Summary of All the 13 Airports in Okinawa!

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Publication date: 2016/07/27



Did you know that there are 13 airports (excluding US military facilities) in Okinawa including airports on remote islands?

If you are planning to visit one of these remote islands, you should know about the airports there.

So, today, we will introduce all the airports in Okinawa!

Some remote islands can be accessed by air and ocean while some can only be reached by air or ocean.We will cover them as well!

1. Major airports in Okinawa
1-1. Naha airport
1-2. Ishigaki airport
1-3. Miyako airport

2. Airports on remote islands
2-1. Kumejima airport
2-2. Kitadaito airport
2-3. Minamidaito airport
2-4. Tarama airport
2-5. Yonaguni airport

3. Airports without regular service/suspended service
3-1. Kerama airport
3-2. Ieshima airport
3-3. Aguni airport
3-4. Hateruma airport

4. Airport not in service
4-1. Shimojishima airport

※ As of July 2016

1. Major airports in Okinawa

1-1. Naha airport

“airportPhoto by wikipedia/

First,we will introduce Naha airport,the well-known airport in Okinawa.

The good things about this airport are the amount of souvenirs and the variety of foods.

The airport is being used by a lot of Asian travelers like China and Korea due to the additional direct flight.

If you want to rent a car, you can hop on the free bus right outside the entrance.

You can get there without getting lost, so it’s quite convenient.

There are other regular tourism buses and buses that go to the northern parts of Okinawa as well.

Naha Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:29(6 out of 29 routes are within Okinawa prefecture.)
(Miyakojima・Ishigaki Island・Minamidaitō・Kitadaitō・Kumejima・Yonaguni Island)
・International Flights – Routes:10

Precautions for Naha airport

Naha airport has the 6th largest amount of users (2015) among all airports in Japan. Here are some precautions to take.

・During the busy season, it gets really crowded!

During “busy seasons”, like summer, consecutive holidays, and new years, it gets really crowded, so if you are leaving *1 from Naha airport, be careful.
* For those returning to mainland Japan, this refers to your “return trip”.

The overall flow is, check in at the airport => drop off your luggage => security inspection.

・It will take up to about 30 minutes for checking in/dropping off your luggage (or more)
・It will take up to about 30 minutes for security inspection (or more)

So, it gets really crowded, so it would be best if you arrive at the airport 90 minutes ahead of time during the busy season.

・Other busy times except for the busy season!

During the off-season, there are many school trips passing through Naha airport. Sometimes 4-5 schools come at the same time/through the same airline company, leading to unexpected traffic. Arrive ahead of time when checking in.

・Be aware of traffic near the airport and inside Naha city!

Most people rent cars to travel around the mainland of Okinawa.
But whether it be the weekday or weekend, the main roads on Naha are always crowded.

Especially when heading to the south side of the airport on Naha airport automobile road when returning from the north side on route 58.
During the day ~ afternoon of summer vacation or afternoons on regular weekdays, it may take an extra hour than expected to get to your destination. Try to do everything ahead of time.

・Separate terminals for LCC!

At Naha airport, LCC terminals for Peach/Vanilla Air are 7-8 minutes away from terminals for domestic lines. (* JetStar arrives at the same terminal as domestic lines).

There are free buses from the domestic terminals, and the buses leave every 10 minutes. If you don’t know this, you might get worried.
Also, there are not many souvenir shops near the LCC terminals.

1-2. Ishigaki airport

“airportPhoto by wikipedia/Paipateroma

Ishigaki island is known as the “entrance to Yaeyama”.

As the name suggests, many people use Ishigaki  island to get to Yaeyama  islands.

* Yonagunijima island is the only remote island you can go to from Naha.

Direct lines are increasing and the amount of lines and international lines are increasing too.


“Minaminushima Ishigaki Airport” moved on March 2013.

The building is now 4 stories tall and it can take in more people now!
The first floor which contains the food court is a must see.
It is packed with stores where you can enjoy great tasting foods fo Ishigaki  island.

Yaeyama soba and desserts made with local ingredients are very popular.


Ishigaki island may be considered a passage route to the Yaeyama  islands, but Ishigaki  island is a great tourist spot too.
There are rental car shops in front of the airport. It’s only a 30-minute drive to get to the other side of the remote island to Fusaki area.

Also, the closest remote island, Taketomi island, is just a 10-minute boat ride away.
You can even plan a luxurious day trip to uninhibited remote islands from Ishigaki  island!

