“A Shop of the Ocean” which Reminds of a Museum. “Kaisou” is the Recommended Store for Ocean Lovers
post : 2016.08.27 01:00
I remember the time I visited “Kaisou” in the early 1990. I really enjoyed scuba diving at the beautiful and very clear ocean of Kerama Islands then, and I visited the store with excitement. A film “Le Grand Bleu,” a story about the legendary free diver Jacques Mayol, hit the theaters in Japan, and Patagonia launched its first branch in Japan at that time. During that time, Kokusai Street in Naha City seemed like the Showa period.
24 years has passed since that time, and the street transformed from the Showa period to Heisei period. Dolphins and whales boom cooled off, but staffs' passion for making accessories and items get heat up more and more. It is because they are doing this for the ocean lovers. And, the manager’s passion for the ocean never changes since the day I stopped by at this store for the first time.
The manager Yoji Mori is a commercial diver, just like his father and grandfather. Beach was a playground for him when he was little, and it was also a workplace for him to catch sea urchins and abalones to earn money for his family. Later he moved to Okinawa from Aomori Prefecture, and then he started to work as a scuba diving instructor. He then started making wooden objects as gifts for urban divers who visited Okinawa to seek for peace.
Mori enjoys making handicrafts from his childhood, and he used driftwood floating in the ocean for handicrafts. He made wooden objects of dolphin, dugong, and manta ray, and these objects later lead to the beginning of “Kaisou.” He used plants that grow naturally in Okinawa including Ryukyu ebony which is used for the neck of sanshin.
Warmth can be felt from his objects, and they remind of the ocean of Okinawa no matter where people are. The objects became popular among ocean lovers, and the reputation of them spread by word of mouth. After tourists heard the reputation, Mori added more items for his shops such as accessories, T-shirts, rare beach tools, and others.
Currently there are 5 stores in Naha City, and 1 in Motobu Town near Churaumi Aquarium. For myself as an ocean lover, I will definitely recommend Heiwadori Store No. 2.
Accessories are made of natural materials and silver material. T-shirts are in the motif of nature and living creatures of Okinawa, and rare “beach tools” grab ocean lovers’ hearts.
Also, the jawbone of sperm whale, the tusk and skull of narwhal, and other samples are displayed at the store, and this store seems like a museum.
There is a studio in the back of the store, and the studio looks like an attic. The studio is small but it has a presence. It is covered with glass, so the customers can watch the process of making pendant drops. After looking at the process for a while, customers can witness when whale barbels and great green turbans transform into shiny accessories.
Even non-ocean lovers can enjoy visiting this store. It is filled with lots of excitement, so couples and families can have fun here. Also, it is good to visit here especially on rainy days.
Kaisou Heiwadori Store No. 2
Address: 3-2-56 Makishi, Naha City
Business Hours: 9:00 - 21:00 (opens 7 days a week)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer Nobuya Fukuda