Shopping Street in Naha Okinawa Japan

Shopping Street in Naha Okinawa Japan
Shopping Street Naha Okinawa

Right in the heart of Naha city in Okinawa is the famous Kokusai-dori, which is one of the main roads in the heart of the city. Kokusai-dori is one of the main shopping districts in Naha. Lined with loads of speciality stores selling a range of products including produce, crafts and clothing made in Okinawa. There are also loads of restaurants found along Kokusai-dori, selling tradional Okinawan food, Japanese food and some international restaurants including a McDonalds!

Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha Okinawa
Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha Okinawa

As well as the main Kokusai-dori, there are a number of small streets running off Kokusai-dori which are covered shopping malls. The main undercover shopping mall is Heiwa Dori, which starts from Kokusai-dori and runs for serveral hundred meters, lined with loads of local shops.

Heiwa Dori Undercover Shopping Street Naha Okinawa
Heiwa Dori Undercover Shopping Street Naha Okinawa
Local shop inside Heiwa Dori Shopping Street
Local shop inside Heiwa Dori Shopping Street

Right along Kokusai-dori, you will see many statues that depict the Shisa which are local Okinawan mythical creatures that are half dog and half lion. The 2nd pic below, you will see the Shisa statue has been tied down during a Typhoon to prevent it being carried away. These creatures ward of evil spirits and bring good luck, so they are placed at the beginning of the street and on top of shop awnings, to bring good business.

Shisa Statue on Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha
Shisa Statue on Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha
Shisa - Okinawan Mythical Creature statue in Naha Okinawa
Shisa – Okinawan Mythical Creature statue in Naha Okinawa

The history of Kokusai-dori shopping district dates back to the end of the 2nd World War, when many American GIs were based in Okinawa. Many restaruants started up selling ‘American’ food to the GIs.

Palm Trees along Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha Okinawa
Palm Trees along Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha Okinawa

During my stay in Naha Okinawa, I staed at the lovely Hyatt Regency Hotel which is only about 4 minutes walk from Kokusai-dori, so an easy stroll for some shopping or to try the many restaurants.

Clothing store on Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha Okinawa
Clothing store on Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha Okinawa
Local Architecture along Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha Okinawa
Local Architecture along Kokusai-dori Shopping Street Naha Okinawa

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