Comfort Hotel Naha Prefectural Office
Phone: (81) 98 941 7311
Fax: (81) 98 941 7312
One of the first areas to be rebuilt after World War II, Kokusai Street was hailed as the "Miracle Mile" for its great shops, restaurants and bars. Many hotels can be found along this 1.6-kilometer stretch as well, and you'll find tourists and locals alike looking for the latest trends and fashions in the boutiques. Some notable souvenirs include bottles of star-shaped sand, or snakes steeped in jars of awamori (Okinawan sake). The summer festival also takes place on this road.
Located near Kokusai Street, this gallery exhibits the work of local artisans and has pieces available for sale at the front of the shop. Each piece is carefully selected by the owner, Minoru Yasumoto, and often hosts exhibits that are advertised in local magazines and newspapers. Handcrafted ceramics, lacquer ware, and weaving are only some of the products that are available.
Imagine what it would be like to actually use the exotic and tropical seafood of Okinawa to make dinner… well, if it’s hard to picture all the fish and the unique island vegetables, come to the Makishi Public Market! Here you will rub elbows with locals who come to buy fresh produce and fish, and the famous Okinawa pork. While the market itself is on the first floor of the venue, if you go one floor up you can find many restaurants featuring these tropical comestibles!
Ceramic ware lovers simply must visit Tsuboya, Naha City’s pottery district. Also known as Tsuboya Yachimun Street, the avenue is lined with pottery stores, workshops, and studios, all of which add to the area’s nostalgic feel. In addition to the opportunities to shop and visit galleries, visitors can also go to the Tsuboya Pottery Museum as well, to learn more in depth history of ceramics and its place in Okinawan culture.
If you want to get in some shopping and exercise, Naha Main Place is for you! At this shopping paradise, visitors will be able to spend hours poring over items and going from store to store, immersed in this world of potential belongings. The mall is two levels, packed full of boutiques, an arcade with games for children and adults, and a movie theater. There is also a food court and a Starbucks for those who need some extra energy to get through the whole complex.
The first outlet mall to hit the islands, Ashibina is a must-shop for international visitors. The outlet mall has 70 worldwide brands at discount prices for the cosmopolitan traveler (some stores include Coach, Ray-Ban, and Nike). There is also a food court with six restaurants that can seat up to 600 guests. If you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for or need some guidance around the area, there are plenty of attendants to help.
Located on the first floor of a distillery in Itoman City, awamori (alcohol distilled from Thai rice) connoisseurs will enjoy seeing how this Okinawan spirit is made. The first floor is a shop where visitors can taste and buy the various kinds of awamori, while the second floor displays the historic and modern tools of the trade. Drivers and minors are kindly asked not to partake in the sampling.
A place for all kinds of disport in Chatan Town, Mihama, or better known as American Village, can be seen from miles away thanks to the towering Ferris wheel that has become the trademark of this shopping district. American eateries, international food restaurants, and a cinema that plays both Western and Japanese films, all make up a place where travelers can get a sense of what it means to be American, from a Japanese perspective. One of the biggest shopping attractions at the American Village is Jusco, an upscale one-stop megastore, popular among tourists and locals alike. In addition to the aforementioned areas, there are plenty of other venues in the American Village such as Seaside Square and Dragon’s Palace, which offer more entertainment choices (karaoke, games, bowling, etc.) and of course, more shopping.
The Plaza House has been around since 1954 and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down. What was once a United States military area is now one of the oldest shopping centers in Okinawa. The Plaza House hosts a variety of stores that feature imported food and books from overseas and also international cuisine. It’s a great stop for the cosmopolitan shopper and gourmet!
At Flagship, you will find a huge selection of traditional Okinawan products. Expect to see everything from ceramics to clothing, accessories, art and gifts. It is the perfect place to snag a memento from your time in Japan or to pick up a traditional, unique gift.
To get a true sense of the Yomitan Village lifestyle, stop by the Yomitan Village Joint Sale Center, which introduces visitors to the area’s arts and crafts culture and cooking. People can come and purchase traditional pottery and crafts, as well as Ryukyu glassware, from the shops at this venue. There is also a restaurant located in the center that is managed by an association dedicated to helping disabled children. Not only can you help support a worthy cause, but you get to try some authentic Okinawan home cooking!urse, more shopping.
Located near the shore, this expansive indoor market is the place to go for the freshest local produce. Exotic produce like dragon fruit, sea grapes and seaweed can be purchased here. The variety of events that occur here ensure that the market is always buzzing with activity. There is also a great selection of souvenirs for those who can't get enough of this coastal city.