Okinawa is an island off the mainland of Japan, filled with amazing beaches and a rich local culture. If you want to stop off at the best shopping malls in Okinawa to taste the local food and see arts and crafts, this is the guide for you!
1. Aeon Naha Shopping Center
This is a relatively big shopping center in Okinawa. It's close to Naha Airport and directly connected to Oroku Station on the monorail so it's very convenient. There are around 80 stores like the supermarket Aeon, Uniqlo, and Best Denki, so you'll be able to find everything from daily necessities to clothes and household appliances! There is a wide selection of Okinawa food items including snacks and awamori so it is a convenient place to buy souvenirs. They also have cosmetics. On the first floor, there are coffee shops and a food court so you can take a break when you become tired. This is the place to go when you want to shop around but don't have enough time to go various places.
2. Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa
Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa is an outlet mall in Okinawa where over 100 famous brands from around the world are gathered. It is always bustling with locals and tourists as you can buy products at outlet prices. This mall covers a wide genre of brands, from luxury brands Gucci and Coach to the household appliance chain LAOX and the cookware manufacturer T-fal, so people of all ages can enjoy shopping here. You can find one of the few branches of the American fast food chain A&W here (in Japan it is only available in Okinawa) as well as buffet restaurants using Okinawan ingredients so you can spend the whole day here. It's in a convenient location only about a 15 minute drive away from Naha Airport so you can even stop by before you leave!
3. T Galleria Okinawa
If you want to enjoy duty free shopping, T Galleria Okinawa is the place to go. It's about a 20 minute monorail ride from Naha Airport to Yui Rail Omoromachi Station, and anyone heading out of Okinawa can enjoy duty-free shopping. However, people traveling to other Okinawan islands and some cruise ships are unable to take advantage of duty-free. You will have to pick up any duty-free products that you buy here at the DFS Pick-up Counter in Naha Airport. In this center there are over 130 top fashion, jewelry, watches, cosmetics, and other brands gathered including Chloe, Estee Lauder, Omega, and more. There are also products that can only be found here. You can also find Okinawa souvenirs such as chinsuko (a traditional sweet) and Miyakojima yukishio (sea salt) so you can do all your shopping here! You can also take a break at Godiva's cafe or at Pine Tree Bless, a casual dining restaurant that uses Okinawan ingredients.
4. Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom
Since it's relatively recent opening in 2015, Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom has become one of the most popular places to shop in Okinawa. It's a 50 minute bus ride away from Naha Airport, and it's a large, versatile shopping center where you can find just about anything. It's always bustling with people. There are about 230 stores of various genres including daily necessities, fashion, miscellaneous goods, gourmet, and a movie theater. There are many restaurants on the third and fourth floor and there is a food court with 2,400 seats where you can enjoy Japanese cuisine as well as gourmet from around the world. Families can also enjoy their experience here as there are children's clothing stores and playgrounds. The building is very large so it will take a day to see everything thoroughly. You can see many tropical fish native to the Okinawa oceans at the huge aquarium at the hall on the first floor. There are many ways to enjoy this place besides shopping. There is also a duty-free service, a multilingual translation app, and foreign currency exchange machine available so make sure to visit here!
5. Carnival Park Mihama
Carnival Park Mihama is a shopping center located in Chatan. It is about an hour drive from Naha Airport and is located inside American Village, a resort making use of an empty military base. It is recommended to tour around American Village too since it has movie theaters, karaoke, and restaurants nearby. There are about 50 stores including fashion, accessories, drug stores, souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafes. Okinawan Diner Anma Tei is popular among foreign visitors to enjoy authentic Okinawan cuisine. We recommend you riding the symbol of this park, the giant Ferris wheel, when you visit here. One lap takes about 15 minutes and you can enjoy viewing the streets and the landscape of Okinawa. The night view is also beautiful. There are also performances at times inside the facility and nearby in the event areas so try to stop by.
Extra: Daiichi Makishi Public Market
Daiichi Makishi Public Market, located near Kokusaidori, is the heart of Okinawa's gourmet. This market sells fresh meat, fish, and produce that are necessary for Okinawan cuisine as well as side dishes. The colorful tropical fish lined up are also must-sees. Raw food is not suitable for traveling or for souvenirs but on the second floor of the market, there is a diner where they can cook the fish you buy for a fee. You can enjoy Okinawan cuisine made from fresh ingredients. It is hard to decide whether to eat it raw or grilled! There are products other than raw foods so take a look around. You may be able to find something rare! There are stores near the market so it is a good idea to take a look if you have time.
What did you think? Touring and shopping are things to enjoy when traveling. Okinawa has many large shopping centers so add shopping to your traveling itinerary!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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