If people were to ask what is Okinawa‘s most famous shopping attraction, the answer would be Kokusai-dōri Street (国際通り) in Naha! It is hard to believe that the 1.6 km street, now filled with more than 600 shops and businesses, used to be just an unpaved road that stretched through vast fields and wetlands when World War Two concluded. The street that was developed at an unbelievable speed earned itself the name “miracle mile”.
One of the main reasons that Kokusai-dōri is such a popular tourist spot is due to its location. Just a 15-minute drive from Naha Airport, the street is a convenient spot in Naha for those who want to do their last-minute shopping before taking the Yui Rail to catch their plane home.
And on Sundays, from 12 pm to 6 pm, the street becomes a pedestrian zone from the prefectural office to Yui Rail’s Makishi Station. If you come at the right season, there might even be Eisa dance or street performances for you to enjoy when you stop by Kokusai-dōri!
A List of Recommended Shops and Restaurants to Visit on Kokusai-dōri Street
- Naha City Tourist Information Center (那覇市観光案内所)
- Rental Ryūsō veni (レンタル琉装 veni)
- Okinawa Wind (沖縄の風)
- Calbee+ Kokusai-dōri Shop (カルビープラス 沖縄国際通り店)
- Naha City Traditional Arts and Crafts Center (那覇市伝統工芸館)
- Matsuhara Confectionary (松原屋製菓)
- C&C Breakfast Okinawa
- Splash Okinawa (スプラッシュオキナワ)
- Ukishima Garden (浮島ガーデン)
- Glass Workshop Chōshichi-Ya (ガラス工房長七屋)
- La Cucina Soup Boutique (ラ クッチーナ ソープブティック)
- Fukugiya (ふくぎや)
- Miyakojima no Yukishio (宮古島の雪塩)
☛ If you would like to explore Naha in a traditional Japanese Kimono, refer to HERE. Wearing the traditional Ryukyu costume is another way to explore Naha in style. Refer to HERE to book a dress-up session!
☛ Refer to HERE to book a pick-up and drop-off service from Naha Airport. You can also book a luggage delivery service HERE between Naha Airport and your hotel.
Enjoy Naha With a Guided Tour
If you prefer a guide to introduce you to the charms of Naha and the surrounding destinations, how about joining one of the below tours?
- Okinawa Hip Hop Bus Tour: Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and More
- Naha Full-Day Private Tour with Government Licensed Guide
- Sakaemachi Market Bar Hopping Tour
- Karate History Tour in Okinawa
Participating in Interesting Activities in Naha
- Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha
- Official Naha Street Go-Kart Tour
- Shuri Ryusen Coral Dyeing
- Kendo/Samurai Experience In Okinawa
- Parasailing Experience from Naha
- Full-Day Snorkeling Experience in the Kerama Islands (Naha Departure)
The Origin of Kokusai-dōri Street
After World War II, to bring some happiness to the locals, the American and Ryūkyū (Okinawa’s old name) governments assisted in establishing a theater around Kokusai-dōri. The theater named after Ernie Pyle, an American war correspondent who became a victim in the war, was called Ernie Pyle International Theater. The street where the theater was located was thus called International Street (Kokusai-dōri).
Thanks to the theater, many temporary stalls were set up on the street, soon becoming the locals’ go-to spot to source daily necessities.
How to Get to Kokusai-dōri Street from Naha Airport
To get to Kokusai-dōri Street, you can drive, take a train, or take a bus.
- From Naha Airport, Kokusai-dōri is just a 10 to 15-minute drive, depending on traffic conditions.
- The easiest way to get to Kokusai-dōri Street is by taking Okinawa Urban Monorail, commonly known as Yui Rail (ゆいレール).
- You can get off at either of the below two stations.
- Prefectural Office Station (県庁前駅)
- Makishi Station (牧志駅)
- The train ride takes around 13 to 15 minutes.
- You can get off at either of the below two stations.
