Winter is best season for camping on Okinawa

By David Higgins

Winter is the only season that your tent doesn’t turn into a sauna.

If you are looking for a winter activity on Okinawa, you might want to consider camping.  For North Americans, summer is the usual season for camping; however, the opposite is true for Okinawans.  Winter is surprisingly the best time to camp on here.

There are many reasons to camp in the winter on Okinawa, but first and foremost is the weather.  The winter is much cooler and so much more enjoyable as the cooler temperatures ensure your tent does not resemble an Indian sweat lodge!  Summer on Okinawa is brutally hot and humid even throughout the night.  In the summer blankets are not required, and being close to anyone in the tent is uncomfortable because increased body heat equals more sweat.  In the winter the temperature on a sunny day is a blissful 20°C.  Night gives you a chance to finally make use of that sleeping bag you’ve always wanted to as the temperature may drop down to a cool 13°C.  The chilly nights may even encourage you to snuggle up to the person next to you.

The next best reason to camp in the winter on Okinawa is the lack of other people camping around you.  Therefore, you really get a chance to escape from the hustle and bustle and find some peaceful solitude.  One of the reasons people love to camp is the peace and quiet, and the perfect place to escape is anywhere along the coastline up north.  The northern part of the island boasts some untouched camping spots right along the ocean.  If you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle you can park your car right on the beach and set up camp.  This way, you would still have the option of taking shelter in your car if you get an unexpected downpour.

Another good reason to camp in the winter is simply for something to do.  Many people complain the winter season is rainy, windy and a little bit chilly.  Personally, I think the winter is the best time of the year.  If you compare it to the record-low temperatures occurring in North America, you would think that you were living on a tropical island in the Pacific.   And you are!  However, because Okinawa is tropical, it is recommended you check the weather forecast, and aim for some upcoming sunny days before you decide to head out and camp.

Lastly, my favorite thing about camping on Okinawa is that you can pack up all of your gear and be back home within 1.5 hours.  Okinawa is a small island and one of its features is that with just a short drive away up north, you reach wilderness country. Therefore, if you are out in the wilderness and things turn awry with family members who don’t like bugs, children who decide they can’t live without Wi-Fi or a monsoon rainfall that comes out of nowhere, not to worry!  You can just pack it all up and be home in no time.  If you happen to spot a Yanbarukuina (the most famous Okinawan bird) while on your drive or while camping, it was all worth it anyway.

  • Jason

    Where are some of your favorite spots? Going to leave the states soon heading that way. should we bring camping equipment?