A shopping street of 1.6 km also known as the Miracle Mile
Kokusai Dori goes down the center of Naha City in Okinawa Prefecture. With its starting point at the intersection at the north end of the prefectural government building, it follows Prefectural Highway No. 39 in a straight line up to the Asato Junction. Just 3km away from the World Heritage site of Shuri Castle, the area always has lots of tourists. Kokusai Dori was once a burnt-out area after the war but has made a remarkable transformation. For that reason, it has been dubbed the Miracle Mile. Every Sunday from 12 noon to 6 p.m., a part of the road is closed off to vehicular traffic for the pedestrians. Okinawan folk entertainment such as eisa dancing is also performed here.
From choosing souvenirs to enjoying the local foods on the street, you can have fun until the wee hours!
On Kokusai Dori, there are plenty of bars to enjoy the local fare and the Okinawan liquor known as awamori. At many of the places, there are even concerts featuring the regional musical instrument known as the sanshin. You should have some fine memories of your trip as you casually enter these establishments and enjoy Okinawan folk songs and Ryukyuan dancing. Souvenir shops are open relatively late so shopping after all the sightseeing is very possible. Over here, all of the souvenirs such as Yachimun pottery and other handicrafts, awamori liquor, the traditional baked cookie of chinsuko, and Okinawan kariyushi wear are available.
The side streets are also well worth seeing.
Turning from Kokusai Dori into Okiei Dori for about 200m and then going south at the traffic light, you will encounter a lane by the name of New Paradise Dori. Along its 400m length, there are stylish shops and cafes where the locals congregate. Establishments which have been converted from private residences which are over 50 years old and select shops selling products made by Okinawan artisans line the lane here where you can obtain sophisticated items. There is a mellow atmosphere here that cannot be imagined on the bustling Kokusai Dori.