Free shuttle bus to run in southern Okinawa during summer season

Six resort hotels located in southern part of Okinawa, and a number of marine leisure companies have collaborated to set up a free shuttle bus called “Minami Kaza-Go” to run a route around the southern part of Okinawa during the peak summer season. The ride is free, and no special requirement are set meaning anybody can take a ride.

The bus route runs from Toyosaki Churasan Beach in Tomigusuku to Bibi Beach in Itoman City, then on to Kokusai Street in Naha, and many places in between. The companies set up the bus route and share the costs in order to promote sites and facilities in southern part of the island, not only for peace studies but also the many leisure spots that are located in the area. Participating companies say that they felt they had to do something as most tourists tend to stay and travel around the middle parts of the island north from Naha area and especially during the summer season. There are a few regular bus routes in the south currently, and the service could provide much help for foreign visitors, and also local residents living there.

The buses are scheduled to run from Jul. 20 through Sep. 1, five round trips a day. aAnd having a capacity to carry 45 passengers at a time. Anybody can hop in for a ride, even people who do not stay at the hotels that organized the project. The bus starts at Bibi Beach in Itoman city, and continues through Naha Airport, Palette Kumoji and other stops taking about one hour for a round trip. It also stops near some Yui-rail stations allowing an easy access to Shuri and other sightseeing spots that are out of reach for the shuttle bus.

There was a similar project in Okinawa before, but mostly only people staying in participating hotels were allowed to ride.  It was also hard to manage. But this project gives a free ride to anyone, and organizers hope also local residents use the free buses, and get to know more about the southern parts of the island. The project even may spawn new ideas for the bvenefit of the residents of the south.