Okinawa is often coined as the Hawaii of Asia. Beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, amazing marine life.
Okinawa is a mere 5.5 hour flight from Singapore – provided there is a direct flight. Last September, Silkair announced that they were chartering direct flights to Okinawa. This got me SUPER excited!! I have been wanting to go Okinawa so much! But the absence of direct flights has been holding me back.
However, because these were chartered flights, I could only book through specific travel agencies. Most travel agencies reserved the flights for their tour package customers. One agency I found which had free & easy packages charged SGD1588 per person for flight + 4 nights hotel. And the kids had to pay the same price! This worked out to SGD6352 for a 5-day trip for our family of 4 – excluding car rental and other expenses. It was crazy, considering we eventually went to Hokkaido for 17 days for less than SGD8000.
But this spurred me to look for alternative methods to get to Okinawa. And below are the options that I have explored.
Singapore to Okinawa Option #1:
Fly to another city in Japan (typically Tokyo) and take a domestic flight to Okinawa.
This is the most common way, but is a major detour. The cheapest city in Japan to fly to from Singapore is Tokyo, but if you look at the map, you will know flying to Okinawa via Tokyo is a real waste of time.
You can fly via other cities such as Osaka or Fukuoka, but generally air tickets to these cities are more expensive than to Tokyo. Domestic flights between these cities and Okinawa are also less frequent.
Singapore to Okinawa Option #2:
Fly China Airlines via Taipei
Flying via Taipei makes good sense since it is not much of a detour.
However, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of China Airlines. Not a fan at all.
Singapore to Okinawa Option #3:
Fly China Eastern Airlines via Shanghai
Flying via Shanghai is a bit of a detour, though not as bad as Tokyo.
But, I’m not a fan of China Eastern Airlines, so… next.
Singapore to Okinawa Option #4:
Fly Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong
Flying via Hong Kong is a bit of a detour, but still acceptable to me.
Cathay Pacific is a very reputable airline, hence I consider this a very viable option. However, I have yet to come across a good promotion for their Singapore to Okinawa flights. So far, every time I searched, the fare is close to SGD1000. 🙁
Singapore to Okinawa Option #5:
Flying Scoot + Peach via Taipei or Hong Kong
One of the advantages of this option is that it allows you to stop over at Taiwan at no additional cost! If you want to stop over at Hong Kong instead (you know, to visit Disneyland with the kids), you can also take Scoot to Hong Kong followed by Peach to Okinawa.
Please note that Scoot and Peach are both Lost Cost Carriers, so please manage your expectation. I had a pretty pleasant flight on Scoot to Australia, and you can read about my experience with Peach here.
Sidenote: When I tried making a booking for Peach Airlines using my MacBook and Firefox, I kept getting error on the payment page. I switched to my Windows PC and used Internet Explorer and everything was peachy!
Singapore to Okinawa Option #6:
Flying EVA Air from Singapore to Taipei, then Taipei to Okinawa
EVA Air operates flights from Singapore to Taipei, and also from Taipei to Okinawa. But their website currently does not offer the option of booking a Singapore to Okinawa flight (with transit in Taipei). Which means you need to book two separate tickets (SIN – TPE and TPE – OKA). The advantage is that you get to stop over at Taipei.
And more importantly, for me at least, you have an option to take that Eva Kitty plane between Singapore and Taipei (starting from 21 June 2015).
Cruise to Okinawa!
If taking multiple flights (especially with kids) does not appeal to you, how about CRUISING there? WOAH! Idea! Here are some cruise companies that operate cruises to Okinawa from countries within easy reach of Singapore.
Star Cruises operates cruises from Taiwan to Okinawa. They have 2 night cruises to Ishigaki, 2 night cruises to Yonaguni and 3 night cruises to Ishigaki and Naha.
Princess Cruises operates 8-Days cruises from Taiwan, visiting Okinawa along with Kobe in Japan, and Hualien and Kaohsiung in Taiwan.
Royal Caribbean is going to operate 5-day cruises to Okinawa from Hong Kong and 4-day cruises to Okinawa from Shanghai. And not just one any ship, but on their newest amazing Quantum of the Seas! (Check your booking carefully as Royal Caribbean also operates similar cruises on Voyager of the Seas instead of Quantum.)
Posts from my Okinawa trip (June 2015)
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