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.
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.
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 Yomitan Pottery Village offers a unique look into traditional Okinawan pottery and craftsmanship. The village is home to over 45 workshops and boutiques specializing in everything from traditional unglazed Ryukyuan ceramics to the more modern glazed pottery. These unique pieces are sold in small shops in the village itself. From everyday delicate crockery like teacups and saucers to more decorative pieces like the "shisha" or Japanese guard dog to ward off evil, there is something here for every budget and taste. This is a wonderful place to appreciate the fine art of pottery making firsthand and experience an integral part of Okinawan culture.
T Galleria is an elegant boutique in the DFS (Duty Free Shopping) Mall of Naha, and elite brands pool there collection in there-bags, shoes, jewellery, wallets, belts and briefcases-all designer and slick. There are also cosmetics and beauty products paraded by top brands. There's a range of elite wines and spirits for sale, so you could make your pick from wines such as Sirromet, or cognacs such as Hennessy and Camus.
Glass House in the Forest is a studio and shop where people can come to witness Ryukyuan artisans create glassware. Not only do they get to see this phenomenon firsthand, visitors also get to try it out at the Ryukyu Glass Workshops. There is also a store where people can pick and choose among over 200 variegated kinds of vitreous creations. The workshops cost JPY1300 for student/groups and JPY1500 for general admission.
Sachi's Japanese Antique sells admirable pieces of porcelain, traditional Japanese dresses (mu mu dress and kimono), obi (the bow-like sash of the dress), home decor accessories, upholstery and souvenirs. All the products, with their beautiful patterns and designs, are personally selected by the owner, and there's something to take home or to gift.
Owners of Portriver Market believe the the concept of living the good life, and the products that we use daily have a keen role to play in that. Be it attractive decor or good food, all of that counts to for a pleasant mind and happy life. Thus, the shop sells attractive earthenware, porcelain ware, products made of Ryukyu glass, to name a few. They also have cosmetics and jewelery, and food products and drinks that are all natural and organic. The boutique-like setting renders a very homespun ambience to the shop, and the shopping experience is an intimate one.
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.
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.
AEON MALL Okinawa Rycom is a slick and elegant shopping centre, with fine merchandise of famed brands paraded inside the various shops. Area wise, the mall is a sensational space and houses an Aeon specialty store, and about 220 stores of other brands. The mall houses an exclusive area for cosmetics and sports. There's a section of gourmet food tasting and shopping, that includes ingredients and cuisines of the world, and also entertainment centres and fine dining restaurants. AEON MALL is a one-stop shop for shopping and recreation.