- You can also take Ryūkyū Bus Kōtsū’s (琉球バス交通) bus service and get off at Kenchō Kitaguchi (県庁北口).
- The bus ride takes around 20 minutes.
Naha’s Bicycle Sharing Service – Chura Chari (ちゅらチャリ)
When you visit Naha, Kokusai-dōri Street will likely not be the only place you will visit. As most attractions in the city are close to each other, you can utilize Naha’s bicycle-sharing service, Chura Chari.
Cycling, especially with Chura Chari’s electric-assisted bicycles, is a great way to explore Okinawa in an eco-friendly way!
For more information, please refer to the official website HERE.
☛ Purchase the Chura Chari 1-Day Pass (ちゅらチャリ1日パス) that lasts until the end of the day to save money! The pass is sold at a couple of places in Naha, and Naha City Tourist Information Center on Kokusai-dōri Street is one of them!
☛ You can also explore Naha with an electric-assisted bicycle. Refer to HERE.
Naha City Tourist Information Center (那覇市観光案内所)
If this is your first time visiting Kokusai-dōri, we recommend that you first stop by the Naha City Tourist Information Center to plan your day, grab some sightseeing pamphlets, and purchase one of their discounted tickets!
In addition, you can utilize the tourist information center’s luggage storage service if your hotel isn’t close by.
- The luggage storage service is available from 9 am to 6:30 pm.
- Regardless of the size of your luggage, 500 yen is charged per item.
- For smaller bags, you can rent out one of the small coin-operated lockers for 300 yen.
Tip: Naha City Tourist Information Center also has a currency exchange machine for the American dollar, Euro, British pound, Hong Kong dollar, New Taiwan dollar, Chinese Yuan, Korean Won, Australian dollar, Indonesian Rupiah, Malaysian Ringgit, Thai Baht, and Singapore Dollar to Japanese yen.
Naha City Tourist Information Center’s Opening Hours and Access Information
- Naha City Tourist Information Center is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm.
- It is closed from the 31st of December to the 2nd of January.
- The information center closes early on the 30th of December at 12 pm and 6 pm on the 3rd of January.
- Naha City Tourist Information Center is located on Tenbusu Naha’s (てんぶす那覇) first floor.
Rental Ryūsō veni (レンタル琉装 veni)
After getting off Yui Rail’s Makishi Station, before wandering off to discover the exciting Kokusai-dōri Street, how about stopping by Rental Ryūsō veni and be dressed in the traditional Ryūkyū costume?
While Ryūkyū’s kimono has some similarities to the traditional Japanese kimonos that you can rent across Japan, Ryūsō (Ryūkyū’s kimono) has patterns that are unique to Okinawa, with the color coordination being completely different. Plus, Ryūkyū has its unique kimono robe and kimono belt!
If you want to be a bit more luxurious, rent out their Bingata kimono, a costume made from Ryūkyū’s Bingata-dyeing technique!
The staff at Rental Ryūsō veni are all really friendly and caring, so if you can’t decide which belt or robe to match your kimono, ask them for some advice!
The rental also provides hair arrangement options. So when you are fully dressed, you will look exactly like someone who lives in the Ryūkyū kingdom!
To make a booking, please refer to their website HERE.
Rental Ryūsō veni’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Rental Ryūsō veni is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm except for Wednesdays unless it is a public holiday.
- It is a 3-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Makishi Station (牧志駅).
Okinawa Wind (沖縄の風)
Okinawa Wind is a shop filled with Okinawan art and miscellaneous goods made by artists in Okinawa. The store is filled with interesting items that blend both traditional Okinawan elements and modern essences. From tote bags down to shoes, no single item in Okinawa Wind has an ordinary design!
The shop is also a dealer for bags made from locally made high-quality Ryūkyū canvas (琉球帆布). While the design is rather simple, you hardly get tired of their look!
Okinawa Wind’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Okinawa Wind is open daily from 11 am to 7 pm.
