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7 Recommended Souvenir Shops on Kokusai Street The stylish lineup of various goods with a distinctive Okinawan feel is a must-see!
post : 2022.10.31 23:00
In Okinawa’s busiest area of Naha City is Kokusai Street, a popular area for the many visitors to Okinawa. The street offers a wide array of restaurants and shops of all genres and is always bustling with locals and tourisst enjoying the food, drinks, and fun shopping experience.
If you’re looking to buy souvenirs to take home or a keepsake of Okinawa for yourself, this is the place to go. Those of you who have had the chance to look around a bit might be thinking, “There’re so many shops, I don’t know where to go!” Well, we’ve selected seven recommended gift shops for you! These shops offer stylish ornaments and miscellaneous items, quality merchandise made with great care, and also small gifts you can buy in bulk to hand out to all your friends and family. Read on and be sure to visit the shops when browsing on Kokusai Street!
1.Shop Naha has a great selection of items as well as its own-brand goods.
Shop Naha is located on the 1st floor of Tenbusu Naha, situated in the middle of Kokusai Street. Tenbusu Naha is a facility that houses the Naha City Tourism Association, the tourist information office, and Naha City Traditional Arts and Crafts Center. With a parking garage underground, it’s a convenient place to stop by while your are out sightseeing. You’ll find a wide selection of gifts and items at Shop Naha, from familiar favorites to miscellaneous goods, traditional crafts, T-shirts, and more.
The name Naha is sometimes written as 78—“nana” is Japanese for "seven", and “hachi” is for the number "eight", and when the first part of each of these words is added, we get “Naha.” At Shop Naha, you don’t want to miss their variety of goods using these numbers. The Nana Sable are cookies which were discontinued for some time, but on August 24, they came back with a splash. Flavors for the “7” cookies include black sesame and Beni-imo purple potatoes, and for the “8” cookies, there are Matcha and brown sugar, for a total of four varieties. These cookies had a delightful, crispy texture. (They have brand new packaging designed with a red-tile roofed picture.)
For more on Shop Naha, read more:
2. Okinawa-no Kaze offers a great selection of Okinawa’s traditional arts and crafts.
About 100 meters from Tenbusu Naha toward Makishi Station of the Yui Rail, you’ll find Okinawa-no Kaze, a “select shop” offering Okinawan traditional crafts. Okinawa is home to many artists who create a wide variety of items in various genres, but here at the shop, you’ll be delighted with the selection of items that include Ryukyu Glass, Bingata goods, Yachimun pottery, Shisa, hand towels, paper products, bags, and others.
If you’re looking for something that will always remind you of Okinawa, you might want to pick up the Ryukyu Canvas bags that you’ll only find at Okinawa-no Kaze. Made with the highest quality Japanese canvas, woven with a traditional shuttle loom, it is dense and durable. It is also attractive because of its functionality, with great breathability. Their Okinawan Artists’ Masks are also very popular. These own-brand face masks are designed with various motifs, created by Pokke104, Yuka Arakaki, and Bingata artist Morio Miyagi.
For more on Okinawa-no Kaze, read more:
3. Umichurara, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium’s “Antenna Shop”
Are you thinking, “I forgot to buy souvenirs at the Churaumi Aquarium!” or “I can’t make it to the Aquarium during my stay here, but I want to at least buy some souvenirs!” Then we recommend a visit to the antenna shop for the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Umichurara. Just 3-4 minutes away on foot from the Kencho-mae Station of the Yui rail, you’ll find the shop located on the 2nd floor of the main Washita Shop just as you enter Kokusai Street. Look for the sign with a beautiful emerald blue, reminiscent of the clear seas.
The shop has a wide selection of some of the most popular Churaumi Aquarium merchandise, including cute stuffed animals like the popular whale sharks, turtles, dugongs, clownfish, and many others. From stationery to hats, towels, snacks, and other Okinawan souvenirs, there’s something for everybody. Next to the shop is Yanbazaar, offering specialty products from Yanbaru (the northern region of Okinawa), and tourist information.
