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Naha (那覇市) is a city in Japan resting on the Okinawa Prefecture. It holds a special place to the Japanese residents as it is the capital city of the entire Okinawa Prefecture. Today the population is said to be well over the 311,000 reported in April of 2005 with great development in the city since. The total area of Naha is approximately 39km.

Naha has many thriving industries as it serves as the center of all development for the Okinawa Prefecture. Education, government, and city development management are only a few of the many operations held in Naha for the Okinawa Prefecture. Commercial business is among the top industries with Naha the center of business development in this area of Japan.

Naha is home to four world-wide recognized colleges which most of Japan residents choose to attend. The greatness of these schools has been recognized with many Japanese awards. Naha is also home to several private schools attended by some of the most elite residents in Japan.


History of Naha

The history of Naha can be traced as far back as the stone ages with several interesting artifacts being found near the center of the city. Exploration into the past still continues today.

A documented history of the Ryūkyū Kingdom serves as a great part of the cities history. The Shuri Castle was formed during this period.

In 1872 the Ryūkyū Kingdom was completely destroyed and replaced by the Naha Han. Naha Han was then destroyed in 1879 leading to the development of Naha the capital city of the Okinawa Prefecture.

The Naha city we know today is actually “modern day” Naha as it was not established until 1921.

Naha city was brutally damaged during WWII. The city bounced back very quickly having to rebuild some of their most prized historical places.


Educational sites in Naha include four universities – two private and two run by the Okinawa Prefecture. The University of Ryukyus is the only national university in Okinawa Prefecture and was once located on the old site of the Shuri Castle. The castle was rebuilt and renovated before being added to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites forcing the university to move to Ginowan. All public primary schools are run by the Naha City Board of Education while high schools are operated by the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education.


The Naha Airport and Naha Port both serve the entirety of the Ryukyu Islands with the Okinawa Monorail carrying passengers between Naha and the airport.

Points of Interest

The central historical site of Naha is the Shuri Castle which draws a number of tourists each year. Originally destroyed during the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, the site was rebuilt and today sits as a valuable historical relic. Also a major attraction in the area is Lake Man, located near the city of Tomigusuku and covered with a full grove of mangrove woods.

  • Shuri Castle The original Shuri Castle was destroyed in 1945 by the war. You can still visit the site of the repaired and rebuilt Shuri Castle which genuinely represents the first ones beauties. This area of land is highly regarded as one of the most sacred in Naha.
  • Naha Downtown Going downtown in Naha is like going to the greatest villages of Japan. The cultural development of the houses, shops, and area is one to be admired. Most tourists tend to take days to truly explore the Japanese detailed village.

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