The most popular streets in Naha offer the culture and local flavor you can only experience in Okinawa. While Tokyo’s streets are all about the glitz and glamor, Naha’s picturesque strips and arcades offer an interesting side of the Okinawan capital.

    You can enjoy scenic sunset routes by the sea or stroll through lively market streets for souvenir shopping. Take a look at these great Naha roads and avenues, each of which has its own set of sightseeing, dining, and shopping opportunities. 

    1

    Kokusai Dori Shopping Street

    Colorful shopping street for all things local and international

    • Shoppers
    • Food

    The Kokusai Dori Shopping Street is a lively and colorful thoroughfare in Naha. Kokusai Dori means “International Road” in Japanese. It earned its name from the Ernie Pyle International Theater, which brought in an international crowd. 

    You’ll find an eclectic selection of shops and eateries along the 2-km-long street. It's easily accessible from the Naha Bus Terminal or the Kencho-mae and Miebashi Monorail Stations. Make sure to try out awamori (Okinawan distilled drink) or taco rice while you’re there. 

    Location: 3 Chome-2-10 Makishi, Naha, Okinawa 900-0013, Japan

    Map

    photo by 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    2

    Shijo Hon-Dori

    Covered shopping street with a local farmer’s market

    • Shoppers
    • Food

    Shijo Hon-Dori (or Ichiba Hon-Dori) is the place to go to feel like a local in Naha. While you’ll find some of the usual souvenirs like Okinawa glass and purple yam candies, you’ll also find ceramics and textiles, as well as great seafood and fresh produce from around Okinawa.

    Shijo Hon-Dori is also a foodie destination in Naha. Try a fresh pineapple stick or sata andagi (deep-fried dough ball similar to a doughnut). If you fancy something savory, there are many local restaurants specializing in seafood dishes. 

    Location: 2 Chome-8 Matsuo, Naha, Okinawa 900-0014, Japan

    Map

    photo by Hiroki Ogawa (CC BY 3.0) modified

    3

    Kinjo Stone Road

    Historic cobblestone road near Shurijo Castle

    • History
    • Photo

    Kinjo Stone Road is officially designated as one of the “100 Best Roads of Japan”. This is a historic cobblestone road that leads up to Naha’s Shurijo Castle. Take your time walking through the traditional street and look out for the sacred Great Akagi Tree or the old Kanagushiku Muraya rest area.

    The road is said to have been made in 1522 for soldiers to reach Naha Port quickly. It was once 10 km in length. After WWII, only a little under 250 meters remains, but you can feel a sense of its long history on a quiet and atmospheric stroll.

    Location: 2 Chome-84-3 Shurikinjocho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0815, Japan

    Map
    4

    Tsuboya Yachimun Street

    A cobblestone street full of traditional ceramics

    • Shoppers
    • History
    • Photo

    Though Tsuboya Yachimun Street is not far from Naha’s lively city centre, it offers a completely different atmosphere. The limestone-paved road is a great place to experience Okinawa’s heritage in pottery, as many workshops have been handed down through generations.

    As well as traditional pottery workshops, you’ll also find the Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum, and a number of cozy cafes. Look out for traditional Shisa statues dotted all over – they are the guardian lions symbolic of Okinawa.

    Location: 1 Chome-16 Tsuboya, Naha, Okinawa 902-0065, Japan

    Map
    5

    Sakae Machi Arcade

    Tiny alleyways hosting groceries by day and local bars by night

    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife
    • Budget

    The Sakae Machi Arcade is a quirky area to cozy up to the locals in Naha. During the day, you can get all kinds of groceries and items for daily Okinawa life. You could also stop by a cozy cafe to enjoy excellent local coffee.

    In the evening, the Sakae Machi Arcade transforms into a vibrant nightlife hub. Its streets are lined izakaya (tiny bars), where locals enjoy snacks and beverages at the end of the day. People in Okinawa are generally very friendly, so you won’t be short on conversation.

    Location: 381-379 Asato, Naha, Okinawa 902-0067, Japan

    Open: Monday Friday from 1 pm to 5 pm (closed on weekends)

    Phone: +81 (0)98-886-3979

    Map

    photo by Nissy-KITAQ (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    6

    Heiwa Dori

    Colorful Okinawan shopping arcade

    • Shoppers
    • Food
    • Budget

    Heiwa Dori is a covered shopping arcade in Naha with a great selection of Okinawan stores. On this street, you can find all sorts of treats and souvenirs at affordable prices. It's unsurprisingly very popular among visitors and locals.

    Heiwa Dori is a great spot to visit on a rainy day. You might just find your new favorite Okinawa trinket while browsing the arcade's many stalls. We highly recommend picking up a Kariyushi shirt, which has a similar style to aloha shirts.

    Location: 3 Chome Makishi, Naha, Okinawa 900-0013, Japan

    Map

    photo by 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Naminoue-dori

    The road to a shrine by the sea

    • Photo
    • Budget

    On Naminoue-dori, you’ll find a mix of modern and traditional buildings in Naha. However, the star of the show is the pathway up to Naminoue Shrine. Marked by a giant dark torii (gateway of a Shinto shrine), you’ll know that you’ve come across something special while traveling through this part of Naha.

    As you make your way to the top, you'll pass through a second white shrine gate before being greeted by the sight of Naminoue Shrine. Visit during the 4-day Nanmin Festival in May, when the path becomes alive with festival music and celebrations.

    Location: 3-chōme-1 Tsuji, Naha, Okinawa 900-0037, Japan

    Map
    8

    Sakurazaka Street

    Small street with Sakurazaka Theater and photogenic street cats

    • Nightlife
    • Photo
    • Group

    Sakurazaka Street is a small walkway just off Heiwa Dori in Naha. Besides hosting the Sakurazaka Theater, the street is also a great place to take photos of friendly cats.  

    The theater mainly shows independent Japanese and foreign movies that you’re less likely to find at the bigger movie theaters. The theater also has an onsite cafe and bookstore. Near Sakurazaka Street are some LGBTQ+ venues where you can enjoy a few beverages to end the evening. Standouts venues include Anabel and Banana Café. 

    Location: 3 Chome-2 Makishi, Naha, Okinawa 900-0013, Japan

    Map

    photo by Richard, enjoy my life! (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Umikaji Terrace Senagajima

    Gorgeous sunset walks by the sea

    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Umikaji Terrace Senagajima is a romantic spot lined with shops and restaurants, making the most of the beautiful sunset views in Naha. The stretch of road has a distinctly modern feel to it.

    The area is so close to the airport that it makes for a great spot to visit just before or after your flight. You can stop for a burger, sweet shaved ice, or fluffy pancakes to energize you for your sunset walk.

    Location: 174-6 Senaga, Tomigusuku City, Okinawa 901-0233, Japan

    Map

    photo by Kugel~commonswiki (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    10

    Omoromachi

    Scenic park roads surrounding the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum

    • Photo
    • Budget

    Omoromachi isn’t a street in itself, but an area containing lots of small routes and scenic pathways in Shintoshin Park. Walk from the Shitoshin Park fountain and across the bridge to find yourself at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum.

    The museum is a sight to behold, with its unique architecture among the luscious greens of its park surroundings. With Naha city surroundings to the left and right, and green park straight ahead, the paths make for some interesting contrasting photo spots in this part of Naha.

    Location: Naha, Okinawa 900-0006, Japan

    Map

    photo by Shuichi Aizawa (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Cassandra Lord | Compulsive Traveler

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