The Okinawa Kokusai-Dori (translates to International Street) used to be nothing but a vast swamp before WWII, but as the War ended and people flooded without particularly nowhere to go they started to gather around this area putting up tents and selling whatever they had, creating the predecessor of Naha’s most crowded commercial street today. Quickly regaining energy and soon becoming the symbol of Okinawa postwar reconstruction, Kokusai-Dori became famous by its other name of the “Miracle Mile”. Now you can get pretty much everything here from Okinawa, from delicacies to crafts, souvenirs and so on.
The most peculiar characteristic of Kokusai-Dori is probably the heavy bus traffic. Whereas about 20,000 pedestrians use this mile in a day, the number of buses mounts up to more than 2,000. Not only that, because the street is a narrow two-lane, normal cars are stopped traffic during the bus lane hours everyday in the morning and evening. Hence the street most time experiences heavy traffic jam, which has by today become part of Naha life.
Various sightseeing spots including the Shuri Castle, Chinese style garden, beaches, ports and museums are easily accessible from Kokusai-Dori. Even if you have seen a lot of other places in Japan Okinawa is well worth spending days just walking around, since the islands were once a kingdom completely separate from Japan and have developed unique, exotic culture, language (not dialects or accents) and customs from those of mainland Japan.
>>Okinawa Prefectural Guide