JahanaKippan is a 6th generation family business specialising in traditional Okinawan sweets. Using locally grown citrus fruit and winter melon, the sweets are hand made daily and sold only from the family store which is located in central Naha, just off Kokusai Dori ('international street') which is the main shopping drag. Just walk up Shoboshadori for 100 yards and look for the store on the right hand side, it has a black and white sign board. The staff speak English and will sit you down for a tasting session before you buy. They are very friendly and gift packs start from just 500yen. Not too many people know about the store yet as its not on the main tours so you get that special feeling of having found a little gem once you get there!
What to buy: Kippan and Tougatsuke - delicious sweets made to the tradition recipe. Available in gift sets and can be dispatched from the store if required.
What to pay: 1000 - 5000yen
This is a must see for all visitors to Okinawa. Anything Okinawan and not can be found here. It's a stretch of road that is famous for it's shops, clubs, and restaurants. On sundays between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. the road is closed for all traffic except busses. Cafes put tables on the street, jugglers entertain the crowd, and children draw with chalk. It has a carnival atmosphere to it. Be sure not to miss Heiwa Dori. Destinctively less touristy the further you get down into shopping area. Heiwa Dori branches of off Kokusai Dori and is a covered road.
What to buy: Jewlery, clothes, shisa, candy, food, awamori and anything in between.
American style shopping area, plenty of arcades and fun things to do. Sunset beach is at the end of the street. Restaurants for when you get hungry. Check out "Futenma" right before the beach. Okinawan food and an adventure for sure. This was the first time I put a raw egg in my soup. Right before is an Indian style shop with great clothes to wear in the summer heat. Just be careful; am an american size 6 and some things are plenty tight on me. The shoes only go up to a size 8. The curtains they have make up for it though. They would bring sexy back in any bedroom.
What to buy: see above
What to pay: it's not the 100 yen store that's for sure
So here you are on Kadena AB. It's a Sunday afternoon and you want to do something, but don't know what. The weather is..ugh...somewhat okay. Let's say it's not raining. You just got paid and have some money in your pocket. Then you remember all those presents you wanted to send home. Here is what you do: go done Kuter and park at the USO gate 2. Go to the ATM machine and get yourself some yen. Much easier and cheaper, trust me. Walk out the gate, make sure you have your car keys and ID card. Walk down until you see "Sunset Mall". Hang a left and enjoy. There are plenty of shops to enjoy. Don't lose track of the way you came in, because if you walk straight through you end up on this great street with all kinds of shops and clubs. Go across to the other side and stop at Sheila's. This guy doesn't open until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, but your stop will be worth it. He will either take dollars or yen and he will remember you! In his shop you can buy anything silk to wear. Some cheaper than others, all of them a good deal. Check him out. Then stroll all the way down to your left. You end up at the 100 Yen store. Worth a stop. Then stroll back and stop at Okinawa Market. The owner will give you cookies to try. I love their glass, but be sure to bring some serious money.
Okinawa glass is gorgious but you pay a price. Stroll back through sunset mall and head back to gate 2. Stop at Eastwood Furniture Store for some serious rosewood gorgious furniture. It's upstairs from the liquor store, just before China Pete's. Then stop at the liquor store and endulge. You get back to your car and notice that 4 or 5 hours have passed. What a way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon!
What to buy: Anything locally made....or not.
What to pay: Prices are pretty much compatible once you leave gate 2 street.
Kokusai-dori is the center of Naha's shopping, dining, and nightlife. This street is constantly full of people blowing money at the souvenir shops, enjoying great seafood at places like Sam's Anchor Inn, and sipping brews at Helios and other bars.
In the area you will find Heiwa-dori Shopping Arcade. This covered shopping arcade is a less-expensive area of Naha to buy groceries and souvenirs. This is where I purchased my favorite fruit in the world: tropical and tasty dragonfruit.
Also nearby are The Tsuboya Pottery Shops, great places to pick up vases, Shi-Shi dogs, and other pottery items. Prices tend to be very steep, but it's worth at least wandering around and admiring the handiwork.
Shi-Shi dogs are the ceramic creatures you see on many gates and houses on Okinawa. The dog with the open mouth draws in good luck, while the dog with the closed mouth prevents it from leaving. On Kokusai-dori there is an area of pottery shops selling Shi-Shis. They tend to be expensive, approx US$40 for a pair of small 4" long dogs.
What to buy:
Okinawa is famous for glass art. You can see Japanese Bonsai made by glass and avant gard glass art.
Click for other examples of lovely glass art at Ryukyu Glass Village!
I expected this to be "Tourist Trappy", but actually the building itself was carefully constructed like a temple, there is a restaurant and cafe, a on-site bakery and artful and modern shop specialising in its trade.
What to buy: Japanese and Okinawan-style confectionery. The taste and quality is quite nice, and several of the confections have won Japanese gourmet awards.
What to buy: This is the indoor market on Kokusai-Dori street. It stretches for a loooooooooong way, with lots of branches shooting off from the main route.
What to buy:
Cute Pineapple buds which can be ornamental as "air plant" as in this photo, or planted in appropriate soil kits which are also sold.
What to pay: A few hundred yen each for plants and soil kit.
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