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Naha city

NahaMap of Naha city Naha is the prefectural capital of Okinawa Prefecture, and is located at the soutwest part of Okinawa Island.
It is the cultural, political and economic center in Okinawa Prefecture.

It has an airport connecting many cities in mainland of Japan, several many islands in Okinawa Prefecture, and some Asian cities.
Also Naha Port is important. The ferries from Kagoshima come to Naha Pier, and the ones from several islands in Okinawa Prefecture come to Tomari Pier.

The central area of Naha was the port town of Shuri Castle located to the east in the period of Ryukyu Kingdom.
At that time, this area was an small island, but it had been connected to the main island by deposition of earth and sand in the 19th century.

During the World War II, the city had been destroyed completely, and the most area was prohibited from entering by US military forces.
After that, Tsuboya district which has been the traditional pottery manufacturing area was opened first. Then many residents gathered around current Kokusai Street.
Since that, the area has developed as the downtown of Naha.

Okinawa Prefecture has no railroad.
In Naha, monorail runs from Naha Airport through central area to Shuri Castle.
And route buses run in the city frequently.

Kokusai Street /1/

Kokusai StreetIt is the main street in Naha.
Originally, this street was a country way connecting Naha and Shuri.
Naha was destroyed completely in the World War II, but the area around this street had developed amazingly after that.
The length of the street is about 1.6 km, so it is often called "Miracle Mile".

There are many shops, restaurants and hotels for tourists along the street.
Many route buses run through this street, but there are a lot of traffic, because this street is not so wide.

Many side streets of Kokusai Street are attractive.
There are many shops and restaurants for local people.

Makishi Municiple Market /2/

Makishi Municipal MarketIt is a market located about 200 meters south of Kokusai Street.
After the end of World War II, black market arose along the river.
Beacuse some troubles had occured, Naha city constructed this market in 1951.

It has about 200 shops and restaurants in a building.
The first floor has the shops of fish and meat, and the shops of vegitables and fruits surround the market.
The second floor has restaurants and confectionary shops.
We can see the tropical fruits and fishes. In meat shops, heads and hands of pork hit the shelves.

Tsuboya district /3/

Tsuboya It is the calm district to the east of Makishi Munuciple Market.
In 1682, the king of Ryukyu gathered many potters here, and promoted pottery industry. Since that, the products had been popular as Tsuboya pottery.
Tsuboya pottery had sometimed faced the crises such as inflow of cheap foreign pottery and pollution problem, but many potters still create the traditional works.

Pottery is called "Yachimun" in Okinawan word.
Along Yachimun Street which is the central street in Tsuboya district, there are many potteries and kilns.

Tsuboya Pottery Museum /4/

Tsuboya Pottery Museum It is the museum introducing the pottery of Okinawa and its history.
We can see the traditional pottery works in Okinawa.
This museum is located at the west end of Yachimun Street.

Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum officila website

Naminoue Shrine /5/

Naminoueguu It is the shrine of Okinawan Shinto, and is located on a hill near the sea.
It is unknown when this shrine had been founded.

Long ago, when a man did fishing at a beach, he found a lighting and speaking stone there.
Whenever he worshiped the stone, he could catch many fish.
But someone was going to steal it. So he run away with the stone, and came to this hill.
The stone told him. "I'm a god of Kumano. Build a shrine for me, and I'll guard this country."
He submited the report to King of Ryukyu, then the king founded this shrine.

Kumano is the ancient mountain worship in Japan. (See the page of Kumano-kodo.)
So Ryukyu Shinto has much in common with Japanese Shinto.

This shrine was destroyed by the ground battle in 1945.
The main shrine was rebuilt in 1953, the hall of worship was rebuilt in 1961, and the whole shrine was restored in 1993.

Naminoue Beach /6/

Naminoue BeachIt is a sand beach to the east of Naminoue Shrine.
It is the only public beach in Naha city.
Although it is near the central Naha city, the water is clear.

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By airplane

  1. By airplane, about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Haneda (Tokyo), about 2 hours and 15 minutes from Nagoya, about 2 hours and 10 minutes from Kansai, about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Fukuoka.
  2. By Yui Rail (Monorail), about 13-16 minutes to central Naha.

By ship

Kagoshima Port 18:00 - Naha Port 19:00 (next day)

Naha city
Photo by Naha City Tourist Association
Yui Rail
Kokusai Street Shops along Kokusai Street
Heiwa Street, a side street of Kokusai Street Ichiba-hondori street to Makishi Market
Makishi Municiple Market Restaurant in Makishi Market
Hands of pork Coconut crab
Yachimun Street
Photo by Naha City Tourist Association
An old kiln
An old kiln
Photo by Naha City Tourist Association
Tsuboya Pottery Museum
Naminoue Shrine Naminoue Beach and Naminoue Shrine

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