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Naha is the capital of Okinawa Prefecture and the biggest city on Okinawa Island, with a population of 700,000. This is a modern, thriving city - bustling during the day and buzzing at night. Expect a young Japanese crowd of tourists, mingling with American GIs enjoying their leave time and creating a vibrant atmosphere.
Shuri Castle was destroyed during WWII but painstakingly restored during the 1950s. This former home of the Ryukyu royal family is now a fascinating and beautiful tourist site.
Okinawa played a central part in WWII and attractions like Okinawa Peace Park and Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum tell the story of the island's history.
The beaches around Naha offer lots of watersports, such as kite boarding and scuba diving. Trips to the nearby Kerama Islands are a favorite with divers and snorkelers.
Big game fishing is superb in the waters around Naha, with mahi mahi, marlin and tuna being regular catches.
The area around Kokusai Street is the place to head for to enjoy the city's best bars and clubs.
Naha is a year-round destination but summer is the best time to enjoy the beaches and watersports.
Naha Airport is the main airport for the island and has many domestic and international connections. The monorail into the city center cost ¥330. A taxi will cost around ¥1,000.
There are no train services on the island.
The Okinawa Expressway is the main highway on the island, running from Nago in the north to Naha in the south.
The island has regular bus services connecting the major towns. The fare from Nago to Naha is ¥1,550 and takes just under two hours.
Base Okinawa on Wakasa Street has good dorm accommodation from ¥1,000. Hotel Marine West on Kumoji offers more luxury, with rooms from ¥3,500.
Kokusai - is the city's downtown area and is home to some of the city's major hotels.
Shuri - is the older part of the city and is home to Shuri Castle.
Naminoue - is where you will find the city's beach and is a great choice for watersports lovers.
Naha has a good bus service, with fares from ¥100, depending on distance traveled. The city also has an excellent modern monorail network, with fares from ¥200, again depending on distance traveled.
Taxis are plentiful and well regulated. Flagfall is ¥550 and you will then pay around ¥250 per mile.
Naha and Okinawa in general have an excellent road network, and renting a car is a good way to reach some of the island's tourist sites, as public transport can be limited. Car rental is available from ¥5,500.
International Boulevard is the city's main shopping street for fashion and electronics. Makishi Market is the place to go for food.
A quart of milk in Naha will cost ¥189 and a loaf of bread is ¥150.
The hilltop restaurant of Nuchigafu on Tsuboya offers superb views and elegant Okinawan cuisine with dinner from ¥3,000. Mikasa on Matsuyama offers good, basic Okinawan dishes from ¥500.