Report on my experience staying at Senagajima Hotel


Publication date: 2016/02/27


Senaga island image Ryukyu Onsen Senagajima Hotel has several selling points.

  • You can enjoy views of the ocean and airport
  • There is a natural hot spring which is rare in Okinawa
  • It is near Naha Airport and Kokusai-dori street
  • The hotel has not been open long and is sparkling clean

One wants to know whether all of these points live up to expectations. I went and actually stayed at the hotel and checked every nook and cranny to bring you the information.
I will bring you all the details, starting with the parts that lived up to expectations, before going on to the not-so-good parts!

1. The characteristics of Senagajima Hotel in 5 minutes!
2. The natural hot spring
4. Staying in the guest rooms
5. Food
6. Inside the hotel
7. Access

1. The characteristics of Senagajima Hotel in 5 minutes!

First, Senagajima itself is an island to the south of Naha Airport.

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However, it feels as if it is connected by land to the main island. There is a bridge-like road between the two, and it is just 15 minutes by car (if traffic is not bad) to the heart of Naha city.

The outer circumference of the island is approximately 1.5km. You can drive around it in around 5 minutes. People used to live there, but it was occupied by the US army following World War II. After it was returned to Japan no private houses were built there and the locals used it as a relaxing getaway spot for sports or for taking a drive.

Ryukyu Onsen Senagajima Hotel was built on the slight hill in the center of the island.
It provisionally opened in December 2012 after finding a hot spring 1,000m underground. The official opening was in January 2013.

1-1. Characteristic 1… you can enjoy views of the ocean and airport

The hotel stands atop a small hill on the island. Thanks to this location, it enjoys a 360 degree ocean view all around. All guest rooms at Senagajiima Hotel come with an ocean view.
Senaga island image
There are countless hotel around Naha, and many of them offer sea views.
However, most of these are views are of the harbor.
There are no other hotels where you can enjoy views of the waves coming up the beach, or the cobalt blue that is unique to wide shallow beaches.

Furthermore, if you choose a north facing room (airport view room), you can see Naha Airport across the ocean.
Naha Airport has more than 300 takeoffs and landings each day and you can enjoy close up views of these.

1-2. Characteristic 2… there is a natural hot spring which is rare in Okinawa

You can enjoy the Ryujin Onsen hot spring which gushes forth from 1,000m underground.
Senagajima hoteloutdoor hot spring
Japan is the country of hot springs, but there are only a limited number in Okinawa.
You can see the East China Sea from the large communal bath, and half of the guest rooms come with open air hot spring baths. You can enjoy views of the sea from these too.

Senagajima hotelのベランダ


Find more details at 2. The natural hot spring!

1-3. Characteristic 3… great location just 15 minutes by car from Naha Airport

Senaga island image
It is just 10–15 minutes by car from Naha Airport to the hotel, and only 20 minutes from Kokusai-dori, the main street of Naha city.
This is convenient for people who want to spend a relaxed time near the airport on the last day of their business trip or holiday.
Furthermore, viewing the airport takeoffs and landings from one’s room is popular with guests.

A detailed report on access to the hotel can be found at 7. Access!

1-4. Characteristic 4… sparkling clean after just opening in December 2012

The hotel is recommended for those who want to stay in new, clean hotels.

At the time of 2015, the hotel was still clean enough that one would know it was a new hotel at first glance.
Many reviews on hotel booking sites noted how new and clean the hotel looked.

I will introduce more details about the guest rooms in 4. Staying in the guest rooms!


1-5. The review score on booking sites is 4.4/5

In February 2016, positive reviews made up the majority of reviews on TripAdvisor (this includes reviews from guests not from Japan).

  • Excellent: 133
  • Very good: 131
  • Average: 28
  • Poor: 4
  • Terrible: 8

Additionally, I investigated the guest reviews on various Japanese hotel booking sites.
At the end of May 2015, the average score across 5 booking sites was 4.37/5. Converting this to a score out of 100 gives us 87/100, an all around high score.

In particular, the hotel received high scores in the bath, facilities, and room categories.
Many reviews said that the bath felt good, the view from the open air bath was great, or that the hotel was comfortable to stay in as one would expect from a new hotel.

I also made sure to investigate the bad categories.
My findings were that the food was rated on average lower than other categories and was between 3.9–4.2 on all sites.

