Naha, Japan, is the capital of Okinawa and is famed for Shuri Castle, once the royal palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom where karate is said to have been invented. An interesting adventure for the whole family is to take a karate history tour. The city's Tsuboya district is famous for its ceramics, in particular the famed shiisaa figurines of lion-dogs. The main street in Naha, Kokusaidori, is a major commercial district that's lined with restaurants, teahouses and independent boutique stores offering everything from high fashion to souvenirs.

    Popular sites in Naha include the Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, where you can explore traditional art and the history of the islands. To enjoy some meditative serenity, many visitors fall in love with the Shikinaen gardens, dating to the Ryukyu era. Shuri Castle is a popular site and is designated as a World Heritage Site and is influenced by Chinese architecture. It has a long history of decline and repair before its designation.

    Where & what to eat in Naha

    • 10 Great Restaurants in Naha

      Great restaurants in Naha are quintessential spots for sampling old Ryukyu cuisine. Drawing on the bounty of the East China Sea and the lush hills of this semi-tropical corner of Japan, it's a type of cooking that's full of freshness, zing, and surprises. But, just as this list of must-visit restaurants in Naha will reveal, it's not all...

    Where to shop & what to buy in Naha

    • 10 Best Places to Go Shopping in Naha

      This guide to the best places to go shopping in Naha will give you an insight into the city’s retail neighborhoods. The capital of Okinawa is a thriving commercial hub on the main island, around 640 km south of Kyushu. You’ll find a range of shopping experiences, from upscale malls to local markets. Kokusai Dori, the main street in central...

    Where to go & what to do at night in Naha

    • 10 Best Things to Do After Dinner in Naha

      The best things to do after dinner in Naha are great for experiencing the city’s nightlife scene, which is as varied as its daytime offerings. The city might be best known for the montage of pearly white beaches that strings down the west coast of Okinawa Island, but it's also an energetic provincial capital with plenty of culture, historic interest...

    Start planning your trip

    Also popular in Japan

    COVID-19 Travel Alert

    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

    Back to top