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.
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.
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.
Heiwa Dori is a covered shopping cloister, with a number of shops that sell various edibles from the Japanese cuisine, antiques, porcelain merchandise and clothes (they sell mu-mu dresses too). The market is a daily-purchases centre for the livelihood of Okinawa, you could visit for a peak into their culture and way of life.
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!
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.
Ryukyu glass is specifically unique to Okinawa because of the way in which the art developed. Craftsmen found the broken glass bottles left behind by United States soldiers, and recycled them into art, jewelry and household items. Whereas bubbles in glass are usually seen as a flaw, Okinawan glassblowers incorporated them into their designs. With the aid of the craftsmen at Onna Glass Studio, you can create a piece of jewelry or a glass cup to take home as a keepsake. The studio also provides free transportation to hotels around the Onna area.