When You're on Yoron
If you're ready to do some island hopping from Okinawa, you're in the right place! Yoron Island (pronounced almost exactly like "you're on") is an other-worldly beautiful destination in the East China Sea just north of Okinawa. I've got an itinerary for you that will fill up 3 days, but also leave you with time to sit in a hammock and relax at the beach. You could easily fill up every day at Yoron Island with exploring so make sure you leave time to watch a sunrise or sunset!
Yoron Island is the perfect adventure for a long weekend if you're ready to explore some of the remote islands around Okinawa. I wouldn't recommend trying to fit Yoron into a day trip because of the length of the ferry ride from the Motobu Port. It is about a 2 1/2 hour ferry ride with ferries only servicing the island a couple times a day. If you leave first thing in the morning, you can make it to Yoron for lunch but the last ferry leaves around 3:00pm - that barely leaves time for exploring! I wouldn't necessarily recommend staying just one night either, although it's doable if you want to mark Yoron off your bucket list. We camped for 2 nights/3 days and still want to go back to see more of the island! If you're ready for the ultimate adventure on Yoron, read all about the campground and what to expect.
Things To Do on Day One
After leaving the port, head to the "town center" and check into your campground spot (if camping) at the City District Office.
Let the kids get their wiggles out at the playground, or just enjoy your first beautiful Yoron beach.
Grab lunch and coffee at Meedafu's Yui Hostel and Coffee.
Check out the A-coop grocery store and get extra supplies for camping or s'mores.
Find your spot at Yurigahama Campground (or bungalow) or hotel and get settled before heading back out for more adventure and a Yoron sunset!
Enjoy a super fresh sushi dinner in the town center.
Things To Do on Day Two
If you camped it will be super easy to wake up with the sun and walk out the to beach to catch a beautiful sunrise.
After a walk on the beach begin the day with a drive around the island. As you drive along the road that circles the island and hugs the coast, you will find lots of amazing places to stop and explore (like this beach with large sand dunes and rock formations just off the beach.)
Stop at Yoron Seaside Garden for coffee or tea and some snacks. There is a small admission fee but it's totally worth it! I can almost guarantee that you've never seen a more beautifully landscaped garden with a more incredible view of the ocean. There's even a secret beach located on the property that can only be accessed from the garden.
Visit the Yoron Ethnic Village and see how some of the homes on Yoron used to be built.
Grab lunch at a pizzeria in the part of town that's designed to look like a Greek village and walk around the beautiful white and blue buildings.
Choose any beach and explore it until a couple hours before sunset!
No trip to Yoron would be complete without a trip to the Southern Cross Center. It is Yoron's official museum and you'll learn all about the island as well as have some of the best views of the island. The center is one of the highest points on the island which also makes it one of the best places to watch the sunset. Save this part of the trip for late afternoon/early evening. Trust me, dinner can wait!
Things To Do on Day Three
You'll have to get checked out of your hotel or take down camp this morning, but it's also your last chance to watch a sunrise on Yoron!
The ferry usually heads back to Okinawa around noon so you'll have a few hours to explore a little more. The Ajinezusakae Shrine is a quiet and peaceful area to walk around. The torii gate is picturesque and the grounds have beautiful, mature trees.
If you haven't had soba yet on your trip to Yoron, this is the perfect opportunity. Yoron Island has its own type of soba noodle and one of the best places to try it is near the tiny Yoron airport. The soba noodle is made with seaweed (mozuku) and I'm sure you'll love it!
After an early lunch of mozuku soba head down to the "secret beach" below the restaurant. You'll find some of the softest sand, swings, hammocks and even the popular angel wings!
Before you head to the port make sure you have all the souvenirs your heart desires! The souvenir shop has everything from mozuku noodles and Yoron Island cookies to shells and t-shirts.
If your fear of any motion sickness on the way home starts to rise up, swing by the "home improvement store" close to the port. They have a small pharmacy and are well-stocked on motion sickness medicine for kids and adults.
Some other helpful websites to access before planning a trip to Yoron:
*Yoron Island Tour Guide - this website is published by the Yoron Tourism Association and is easily translated to English. It has all the info you'll want to access including hotels, restaurants, and beaches.
*Motobu to Yoron Ferry - this website will walk you through the process of reserving a ferry ride and deciding if you want to take a car. There are two ferry companies (A-Line and Marix) that service Yoron.
*If you go at the right time of year (usually summer at low tide and full moons), you will be able to take a boat a short distance to the Yurigahama Sand Bar. There is also some incredible, world-class scuba diving all around here!
*You don't need a car to travel around Yoron but it sure makes it easier! There are some car rental places on the island as well as bike rentals and even a couple taxi services. We took our car and had an easy time reserving a spot for it on the ferry. If you're camping (especially with children!), then a car will be extra helpful. If you can pack minimally, then bikes would be a blast!
If I've left you with any questions, just shoot me an email or find me on Instagram and I'll be happy to walk you through it all! And if you have the opportunity to visit Yoron, you know I want to see your pictures!!