- It is less than a 5-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Makishi Station (牧志駅).
Kokusai-dōri Yatai Village (国際通り屋台村)
After a day of sightseeing in Naha, return to Kokusai-dōri and experience dining at one of the street stalls in Kokusai-dōri Yatai Village! In addition to Okinawan cuisine, you can enjoy a variety of Japanese, Western, and Chinese dishes.
Even though the vegetarian dishes are extremely limited, it won’t hurt to walk around the village to experience the Yatai vibe!
Calbee+ Kokusai-dōri Shop (カルビープラス 沖縄国際通り店)
A must-visit shop on Kokusai-dōri for all the Calbee fans is the Calbee+ Kokusai-dōri Shop for their limited menu that can’t be tasted elsewhere!
The must-try at the snack maker’s Kokusai-dōri Shop is their limited edition deep-fried red sweet potato sticks! Unlike the potato sticks sold at convenience stores or supermarkets, the freshly fried sticks that are called Poteriko (ポテりこ) are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The Pote-Choro Black Sugar-Flavor (ポテチュロ黒糖味) is another Kokusai-dōri Shop’s limited menu. The churro made from red sweet potato naturally has the sweet potato’s sweetness to it. With the added black sugar, the churro taste is just marvelous!
In addition to the potato snacks that you can walk and eat, Calbee+ Kokusai-dōri Shop is also one of the best places to source souvenirs. While the contents are the same across the Calbee+ shops in Japan, the packaging is Okinawa-themed. There are also a couple of Okinawa limited edition products too (Okinawan seasoned rice or seaweed, for example)!
Moreover, potato snacks aren’t the only thing that Calbee+ Kokusai-dōri Shop sells. Stationaries and character goods are also “healthier” souvenir options (^_-)-☆.
Calbee+ Kokusai-dōri Shop’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Calbee+ Kokusai-dōri Shop is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm.
- The freshly fried menus are available up until 8:30 pm.
- It is a 5-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Makishi Station (牧志駅).
Naha City Traditional Arts and Crafts Center (那覇市伝統工芸館)
If you are interested in Okinawa’s traditional crafts, such as Ryūkyū Glass (琉球ガラス), Shuri Weave (首里織), and Ryūkyū Bingata dyeing (琉球びんがた), stop by Naha City Traditional Arts and Crafts Center.
The center has a small museum featuring Okinawa’s traditional crafts. For souvenirs, head to the museum’s shop. The items are usually reasonably priced, and there might even be something on special!
If you are more of a hands-on person, join one of the scheduled workshops to make your handicraft! Apart from weaving, the most popular experience is the glass-blowing workshop, where you can make your Ryūkyū glass cup in just 10 to 15 minutes!
The craftsmen there can speak enough English for you to understand the steps and what to watch out for during the process.
Important: The only thing to watch out for is when you can take the completed product home. Take the Ryūkyū glass experience as an example, you have to come back to pick the glass up the next day if you don’t have an address for them to ship it out domestically.
Naha City Traditional Arts and Crafts Center’s Opening Hours
- Naha City Traditional Arts and Crafts Center is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
- The last admission to participating in a workshop is at 4 pm.
- The admission fee for the museum is
- 200 yen for adults
- 100 yen for elementary and junior high school students
- The center is a 5-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Makishi Station (牧志駅).
Matsuhara Confectionary (松原屋製菓)
Visiting Okinawa without trying the traditional confectionary, Sata Andagi (サーターアンダーギー), is like heading into a sushi shop without eating any sushi. While the donut-like dessert can be found almost everywhere in Okinawa, the taste of most shops is just so-so.
Fortunately, a few confectionary makers sell some of the most delicious Anta Andagi in the prefecture. And Matsuhara Confectionary on Kokusai-dōri Street is another such Sata Andagi seller. Unlike Ayumi Sata Andagi on First Makishi Public Market‘s second floor, Matsuhara Confectionary makes Sata Andagi in various flavors.
