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Naha (okinawa) Mini Guide
I’ve not Heard of Naha, why Should I Visit it?
Naha is best known as being the largest city of the Okinawa prefecture and it is Okinawa that most people come to visit. The city was the scene of the bloody Battle of Okinawa in 1945, just weeks before the atomic bombs were dropped. As you’d expect, there are plenty of memorials in the city to the events of that time.
How do I get to Naha?
If travelling from outside eastern Asia, then it won’t be by direct flight. You’ll have to fly into one of the major far eastern airports and connect, although many airports around Japan also have connections for Naha. From the airport, it’s probably a good idea to take the monorail right into the city and then hire a car, especially if you’re arriving at peak commuter time and don’t want to join the queues of those who work in the city.
What are the Main Tourist Attractions?
The monorail also stops at Shuri Castle which is a UNESCO recognised reconstruction of the original castle that was destroyed in the battle for the city in 1945. Not far from the city centre is the Okinawa Peace Park which is beautiful in itself but very poignant with the memorial to those that died defending the city in 1945. The separate Memorial Hall is also interesting with its statue dedicated to peace. The Museum in the park tells the story of the battle from an unbiased perspective, celebrating the heroism of the citizens who died protecting their beloved city whilst acknowledging the wrongful nature of the war.
On a far lighter note, Okinawa World is a very Japanese theme park with unusual attractions including a huge cave of stalactites and stalagmites, a live snake exhibition and various small rides for children.