3 means average, so that is not bad.
However, I saw several comments such as “there was lots of Okinawan cuisine and it was nice, but it was missing a little something” or “the food was not bad, but it seemed expensive in terms of cost-performance.”

2. The natural hot spring

IWABROThe hot spring gushes forth from 1,000m underground. It is popular with daytime customers who just come for the baths as you can look out over the sea as you take a warming soak.

The color of the water leans toward brown (a very hot spring-like color which looks good for your body).
The feel of the water on your skin is silky smooth.
And if your wash your face you will realize that the water is… salty! Not bitter, but salty. This may be unique to seaside hot springs.

2-1. Thoughts on the large communal hot spring bath

Senagajima hot spring TSUBOYU

At the large communal bath, you can enjoy large and small open air baths, indoor baths, and a sauna.
I will introduce the best points and ways to enjoy the baths here.
First, enjoying the views of the ocean alongside a soak in the natural hot spring.
Senagajima hot spring

The most popular bath in the reviews was the standing bath! I also went to this onsen looking forward to this.

Senaga island image

a bath which you stand up in立ち湯からみる夕陽
The standing bath is exactly what the name would suggest: a bath which you stand up in.
Strangely enough, your body feels lighter than in a sitting bath and you can relax.

The standing bath is in a particularly good location within the large communal bath. I recommend you enjoy views of the sparkling sea there during the day, and the sunset in the evening.

2-2 Thoughts on the open air baths in guest rooms

Senagajima hotelのベランダ51 of the hotel’s 101 guest rooms come with exclusive open air baths. The water is of course from the natural hot spring!

The bath tub is in the shape of a giant vase (a Japanese woman of average build will have more than enough space, but men will have to sit cross-legged).
guestroom with outdoor hot spring

The hot spring water bursts forth with great force when you turn the water on! The bath will be ready in 10 minutes.

The temperature of the water is on the hot side. If you prefer it more lukewarm then I recommend leaving the water a further 10 minutes after the bath is ready (you could add cold water but this would dilute the healthy properties of the hot spring water).

The large communal bath is great too, but it is nice to spend time soaking on your own in private, especially since you can use the bath on a whim whenever your want.
I enjoyed going for a bath immediately after waking up and washing my face.

Additionally, the rooms which have open air baths do not have indoor baths. Instead, there is a shower booth near the door to the open air bath.

Senagajima hotel・outdoor hot springつきのお部屋のシャワーSenagajima hotel・客室outdoor hot springの位置

2-3. Review evaluations from guests

Looking at reviews submitted to a major booking site, the bath category had a high rating of 4.4–4.7/5 on all sites.
Both the large communal bath and the baths in guest rooms were very clean. Additionally the location is good which makes for a pleasant soak in the hot spring bath.

龍神の湯・つぼ湯If I were to look for something that could be improved about the large communal bath, I would say that there are too many people. This is because the baths are popular not just with overnight guests but also with day time visitors to the baths. Also, the baths are not open all day, but rather from 6:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m. (last entrance 11:00 p.m.)
People checking in late should be aware of this.

Regarding the exclusive open air baths, many reviews said how they enjoyed taking a long bath and watching the airplanes, and how they enjoyed the bath every morning and evening.
However, some reviews said that they were a little worried about whether they could be seen from outside.
(This is a worry which is often encountered at hotels with private open air baths, not just Senagajima Hotel.)
It is a difficult problem where if you want to enjoy the outside scenery then you must also make yourself somewhat open to being viewed from outside.

The hotel is making effort to deal with this issue by making the balcony railings thick and by adding curtains for some rooms. However, since this is a tourist destination, it would be best to guard yourself with a towel when using the bath during the day.


3-1. Views of the clear sea from room and restaurant

Thanks to its position atop a small hill on the island, you can enjoy views of the sea from almost anywhere in the hotel.

On a clear day you can even see the Kerama Islands, one of the world’s leading spots for diving!

3-2. An unbroken view of the airport from your room

Naha airportと飛行機Senagajima is directly in front of the runway of Naha Airport.

If you get a room on the airport side of the hotel, you can watch planes take off and land as much as you want!
Naha Airport has more than 300 arrivals and departures every day.
One of the reviews I read said, “Both my kids and my husband were enthralled and watched it all the time.”