Painushima Ishigaki Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:7(Tokyo(Haneda)・Kansai・Chubu・Fukuoka・Naha・Miyako・Yonaguni ※Kansai and Fukuoka routes will be added during the summer term. )
・International Flights – Routes:2(Taiwan Taoyuan・Hong-Kong)

1-3. Miyako airport


Miyako airport was originally a navy airport built by the old Japanese army in June of 1943.

From June of 1956, they started providing regular services as a private airport. Today, there are more direct lines and it is gaining popularity.

At Miyako island, you can “eat, play, and sleep”. You can stay here for days without getting tired of it.
If you want to visit other remote islands, you can go to Naha, Ishigaki, Taramajia, and Kume  islands.

The airport has many souvenir shops as well.
There are many exclusive items too you can only get at Miyako island.
Furthermore, there are restaurants too, so it might be fun to look around the airport on the way back!

If you are only planning to see Miyako island, the round trip direct flights are recommended!

Miyako Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:4(Tokyo(Haneda)・Naha・Ishigaki・Tarama ※Kansai routes will be added during the summer term.)
・International Flights – Routes:None

2. Airports on remote islands

2-1. Kumejima airport

“airportPhoto by wikipedia/Snap55

Kume island is located 100km (62.1mi) to the west from the Okinawa mainland. You can get there by air or on boat.
If you want to arrive early and make the best out of your time, this is very convenient.

It takes about 30-35 minutes by plane and 2 hours 50 minutes by the fast boat and 3 hours 20 minutes on the ferry.


Surprisingly there are many flights and liens to Kume island. As it gained popularity, so did the number of ships and planes.
Their most popular spot is “Hatenohama”.

Many divers and snorkelers gather there in search of the white sand of the uninhibited remote island.
It is close enough for a day trip from Naha.

If you are planning to go to Kume island, you have to transit at Naha airport.
So, you can enjoy sightseeing at both Kume island and Naha city!

Kumejima Airport
・Domestic Flights – Route:1(Naha) *Operated by Japan Transocean Air Co.,Ltd and Ryukyu Air Commuter
・International Flights – Routes:None
Please be careful about using in peak-season because school trip students are using this airport too.

2-2. Kitadaito airport

“airportPhoto by wikipedia/Snap55

From Kitadaito island to Minamidaito island, it is only three minutes away, the shortest airplane ride in Japan.

the airport has great facilities, so you have nothing to worry about!

The distance between Kitadaito island and Minamidaito island is 8km(4.9mi).
You can see the remote island with your naked eye.
The reason there are regular airline services is because it is difficult to land a ship on Kitadaito island, which is surrounded by steep cliffs.
It is an important transportation method for residents.

Needless to say, tourists can use the airline as well.
Although there are not many activity spots like beaches, there are old buildings made from rocks near the west port such as “Phosphate rock storage” and “Ruins of dry factory”. It is worth a look.

It is very close to Minamidaito island, so you can scuba or snorkel on the south side on day 1 and go on a day-trip for sightseeing on the north remote island on the next day!

Kitadaito Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:2(Naha・Minamidaito)
・International Flights – Routes:None

2-3. Minamidaito airport

“airportPhoto by wikipedia/Snap55

Minamidaito island is located 340km(211mi) on the east side of the Okinawa mainland.

Minamidaito airport has regular services to Kitadaito Airport as mentioned before.

There’s actually a triangle route from Naha, Minamidaito, Kitadaito and back to Naha.

However the order flips depending on the day. So, please be careful.

The biggest feature to mention is the ability to go to a great uninhibited remote island in such a short amount of time.
It takes 13 hours on the ferry, but it is only an hour away on a Cessna that fits 39.

Minamidaito island has a beautiful nature scene, perfect for camping, fishing, golf, swimming, scuba, whale watching, and more!

You can stay here for days without getting tired and you will enjoy it no matter how old you are.

If you are looking for a great remote island to visit, this is the place to go!

Minamidaito Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:2(Naha・Kitadaito)
・International Flights – Routes:None

2-4. Tarama airport

“airportPhoto by wikipedia/Snap55

Tarama  island is located in middle of Miyako  island and Ishigaki  island.

There are two lines from Miyako airport to Tarama airport. It takes about 25 minutes.
On ferry, it takes about two hours from Miyako Hirara port to Tarama.

