The capital city of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture is full of fascinating markets and historic sites, such as the impeccably recreated Shuri Castle.
Naha is the charming capital city of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. With coastal views of the East China Sea, this city is one of the island’s economic, political and cultural hubs.
Shuri Castle is Naha’s biggest attraction. The compound was originally built as a palace for the Ryukyu Kingdom. During World War II, the castle and its tunnels served as a major command post of the Imperial Japanese forces until its destruction in the Battle of Okinawa. The entire castle was meticulously reconstructed based on historical records and photos.
Featuring several heritage attractions, Shuri Castle has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the ornate beauty of Shureimon, one of Shuri Castle’s main gates. Explore the serene gardens of Shikinaen, a vacation villa for royals and dignitaries. See the faithful replica of the Bridge of Nations Bell, originally cast in 1458 to celebrate Ryukyu’s success in maritime trade.
Enjoy a day on the beach at Naminoue Beach. Swim, sunbathe, take a scuba diving lesson or go kiteboarding. Don’t miss the Naminouegu Shrine. Sitting high atop a bluff overlooking the beach, this Shinto shrine is the most iconic in the prefecture.
You can buy almost anything imaginable at Makishi Public Market. Nicknamed “the kitchen of Naha”, this area began as a black market after World War II and is now home to hundreds of shops. A vast diversity of produce is available for purchase, including local specialties like sea snake and island vegetables. Bring your fresh purchases to the 2nd floor to be cooked by traditional Japanese chefs.
Kokusai Dori is known as Naha’s “international road.” Stretching through the city, this street is home to a variety of shops and restaurants. After the sun goes down, it is the epicenter of Naha’s nightlife.
Naha Airport is Okinawa’s largest airport and a hub for domestic and international flights. From the airport, take the Okinawa Monorail to Naha and Shuri Castle.