Orchids growing in the airport lounges are the first sign you've come to a very different sort of place. Okinawa's capital city is the center of commerce, tourism, and youthful enterprise in the region. People here are more laid-back than elsewhere in Japan, with business suits replaced by brightly colored Kariyushi shirts, and you'll probably have an easy time feeling relaxed and energized by the city's verve as you tour the sights. Naha's appeal has a short half-life, however, and you may quickly tire of the students on school trips swarming the sidewalks, the chintzy souvenir shops and arcades, and the traffic congestion. Enjoy the wonderful sights before moving out to explore the rest of the island.


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