- Enjoy great hospitality and a cool island breeze at a comfortable inn, Matatabiya in Miyako Island
- Enjoy Riding a Swing in the Mountain and Shikwasa Picking (Gajimanrou)
You can find your Okinawa favorites OKINAWA GROCERY
post : 2017.05.11 07:00
Many interesting places are opening in the area.
Popular tourist destination, Makishi Kousetsu Market has been getting the attention of my friends who are always enthusiastic for new information.
OKINAWA GROCERY is one of these interesting places. They opened for business near the entrance of the market on December 31, 2014.
One of the reasons for “interesting” is the unique company the store keeps at this location. At the dried bonito shop to the right, there is a middle-aged lady who watches the store while peeling local shallots. At the teashop on the left, a man who doesn’t seem particularly interested in making sales, looks out at the people on the street. A used bookstore dealing in art and literary books diagonally across the way seems out of place in the middle of the market.
The grocery store is located in the middle of a mix of cultures. Its neat appearance stands out.
The other part of “interesting” is the shop’s size, which is tiny. Within an area of about 106 square feet, lots of local vegetables, fruits, made-in-Okinawa condiments and other foods are displayed here and there.
Healthy-looking red oobeni tangerines, fresh green leaf carrots and pink radishes all look good.
Besides the fresh vegetables, pickles, mixed spices, ginger syrup, various cordials (traditional European drinks made from herbs, spices and fruits in syrup), local rice noodles made from neighbor island rice and more are available.
The third reason for “interesting” has to do with the people who run the business. They are not a married couple, but two people who were in totally different fields before starting business together.
Yuji Komiya’s career has included importing crafts from Tibet and Nepal, hiring Chinese workers for Japanese companies, selling guitars and working as a musician. His encounters with people at Groove (a famous live house in Okinawa) influenced his current job.
Chikae Inui owns a café in Naha City that is popular for tea and tasty Swiss rolls. She was a principal crew member on the documentary film “Hyakunen Gohan” directed by Chigumi Obayashii, a film about interpersonal connections forged through food.
Although the two lead totally different lives, they share the common belief that “good stuff brings people together.”
Komiya lived in Germany for a year. When he visited his best friend’s place at Christmas he was impressed with the custom of family members picking gifts for each other and then exchanging them with love. The experience was new and very touching to him.
He asked Mr. Fujita who is in charge of shop designs about the shop card. They picked the line “what pleasant company!” from the song “Let It Bleed” by the Rolling Stones.
Inui met people through her work on the documentary film. She was impressed by the love and passion that the film’s subjects display when they create or grow things. “I want to share this love with our customers,” said Inui. She wants the shop to be a place where people share happiness.
Okinawa Grocery can be described as a place for locals, visitors, people who make things, people who use things, people who buy gifts for others and people sharing the joy of receiving them. It is a small grocery shop connecting people through its special merchandise and buoyed by their support.
Address: Makishi Kousetsu Market (sotomawari), 2-10-1 Matsuo, Naha City, Okinawa
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Noriya Fukuda