Shuri-castle is without doubt the main tourist-attraction of Okinawa and Naha. The exacte age of the Shuri palace is unknown but it is known as the Royal Court of the Ryukyus Kingdom since the early 15th century. The palace burned down several times but had always been restored. In WWII the japanese army had its headquarter under that palace and so...more
Shureimon-gate or Shurei-mon gate used to be the second outer gate of Shuri castle and the meaning of its name is "Gate of Propriety". Dating back to 1527 it had been built in the tradition of chinese turret gates.The gate is 7,05 meters high and 7,94 meters wide. Shureimon-gate also burned down in WW II and was completely reconstructed in 1958.more
This is the Profile of Seiden :The Main Hall of Shuri Palace and there you will see the throne of the Royal empire of the Ryukyus Kingdom. The throne, like the rest of the building, is a replica that was reconstructed in 1992 and this is also the reason why everything looks almost like brand new.more
Dont miss to take a walk through the fish-market, that you will find inside the large, covered Makishi-market. You will see a lot of interesting exotic fishes and according to my own experience tourists are always welcome there to take photos, ask questions or simply take a look around, even when you dont intend to buy anything ! The sales-people...more
Part of the Hotel Nikko Chain. A decent high rise city hotel situated atop a hill, giving a nice...more
This hotel is reasonable value for money with a buffet breakfast, onsen type bathing facilities...more
Two nights in Naha. Small, clean, japanese breakfast. Not for children, not for seniors. No good...more
Great great variety of sea food! all stuff are live and fresh in the market, and you can buy and eat on the 2nd floor. The price is unbelievable cheap - a huge plate of sashimi cost only 1000 yen, least then 1/10 of what it may cost in Shanghai, and the quality was superb!!! All of them!!!more
I came across this nice icecream-shop and still had some YEN to spend and I was also happy to see that they have inscriptions in english and so I decided to taste some of their icecream. At first they made a fresh crepe and started to fill it according to my wishes. In a way that crepe finally looked rather like a work of art,and finally the crepe...more
This was a restaurant where we had a late lunch and this place was convenientely situated opposite of the main-entrance of Shuri-castlen and next to their souvenir-shop. Japanese food is something I never liked very much, but we were hungry after walking around Nara and we also still had some japanese Money left over and this was our last japanese...more
Inside Shuri castle there is a traditional restaurant-area, where you can taste some tea and a local cookie and what is best : you will sit at such typical low tables and can strech your feet underneath and the lady is serving in a traditional costume. There were different sorts of cookies and I took some that they called "traditional" and had...more
Inside Shurijo Castle, there is small cafe inside it. They said you can experience the palace style of snacks and tea. So we tried it. We felt the food taste like Chinese ones. And the room is one part of the palace which is used to serve the visitors. So you can imagine how old days lives are.more
This place is beautiful,the wall's are all white,so is the floor,they have tree's all over the place dividing the room up.They are open from 5pm-5am,huge tv screen playing surf dvds.A dj plays all night long,comfortable couches,free internet.
Fried rice with coconut 800 yen.Curry 800 yen.Many cakes available and cocktails.Full bar
Dress Code: casual,the owners are tattooed surfers.
In case that you arrive in Naha by cruiseship you should be aware of the fact that the town of Naha is almost 7km from the cruiseport and it is the best to take a taxi in order to get to town.Dont forget to take a piece of paper with you that has the ships adress for the taxidriver written also in japanese writing, we got that at the pursers office...more
The Monorail in Naha is almost brand-new as it was opened in 2003 and as a foreigner the only thing that might be a problem for you there is how to get a ticket from the machine without beeing able to read japanese.The Monorail starts at the airport and has about 15 stops before it finally ends next to Shuri-castle, so it is the perfect way of...more
Located near Makishi Stn on the Monorail, and across the Okinawa Mitsukoshi Dept. Store, this particular sidestreet is relatively more traditional and old-fashioned.
A Local drum-band was performing some traditional music and rythmn as a welcome and finally also a farewell to our cruisehip M/S Delphin Voyager in the port of Naha / Okinawa. That was a lot of fun, obviously such bands are organized by the local tourist-board.more
This is a special ceremony that was held on each New Years Day in Shuri Castle and the name of the ceremony was "Chou-hai-oh-ki-shiki" and you will see it shown in a small-scale-model inside of the palace. The size of this small-scale-model is 1:25. Another such model shows the incoronation-ceremony of the king of the Ryukyus Kingdom .more
Take a closer look at the guards in their wonderful and interesting costumes in Shuri palace: They will wear socks with an extra space for the large toe, I have to say I have never seen that anywhere else before !b.t.w.: All of the tourists have to walk in their socks through the palace, but at least you get a small plasticsack at the entrance, so...more
Having spent most of my nights sleeping on base, I can only recommend this official naha tourism site for hotel recommmendations...
Unique Suggestions: Visit the city's website at:
Luggage and bags:
Pack light!And pref a comfortable backpack or small suitcase with wheels.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack alot of light t-shirts and light tops,in the 'Winter' which is Dec-Feb the temperature only get's down to about 16 at the lowest so no heavy jackets required.In the Summer you will sweat alot so do pack many tops and shorts,comfortable sandals.They sell flipflops everywhere for 300 yen but keep in mind the largest shoe size is 25 cm.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring what you require as all toiletries/Medicines are in Japanese,Also bring your own condoms as they do only sell Japanese size.Def bring your own toothpaste,Japanese toothpaste is awful and the import stuff is expensive.Wet wipes,tissues and make up are all cheap in Japan.Don't forget deodarant,Japanese deodarant does not work!
Photo Equipment: This is Japan so photo equipment is readily available but keep in mind everything is written in Japanese.
Makishi-market is a large local, covered market with a lot of great things to be of interest for the tourists as well. The most interesting parts of this market are without doubt the department for the fish-market and also the one, selling specialities from pigs, dont miss the photos of it, that I posted under "Local customs"more
Most of the buildings in Naha were destroyed in WW II, and unfortunately only a few of them were rebuilt again in the traditional ryukyu-style and you will find them here or there between the ugly modern buildings and skyscrapers.In my extra-photos you will find some more examples of such traditional houses and it is a pity that the local people...more
The Okinawa-islands are a group of 57 islands in the south of Japan and Naha is a city of 300.000 inhabitants in the southwest of its main island. In Okinawa some of the heaviest battles of WW II took place between the American and Japanese troops. After WW II the US-troops used Okinawa as a base for their troops, this is why it is a bit more easy...more
Though most older Okinawans speak a dialect known as Hogen (sp?), most understand Japanese. If you make the effort to learn some basic phrases, it will go a long way... Most exposure Okinawans have to Americans is to servicemen, who often don't do their country any favors as ambassadors, so try to not look like a Marine, soldier, squid or fly boy...more
I was SCUBA certified in Okinawa, and so far no other diving location has come close to offering what Okinawa has. Coral reef, exotice fish and warm water make it ideal and I understand why many Japanese nationals spend their vacations here... I spent alot of time on Camp Kinser, just north of Naha. You can find more pics at...more