By Ignatius Koh
The Okinawa City Monorail, also known as Yui Rail, is Okinawa’s only public rail system. It currently services 15 stations starting from Naha Airport, with a further four more stations to be added by 2019. Like many other trains in Japan, the monorail travels on elevated tracks above the ground.
Visitors may take the Yui Rail to the city center where Kokusai Dori, the main shopping street in Okinawa’s capital Naha, is located. This is where many visitors alight to buy souvenirs and enjoy Okinawan cuisine. The monorail also stops near Kaminoue Shrine, a Shinto shrine that sits atop a cliff overlooking Naminoue beach. At the end of the line is where Shuri Castle, a popular tourist spot, is located.
There are three types of tickets that visitors can purchase to ride the Yui Rail. The first is QR one-way tickets valid on the day of purchase. This ticket allows children under 12 to ride for half the fare and up to two children under 6 may ride for free with an adult.
Next is the QR 1-day or 2-day ticket, which allows unlimited travel to any station and is valid 24 hours and 48 hours respectively from time of purchase. A 1-day ticket for an adult costs 800 yen while a child ticket costs 400 yen. A 2-day ticket for an adult costs 1,400 yen while a child ticket costs 700 yen.
Finally, Okinawa’s prepaid card, OKICA, is also an option. However, it cannot be used outside the Okinawa prefecture.
All tickets can be purchased at vending machines conveniently located at stations.
I'm Ignatius Koh, a third-year undergraduate at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. I have a keen interest in journalism - most particularly in sports and human interest stories. I do a little photography on the ...