Walking Kokusai street

Most cities have one, if not more, streets that are well-known and which people say, “you just have to go down this street.”

Naha, Okinawa’s largest city, has Kokusai street. It’s a kind of tourist destination, shopping haven, and bar/restaurant strip all rolled into one. Kokusai street even has its own small and covered side street that branches off, which was actually pretty big by itself since someone could probably spend two hours or more just in that one spot.

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Kokusai Street

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Did Stanley want to purchase this embalmed frog money pouch? Of course he did

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The covered market

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After all the noise and people, I sought out a quiet section

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This was us figuring out how to pay the parking machine so it would unlatch a barrier from our car’s tires. Actually the funniest part of our day there was when we arrived and had to start the machine. It was entirely in Japanese and no parking lots in America worked in the same manner as this one so we pushed a bunch of buttons and, of course, nothing happened. Then an Okinawan man walked up to select his parking space and when he reached the machine, all 6 of us huddled around him to see the sequence of buttons he hit (it was green, yellow, red, I think??). When he turned around, he suddenly noticed he was surrounded by foreign Americans and there was a short awkward silence. He started walking away, then realized we couldn’t work the damned machine and came back and hit the buttons for us. That was when we understood how confused Europeans and Asians feel in our country.