Naha, Okinawa

Naha City (那覇市)
Country Japan
Region Kyushu
Prefecture Okinawa
Area 38.99 km
Population 313,970
as of April 30, 2005
Density 8,052.58
persons per km²
Mayor Onaga Takeshi
City symbols Tree   Fukugi
Flower   Bouganvelia
Missing image

Symbol of Naha City
Naha City Hall
Address 〒900-8585
Naha-shi, Izumizaki 1-1-1
Phone 098-867-0111
External link Official website (
in Japanese
Latitude &
26° 12' N
127° 41' E
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Map of Naha City in Okinawa

Naha (那覇市; -shi) is the capital city of Okinawa Prefecture (沖縄県) in Japan. The city was founded on May 20, 1921 as a Japanese city. However, it has become one of the most important and populous sites in Ryukyu Islands as the capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which is located in Naha from the early 15th century until its abolishment in 1879 (from other view, 1872).

Naha is a coastal city located on the southern part of Okinawa Island, the biggest island of Ryukyu Islands.

Naha is the political, economical and education center of the Okianwa Prefecture. In the feudal period, it was also the religious center of the Ryukyu Dynasty.



Downtown Naha consists of Palette Kumoji District where the Okinawa Prefecture Office, Naha City Hall, and many banks and corporations reside accompanied by a nine story shopping mall. Kokusai-Dori is near Kumoji District where 1.6 Kilometers worth of department stores lining Naha's main commercial area and has a very active nightlife. Spurring off from Kokusai is the covered Heiwa-Dori Shopping Arcade where a large people's market exists, which is quite informal compared to Kokusai Street and often confusing to traverse in.


Missing image
Walls of Shuri Castle in Naha

In Naha some archeological relics of the Stone Age were found. From a Kaizuka in Jomon period ancient Chinese coins were found. Today Naha has developed as a city around Shuri Castle, the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom. In the period of the Ryukyu kingdom, there were five districts in the area of Naha currentdays.

After the replacement of the Ryukyu Kingdom to Naha han in 1872 Naha became the capital city of Naha han. Naha han was abolished in 1879 and the former Ryukyu Kingdom was once merged into Kagoshima prefecture. Later Okinawa prefecture was settled and Naha became its capital city.

When Naha city was founded in 1921, in the area the currentdays Naha is located there were several municipals including Naha city and Shuri city. Later Shuri was merged into Naha.

In World War II, during the battle of Okinawa Naha was highly damaged by attacks of US forces. The entire center of the city had to be rebuilt.

Naha-Te, "Naha-hand", is a type of martial art developped in Naha. Together with the martial arts styles of Tomari and Shuri it formed the basis for Okinawa-te, which in turn is the origin of todays karate-do.


Four universties are located in Naha. Two are run by Okinawa prefecture, two are private. Formerly University of the Ryukyus, the sole national university in Okinawa prefecture was also in Naha, in the site of Shuri castle. For the sake of restoration it moved to Nishihara town in the north of Naha.


Shuri Castle, the former palace of Ryukyu Dynasty is one of the most gusuku (Okinawan castle) and important historical sites in Naha. The palace was almost destroyed in 1945 because of an attack by the US army and navy. After the war the University of Ryukyu was constructed. Today Shuri Castle is reconstructed including its main gate Shurei Mon and registered as UNESCO world heritage sites. Lake Man covered with mangrove woods in the border of Tomigusuku city is listed on the Ramsar list of wetlands.


Naha Airport and Naha Port serves the city transport way. Naha Airport is the hub on the Ryukyu Islands.

The Okinawa Monorail carries passengers from Naha Airport Station to the center of Naha, and to the terminal at Shuri Station, which is closest to Shuri Castle.

Sister cities



See also

External links

Template:Okinawade:Naha fr:Naha la:Naha id:Naha ja:那覇市 Template:Japan-geo-stub


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