As we approach the end of 2020, many of us are itching for a bit more freedom. With telework on the rise and winter on the way, there has never been a better time to spread our wings and migrate south to the subtropical haven of Okinawa. From picturesque beaches to that laid-back island vibe, it’s the perfect place to balance wellness and work. Take your time to unplug and relax, knowing that you are never far from the nearest plug — for when you have to take that unnecessarily long video conference call. Starting from either Okinawa Main Island or Ishigaki — both of which have convenient direct flights from Tokyo — here are just a few options for your winter workation.
Mixing Work and Pleasure at Beach Sunshine Hotel
Beach Hotel Sunshine Ishigakijima is all you could want from a modern hotel, blending tasteful design with its beautiful environs, offering light and airy rooms with ocean views that seem to stretch inside the building itself. How much more enviable could a workation be than typing away on a terrace, then casually sinking into an infinity pool to watch the sunset? More enviable, in fact, when you boast about the exquisite dinner offerings, which include fresh local sashimi and melt-in-mouth Okinawan beef. The hotel also offers relaxing activities from morning yoga to stargazing experiences from their private rooftop, so you can gear up for and wind down from your day. A short distance from the main port, Beach Hotel Sunshine has easy access while offering a serene setting for both work and play.
2484 Arakawa, Ishigaki
Savouring that Island Pace at Blue Cafe Ishigakijima
Better suited for a few hours’ work, instead of the whole day, a workation session from a cafe can be an injection of variety in your day. Cafes are the golden intersection of working remotely — coffee, food, and a great atmosphere, so you don’t miss out on life and still get your work done. And when on a tropical island, the view is a must. One of our favorites on Ishigaki is Blue Cafe Ishigakijima with a spacious terrace overlooking Ishigaki Port, where the sun sinks at the end of the day. They are welcoming workation nomads with all the familiar comforts – free WI-FI, great coffee and freshly baked goods from the on-site bakery. Budget travelers can even stay in Blue Cabin hotel, and work from Blue Cafe on the ground floor.
2-6 Misaki-cho, Ishigaki
Love Okinawa? Make sure you also check out:
- Good Heavens! A Stargazer’s Guide to Okinawa
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Japanese Highways
- Live Anywhere in Japan for ¥40,000 a Month
OKINAWA MAIN ISLAND
Working Smart in Co-Works by Kasha Okinawa in Naha
Many roads go through Okinawa’s capital, so Naha is brimming with cafes and co-working spaces. What sets co-working spaces apart from cafes and hotels is that they are designed to make work easy for the nomadic worker. With meeting rooms, projectors, photocopiers, and great wi-fi, a co-working space has every comfort of an office, without the stress and monotony. The Kasha Okinawa company offers all that and free drinks. Smack dab in central Naha with great urban views, it’s a great base for working or meeting clients in a professional setting.
Those just passing through can drop in for two hours for ¥500, or stay the whole day for ¥1500. Those based in Naha for longer can opt for different monthly plans, depending on their needs. They even have workation discount plans!
Kumoji UF Building 701, 2-22-12 Kumoji, Naha City
Taking It Easy at ANSA Okinawa Resort
Given its spacious grounds, it’s hard to describe ANSA Okinawa Resort as a “hidden gem,” but it’s certainly a treasure hidden in plain sight. From the plush, comfortable beds to exceptionally welcoming staff, ANSA manages to conjure that at-home feeling. Set back from the coastline atop a hill with sea views, the hotel offers the quiet to make real progress on your projects, while having everything you need on site. The Surya Cafe offers a seasonal global cuisine menu, and the hotel sources wine from boutique wineries, so treat yourself after you’ve wrapped up for the day. ANSA offers discounts for longer stays and WIFI routers are available for those who need extra connection speed. Its central location is exceptional for those wanting to explore by car, and it’s only 15 minutes from Cape Maeda, one of the best diving and snorkeling spots on the island!
1468 Ishikawa Yamashiro, Uruma