In addition to Sata Andagi, the confectionary maker also sells other traditional sweets that the locals offer to their ancestors and gods. If you don’t have time to stop by Heiwa-dōri Street for the Mu-Chi (ムーチー) sold at Mochi no Mise Yamaya (もちの店 やまや), Matsuhara Confectionary is another place to buy Okinawan’s unique rice cake.
Important: If you are a vegetarian, avoid the crepe-like confectionary called PoーPoー (ぽーぽー) as it contains pork.
Matsuhara Confectionary’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Matsuhara Confectionary is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm except for Wednesdays.
- It is around a 5 to 10-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Makishi Station (牧志駅).
Tip: Matsuhara Confectionary is very popular, with many items being sold out after lunchtime.
C&C Breakfast Okinawa
For breakfast and brunch during your stay in Naha, stop by C&C Breakfast Okinawa. The Western-style cafe that operates with the concept of “Delicious Breakfast at Travel Destinations” is loved and highly praised by locals and tourists for its food and customer service.
Fresh ingredients received directly from the Makishi public market (牧志公設市場) are turned into mouthwatering dishes served at C&C Breakfast Okinawa. And the best thing is that a savory vegan dish is made available!
Before you head over, refer to their website HERE for their menu.
Tip: C&C Breakfast Okinawa is an extremely popular cafe. A queue is most likely formed shortly after it opens, especially on weekends and public holidays. So be there early as you might be stuck in a queue for 20 to 30 minutes.
C&C Breakfast Okinawa’s Business Hours and Access Information
- C&C Breakfast Okinawa is open from
- 9 am to 3 pm on weekdays except for Tuesdays
- 8 am to 3 pm on weekends and public holidays
- The last order is taken at 2 pm.
- The cafe is around a 10-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Makishi Station (牧志駅).
Splash Okinawa (スプラッシュオキナワ)
Another place to snag some Okinawan souvenirs is Splash Okinawa. The shop has many aquatic trinkets and clothing that will surely catch the attention of the younger generations.
Splash Okinawa has a total of four shops on Kokusai-dōri Street. Depending on which one you visit, some have more aquatic-themed clothing, whereas others have more knick-knacks and decorative goods.
Each store also operates at different business hours. However, they all open until late at night for you to stroll around and walk off the extra fat from the big dinner you might have had earlier!
Ukishima Garden (浮島ガーデン)
If you wish to stick to a strict vegetarian/vegan diet even when traveling, Ukishima Garden will be your lifesaver when you stroll around Kokusai-dōri Street. Even if you are a meat-eater yourself, how about dining at Ukishima Garden to balance out the continuous meat diet you might have been on since you landed in Okinawa?
The cafe renovated from an old residence is particularly stickler in serving its customers organic ingredients. While some might be doubting the deliciousness of the food served there as it may be deemed a bit too healthy, rest assured, the food at Ukishima Garden is just amazing!
Although everything is plant-based, the burger patty wouldn’t taste like it was made from vegetables. They even managed to create vegan omelet rice without using eggs!
Please refer to HERE for their lunch and dinner menu.
Tip: They can cater to all sorts of food allergies. Please let them know your requirements before ordering. If you need some help with communication, the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans may be useful.
Ukishima Garden’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Ukishima Garden is open from 11:30 am to 4 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
- The last order is at 3:30 pm.
- The cafe is around a 10-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Prefectural Office Station (県庁前駅) or Makishi Station (牧志駅).
Tip: Booking is recommended if you plan to visit Ukishima Garden on weekends and public holidays.
Glass Workshop Chōshichi-Ya (ガラス工房長七屋)
If you adore the beauty of Okinawa’s beaches, you can bring the beautiful azure blue color home!
