Vania Restrepo

Written by Vania Restrepo

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Welcome to Naha, the bustling capital city of Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, Naha has become a popular destination for travelers from around the world. From historic sites and traditional Ryukyuan cuisine to beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife, this city has something for everyone. In this article, we will delve into 39 fascinating facts about Naha that will give you a deeper understanding of this captivating city. Whether you are planning a trip to Naha or simply have an interest in learning more about this fascinating destination, buckle up and get ready for an adventure as we explore the wonders of Naha!

Key Takeaways:

  • Naha, the capital of Okinawa, is a vibrant city with beautiful beaches, rich history, and delicious cuisine. It’s a perfect blend of tradition and modernity, offering something for everyone to explore and enjoy.
  • From the stunning Shuri Castle to the annual Naha Tug-of-War Festival, Naha is a city filled with cultural heritage and exciting events. Visitors can experience the best of Okinawa’s history, natural beauty, and vibrant traditions in this dynamic city.
Table of Contents

Naha is the capital and largest city of Okinawa Prefecture.

Nestled on the southern coast of the main island of Okinawa, Naha is a bustling city with a rich history and vibrant culture.

The name “Naha” means “open field” in the Okinawan language.

Derived from the Okinawan words “na” (field) and “fa” (open), Naha’s name reflects its original landscape and topography.

Naha is known for its beautiful beaches.

With stunning stretches of white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Naha boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in Japan.

The city is home to Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shuri Castle, a magnificent Ryukyuan castle, served as the royal palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom and is a must-visit attraction in Naha.

Naha has a subtropical climate, with warm temperatures throughout the year.

Visitors can enjoy pleasant weather and sunshine almost all year round, making Naha an ideal destination for beach lovers.

Naha is a food lover’s paradise.

The city is renowned for its unique and flavorful cuisine, including traditional Okinawan dishes such as Okinawa soba, goya champuru, and sata andagi.

Naha hosts the annual Naha Tug-of-War Festival, a Guinness World Record event.

Every October, thousands of people gather to participate in the Naha Tug-of-War, an event recognized as the world’s largest tug-of-war by the Guinness World Records.

The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum is located in Naha.

Art and history enthusiasts can delve into Okinawa’s rich cultural heritage through the extensive exhibits and collections at this renowned museum.

Naha is a shopper’s paradise.

The city is filled with vibrant shopping streets and modern malls, offering everything from traditional crafts and souvenirs to high-end fashion brands.

Naha is easily accessible by air and sea.

The city is served by Naha Airport, which connects it to major cities in Japan and international destinations. Additionally, Naha Port welcomes numerous cruise ships throughout the year.

Naha is steeped in history.

With its strategic location, Naha has been a hub of trade and cultural exchange for centuries, leaving behind a legacy of historical landmarks and fascinating stories.

The Tsuboya Pottery District is famous for its traditional Okinawan pottery.

Art enthusiasts can explore the charming streets of Tsuboya, known for its pottery studios and shops offering exquisite ceramic artworks.

Naha is the birthplace of karate.

Karate, one of the most popular martial arts worldwide, originated in Okinawa, and Naha played a significant role in its development and dissemination.

Naha’s nightlife scene is vibrant and exciting.

From cozy izakayas to lively bars and clubs, Naha offers a diverse range of options for those seeking entertainment after dark.

Naha is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

Within a short distance from the city, visitors can explore stunning landscapes, including lush forests, majestic mountains, and picturesque coastal areas.

Naha is home to the Makishi Public Market.

This bustling market is a paradise for food lovers, offering a wide variety of fresh produce, seafood, and local specialties.

The Naha Marathon is a popular annual running event in the city.

Participants from around the world gather to take part in this exciting marathon, which showcases Naha’s scenic routes and lively atmosphere.

Naha is a melting pot of cultures.

The city’s rich history and strategic location have resulted in a diverse cultural heritage, influenced by various Asian and Western traditions.

Naha is known for its vibrant matsuri (festivals).

Throughout the year, the city comes alive with colorful parades, traditional performances, and lively celebrations, attracting locals and tourists alike.

Naha is a popular destination for scuba diving enthusiasts.

The crystal-clear waters surrounding Naha provide the perfect opportunity to explore stunning underwater ecosystems and vibrant coral reefs.

The Naminoue Shrine is a famous religious site in Naha.

Perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, this beautiful shrine offers breathtaking views and is a place of worship and cultural significance.

Naha was heavily bombed during World War II.

The city’s resilience and determination to rebuild have transformed it into a modern metropolis while preserving its unique cultural heritage.

Naha is a gateway to the beautiful islands of Okinawa.

From Naha, visitors can easily access the stunning neighboring islands, each with its own unique charm and natural wonders.

Naha is home to numerous traditional Ryukyuan houses.

These historic dwellings, known as “kamehachi,” offer a glimpse into Okinawa’s architectural heritage and are often converted into shops and restaurants.

