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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.
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.
Behind the Cheese Guy in Okinawa, there's an amazing story of how John Davis, the British owner, fell in love with the Japanese food, and decided to flee the world and stay in Okinawa. And after doing that, he realised that the cuisine lacks a touch of fresh, home-made, soft cheese. And now, he makes the most delectable cheeses for all to savour. His shop sells so many types, right from cheddar to sakuna (cheese with the Japanese herb Sakuna), fuuchiba, port salut (a sort of French cheese) and ozato orange, to name a few, and John would happily tell you how every type came to be.
Uniqlo is a Japanese brand that designs and sells a clothing line so versatile, they've got everything from comfortable tees, jeans, trousers and jackets and formals, for men, women and kids, and all the designs are trendy and stylish. They also get together with brands to launch something new every once in a while, say with Disney or Moomins. What's more, the shop, at all its locations, is tax-free for tourists! You should totally barge into Uniqlo to find something new and amazing for your wardrobe.
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.
Umanchu Market is a local farmers' market, selling fresh produce of vegetables and fruits, and the stock is always replenished the next day. The fish and meat section sells ready-to-use stock, and there's also an eating counter of food made from the day's produce. The market is clean and amply lit, with hygienic standards maintained all over.