Kokusai-dori – A 2 KM shopping street in central Naha
Literally meaning “International Road“, Kokusai-dori (国際通り) in Okinawa is a 2 kilometres long shopping street cutting across central Naha. The street is one of the top attractions in Okinawa island attracting visitors from everywhere, especially Taiwan, due to its close proximity (Okinawa is actually closer to Taiwan than Japan).
Kokusai-dori is easily accessible from the Naha bus terminal or Makishi Station on the Okinawa Monorail. We usually rent a car in Okinawa and it is recommended to park it nearby before entering, as traffic is usually bad along the main International Road.
Kokusai-Dori is lined by many local shops selling souvenirs, cafes and restaurants, and departmental stores for all your shopping needs. Most shops are really colourful and decorated with a Hawaii feel. Live Okinawa music can be heard coming from many restaurants too.
If you are looking for a more local shopping experience, try the Daiichi Makishi market that mainly caters to local Okinawans. The entrance to Daiichi Makishi is found halfway along Kokusai-Dori. This public market is bustling with vendors selling really cheap seafood and other merchandise. Tropical fruits like the pineapples and passion fruit are also commonly found here in this tropical island.
Although many shops in Kokusai-Dori are for tourists, we were still able to see some boutique and fashion shops run by local Japanese. Steak house seems to be very popular and we saw so many of them along this street. If you are interested to try local restaurants instead, you can walk to the nearby Sakurai-Dori, there are many smaller Izakaya and restaurants where locals patronise.
Can’t resist to get some Pablo cheese tart whenever we see them!
We recommend to explore Kokusai-Dori in Naha if you ever visit Okinawa in Japan. But there is no need to spend too much time or money here. There are better shopping choices nearby in the Omoromachi area.