Explore the city of Naha, the capital and largest city of Okinawa Prefecture, and former capital of the Ryukyu kings.
Drive to Shuri Castle, the administrative center and residence of the Ryukyu royal family for over 400 years, until Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the castle rests on a hill providing outstanding views of Naha and the sea. Surrounded by tall curved walls, the bright red castle is a mixture of Japanese and Chinese architectural styles. See the lavishly decorated Seiden (Main Hall), former venue for major affairs of state and ceremonies. You will also see the ornate Shurei Gate; known as the Gate of Courtesy, it typifies Okinawan architecture and serves as a symbol of modern day Okinawa.
Visit Shikinaen Garden, known as one of the best Japanese Style Gardens in Okinawa and listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Although its style follows that of most Japanese gardens, its architecture and flora give it a uniqueness that is unmistakably Okinawan.
Before heading back to the port, you’ll enjoy time at leisure at Kokusai-dori, Naha's main street, stretching for roughly one mile through downtown. Stroll through the neighborhood on your own, exploring fashionable shops and restaurants offering local products such as exquisite bingata fabrics, colorful tsuboya-yaki pottery and awamori liquor made from long-grained rice.
Need to Know:
Note: Shoes must be removed during the visit to the south hall (Nanden) and the main hall of Shurijo Castle. Photography is not permitted inside Shurijo Castle. We suggest that you bring local currency for any purchases.