Naha Kokusai Shopping Street
Naha Kokusai Shopping Street is the biggest downtown area in Naha City and is known as a can’t-miss spot. On the street, there are over 600 stores, including malls, restaurants, souvenir shops, etc. There are also prefectural administrative agencies and a business district adjacent to the street, which makes it quite busy.
The name of the street comes from the historical Ernie Pyle International Theater that used to be located by the current Tembusu Naha (a commercial place used to share the traditional culture of old Okinawa, the Ryukyu Kingdom). After the World War II, the US military allowed the Ryukyu government to build the private theater on the quiet street to give local people entertainment. The theater was named after American journalist Ernie Pyle who died in the war. It helped the area develop, and people started calling the street “Kokusai Street” instead of “the street of Ernie Pyle International Theater.” Today, not only the local residents but also many tourists enjoy the local cuisine and shopping here.
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