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  • Heiwa Dori (Heiwa Street) is a covered shopping district in Naha City and the entrance to Heiwa Dori can be found on Kokusai Dori in front of Okinawa Mitsukoshi. There are numerous souvenir shops for younger people, with T-shirt shops and folk craft shops along the street. Okinawan-style food courts and old fashioned clothes shops still remain in business here. The shopping streets of Heiwa Dori connect to Yachimun Street, Sakurazaka, and Makishi Public Market.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Okinawan children prepare for the Naha Matsuri on Kokusai Dori (street) in Naha City, Okinawa Japan.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • The Heiwa Dori district in Naha City, Okinawa Japan added to Denver Gallery photos


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Added an image from Okinawa's annual tug-of-war held during the Naha Matsuri (festival). This is the largest natural rope tug-of-war in the world. What you see in the picture is the rope on Hwy 58 being swarmed by people that will be pulling the rope from whatever side they happen to be standing. Naha Great Tug-of-War is a three-day event is held every October in Naha City. The Naha Great Tug-of-War uses a 200-m rope that is made of rice straw and weighs 43 tons, a Guinness World Record. The tug-of-war rope itself is said to be good-luck and pieces of the rope are cut off and taken home by both participants and observers.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • This major three-day event is held on the second weekend of October each year in the central part of Naha. The main event, the Naha Great Tug-of-War, uses a 200-meter long rope that is made of rice straw and weighs 43 tons, a Guinness World Record, which is then tugged by tens of thousands of people. The rope used for the Naha Great Tug-of-War is said to be a good-luck charm, and pieces of it are cut off and handed out for people to take home. 


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • This major three-day event is held on the second weekend of October each year in the central part of Naha. The main event, the Naha Great Tug-of-War, uses a 200-meter long rope that is made of rice straw and weighs 43 tons, a Guinness World Record, which is then tugged by tens of thousands of people. The rope used for the Naha Great Tug-of-War is said to be a good-luck charm, and pieces of it are cut off and handed out for people to take home. 


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Shurijo Castle became the kings’ castle after the unification of the Ryukyu Kingdom, and served as the center of politics, diplomacy, and culture during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. 


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Stone walls and red-tiled rooftops line the streets of Okinawa's Pottery Village where traditional Okinawan pottery known as "yachimun" can be found. Yachimun is Okinawan for pottery and the Tsuboya district in Naha is the yachimun area where potters traditionally lived.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Tsuboya is a pottery district in Naha City, Okinawa Japan and has a history that days back over 300-years.

    Known as yachimun in Okinawan language, plates, bowls, figurines, and other pottery produced locally are a functional part of everyday life on Okinawa and the yachimun pottery itself has an interesting story to tell about Okinawa culture, its history, and its people

    The Tsuboya pottery district escaped much of the devastation inflicted on the rest of Naha during the Battle of Okinawa, and the streetscape with its narrow winding alleys, known as sujiguwa in the Okinawan language Hogan, gives a glimpse of a time gone by. Tsuboya is a place full of pottery workshops handed down by local families over several generations.

    Every year in early November the Tsuboya Yachimun-dōri Matsuri is held but on a daily basis visitors to his pottery district will see local shops that lines the streets selling pottery created by local artists. 


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Miracle Mile, Kokusai Street in Naha City

    Kokusai Street is known as "Miracle Mile" due to the rapid recovery of this region of Okinawa after World War II. Modern Kokusai Street is lined with restaurants and the most sought after Okinawan souvenirs can be found on this 1.6-kilometer-long street which runs from the Okinawa Prefectural Office North Exit Intersection to the Asato Three-forked Road Intersection. 


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Performers can be seen up and down the full 1.6Km length of Kokusai Street during the Naha Matsuri in Naha City, Okinawa Japan.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Okinawan children on Kokusai Street participating in the Naha Matsuri in Okinawa Japan.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • A glimpse behind the scenes of Okinawa's annual Naha Matsuri where performers are getting some last minute coaching.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Heiwa Dori (street) is an old covered shopping district in Naha City, Okinawa Japan.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • A performer entertains a crowd on Kokusai Dori in Okinawa japan.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • A Shinto priest performs a traditional ceremony called "jichinsai" asking the earth spirit to bless the streets of Naha City in Okinawa so they may be a safe and prosperous environment. This ceremony is usually performed before a construction project begins in Japan


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • A Shinto procession passes by a corner store in Naha City, Okinawa Japan.


    Photographer in Denver

    Former U.S. Marine and Art Director and contributing photographer to both Okinawa Living Magazine and Okinawa Outdoors Magazine as well as a contributor to Okinawa Guide and the Best of Okinawa Living book published by MCCS Okinawa. I lived 15-years in Okinawa Japan,  2-years in China and am currently a resident and photographer in Denver, Colorado.

    John Russell Burgreen III
  • Kinjo-cho is a castle town in Okinawa Japan that was constructed in 1522 when Okinawa was known as the Ryukyu Kingdom. In World War II, during the Battle of Okinawa, all of the roads in Kinjo-cho except for this one 300-meter stretch of cobblestone were destroyed.

  • A view of Naha City and the South China Sea from Shuri Castle. Shurijo Castle became the kings’ castle after the unification of the Ryukyu Kingdom, and served as the center of politics, diplomacy, and culture during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. 

  • Backstage during a costume change at a theater in Okinawa, Japan.

© 2021 John Burgreen Photography & Prints
Denver art gallery and Photographer in Denver Colorado