Okinawa Hai fallback


Good morning, Okinawa Hai! readers!  One of our own, Kimberly, has submitted a very good question for us all to ponder:

Does anyone know how/where to rent a van here? My family is coming in a couple weeks and since we bought the smallest cars in the history of the world, we’ll have to be caravaning everywhere unless there’s a way to rent something bigger. Anyone know? Also, has anyone had family come that was able to drive? What does that entail? TIA (Thanks in advance) for any info anyone has!

Let’s help her out, shall we?


  1. Good morning, I will be teaching a class on Camp Foster at the end of this month. I have been there numerous times and will rent a car. I have been told that Fuji Rent a car in Bldg 14 now rents. Does anyone have a website for them or a phone number. We were there 2 years ago and rented from Mazda Car Rental. Looking forward to coming back to our home away from home

  2. We are travelling to Okinawa but are not military. We are U.S. citizens and would like to know if there are low cost car rentals near Chatan and Sunabe? Also, can I shop for American food and toiletries on base? Thanks!

  3. I really need to start checking back more when I write comments:) Thanks for the info Joelle! I wish I had seen it before. The unescorted pass would have helped out tremendously! My mom ended up coming out with her AAA international d.l. but didn’t use it once. Someone else told me that she couldn’t drive any of our cars here due to our insurance?? I have no idea if this is true or not but didn’t want to take the chance. This unfortunately meant that she didn’t see a whole lot of the island after our second baby was born but we did have a fun few days before:)

  4. We went to the Subway on Courtney for dinner last night and they have added a car rental counter in there. They list different size cars and then an 8 seater or a 10 seater van option. The 10 seater van option is 13000 yen per day(don’t know the other prices, the 10 seater was my interest!)

  5. My mom came for 2 months around the birth of my son this summer. I wanted her to be able to come and go on her own with my older son and so went to the Gate 1 office. They gave me paperwork for an unescorted pass — they actually ended up emailing to me — that allowed her to come and go on Kadena (didn’t work for other bases) at anytime with just her passport and the signed paperwork. You basically just fill in the blanks for your particulars. I had to make the argument that during my “confinement” I wouldn’t be able to take my son to his gymnastics classes/music classes/etc and wanted my mom to be able to help with that. They approved it — and I didn’t have a C-section — I think your request would be QUICKLY approved, Suzy. It had to be signed by a bunch of people so took a couple of weeks to go through, but I did it all before she arrived. It wouldn’t be worth it for someone coming for a week — but if you have family coming for an extended time, I’d suggest it.

    Extra comment on the International Driver’s License — you can’t get it once you are here — have to get it at AAA before you come.

  6. GREAT INFO!!!! I’m going to check into the driving on base issue. My mom is coming here when I have a c-section in April and It would help out a lot just to have someone to drive me to the shoppette for milk even. Oh and Aafes(sp??) has a car rental spot on Kadena that rents out vans but I think I remember them being like 75 bucks a day which is outrageous! Maybe they’re moving vans though. That would make more sense for the price anyway. Oh and I know that over by the westpac on foster they have another rental place there that we rented a car from when we first arrived to the island but I seriously can’t remember if they had options for what type of vehicle you can rent. They might just all be compacts.

  7. You can get passes for them to get on base while they visit, but I’m pretty sure they’ll have to be with someone with an ID – and yeah, driving on the left might be difficult for them! Good point, Lan.

    Another idea you might consider is to swap cars with someone you know who has a van that can give it up for a bit – if they have few enough kids to put in your smaller car, you can just switch for the time they’re here, I did that when we needed the room. It’s cheaper too!

  8. Hi Kim,
    I think that family members, if they’re willing to, are able to obtain international drivers’ licenses thru AAA in the states before arriving here. I believe that there’s a rental place outside of Gate 5 near the Pachinko on Hwy. 23. I know that when I had family members visit, they did get the licenses in case of emergency b/c I had surgery. But in the end, no one ever did drive b/c it was too intimidating driving on the “wrong” side of the road!