines found in Japanese banks with a card issued outside of Japan. The most convenient option is to go to a post office. Post office’s ATMs have a guide in English and accept most major credit cards. Like the Post office ATM located on the 1st floor of Ryubo Palette Kumoji, most ATMs are in service 7:00-23:00 weekdays, 9:00-21:00 Saturdays and 9:00-19:00 Sundays.

 

Name card

Name card in Japan and Okinawa is an important part of the culture. Having some cards made may help introducing yourself on the first day. It is possible to have name cards made in a few days in one of the many name card & seal stores around the island. For a regular design, plan approximately 2000-3000 yen for 100 cards.

 

Post office

Post offices are open Monday to Friday 10:00 to 17:00. Main branches only have a counter opened 24hours all days. Look for the symbol below. It generally costs 50 yen to send a postcard and 80 yen to send a letter. For international rates, ask at the counter.

 

Shopping

Aeon Rycom: Located in Kitanakagusuku at the entrance of Okinawa City, the Aeon Rycom shopping mall is the latest attraction when it comes to shopping. Official website

Junkudō: The biggest bookstore in Naha. The Okinawa and karate corner is on the 2nd floor and the foreign book and magazine section is on the 3rd floor.

Naha Main Place: Located in Shintoshin, next to the Okinawa Prefecture Museum, it has a wide choice of shops, restaurants and a cinema complex. 5 minutes walk from the monorail Omoromachi station. Official website

Ryūbō: Also known as Palette Kumoji, this land mark is a huge department store at the South end of Kokusai Street in Naha City. Official website

Supermarkets: The major stores are Jusco, Union and San-A. Many are opened 24hours.

100 yen shop: Many department stores have one such store offering all types of goods and food.

 

Telephones

Telephones in Japan are color coded: green phone takes either coins or a phone card and is used for making domestic calls only. A gray telephone can be used for domestic or international calls. Cards or coins can be used and there is an English guidance. Prepaid calling cards are available at convenience stores or you can make collect calls or use your own credit calling service. The country code for Japan is “81”.

To call overseas, you can purchase a prepaid card in many convenient stores. (NTT World Prepaid Card, KDDI Super World Card, etc…).

For cellular phones, in most cases it is not possible to buy a prepaid SIM card in Okinawa.

Now, it is possible to purchase a prepaid SIM card ONLINE with Japan Communications Inc. More info at this link.

 

Tourist information

Naha Tourist Information Bureau: Located on the basement floor of Tenbusu Naha, opposite to McDonald’s restaurant in Kokusai Street, the bureau has English maps and pamphlets and English speaking staff available. Official website

Multilingual call center service: The OCVB has set a call center for visitors. It operates every day 9:00 to 24:00. The phone number for English Inquiries is 0570-077201.

Sightseeing: The Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCVB) is your gateway to sightseeing information on Okinawa. Information is available in various languages. Official website

 

Transportation

Driving: Car and scooter rental is very simple. However, you will need your International license. If you rent a car, remember there is a 0 tolerance in Japan for drinking and driving. According to the law, you must wear a seatbelt and no driving in the bus lane is allowed during certain hours of the morning and evening.

Taxis: There are many taxi services in Okinawa. Just wave your hand at the driver and he should stop for you. A red sign in the front window means the taxi is free. A green sign means it is occupied. Fares start from 450 yen and go up from there.

Monorail: Yui-rail, the Naha monorail, runs from Naha Airport to Shuri Station. Extension work is underway and will allow to reach Urasoe City in the coming years. It is a very handy way to get around Naha city. Fares starts at 200 yen and go up to 320 yen. The first train is at around 6:00 and the last train at around 11:30. Trains are available every 10 minutes or so. Official website

Ferries: There are many ferries that leave from Tomarin (Tomari port) for the surrounding islands like Tokashiki and Zamami islands.

Bus information: All buses routes 1 – 20 are city buses and will usually trundle down Kokusai Dori Street and end up at Naha bus terminal. Be aware that the Naha bus terminal is under construction until March 2018. Flat fee of 200 yen paid into a box beside the driver as you enter the bus. Buses numbered 20 plus are suburban lines. Take a ticket as you get on and pay when you get off according to your ticket number.

 

Visiting a dōjō

In the past in Okinawa, a letter of introduction to the master was needed to become a student. In other cases, parents would bring their son asking the master to make an adult of him. Today, while many dōjō open their doors to foreigners, being escorted or introduced is sometimes the best way to find a good instructor or visit and train in a dōjō. If you want to visit other styles while on island and training in a dōjō, the best way is to ask your instructor for advice on which dōjō he would recommend for a visit. It is a nice way to have some doors open for you the traditional way! If you do not have an instructor in Okinawa, you can contact the Okinawa Karate Information Center for help in this matter.