Naha airportに着陸する飛行機夜のNaha airport


It is worth noting that guest rooms have soundproof double-glazing.
You hardly hear any noise from the passenger planes. The hotel does say that you will hear some noise from Japan Self-Defense Force jets.
Even so, the hotel apparently receives a surprising lack of comments on any noise.

3-3. A famous place to watch the sunset

瀬長島から眺める夕陽Even before the hotel was built, Senagajima was known as great spot for taking a drive.
The reason for this is the sunset! Especially from the start of summer and throughout summer, you can enjoy a dazzlingly bright sunset (photo from June).

4. Staying in the guest rooms

All rooms at Senagajima Hotel come with a terrace from which you can see the sea, beach, and airport.
The floor of the rooms is either panel flooring or tatami mats, and you take off your shoes to enter (there are no Western style rooms which you can enter wearing shoes). There are slippers which you can wear.

4-1. Room types

When choosing a room at Senagajima Hotel, you can consider the following 3 points to help you come to a decision.

Point 1… do you want a private open air bath?
If you have a private open air bath then there will be no bath in your room (there is a shower booth instead).

Point 2… ocean view or airport view?
Even with an airport view you can see the ocean to some extent, however if you want to see to the horizon then you need an ocean view room.

Point 3… you can choose from among 3 different room types

  • The “Anji” room has the most luxurious interior and amenities
    *A twin room is 28.32–35.55m square
  • (Only with open air bath) Relaxing Ryukyu tatami Japanese-western style room
    *A twin room is 29.42–38.23m square
  • (Only with no open air bath) Convenient standard style room
    *A twin room is 27.89–29.93m square

4-1-1. “Anji”room(“Anji”room)

The selling points of this room type are the extravagance of its facilities and its interior design.
For example, it comes with amenities from L’Occitane, a coffee machine, a smartphone compatible audio system, etc. The room wear is also different to that of other room types.


roomwear at ANJI room按司(あんじ)の部屋オーディオ機器

Great care has also been taken over the interior design of the room. There are many visually appealing design features such as the bedside lamp which uses beautiful Ryukyu glass.

ANJI room's bed按司ルームの洗面台

4-1-2. Japanese-western room with open air bath

Senagajima hotel・guestroom outdoor hot spring Japanese-western style rooms all come with open air baths
You can turn on the water straight from the source and spend a luxurious time soaking whenever you want.
The Japanese part of the room with its Ryukyu tatami mats its perfect for lazing around on the floor in.

The amenities and room wear are different from the “Anji” room. Additionally, there is no audio system or coffee machine.
Still, the amenities are from the French brand “omnisens”. The coffee was delicious, and so were the black sugar tea cakes. It also left a good impression on me that all of the cutlery and tableware—the glasses, coffee mugs, spoon, and glass plate—were in Okinawan style.

coffee at Japanese-Western style room和洋室のアメニティ
roomwear at Japanese-Western style room和洋室の洗面台
The other difference is that there will be an open air bath and a shower booth.

4-1-3. Standard

twin room
There are 3 different kinds of standard room, all with airport views.
There is the “compact double” which is 17.7m square and can be used by a single guest.
There is the “standard twin” room, 27.8–29.9m square, for 2–3 people.
And finally, there is the “universal room” which is built with disabled access in mind and measures in at 36.6m square.

The standard room is, on average, a little smaller than the other types. The amenities are the same as the previous Japanese-western style room with the open air bath.

4-2. Thoughts after having stayed there

4-2-1. Good points

I stayed in the “ocean view Japanese-western style room with exclusive open-air bath”.
Immediately upon entering the room I was struck with the stylish design and the sense of cleanliness which you get with new hotels.

4-2-2. In comparison with other hotels around Naha

Most hotels around Naha are business hotels.
My first 2 nights in the area were in such hotels, and this kind of hotel tends to have decidedly mediocre amenities and facilities.
Senagajima hotel・お部屋のタオルHowever, I felt that the service at Senagajima Hotel is one step above these other hotels.

The towels are fluffy.
The coffee set is delicious and you get 2 complimentary bottles of mineral water.
There are Ryukyu glass ornaments in the bathroom, and there are chairs on the terrace.
The television has a 32″ display.
The bed is soft and large (1200mm wide by 1950mm long).

I was there on a business trip, but to my surprise, I found myself able to relax.

4-2-3. Points which could be improved

There is no convenience store

There are drinks vending machines and a shop within the hotel. However, the shop sells mainly souvenirs.
If you want to just shoot to the convenience store, you have to jump in your car and drive for 5 minutes to get to one.

