Information for Visitors

Bridge on OIST campus

Life at OIST

For general information, you can visit or contact the resource center, which can provide help and information about living in Okinawa, such as driving, banking, restaurants recommended by the OIST community, and things to do. The resource center can also help you to make restaurant and taxi reservations and provides many other services.

The following site is a collection of information about OIST, it's faculty and organization.

If you need to buy some items for your stay the marketplace may have what you need at a fair price, e.g. furniture, bicycles, or a car (requires OIST account to access).

Okinawa Climate

The main island of Okinawa, where OIST is located, belongs to a subtropical climate zone. It is warm throughout the year with an annual average temperature of around 23°C. After the end of the rainy season (usually May to mid-June) until October or November it is sunny and warm (around 30°C) on most days with occasional short, heavy rain fall. In winter it is often cloudy and there are rainy days but also warm and sunny ones. In the spring the weather changes periodically and gradually gets muggy toward the rainy season.

Typhoon season is in the summer, mostly in August and September. These tropical cyclones can bring very heavy rain and strong winds and sometimes interrupt flight schedules.


All visitors participating in the TSVP will be provided with free, fully furnished housing. The program has shared rooms, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom apartments. The shared rooms are intended for 2 visitors with independent (locked) bedrooms and bathrooms, but a shared kitchen / dining area. The 2- and 3- bedroom apartments are intended for visitors who bring their partner and / or family. Please check here for details about check-in procedures. Note: Unfortunately OIST can not cover any of the additional costs incurred by family (e.g. travel or larger housing) but we can support you in other ways.

Gardens apartments at night

Aerial view of the Gardens ©

Traveling in Okinawa

If you are looking for information about sights and attractions on the main island of Okinawa, including access via public transport, a good option is

Good starting points when looking to see what Okinawa has to offer beyond the stimulating scientific discussion are this Japan Wireless article and

Some smaller islands, like the Keramas, can easily be reached via ferry for a weekend trip. Many researchers at OIST enjoy outdoor activities like diving, hiking, snorkeling, or surfing so be sure to ask around if you are interested.

Learning Japanese

Some visitors are interested in learning Japanese while they are at OIST. Courses on campus are available for TSVP visitors too, especially if you arrive around the start of a new semester.

Welcome Package

Shortly before your arrival we will send you our "welcome package" via email. It contains campus maps, shuttle bus schedules, and other useful information. You can also download the files uploaded at the bottom of the On-Campus Housing subpage.