Tuition fee: While they vary from dojo to dojo, remember that in Okinawa like in Japan, it is impolite to give money directly to someone. When paying a tuition fee, please put the money in an envelope. Note that there is no specific format or design therefore there is no need to buy a nice envelop.

What to bring: For training, people wear a karate uniform, called karate-gi and not a kimono! A towel and a bottle of water are a must! Some dōjō may accept sport clothes but it is always better to wear a karate uniform. Rental karate-gi are available for a fee. Contact our center for more details.

 

Weather

Overall: Okinawa is a year-round destination. January to March brings temperatures ranging from 16°-18°C (60°-64°F) with occasional chilly winds. Long sleeves and sweaters are recommended during these months. April, May and June bring short-sleeves weather with temperature averages from 21°-26°C (69°-78°F). Temperatures start climbing from July till September, rising to an average of 28°C (82°F). Sunglasses and caps are a must during this time of the year. From October, the temperature gradually declines till December with an average of 18°C (64°F).

The Rainy Season: Traditionally, the rainy season begins in May and continues to June. Humidity rises to 80% or above.

Typhoons: The so-called "peak season" for typhoons is from July to October.

Major organizations and facilities
2017.07.10

Okinawa Prefecture Karate Promotion Division (Okinawa ken karate shinkōka)

On February 12, 2016, the Okinawa Governor at  that time Onaga Takeshi announced the creation of the Karate promotion division within the Culture, Tourism and Sport Department of the Okinawa Prefecture Government. This creation was petitioned by the Okinawa Prefecture designated intangible cultural asset holders. For more, read the Ryūkyū Shinpō newspaper’s article.

The division opened its office on April 1st of the same year. It is in charge of planning, coordination and promotion in regards to Okinawa karate and kobudō working together with local karate organizations. It is also in charge of the Okinawa Karate Kaikan.

The Karate promotion division has its office on the 12th floor of the Okinawa Prefecture Government Building.

Yamakawa Tetsuo kachō (division head) was the first to lead this division. In April 2020, he was replaced by Sawada Hayato.

Official website (In Japanese)

Email address: aa082500[@]pref.okinawa.lg.jp (Please remove the [ ] before and after @)

 

Okinawa Prefecture designated intangible cultural asset “Okinawa Karate and Kobujutsu” preservation society (Okinawa ken shitei mukei bunkazai “Okinawa no karate kobujutsu” hozonkai)

Founded in 2016, June 2nd

1st President: Tomoyose Ryukō

Actual President: Nakahodo Tsutomu

In 1997, “Karate and kobujustu” was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Asset by the Okinawa Prefecture. The same year on August 8th, the following masters were recognized as holders in this field: Nagamine Shōshin (1907-1997, Matsubayashi-ryū), Yagi Meitoku (1912-2003, Gōjū-ryū) and Itokazu Seiki (1915-2006, Uechi-ryū).

On September 12th 2000, 6 other masters were recognized as asset holders: Iha Kōshin (1925-2012, Gōjū-ryū), Tomoyose Ryukō (1928-2019, Uechi-ryū), Nakazato Shūgorō (1920-2016, Shōrin-ryū), Nakazato Jōen (1922- 2010, Shōrinji-ryū), Miyahira Katsuya (1918-2010, Shōrin-ryū) and Wakugawa Kōsei (1926-2021, Gōjū-ryū).

On May 7th 2013, 5 masters were also recognized by the prefecture. They are Ishikawa Seitoku sensei (1925-2013, Shōrin-ryū), Uehara Takenobu sensei (1930-2021, Uechi-ryū), Hichiya Yoshio sensei (1930-2017, Gōjū-ryū), Nakamoto Masahiro sensei (82 years old, Kobudō)and Higaonna Morio sensei (82 years old, Gōjū-ryū).

On May 19th, 2020, 6 new masters were recognized as asset holders. They are Takara Shintoku (90 years old, Uechi-ryū), Iha Seikichi (87 years old, Shōrin-ryū), Nakahodo Tsutomu (86 years old, Uechi-ryū), Iha Kōtarō (81 years old, Kobujutsu), Maeshiro Morinobu (75 years old, Shōrin-ryū) and Kikugawa Masanari (74, Gōjū-ryū).