4-3. Frequently asked questions regarding guest rooms

4-3-1. Is the noise from airplanes alright?

I tried out an airport view room.
The terrace door is doubled-glazed and soundproof.
You can hear hardly any noise after closing the door.

However, the hotel does say that you will hear some noise from Japan Self-Defense Force jets.
Even so, the hotel apparently receives a surprising lack of comments on any noise.

4-3-2. Can you smoke anywhere?

In general, all guest rooms are non-smoking.
The one room you can smoke in is on the terrace of the airport view “Anji” twin rooms.
Regarding communal spaces, the first floor terrace is a smoking space (you may get in some difficulty if it rains).

5. Food

5-1. Kajina, the hotel restaurant

This restaurant is the only eatery within the hotel.
It uses a glass design with a sense of freedom so that you can see the ocean as you eat.

5-1-1. Breakfast… a buffet with plenty of Okinawan cuisine

The morning meal is a buffet style breakfast.
There are lots of Okinawan dishes and local ingredients. There is a rich variety of dishes so choosing which to have is rather fun.

morning beakfast・ドリンクmorning beakfast・サラダ


morning beakfast・ジューシーmorning beakfast・せいろ蒸し

The appeal of a breakfast here is that you can gaze out over the morning ocean while eating Okinawan food. On a sunny day, this is sure to make for a pleasant morning.

morning beakfast風樹の内側から見たテラス
Furthermore, if you need to leave early in the morning and do not have time to eat breakfast at the hotel, you can have a breakfast packed for you instead. Make sure to request this at the front desk before 8:00 p.m. the day before.

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. (last order 9:30 a.m.)

5-1-2. Lunch… with a monthly changing menu

This is a buffet style lunch with main dishes which change monthly. You can enjoy your lunch at the poolside or with an ocean view, and many people who are not overnight guests come to enjoy this too.

The main dishes change to reflect the seasons. For example, in June 2015, the theme was “building up stamina ready for summer” and there was all-you-can-eat beef steak.

– Steak and tuna steak
– Crispy fried shrimp tempura

Others: charcoal grilled duck, grilled sweetfish, fresh vegetables with sauce and June seasonal amuse, healthy salad plate, 20 kinds of dessert, and more.

Opening hours: 11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m. (there is a 90 minute time limit on weekends and holidays)
Prices: Adults (weekdays) ¥2,000 (weekends and holidays) ¥2,200; children (age 6–12) ¥1,080; young children (age 3–5) ¥540 *tax included.
Reservations: Reservations can only be made for 11:30 a.m.
TEL: 098-851-7284 (Reception…10:00 a.m.–9:30 p.m.)

5-1-3. Dinner… you can enjoy courses using local ingredients

There is an à la carte menu as well as courses which use Okinawan ingredients.

5-1-3-1. The Fujina Course ¥8,600

This is a course which I tried myself!
There may be some changes depending on what the restaurant has in stock, but I will report what the staff told me about the food and ingredients.

風庭琉球三種盛りAppitizer: Fujina Ryukyu assortment of 3 (jimami tofu, kubu irichi (stir-fried seaweed), taro denraku)

We start with traditional Okinawan food.
Taro denraku is apparently a local dish which is made on the Bon Festival of the lunar calendar. It is easy to eat, falling apart when you put your chopsticks in it.

Small plate: Locally grown Okinawan spinach and green vegetables with dragon fruit dressing
I was surprised at the pinkish dressing. It made me think of Southeast Asia.

Sashimi platter: Today’s assortment of 2 with various accompaniments

On the day I was there etelis, one of the 3 luxury fish of Okinawa, was served.
You can clearly taste the fat and it has a great texture.


白身魚Fish dishes: Okinawan fish poele and island vegetables with Fujina’s original sauce

The fish this day was paracaesio.
The sauce was a balsamic vinegar and white wine sauce.
The moist white flesh and the acidic taste of the sauce made for a well balanced combination.

Steamed dishes: Taste different kinds steamed Okinawan pork—Agu pork and pineapple-pork
Vinegar dishes: Okinawan mozuku seaweed with vinegar and assorted vegetables

The 2 different kinds of pork are brought to you at the same time, and you leave them to steam in the bamboo steamers for 10 minutes after they reach the table.
While you wait, you eat mozuku seaweed with vinegar. Be careful to eat it slowly so as not to choke at the acidity of the vinegar.