Glass Workshop Chōshichi-Ya is a shop specializing in blue-colored glass beads accessories with a vision to capture the color of the beaches around Okinawa in the jewelry they make. While glass beads might not sound fancy, some beads in ancient Egypt and Rome were treated the same as gold!
The type of glass bead that is made in Okinawa is called Hotaru Glass (ホタルガラス), meaning firefly glass. It is made with a special technique combining silver leaf and glass, creating a shining reflection when light is shone on it.
Glass Workshop Chōshichi-Ya is filled with gorgeously made earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. It is the best place to purchase a fine gift for your friends and loved ones.
While many items on the shelf are geared towards women, there are bangles and bracelets for men.
Glass Workshop Chōshichi-Ya Kokusai-dōri Shop’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Glass Workshop Chōshichi-Ya Kokusai-dōri Shop is open from 11 am to 8 pm.
- It is around an 8-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Prefectural Office Station (県庁前駅).
La Cucina Soup Boutique (ラ クッチーナ ソープブティック)
Another shop on Kokusai-dōri to source some quality souvenirs and gifts is the La Cucina Soup Boutique. You will find a variety of handmade soups and various aroma products there.
Also, don’t underestimate the effort that was put into making the soap! La Cucina’s soap takes at least two months to make! The soaps are made by utilizing the European traditional cold press method. This manufacturing method helps retain high-grade natural vegetable oil’s active ingredients with excellent beauty effects. The moisturizing characteristic is gentle on the skin, which is suitable for sensitive skin.
The vibe of La Cucina resembles a cake shop. Whilst nothing edible is sold in the shop, the interior design has a connection with the shop name, which means kitchen in Italian. Due to the soap and aroma product maker manufactures its product in a similar fashion to cooking a meal, the shop was named “Kitchen”.
La Cucina first started when the owner, MS. Tōyama (遠山), started making soap using herbs harvested from her parents’ herb garden on Ishigaki Island. Due to the high quality of her products, her business has grown substantially that there is even a shop right in Naha’s city center!
As the fragrance ingredients are locally sourced, each of La Cucina’s products contains some Okinawan elements, making it the perfect souvenir, particularly for those on a budget!
Some profits from their bath salt products are donated to marine conservation groups.
La Cucina Soup Boutique’s Business Hours and Access Information
- La Cucina Soup Boutique Kokusai-dōri Shop is open daily from 12 pm to 8 pm except for Wednesdays and Sundays.
- It is less than a 5-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Prefectural Office Station (県庁前駅).
While Baumkuchen itself doesn’t have any connection with Okinawa, we reckon that you should still give Fukugiya a chance.
Although nothing is special about how Fukugiya makes its Baumkuchen, all its ingredients are locally sourced and are generally healthier. This means that instead of white sugar, Fukugiya’s Baumkuchen uses black sugar from the Nakijin Village (今帰仁村) in Okinawa’s north. And we can bet you can only find red-sweet potato-flavored Baumkuchen in Okinawa!
Because Baumkuchen is baked at the shop, you will most likely be attracted by the nice sweet delicious smell of the cake or the scene of the cake being baked at the shop front when you walk along the Kokusai-dōri.
While the prices aren’t particularly cheap, their quality is guaranteed! Before you make any purchases, remember to try their free samples. As a recommendation, the red sweet potato Baumkuchen is our favorite!
Tip: As the expiry date for the Baumkuchen is relatively short, you can come back on your last day for souvenirs or visit their Naha Airport Store. Please note that the flavors in their Naha Aiport Store differ slightly from their main store in Kokusai-dōri.
Fukugiya Kokusai-dōri Shop’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Fukugiya Kokusai-dōri Shop is open from 10 am to 8 pm.
- The shop is closed on the 1st and the 2nd of January.
- It is less than a 10-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Prefectural Office Station (県庁前駅).
Tip: If you drive to Kokusai-dōri and spend more than 2,000 yen at Fukugiya, you will get a 100 yen discount voucher that can be used at Times car park.
