Kokusai Dori and Makishi district

In the heart of Okinawa sits the lively and much loved shopping strip, Kokusai Dori. Translating literally to International Road, the street got its name from the former "Ernie Pyle International Theater", a movie theater that was built along the road after the war. Kokusai Dori is the main street of the area’s capital city of Naha and it’s the ideal location for shopping, eating, drinking, seeing live music, and everything in between. Like many other Japanese cities, the street stays up late, with many stores trading until 11pm. Cutting diagonally through the center of Naha, this food and shopping mecca is arguably one of the city's biggest attractions for both Japanese and international guests.

Although the city is still considered quite young, given that it, like a lot of Okinawa, was destroyed during World War II. But the still somewhat recent devastation didn’t stop the residents of Naha from embracing their entrepreneurial spirit and reestablishing their home city as one of Japan’s most loved. These days a large portion of Kokusai Dori does cater to a more tourist oriented crowd, however it’s still home to dozens and dozens of smaller stores and local vendors keeping the Okinawa flavor intact. These vendors sell everything, from locally produced island clothing, glassware and earthenware pottery, to outlets slinging freshly distilled awamori, Okinawa’s hearty local liquor.

Kokusai Dori
Sanshin Shop

A jewel in the crown of stunning Naha is Makishi Public Market. The market is a place where time stands still and visitors can get an idea of flourishing trade Okinawa experienced with various countries around Asia during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. Passed down through generations, the stands at the market focus mainly on Naha’s central produce, meat, fish, fruit and general everyday merchandise. It’s the perfect location for visitors to get an insight into authentic daily life in Okinawa.

MakishiMarket

When visiting the market stop and sample something you’ve never tried before, as many vendors are more than willing to give interested guests a chance to sample some of their local produce. From many kinds of colorful fish and shellfish, fascinating and unique vegetables like goya ‘bitter melon’ and hechima ‘sponge gourd’ there’s no shortage of opportunities for those with adventurous taste buds. Kokusai Dori is also home to one of the few remaining covered shopping strips in Okinawa. Known as shotengai, these sprawling indoor centers intersect through vein-like alleyways, making getting lost feel like an adventure.

MakishiMarket

Kokusai Dori is relatively easy to discover given that it’s located right in central Naha. Stretching almost 2 kms from the Naha Bus Terminal to Makishi Station on the Okinawa Monorail, it’s also just a stone’s throw away from the monorail's two major hubs Kencho-mae and Miebashi Station. A seven minute walk from Kokusai Dori Street, the Makishi market is open from 8am until 8pm every day except the 4th Sunday of every month, and New Year’s and Obon holidays.

Naha Bus
Facility Name
Kokusai-dori Street
Address
Okinawa ken Naha city
Introduction
Kokusai-dori Street located in the center of Naha City is the face of Okinawan tourism. It has accomplished significant growth from the burnt ruins after World War II, so the street of about 1.6 kilometers is also called “The Miracle Mile”. It is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops so you are guaranteed to definitely find an Okinawan souvenir if you visit. There are also entertainment facilities such as Yoshimoto Okinawa Kagetsu. It becomes a pedestrian parade from 12 noon to 6 p.m. every Sunday and there is no access for regular vehicles. A variety of events such as mini live concerts and street performances are held.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Makishi Public Market, Naha
Address
Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Matsuo 2-10-1
Phone
0988676560
Hours
8:00-21:00
Closed
4th Sunday (except Dec.) ※ depends on the store
Introduction
Located down an arcade (lined with a wide variety of different shops) that runs off Kokusai Street is Makishi Public Market, which has been called “Naha residents’ kitchen.” Fresh fish, meat and dried foods etc. are sold on the first floor; you can ask to have fish purchased on the first floor cooked for you at one of the restaurants on the second floor (an additional charge will be made for this). The second floor houses restaurants as well as stalls selling traditional confectionery and other local specialties; the restaurants offer set meals featuring traditional Okinawan home cooking as well as Okinawa-style Soba Noodles, etc.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

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  • Makishi Public Market, Naha image

    Makishi Public Market, Naha

    Others foods
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Matsuo 2-10-1
  • Kokusai-dori Street image

    Kokusai-dori Street

    Street
    Okinawa ken Naha city
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