Once a thriving port city and the prosperous capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom, Naha retains much of its original energy and bustle. Today, the city is the cultural and economic hub of Okinawa, and is also an important transportation hub.
With trade routes from the outer port of Shuri to China and Southeast Asia, Naha has been exposed to a variety of cultures, developing a unique Ryukyu identity. These influences remain very much alive in its food and architecture.
Naha’s main street of Kokusaidori is lined with lively restaurants, cafes, bars, department stores, boutiques and souvenir shops. Or venture into the colourful Heiwadori, Mutsumidori and Ichiba Hondori arcades. There are several important historical sites such as Shuri Castle, the Royal Mausoleum and Tsuboya pottery village.
Away from Naha there is much to discover such as Manzamou, a dramatic rock formation which offers stunning views over the East China Sea, and Kingdom Village where visitors can see weaving, glass blowing and other traditional Okinawan crafts.
Hang out with the locals at Makishi Public Market. Taste samples and shop on the ground floor, then head to the eateries upstairs with your fresh buys to have them cooked for a small fee.