The 10 minutes passed by in a flash and the bamboo steamed Agu pork was ready.
It is so warm and soft! The umami taste of the fat was neither too light nor too heavy and it was a pleasure to eat.

Flame-grilled dishes: Okinawan wagyu beef saute

When I was there, the menu said “Okinawan wagyu beef cooked on hot stones.”
It is so tender! The meat is seasoned so you can eat it as it comes. You can add ponzu sauce as you like.



Main dish: Jushi (Okinawan style cooked rice dish)

This dish is bound to make you happy if you like rice dishes. It is in Okinawan style but it does not taste particularly peculiar. The flavor is nice and strong.

Soup dish: Mini Okinawan soba

This dish has a comforting warmth to it. It comes in a small bowl making it perfect to eat at the end of the meal.

Pickled vegetable dish: Asazuke (shortly pickled vegetables)

This crunchy dish is a pleasant change of pace for your mouth after the long course.

デザートDessert: Today’s confectionery and fruit
You can eat many Southeast Asian fruits such as pineapple and star fruit.
There are small portions of various fruits so there is no need to worry if you have one or two fruits you do not like.
It comes with Okinawa’s traditional candy, chinsuko.

Finally, the meal comes to a close with a hot drink of tea.


5-1-3-2. Thoughts on the Fujina course

From start to finish, it was an Okinawa style meal.
It is perfect for guests who want to try lots of different Okinawan dishes.
I could tell that they had selected all the ingredients very carefully.

If I were to look for something which could be improved, I would say that while you get to try lots of different local Okinawan dishes, each dish is rather small. If you are the type who wants a meal that will fill you up with more food to spare, then I recommend the à la carte menu.

5-1-3-3. Others (à la carte and drinks)

The à la carte menu consists mostly of side dishes to be savored alongside a drink of awamori (Okinawan sake).
There is jimami tofu and mozuku-su (mozuku seaweed and vinegar) among other items.
Regarding dishes which could be a main meal, there is the wagyu beef steak (150g) ¥3,480, the Fujina special seafood rice bowl (tuna, crab, red caviar, etc.) ¥1,980, the sushi set selected by the chef (11 pieces for the price of the selected sushi), and more.

The interesting thing about the drinks menu is the wide variety of awamori. There is an awamori meister on hand who can help you select one.

Senagajima hotel自慢の焼酎


6. Inside the hotel

6-1. The pool

The pool is known as the Infinity Pool because the water surface and the ocean look as if they were connected as one.
It opened on 25th April, 2015.

6-2. The store

The shop corner is not large, but it is packed full of famous Okinawan products for souvenirs.
You can tell that they chose the items carefully rather than just picking the typical souvenirs.
It feels like an Okinawan shop aimed at adults.

6-3. The terrace

You can relax on deck chairs in the terrace corner.
The island’s stray cats often visit the terrace. This is the only smoking area in the hotel.

7. Access

Ryukyu Onsen Senagajima Hotel 174-5 Senaga, Tomigusuku, Okinawa 901-0233

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Depending on what sat nav you have, searching using the hotel telephone number can apparently sometimes bring up a different address to the real address of the hotel.
Search using the address “175 Senaga, Tomigusuku” or use the map code “33 002 605”.

7-1. Naha Airport

Senagajima Hotel is not far from Naha Airport.
It should take around 15 minutes by car.

7-1-1. Times with heavy congestion

It took me 13 minutes when I took at taxi at 8:00 a.m.
On the other hand, it took me 25 minutes when I took a taxi at 5:00 p.m. in the evening.

I asked the taxi driver and was told that you are most likely to encounter heavy traffic on mornings and evenings.

Morning… there are many guests checking around between 9–10 a.m.

Evening… many people take flights back home between 4–6 p.m.

7-1-2. The shuttle bus

The shuttle bus can take you to Naha Airport everyday!



7-2. Kokusai-dori street

You can reach the hotel from Kokusai-dori street in around 25 minutes by car. You need only tell the taxi driver, “Senagajima Hotel.”

In addition, the free shuttle bus which is available to anyone runs.


▼赤嶺駅/Akamine station
akamine_busmap▼パレットくもじ(県庁駅前)/Pallet kumoji(Prefectural Office Station )


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