Okinawa Tourism Information:“WalkingaroundMachiguwa”PopularCatsatMarkets

“Walking around Machiguwa” Popular Cats at Markets

post : 2014.08.18 21:00

Speaking of ‘machiguwa’ (Okinawan word meaning a market) in Naha, we have mainly Makishi First Public Market, Ichiba Hon-dori (Market Main Street), Ichiba Chuou-dori (Market Central Street), Heiwa-dori (Peace Street), Taihei-dori (Taihei Street), Tsuboya Yachimun-dori (Tsuboya Pottery Street), etc.  There are so many lively shopping streets concentrated here that you feel like you wondered into a labyrinth.

On almost every market street, you can find popular cats, including the one holding business cards as a shop owner, and the one performaing for you!

[Jiji, the Cat on the Shintenchi Ichiba Hon-dori Street]

Firstly, I would like to introduce you to the black cat Jiji, a popular cat on the Shintenchi Ichiba Hon-dori Street.  She is 1 year old with the same name as the black cat appearing on the Studio Ghibli film. 

She strikes a pose.  Look at her standing there.  She is beautiful.  (The above photo shows Jiji.)
You can meet her at the sundry store on the Shintenchi Ichiba Hon-dori Street.
Jiji has a sister of the same age.  Her name is Mariko.  She is another beauty.  (The photo below shows Mariko.)

* Information on the Shintenchi Ichiba Hon-dori Street:

The Shintenchi Ichiba Hon-dori Street is located about 150 m ahead from Public Market to Kainan.
The shopping street deals in a variety of living wares including the sundry shop which is owned by Jiji’s owner, clothing stores, grocer’s shops, a used book shop, etc.

[Popular Cat on the Taihei-dori Street]

The most popular cat at the markets around here is Tama, on Taihei-dori Street.
(The photo below shows Tama.)

Tama is a fat striped cat and so popular that the cat was introduced in the media.


A vegetable store owner keeps Tama, but sometimes Tama sleeps in front of the osteopath, the next house, and at other times Tama sleeps under the shelves at the clothing store across the street from the hardware store.  It seems that the whole Taihei-dori Street is like Tama’s own house.

Is it because Tama is as much as 8 years old?  Or is it because Tama is fat?
Anyway Tama loves idling her time away.
Tama is just loafing around, but looks so adorable that Tama has been a great help for attracting many visitors. 

* Information on the Taihei-dori Street:
If you go straight down on the Shintenchi Ichiba Hon-dori Street, you will hit the Sun Rise Naha-dori Street.  Just keep going on the same street, and you will be on the Taihei-dori Street. 

Including the grocer’s shop, which is Tama’s owner, the street is lined up with reasonable-priced prepared food shops.  For example, you can buy goya champru (stir-fried bitter gourd), stir-fried vegetable, fried noodle, or salad for 100 yen per package.  

[Miichan: A Popular Cat on the Heiwa-dori Street]

Miichan at the towel shop on the Heiwa-dori Street is also a popular cat.
He is 4 years old and always hangs around with his male friend, Kuuchan.

He has business cards as a shop owner cat, and is sometimes asked to sit at the desk.

What is amazing about him is that he has many tricks.  Of course, he does “Give me your paw!” Also he does “Oshiri Shiri Shiri,” walking only on the forefeet, having his butt rubbing against the mat in front of the shop.  He is very popular because of the tricks only he can do.  (The photo below shows the trick “Oshiri Shiri Shiri”.)

His performances have been well received, so that he was introduced on the TV program “Mezamashi TV”!  (Miichan goods have been popular, too.)

Why don’t you come to see these lovely popular cats?

* Information on the Heiwa-dori Street:

The Heiwa-dori Street is the same size as, and parallel to the Ichiba Hon-dori Street. 

“Hiyamikachi Machiguwakan” located on the 2nd floor of Clothing Department, Public Market on the Heiwa-dori Street, offer you the stage of Okinawan performing arts as well as trial lessons like wearing Ryukyuan kimono, playing the samba (like a castanet),etc.

In addition, they hold “Hiyamikachi AR Ghost House” at the Hiyamikachi Machiguwakan from Wednesday, August 13 to Saturday, August 23!

We will hold a photo exhibition for the photos taken during the interview for this article!
[Okinawa CLIP Photo Exhibition]

Date: Monday, September 1 to Tuesday, September 30
Location: “Hiyamikachi Machiguwa-kan,” 2F, Clothing Department,
Makishi Public Market
Hours: 11:00 to 17:00 * Except for their closing days
For more information, please call at 098-917-2815 (Hiyamikachi Machiguwakan Office).
(Please note: Staff members might not be able to speak English. So please ask your Japanese friend for help.)
Official Website for Hiyamikachi Machiguwakan :http://hiyamikachi.com/
(Please note: This website is written in Japanese. So please ask your Japanese friend for help.)

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer  Hiroshi Kuwamura (KUWA)

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