Laid-back Naha is the capital of Okinawa, the southernmost of Japan's prefectures. It's also the largest city on Okinawa island, though it only has 320,000 residents, and its position in the East China Sea means it's closer to Hong Kong than to Tokyo. Tourist posters in Japan paint Okinawa as a domestic version of the Hawaiian islands, and Naha is a great place to shop for holiday gifts and clothing. A stroll down the central strip, Kokusai-dori (below right), feels like being in an Elvis movie filmed with a Japanese cast, with crew-cropped United States marines from the local base as extras. This is a great place to find 'aloha shirts', or Hawaiian shirts as they're otherwise known. Though it seems strange to be shopping for the Japanese version, it's appropriate enough - the original aloha shirts were sewn out of kimono fabric by a Chinese merchant in 1930s Waikiki, Honolulu. Paikaji (K2 Building, Kokusai-dori - next to the Mitsukoshi department store - tel: 81 098 863 5670; www.paikaji.co.jp ) is one of Okinawa's top makers of the shirts. Traditional short-sleeved versions run from 10,290 yen (HK$730) to 18,900 yen. But check through the sale items - if you're lucky, you could pick up a bargain. Paikaji has an extensive range of shirts, from the conventional floral cotton Hawaiian number to rayon variants with cool Asian designs featuring carp, goldfish or bamboo. It also sells long-sleeve shirts, as well as dresses, blouses and fitted women's aloha shirts, and even versions for children. It's also worth checking out Mango House (tel: 81 098 861 4932; www.mangohouse.jp ), which has two stores along Kokusai, as well as a third elsewhere in the city. The designs aren't as imaginative as at Paikaji but the prices are more down-to-earth. Cotton men's aloha shirts start at 5,600 yen and range up to 8,400 yen. Women's shirts are even a little cheaper, starting at 5,200 yen. Cosmic Co (headquarters next to Makishi monorail station, six shops on Kokusai, tel: 81 098 958 0902; www.cosmic-world.net ) will rustle you up a shirt decorated with the Japanese characters of your choice. While in Naha, it is worth picking up some awamori: Okinawan firewater. If sake is rice wine and sochu is rice whisky, then awamori is rice tequila, often making drinkers a little crazy. A large bottle will cost about 1,500 yen. There's a store that specialises in awamori on Kokusai called Tsuboya Saketen (tel: 81 098 861 3431). Okinawan lion statues (below left) are another popular souvenir. Kubagasa-ya (tel: 81 098 861 9853) sells small colourful versions for around 840 yen; 2,600 yen for a larger traditional pair.