Exploring Naha: Your Travel Guide to the Heart of Okinawa

Exploring Naha: Your Travel Guide to the Heart of Okinawa


Welcome to Naha, the vibrant heart of Okinawa! Located on the southern coast of Japan's Okinawa Island, Naha is a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. With its stunning beaches, delicious cuisine, and fascinating landmarks, Naha offers something for every traveler. Whether you're interested in exploring ancient castles, shopping in bustling markets, or simply relaxing on the sandy shores, Naha is sure to captivate your senses.

Getting There

To reach Naha, you can fly into Naha Airport, which is conveniently located just a short distance from the city center. From the airport, you can take a taxi or use public transportation to reach your desired destination. Naha is also accessible by ferry from other parts of Okinawa, providing a scenic and enjoyable way to arrive in the city.

Exploring the City

Naha is divided into different districts, each with its own unique character and attractions. Here are some of the must-visit areas in the city:

Kokusai Street

Kokusai Street, also known as "International Street," is the main shopping and entertainment district of Naha. Stretching for about 1.6 kilometers, this bustling street is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes, offering a wide array of local and international products. Take a leisurely stroll along Kokusai Street, browse for souvenirs, and indulge in delicious Okinawan cuisine.

Shuri Castle

Shuri Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important historical landmarks in Okinawa. It served as the royal palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom for over 400 years and is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region. Explore the intricate architecture, beautiful gardens, and learn about the fascinating history of the castle. Don't miss the panoramic views of the city from the hilltop observation deck.

Makishi Public Market

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Makishi Public Market, a bustling traditional market where locals gather to buy fresh produce, seafood, and other regional specialties. Experience the sights, sounds, and smells as you navigate through narrow alleyways filled with stalls selling everything from tropical fruits to unique local snacks. It's the perfect place to sample traditional Okinawan delicacies.

Tsuboya Pottery District

Visit the Tsuboya Pottery District to witness the craftsmanship of Okinawan pottery. This historic neighborhood is known for its traditional pottery studios and shops, where you can admire and purchase exquisite ceramics. Marvel at the intricate designs and vibrant colors, and even try your hand at pottery-making with the guidance of local artisans.

Outdoor Adventures

For nature enthusiasts, Naha offers a plethora of outdoor activities and scenic spots to explore:

Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

Located on the southern tip of the island, Okinawa Peace Memorial Park serves as a reminder of the Battle of Okinawa during World War II. The park is a serene and tranquil space, featuring memorials, monuments, and beautifully landscaped gardens. Take a moment to reflect on the past and enjoy the stunning coastal views.

Naminoue Beach

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind at Naminoue Beach. With its crystal-clear waters and soft white sand, this beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water sports. Relax under the shade of a palm tree and soak up the Okinawan sunshine.

Kerama Islands

Embark on an unforgettable day trip from Naha to the Kerama Islands. These pristine islands are renowned for their breathtaking coral reefs, making them a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers. Swim alongside colorful tropical fish, admire the vibrant coral formations, and experience the wonders of the underwater world.


No visit to Naha is complete without indulging in the local delicacies. Okinawan cuisine is a unique blend of influences from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Here are some dishes you must try:

  • Goya Champuru: A stir-fried dish made with bitter melon, tofu, pork, and various vegetables.
  • Taco Rice: A fusion dish consisting of taco-flavored ground beef served on a bed of rice.
  • Soki Soba: Noodles served in a flavorful pork broth with tender pork belly.
  • Andagi: Traditional Okinawan donuts made from sweet potato flour, deep-fried to perfection.

Be sure to explore the local izakayas (Japanese-style pubs) and sample the wide range of awamori, a unique Okinawan distilled liquor.


Naha is a city that will captivate you with its rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty. From exploring ancient castles to savoring mouth-watering cuisine, there is something for everyone in this charming city. Immerse yourself in the unique blend of traditions and make memories that will last a lifetime. Plan your trip to Naha today!