On Okinawa's Kokusai-dori, there are many stores where you can buy Okinawan products and souvenirs. Here are 6 stores among all of them where you will definitely find souvenirs that will make the receiver happy.
This select shop carries Ryukyu canvas and Okinawan art. Ryukyu canvas is canvas made in Okinawa, and they sell original products like tote bags made with it. They also have containers and T-shirts made by Okinawan artists, collaboration products between Okinawan artists and traditional Okinawan snacks like chinsuko, and other standard souvenirs that this shop is known for. For people who want a stylish but slightly different souvenir, this is the shop for you.
Business hours: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm (until 10:00 pm from July to September)
1. Okinawa Wind
The Kokusai-dori Matsuo branch of Maasuya, a store carrying salt from all around the world, specializes particularly in Okinawan salt. This branch was made in the image of a traditional Okinawan house, and you can enjoy shopping in the store's calm atmosphere. They have around 145 variations of Okinawan salt, and you can taste test all of them. There are out-of-the-ordinary combinations such as salts blended with chili peppers or wasabi and soft-serve ice cream topped with salt, and you'll end up wanting to try them all without realizing it. There's also skincare made with salt that you can try, so if you get the chance to go here, it seems fun to take advantage of all that they offer!
Business hours: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
2. Salt Specialty Shop Maasuya Kokusai-dori Matsuo Branch
This is one of the company shops connected with the kiln Ikutouen, where Okinawa's traditional pottery, Tsuboya-yaki, is made. It's about an 8 minute walk from Kokusai-dori, and while this area has many Ikutouen shops, guma guwa is one that mostly carries products made by young artisans. Guma guwa means "small" in Okinawan language. Just like the name implies, there are many small and cute products like stylish plates and cups, all products that could easily integrate into your daily life. Why not buy a gift for yourself that you can use every day? It will keep the memories of your trip alive.
Business hours: 10:30 am - 6:30 pm
3. guma guwa
The Kewpie doll wearing Okinawan-style clothing on the sign is this store's landmark. Mi-ja offers a huge variety of character goods and miscellaneous products that are great for souvenirs. In the store you can find cell phone straps, keychains, snacks, Ryukyu glass, and tons of other cute accessories and products great for souvenirs that are sure to excite you! Many of the products are reasonably priced. Among their products one of the most popular is the handmade Kewpie doll dressed in Okinawan clothing. They have a ton of popular character goods too so if you're looking for something for a girl you should stop by.
Business hours: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
*Photo is of the Ichibamae branch.
4. Mi-ja Kokusai-dori Shop #2
Okinawaya Awamorikura is a shop specializing in awamori, Okinawa's regional liquor made from rice. They have 5 branches, mostly around Kokusai-dori, but the Miebashi branch has bottles of yellow-spotted pit viper liquor lined up for an impressive sight. Yellow-spotted pit vipers are snakes native to Okinawa, where they're called "habu," and this liquor has the snakes pickled in awamori. This shop has more than 300 kinds of awamori, so many that you'll have a hard time choosing, but why not take your time looking through them for souvenirs? While this is a great shop for people who like alcohol, even teetotalers can enjoy habu liquor as a souvenir thanks to the visual impact that it has.
Business hours: 10:00 am - 10:30 pm
5. Okinawaya Awamorikura Miebashi Branch
This is the company shop of JAM MARKET, a T-shirt brand focusing on shirts using Okinawa as a theme. The store is full of colorful T-shirts decorated with Okinawan-like motifs like plants such as bitter melon and bougainvillea, fish like clownfish and whale sharks, and shiisa, traditional statues of guardian lion spirits. Nearby is JAM MARKET ZAKKA, a different branch carrying different T-shirts, so it might be good to check out both of them. T-shirts are standard souvenirs, but if you come here you'll find individualistic shirts that you can't find elsewhere.
Business hours: 9:30 am - 10:00 pm
*The photo is of their most popular T-shirt, the whale shark shirt.
6. JAM MARKET Kokusai-dori Branch
Okinawa's Kokusai-dori is full of stores that pack the essence of Okinawa into their wares. Definitely find the Okinawa souvenir made for you.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.