The Ultimate Weekend in Naha, Japan: How to Make the Most of 48 Hours

Imagine stepping off the plane into a world where urban vibes and tropical tranquility coexist. That’s Naha for you, the vibrant capital of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. With just 48 hours to soak it all in, you’ll want to hit the ground running. Trust me, I’ve been there, and I’m itching to share the secrets of making the most of a weekend in this dynamic city.

Day 1: Dive into the Heart of Naha

Morning: Kokusai Dori and Makishi Public Market

Start your day with a stroll down Kokusai Dori, the “International Road.” This bustling street is a sensory feast, with shops, restaurants, and street performers galore. Grab a coffee and a local pastry from one of the quaint cafes and watch the city Wake up.

Next, head to Makishi Public Market. Here, you’ll find fresh produce, seafood, and the famous Okinawan sweet, Beni-imo tarts. Don’t shy away from the upstairs eateries; they serve up some of the freshest sashimi bowls you’ll ever taste.

Afternoon: Shuri Castle and Surrounds

After lunch, take a short bus ride to the majestic Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The castle’s red hues and dragon motifs are a photographer’s dream. Wander through the courtyards and imagine the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Don’t miss the nearby Shikinaen Garden. It’s a serene spot perfect for a leisurely walk. The traditional Ryukyu architecture and peaceful ponds will transport you to another era.

Evening: Izakaya Hopping

As dusk falls, it’s time to experience Naha’s vibrant nightlife. Izakayas, Japanese-style pubs, are the way to go. Start at an izakaya near Kokusai Dori and let the night take you. Savor local dishes like Goya champuru and Okinawa soba. Wash it down with awamori, a potent Okinawan spirit. Just remember to pace yourself; we’ve got another full day ahead!

Day 2: Explore and Unwind

Morning: Naminoue Beach and Naminoue Shrine

Kick off day two with a visit to Naminoue Beach. It’s a rare urban beach where you can dip your toes in the East China Sea. After a refreshing swim, visit the Naminoue Shrine, perched on a cliff overlooking the water. It’s a unique blend of Shinto and Ryukyuan religious practices.

Afternoon: Tsuboya Pottery District and Okinawa Prefectural Museum

Post-lunch, wander through the Tsuboya Pottery District. This area is famous for its traditional Okinawan ceramics. Pop into a workshop and maybe even try your hand at pottery-making.

Later, head to the Okinawa Prefectural Museum. It’s a treasure trove of Okinawan culture and history. The art gallery also showcases local artists, giving you a glimpse into the island’s creative soul.

Evening: Sunset at Cape Zampa

For your final evening, take a short trip to Cape Zampa. The lighthouse offers stunning views, especially at sunset. It’s the perfect spot to reflect on your whirlwind weekend.


  • What’s the best way to get around Naha?
    Public transportation is reliable, but renting a car gives you more freedom, especially for exploring outside the city.
  • Are there any language barriers for English speakers?
    English isn’t widely spoken, but people are friendly. A translation app and some basic Japanese phrases will go a long way.
  • What should I pack for a weekend in Naha?
    Light clothing, sunscreen, and a hat are musts. Also, bring comfortable shoes for walking and a swimsuit for the beach.


A weekend in Naha is a whirlwind of culture, history, and natural beauty. From the bustling streets of Kokusai Dori to the serene sunset at Cape Zampa, Naha offers a unique blend of experiences. You’ve tasted the local cuisine, immersed yourself in the history, and even caught a glimpse of the city’s spiritual side. It’s a place where memories are made, and 48 hours is just enough to leave you longing for more.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, Naha’s charm is undeniable. So, pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready for an unforgettable weekend in this Okinawan gem.

Remember, this is just a taste of what Naha has to offer. There’s always more to explore, more to taste, and more to experience. Until next time, sayonara and happy travels!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.