Destination Next: Naha, Japan

It’s important to give the whole world to your little ones, isn’t it? Well, why not try to make that world a little bigger by travelling to Naha in Japan. Its original name comes from the Western Japanese term, Naba, which means mushroom as a long time ago there was a large mushroom-shaped stone in the heart of the city. Hungry for more? Read on!

This city is the capital of Okinawa Island, the most southerly region of Japan. Because of its southerly position, Naha enjoys a ‘humid subtropical climate classification’, which basically means it has hot summers and mild winters! The summer months are gloriously sunny and have average temperatures in the late 20s to early 30 degrees. If you’re not a fan of chilly winters, then the city is also perfect for a festive family getaway with warm weather of between 17 and 24 degrees!

Aside from the wonderful weather, Naha has plenty more to offer! There is loads for your little explorers to discover, starting with Kousai Dori (International Street). This is the main tourist strip in Naha which runs for just over a mile through the city. Here you’ll find shop ‘til you drop department stores, local cosy cafés, fine restaurants, and food markets with local cuisine. If you head down to this street on a Sunday, your little ones can also have a blast at the Sunday Street Fair! Lots of classic fairground-style games and attractions are on offer, as well as some traditional Eisa dance and drum performances from local kids! The street is mostly closed off for the fair, so you can feel safe for your kids to go around and get stuck into it!

Naha is a coastal city, which means that it isn’t far from that classic holiday favourite: the beach! The city has plenty surf shops to pick up some beach gear, then it’s just a short trip to white sandy beaches and nature parks. If you get a hire car, you can easily reach so many of these wonderful beaches that we won’t go into your choices: we’ll leave it up to you (and your little swimmers)! Aside from the beaches, Naha city is famous has several arts and crafts stores which use natural materials, like coral and pearls for the kids to get creative with!

If you’re wanting to get a bit more historical, then Shuri Castle is your number one stop! This building dates back to the early 15th century and was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom until 1879. The site is very impressive, with plenty of buildings and grounds to explore. You can also get into some really fancy dress, and try on some traditional Japanese costumes. The tour guides will make your hair and do your makeup for the real deal experience! There are also cultural events held at the castle, so ask some locals for shows to get a real taste of Japan.

Talking about taste, you’re probably wondering what there is to eat! There is plenty on offer in the city, including fine dining restaurants, noodle soup places, traditional tea houses, an entire area dedicated to Western food (called Mihama American Village) and local food markets for Japanese street food. If that doesn’t hit the spot, try screaming for ice-creaming! Blue Seal Ice Park has been making ice cream in Naha for more than 70 years, and they have a design your own ice cream attraction for your littles sweeties to make their own sweet treat!

Naha is a paradise city for a family holiday. Everyone can enjoy the wonders of International Street, the tranquillity of sandy beaches, the grandeur of Shiru Castle and the delicious food – and that’s just for starters! This city is a top pick from us!

Cheers! (Kanpai! 乾杯) 

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