Where is Ginoza?
Okinawa is in sub-tropical climate. In the summer (Jun to Sep), the highest is about 30C to 32C (upper F80s), the lowest is about 25C to 26C (upper F70s). In the winter (Dec to Mar), the highest is 19C to 21C (upper F60s), and the lowest is 14C to 16C (upper F50s).
Beautiful coral reefs all around the island. Tourism is the major industry here. 18% of the land is occupied by American military.
Naha international airport (OKA) hosts domestic flights to Japan’s major international airports like Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. 3h10m from Narita (NRT), 2h20m from Osaka (KIX), 1h40m from Fukuoka (FUK).
OKA also has some direct flights to some Asian cities like Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing.
Ginoza, where Okinawa Watsu center is located, is right in the middle of the island. About 1 hour drive on the highway from Naha downtown and the airport. There’s a highway bus from the airport, thru downtown bus terminal, to reach Ginoza IC within 1h20m.
Ginoza is a rural village, where agriculture and fishing is the main industry. There is a convenient store in the village where we can stop by anytime at the end of the day. But no grocery stores. We’ll drive you to a grocery store in the next town on the 1st day for your breakfasts and other groceries for the week. You are encouraged to bring whatever necessary to make your stay as comfortable as it can be. Don’t expect to get much locally.
How to get to Ginoza?
When you arrive at Naha Airport, you can take a highway bus straight to Ginoza. Remember to feed in a restaurant at the airport before that.
When you get on a bus, take a ticket which has a number on it. The number represents which bus stop you ride on. Then you pay cash when you get off. There may be no ticket vending at the domestic terminal as this is where the route starts.
From domestic terminal to Ginoza, JPY1780.
From int’l terminal to Ginoza, JPY1780.
From Naha bus terminal to Ginoza, JPY1690.
If you arrive at the international airport, this is the second stop for the highway bus 111 or 117. But the domestic terminal has much more restaurants and shops. You may want to walk over to the domestic terminal.
[fancy_link link=”https://watsucenter.jp/v2020/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/okinawa-highway-bus-schedule-down.pdf” variation=”orange” target=”blank”]Timetable of Highway Bus to Ginoza[/fancy_link]
Let us know beforehand which bus you are planning to take. So that we will come to Ginoza IC bus stop to pick you up. It would be great if you can email us when you get on the bus.
[dropcap2 variation=”teal”]CASH[/dropcap2] There’s money exchange at the international terminal. And the domestic terminal has Bank of Ryukyu where you can exchange some currencies. Most shops in Naha accept credit cards. Not many accept in Ginoza, but the grocery store and the convenience store accept credit cards. So you won’t need much cash. You need to exchange minimum amount to Japanese Yen for the bus fare. If you are in need for Japanese yen during the class, we will help you.
[dropcap2 variation=”teal”]WIFI[/dropcap2] There’s public wifi in the spa facility where we do trainings, but not at your lodge. You should buy a pre-paid SIM or rent a WIFI router at the airport. Please arrange your own internet access.
There are several services you can find on the web like this one.
[fancy_link link=”http://www.so-net.ne.jp/prepaid/en/index.html” variation=”orange” target=”blank”]Pre-paid LTE SIM[/fancy_link]
Plan Your Trip
[dropcap2 variation=”teal”]TRIP BACK[/dropcap2] Class ends around 16:00.
There are still a couple of buses of the day going back to Naha. We will drive you to Ginoza IC bus stop.
[fancy_link link=”https://watsucenter.jp/v2020/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/okinawa-highway-bus-schedule-up.pdf” variation=”orange” target=”blank”]Timetable of Highway Bus to Naha[/fancy_link]
[dropcap2 variation=”teal”]NAHA[/dropcap2] is the downtown. There are lots of restaurants and shops along the main street called, “Kokusai Dori”. There are lots of bus tours for sight-seeing, diving tours in the summer, whale watching tours in the winter. There are lots of things in the walking distance.
If you have extra days in Okinawa, you should stay in Naha instead of staying extra days in Ginoza.
If you are travelling alone and in need for a cheap and comfortable hotel to stay, visit Kariyushi LCH.
[fancy_link link=”http://www.japanican.com/en/hotel/detail/8715AA2″ variation=”orange” target=”blank”]Kariyushi LCH[/fancy_link]
It’s JPY3980 per night. The hotel is in walking distance to the main street, to Naha Bus Terminal, and to aboveground monorail which goes to the airport and also to Shuri Castle, the ancient palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom. You can also take a taxi to the airport for about JPY1500.
Typically when we open a class in English, we start orientation at 16:00 on Day 1, and finish at 17:00 on Day 6. At orientation on Day 1, we’ll introduce each other, brief you what to expect from the class, and show you around the spa. We are not going into the water on the first day.
Then we’ll take you to grocery shopping. Starting from dinner on this day to lunch on the last day, all lunch and dinner will be provided. But breakfast is not included. You are also welcome to bring your tea and snacks during class breaks. This is the only chance you can do grocery for the week. (There’s no grocery store in the village, and we are taking you to the one in the next town.)
[dropcap2 variation=”teal”]LODGING[/dropcap2] is 5 minute walking distance from the spa. It’s basic Japanese Tatami rooms to share with your classmates. 4 people max in a room. Sexes will be separated. The room has simple kitchen, bathroom, refrigerator, futon beddings, TV, laundry machine, bath towels. Air conditioner needs coins to operate. JPY100 for 2 hours.
To have a room by yourself, it can be arranged at JPY1000 additional per night. Please state your requests in your enrollment.
[dropcap2 variation=”teal”]FOOD[/dropcap2] For lunch we have lunch box delivery or local restaurants. For dinner, we usually provide our home-made cooking with lots of vegetables with Japanese and oriental seasonings. Help-yourself style. This home-made dinner has been the highlight of Watsu trainings for many Japanese Watsuers.
We can easily comply with request for non-meat fish and vegetable diet.
If you are strictly vegetarian, we could still provide it by home-made cooking for all meals. But it may not always be possible. Please consult with us beforehand if you are strict with any diet.
During Watsu 1 or Watsu 2 class, you will be watching the demonstration video over and over, trying to memorize the sequence. The demonstration videos by Toru is up on YouTube.
But unfortunately, there’s no public wifi in the lodge or in the spa and the mobile connection is a little slow and unstable sometimes around here. We are located in a very quite side of the island.
It is very advisable to download the video from YouTube to your smartphone beforehand under wifi connection.
Clipbox is an free application for iOS and Android which allows you to download from YouTube. (There are other ways too.)