Although Tarama airport is small, there are many people who pass by.
One of the reasons is diving.
Some come to have an underwater wedding while others come to take photographs underwater.
Here, even if you dive 10m (32.8ft) underwater, the sand is white and the water is clear. Some are amazed by the golden coral reefs.

Also, you can go there on boat from Miyako island.

The remote island is surrounded by coral reefs, so looking at the remote island from above is a nice experience too!

2-5. Yonagunijima airport

“airportPhoto by wikipedia/Si-take.

Yonagunijima airport is the westernmost point remote island of Japan.
From Ishigaki island, there is one round trip line a day and it is 30 minutes away.
On a boat, it takes four and a half hours from Ishigaki port.

There are services from Naha airport to Yonagunijima island as well.
There are about three to four lines provided by JAL group’s RAC (Ryukyu Air Commuter).
You can enjoy both Yonagunijima and Okinawa mainland at the same time!

If you have a limited amount of time and want to visit remote islands, airplane is very convenient!
There are many tourists, but there are also divers who go there to look at underwater ruins.


Yonaguni Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:2(Naha・Ishigaki)
・International Flights – Routes:None

3. Airports without regular service/suspended service

3-1. Kerama airport


Kerama airport is the entrance to Zamamison.
Kerama Ocean is famous for the Kerama islands and it is a great spot for whale watching, diving, and other awesome activities.

There used to be regular services to this place, but nowadays you can only get here by charter helicopters.

From the sky, you can get a great view of the Kerama  islands surrounded by beautiful coral reefs!

Also, on days when Ferry Zamami or Queen Zamami get cancelled, the Zamami village office will pay half amount for the helicopter charter.

Kerama Airport
Charter helicopter available (reservation needed)
Ilas Airport Co. Ltd

3-2. Ieijima airport


Ieijima airport was constructed on July 1975 as a related business of “Okinawa International Ocean Expo”.

However, they suspended all regular services in 1977 due to the limitations/decreasing users/inconvenience.

Today, you can get there by reserving a charter helicopter (but it is expensive).


The characteristic of Ieijima is Taccyu, the top of the mountain shaped like a triangle.

The Yuri festival is a famous event in spring. There are numerous other spots great for diving, jet ski, and more.

Ieijima Airport
Charter helicopter available (reservation needed)
Ilas Airport Co. Ltd

3-2. Aguni airport


Aguni airport is a convenient location, which is just 25 minutes away from Naha.

Aguni  island is located 60km (37.2mi) northwest of Naha.
This remote island with only one village has many traditional Okinawa customs left.

From exploring the village to tie-dye, fabric weaving, and cooking, there are many programs that will let you experience traditional culture.

Take a peek if you want to see what life is like at Aguni  island.

As of July 2016, there are no airplanes that go to this remote island.
You can charter a helicopter from Ilas Airlines.
[Aguni airport -> Naha airport Charter helicopter basic information]
Fee: JPN 21,600 YEN
Maximum capacity: 5
Aguni Village Office:TEL 098-988-2016 (8:30-16:00)

Please refer to this webpage for the price!

Aguni Airport
Charter helicopter available (reservation needed)
Ilas Airport Co. Ltd

3-3. Hateruma airport


Haterumajima island is the southernmost inhabited remote island of Japan where you can see the Southern Cross.

Repair construction started in 2015 to repair damaged parts due to aging.
It is said that construction is being delayed due to postponed shipments of materials.

Hateruma island is strongly affected by typhoons and tidal waves, boats get cancelled so often .
Hopefully, the regular services return as soon as possible.

Hateruma Airport
・Domestic Flights – None
・International Flights – Routes:None

4. Airports not in service

4-1. Shimojishima airport


Shimoji island is located right next to Miyako  island.

It is mainly used as a training ground for airliner pilots, rarely taking in tourists.

Shimoji island is very close from Miyako island.
We’re sure the air route will open up for tourists in the near future.


You must try the famous Shimoji  island landing!
The approach runway is always packed with airplane lovers holding cameras.

It is an interesting tourist spot where you can see dynamic airplanes flying right above your head.

Shimojishima Airport
・Domestic Flights – None
・International Flights – Routes:None



How was the introduction of 13 airports in Okinawa?

When going to remote islands, airplane is probably the best way to go in terms of time and comfort.
Use it wisely and enjoy your trip!

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