Miyakojima no Yukishio (宮古島の雪塩)
The most natural product from the blessing of the ocean is salt, with one of Okinawa‘s top-quality salt being produced on Miyakojima Island. If you don’t have time to visit the stunning island, you can still taste the salt from Miyakojima by visiting Miyakojima no Yukishio. The salt from Miyakojima is so fine that it is named “snow salt”!
Besides salts with various flavors, the shop on Kokusai-dōri Street also sells skincare products and a range of delicious confectioneries with added snow salt. However, Miyakojima no Yukishio’s best-selling item is the Yukishio Soft Serve (雪塩ソフトクリーム).
Although the idea of adding salt to ice cream may sound bizarre to some, it is actually pretty good! The shop manages to get the right balance of both sweet and salty, so instead of a full-on savory ice cream, the taste of the salt is rather faint, which somehow brings out the deliciousness of the soft serve cream even more.
After tasting the original Ykishio Soft Serve, six different flavored salts are placed on the table for you to add to your ice cream to change the taste. From there, it will be a little adventure to figure out which savory ice cream you prefer. Would it be spicy, or is it wasabi?
Miyakojima no Yukishio Kokusai-dōri Shop’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Miyakojima no Yukishio Kokusai-dōri Shop is open daily from 11 am to 7 pm.
- It is less than a 5-minute walk from Yui Rail’s Prefectural Office Station (県庁前駅).
Ryūkyū Pudding (琉球プディング)
Important: The Kokusai-dōri Street Shop was closed during the pandemic. The current closest Ryūkyū Pudding is in Shimajiri District, which is around a 30-minute drive.
Okinawa‘s marine elements don’t just disappear after you retreat from the beach. Okinawa’s puddings are as beautiful as its stunning beaches!
Ryūkyū Pudding is Okinawa’s native pudding brand imaging the gorgeous Okinawan ocean view. The sand is formed by custard pudding with Miyakojima‘s snow salt. Above the creamy sand, the jelly made with mineral-rich deep ocean water formed the azure blue sea.
Not only does the pudding look alluring, but the refreshing jelly also compliments the salty, creamy custard perfectly!
Besides the beautiful Chura Pudding (美ら（ちゅら）プリン), they also have other interesting and delicious products for you to try. This includes Kuーsu Pudding (古酒（くーす）プリン), cream puff, and Ballon Pudding (風船プリン)!
In particular, the Kuーsu Pudding, made with Okinawan liquor, is the recommended dessert for those who enjoy alcohol (^_-)-☆.
The Annual Events Held on Kokusai-dōri Street
As Naha’s main street, there are a few big events that you won’t want to miss out on!
The 10,000 Eisa Dance Parade (1万人のエイサー踊り隊)
The first big event is the 10,000 Eisa Dance Parade held on the 1st Sunday of August each year from 12 pm to 4 pm. It is the biggest Eisa Festival in Okinawa.
The festival that has been held since 1995 started as a part of the Obon dancing. However, more and more Eisa dance groups have been formed recently. The energetic dance can now be seen outside the Obon period.
Naha Tug-of-War (那覇大綱挽まつり)
The second big event is held in October. The 3-Day festival from the first Saturday of October and concludes on the year’s Sports Day (the second Monday of October).
During the Ryūkyū Dynasty, Tug-of-War was held as a celebration of national affairs. The event with more than 560 years of history is now known as the biggest tug-of-war battle in the world. The 200-meter straw rope that weighs 40 tons is also the largest globally and was registered in the Guinness World Records in 1997.
Discover Other Attractions in Naha
Your visit to Naha obviously won’t stop at Kokusai-dōri Street. The city is filled with a wide range of attractions for you to discover! But which attractions are worth your time?
If that is the question on your mind, our Naha City article has got you covered! Whether it is the national treasure, Shurijō Castle, or visiting a shrine located atop a cliff next to a local beach, you will find all the information you need in the article (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.