 

Okinawa Dentō Karatedō Shinkōkai (Society for the Advancement of the Traditional Okinawa Karate)

Founded on February 14, 2008

This organization was established with the purposes of planning the preservation, transmission and worldwide popularization of Okinawa traditional karatedō and kobudō. It aims at the establishment of Okinawa as not only the birthplace of karatedō and kobudō but also the Mecca for world karate. (Source: founding general meeting records)

President: the Okinawa Governor, Tamaki Denny

Vice-presidents: Ikemiyagi Masaaki, Taira Yoshitaka, Yagi Meitatsu and Nakazato Minoru

Board chairman (Rijichō): Arakaki Kunio

Secretary: Uehara Kunio

Official website

 

Zen Okinawa Karatedō Renmei

(All Okinawa Karatedō Federation)

Founded in 1967

This organization was established in 1956 at a time when there was no organizational activity in the Okinawa karate world. The purposes were to properly inherit and transmit karate and to support its international diffusion and development. The 4 major styles Uechi-ryū, Gōjū-ryū, Shōrin-ryū and Matsubayashi-ryū united into one body known as the “Okinawa Karatedō Federation”. In 1967, this entity was remodeled to become the “Zen (all) Okinawa Karatedō Renmei (federation)” with Nagamine Shōshin of Matsubayashi-ryū being the president.

1st President: Nagamine Shōshin

Actual President: Ikemiyagi Masaaki

Board chairman (Rijichō): Taira Sadayuki

 

Okinawa Ken Karatedō Renmei

(Okinawa Prefecture Karatedō Federation)

Founded in 1981

While taking the initiative in the organization of and participation to the National Sports Festival and other sport competitions, this organization strives for the preservation and inheritance of Okinawa traditional karate passed down by our ancestors. As an organization with the nurturing of healthy youth through karate as a foundation principle, it endeavors to raise world level athletes under the jurisdiction of the Japan Karatedō Federation.

1st President: Nagamine Shōshin

Actual President: Taira Yoshitaka

Board chairman (Rijichō): Takara Seigō

Official Website

 

Okinawa Karate Kobudo Renmei

(Okinawa Karate Kobudō Federation)

Founded in 1982

This organization was established around late masters Higa Yūchoku and Akamine Eisuke who both felt that Okinawa karate was undergoing a crisis. Its goals were to inherit and develop Okinawan karate and kobudō as an important traditional culture.

1st President: Higa Yūchoku

Actual President: Yagi Meitatsu

Board chairman (Rijichō): Yagi Akihito

 

Okinawa Ken Karatedō Rengōkai

(Okinawa Prefecture Karatedō Association)

Founded in 1993

In 1990 was formed the “Okinawa Karatedō Konwakai”, group that was reorganized in 1993 as “Okinawa Ken Karatedō Rengōkai”. Consistently aiming at karatedō’s unity, it is promoting internationally Okinawa as the birthplace of karate.

1st President: Nakazato Shūgorō

Actual President: Nakazato Minoru

Board chairman (Rijichō): Uezato Kazuo

Official website

 

Okinawa Ken Kobudō Renmei

(Okinawa Prefecture Kobudō Federation)

Founded in1993

The organization was established in order to plan the future of Okinawa traditional kobudō, aiming at its inheritance and development. Members represent the Ryūkyū kobudō system of Taira Shinken sensei, the Matayoshi family kobudō system and Motobu Udundī related system.

1st President: Nakamoto Masahiro

Actual President: Shimabukuro Tsuneo

Board chairman (Rijichō): Nakamori Takashi

Official website

 

Related facilities

 

Okinawa Karate Kaikan

Opened: AM 9:00 to PM 9:00 (The Archives are open from AM 9:00 to PM 6:00)

Closed: Every Wednesday

Holidays: December 30 to January 3

Location: 854-1 Tomigusuku, Tomigusuku City, Okinawa Prefecture

Contact : 098-851-1025

Official website

 

Okinawa Prefectural Budōkan (Hall of Martial Arts)

Opened: AM 9:00 to PM 9:00

Closed: Every Tuesday

Holidays: December 28 to January 4

Location: 52 Onoyama-cho, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture

Contact: 098-858-2700

Official homepage (In Japanese)

 

Okinawa Prefecture Karate Museum

Entrance fee: 300 yen

Holidays: None (call in advance to schedule a visit)

Location: 2-17-6 Uebaru, Nishihara Town, Okinawa Prefecture

Contact: 098-945-6148

 

Other links

Okinawa Prefecture Government (OPG)

https://www.pref.okinawa.jp/site/chijiko/kohokoryu/foreign/english/index.html

Culture, Tourism and Sport Department (OPG) Karate Promotion Division (in Japanese)

https://www.pref.okinawa.lg.jp/site/bunka-sports/karate/index.html

Okinawa Karate UNESCO Registration Promotion Council

https://okinawakarate-unesco.jp/

Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB)

www.ocvb.or.jp

Enjoy Karate Tourism in Okinawa! (Supervised by OCVB)

https://karate.ocvb.or.jp/