Okinawa Tourism Information:Lightweight,lowbulkandreasonably-pricedsouvenirsfromOkinawaDESIGNMATCHfromMiyakoIsland–itemswithoriginalislanddesigns

Light weight, low bulk and reasonably-priced souvenirs from Okinawa DESIGN MATCH from Miyako Island – items with original island designs

post : 2017.05.07 07:00


DESIGN MATCH sells items with designs of local popular characters such as Miyako Mamoru Kun or Uzumaki Pan. T-shirts, towels, stickers and various other items are available sporting casual, friendly designs at this graphic designer-owned souvenir shop.


Miyako Mamoru Kun is the most popular design character and he is on T-shirts, tote bags, towels, badges and other items. He seems comfortable on those items. The newest items are the two types of sticky notes (540 yen and 400 yen) that have been for sale since February 2017. The hero will be on hand to protect you from various dangers at the office or school.


“When I moved here,” said owner/designer Machiko Shimoji. “I was amazed at the local culture that includes things like Mamoru Kun, goat meat, otoori (an old custom of sharing alcohol at parties) and suijigai (charms against evils). I started creating designs on T-shirts or towels based on these things.”  Machiko’s creative concept is lightweight, minimal bulk and reasonable prices. She wants tourists to have an easy time taking their island memories home with them.


The main theme of her work is life, the ocean and the music of the island. For example, Misako Koja, a popular Okinawan singer is on some T-shirts. This original design was inspired from her association with volunteers from her 10-year-old Music Convention.


Machiko is a diver and loves the ocean. Since moving to Okinawa, she often dives the waters around Miyako Island. She got an idea for a towel dress that surfers often use when they change, and also started making dresses and turbans. The Japanese towel material dries easily and the design fashionable enough to out to lunch right from the beach. Why not you get whole a set?

Japanese-style towels are great collector’s items. More than 10 different patterns are available and new ones come out every year. On Miyako, these items make great gifts for people with new babies. You may want also to buy postcards of Machiko’s photos of Miyako Island for writing messages to babies. 
When Machiko moved to Miyako Island she fell in love with it. Local customers call the shop “mattcha” in their own dialect. She named the shop DESIGN MATCH because she hoped to “match” the island with the shop’s (mattcha’s) name. You can feel her affection for the island throughout the shop.
Address: 572-3 Hirara Shimozato, Miyakojima City, Okinawa
Tel: 0980-79-0239
Hours: 10:00 – 19:00
Closed: Irregularly 
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Noriya Fukuda