The Naha Great Tug-of-War Festival is held every year.

In addition to being recognized by the Guinness World Records, this festival is deeply rooted in Okinawan culture and showcases the community’s unity and strength.

Naha has a vibrant music scene.

From traditional Okinawan folk music to modern pop and rock, Naha boasts a variety of venues and events for music lovers to enjoy.

Naha’s Kokusai Street is a lively shopping and entertainment district.

Lined with shops, restaurants, and bars, Kokusai Street is the perfect place to experience the energetic atmosphere of Naha.

The Naha Haarii Dragon Boat Race is a popular annual event.

Teams compete in traditional dragon boats in a thrilling race that showcases Naha’s strong ties to its seafaring history.

Naha is a center for traditional Okinawan crafts.

Visitors can explore workshops and stores to purchase handcrafted items such as Bingata textiles, Ryukyuan lacquerware, and traditional musical instruments.

Naha is known for its unique dialect, known as “Uchinaguchi.”

While Japanese is widely spoken, Naha locals often use their distinct dialect, adding a touch of authenticity to the city’s cultural experience.

The Naha Giant Tug-of-War is held in Oono-machi.

This smaller-scale tug-of-war event has a rich history and is deeply rooted in the local community’s traditions and customs.

Naha’s Fukushu-en Garden is a tranquil oasis within the city.

Modeled after classical Chinese gardens, Fukushu-en features picturesque landscapes, serene ponds, and elegant pavilions.

Naha is a popular destination for history buffs.

The city is home to numerous historical sites, including the Tamaudun Mausoleum and the Naminoue-gu Shrine, showcasing centuries of Okinawan history.

Naha is a gateway to the Ryukyu Islands.

With regular ferry services departing from Naha Port, travelers can easily explore the enchanting islands that make up the Ryukyu archipelago.

The Okinawa Prefectural Government Building is located in Naha.

This iconic skyscraper offers panoramic views of the city and is a symbol of modernity and development in Naha.

Naha played a significant role in trade between East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Its strategic location made it a vital hub for commerce and cultural exchange, shaping the city’s unique identity.

The Naha Dragon Boat Race is a thrilling water sport event.

Teams compete in traditional dragon boats, showcasing their strength, teamwork, and passion for this centuries-old sport.

Naha is home to a variety of traditional Ryukyuan performing arts.

From energetic Eisa dances to graceful kumiwudui performances, Naha offers opportunities to experience the vibrant cultural heritage of Okinawa.

Naha is a vibrant city that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity.

Visitors can explore ancient temples and bustling shopping districts, experiencing the best of both worlds in this dynamic city.

Whether you are captivated by its rich history, enticed by its stunning natural beauty, or simply want to indulge in delicious cuisine, Naha offers something for everyone. Discover the heart of Okinawa and immerse yourself in the 39 fascinating facts about Naha.


Naha, the capital city of Okinawa Prefecture in Japan, is a fascinating destination with a rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. From its UNESCO World Heritage sites to its bustling markets and delicious cuisine, Naha has something to offer for everyone.

With its picturesque beaches, like the famous Naminoue Beach, and its historical landmarks, such as Shuri Castle, Naha is a city that seamlessly blends modernity and tradition. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant Makishi Public Market, indulging in local delicacies like Okinawa soba and goya champuru, or immersing yourself in the Ryukyuan culture at the Tamaudun Mausoleum, Naha has a diverse range of experiences to offer.

Naha’s unique blend of influences from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia gives it a distinct charm, and its warm and welcoming atmosphere will make you feel right at home. So, whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a relaxing beach getaway, Naha should definitely be on your travel bucket list.


Q: What is the best time to visit Naha?

A: The best time to visit Naha is during the spring and autumn months when the weather is mild and pleasant. Avoid the typhoon season, which typically occurs from July to September.

Q: How do I get to Naha?

A: Naha is easily accessible by air, with direct flights from major cities in Japan and other Asian countries. It is also possible to reach Naha by ferry from other islands in Okinawa Prefecture.

Q: What are some must-visit attractions in Naha?

A: Some of the must-visit attractions in Naha include Shuri Castle, Makishi Public Market, Tamaudun Mausoleum, Naminoue Beach, and Kokusai Street.

Q: What is the local cuisine in Naha?

A: Naha is known for its unique Okinawan cuisine, which includes dishes like Okinawa soba (noodles), goya champuru (stir-fried bitter melon), and sata andagi (Okinawan donuts).

Q: Are there any cultural events or festivals in Naha?

A: Yes, Naha hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including the Naha Haarii dragon boat races in May and the Naha Tug-of-War Festival in October.

Naha's fascinating history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Okinawa. Delve deeper into the wonders of this captivating prefecture and discover the mysterious world of the Okinawa Habu, a venomous snake endemic to the Ryukyu Islands. From ancient castles to modern festivals, Naha offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you enchanted and eager to uncover more of Okinawa's hidden treasures.

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