Stay at the Spice Motel
Situated in the central heart of Okinawa is the Spice Motel, one of the prefecture’s most interesting accommodation options. The motel was originally built when the U.S. was occupying Okinawa. Since its creation an architectural design office has renovated it into a boutique motel, where its rich heritage remains intact. This US/Japan hybrid motel features double, twin, and triple bedrooms as well as original rooms that have been renovated in the image of its 1970s era incarnation. It’s the perfect option for short-term visitors, long-term travelers, and even locals looking for a little central beach style getaway.
Located in Kitanakagusuku, just 5 km from the iconic Nakagusuku Castle, Jinguji Temple, and Okinawa Zoo and 18 km from Naha Airport, the hotel’s central location is just one of its many perks. If you need a home base for daily explorations throughout Okinawa there’s free private parking and plenty of luggage storage space on site. For guidance on what to see and do in the area, the hotel’s friendly and welcoming staff are on hand ready to arm you with all the information you need to make the most of your time on this beautiful island. With a stunning terrace, cozy café and rooftop bath, be warned it’ll be difficult to leave.
The two most unique points of the hotel are its incredibly cute retro architectural style and beautiful location. The rooms look like they’ve been torn straight out of 1970s era interior design magazines, think mustard yellow quilt sets and rich burnt orange embellishments, though it’s the deck that really steals guest's hearts. Nestled in a cozy hillside forest, overlooking the Ginowan and Chantan area, the breathtaking views of the local surrounds are viewable from the common deck, which is the perfect location to kick back and relax after a long day of sightseeing and exploring the city.
For those looking to spend a majority of their time by the ocean, the resort town of Araha beach is a tidy 10-minute trip by car. Thanks to the pearly white sand that spreads across the 600 meters of shore, the moments you spend at Araha will be arguably some of the best during your time in Okinawa. Though it is an artificial beach, it’s incredibly well maintained, and is home to volleyball courts, and an impressive life-size pirate ship. Also close by is Sunset Beach, located near Mihama American Village, a large entertainment complex dedicated to everything USA. As its name suggests Sunset beach boasts an impressive view of the electric orange sunset that pours across the Okinawan sky, it’s the prefecture’s impressive natural lightshow visitors are lucky to witness every single day.
To get to the Spice Motel, taxi or car is probably your best option, and given its location from the airport it shouldn’t cost you too much. Alternatively you can catch the bus from Kokusai Senryokaku Terminal Naha Bus Stop which will take about an hour and cost around 920 yen. Check in is usually between 3pm and 10pm while check out is at 10am.