For more on Umichurara, read more:
4. A fantastic selection of Okinawan T-shirts and Kariyushi Wear at T-SHIRT-YA.COM Kokusai Street Branch
T-shirts with Okinawan designs are also popular Okinawan souvenirs. When looking for that perfect T-shirt, head to T-_SHIRT-YA.COM Kokusai Street Branch situated between the Heiwa Dori entrance and Tenbusu Naha. They offer over 300 items, mainly highly stylish T-shirts. Their popular own-brand T-shirts include Nanten, which incorporates classical patterns of the Ryukyus, the CAMP RYUKYU are pop and Okinawa-casual, and their Okinawa Yankees have rock n’ roll style.
Some of the most popular T-shirts among their female shoppers are the Peaceful Island T-shirts by CAMP RYUKYU. They have designs of hibiscus flowers, Yanbaru Kuina (Okinawan rail), mangrove forest,and flip-flops or locally known as Shima Zori. They are really cute! The hottest item is the Nakayoshisa, with a Kijimuna climbing on a Shisa. The shop also offers Kariyushi Wear, too. We hope you’ll find your favorite design!
For more on T-SHIRT-YA.COM, read more:
5. Toncati offers unique items created with Okinawan motifs.
If you want to get your hands on some stylish gifts, how about a visit to Toncati? The shop is located about 150 meters toward the Daiichi Makishi Public Market, from the JAL City Hotel intersection. The shop is stylish and unique, created by Saeko Takida, the shop’s owner. Many of the items available are made from scrap wood that she gets from her carpenter friends, or from wood she collects herself.
The single-flower vases are called [coppaco Okinawa Townscape] and are made with scrap wood, cardboard, newspapers, and leftover materials after making photo frames. They’re inspired by the unique buildings and neighborhoods commonly seen across Okinawa, and each side offers a different feel. There are other single-flower vases available, incorporating floral-designed cinder blocks that we also see around Okinawa, and those using pull-tabs from SPAM and other cans for the handle. Another unique item at the shop is photo frames made from tent poles used by the US forces. These gifts are stylish, tasteful, and popular.
For more on Toncati, read more:
6. La Cucina Soap Boutique offers bath salts and soaps using Okinawan sea salt and other local ingredients.
Along the narrow Ukishima Street area, just a few steps from Kokusai Street are many unique and stylish shops. One of them is La Cucina Soap Boutique, a shop specializing in handmade soaps. It’s located just 150 meters from Kokusai Street, on Ukishima Street, and just as the name suggests, the shop has a fashionable layout like a boutique. Displayed beautifully on the shelves are handmade soaps with 100% natural herbs and aromas, bath salts made with Okinawa’s seawater salt, and essential oils that are also used for the items they sell.
When looking for a nice gift from Okinawa at this shop, we recommend bath salts made with salt extracted from the beautiful ocean surrounding Okinawa, scented with 100% natural essential oils. They’ll add a luxurious, resort-like feel to an everyday bath. They offer a series of bath salts named Ofuro de Shima Meguri (meaning ‘island hopping in the tub”), and they’re made with sea salt from five islands in Okinawa Prefecture—Okinawa, Ishigaki, Miyako, Kume, and Aguni Islands. You can immerse yourself in memories of your visit to Okinawa as you soak in the tub. They’re also great as stocking stuffers and as small gifts for each person in groups.
For more on La Cucina Soap Boutique, read more:
7. Do you want to wear a piece of Okinawa with you every day? Then head to Ti-da Beach!
When shopping for trinkets and accessories that are uniquely Okinawan, then we recommend a stop at Ti-da Beach, located about 100 meters from Kokusai Street. In the Okinawan language, Tida means “the sun,” and this shop is operated by a lovely couple, designer Kei Nagayama, an ocean-lover who moved to Okinawa from Tochigi for the beautiful sea, and her husband, Takashi Nagayama who is originally from Naha. As a hobby, Kei-san collected shells that caught her eye whenever she spent her time at the beach and made accessories. Finally, in 2013, they created a shop to sell her creations.
They have a great selection of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and others, each one carefully made with shells collected along the waters of Okinawa, coral found around the islands, as well as natural stones. The accessories made with Hotaru Glass are exceptionally beautiful, with brilliant azure shine, and are as though Okinawa’s breathtaking seas are packed into the glass. For Okinawa lovers, the items offered at Ti-da Beach are wearable keepsakes of Okinawa to always feel closer to these beautiful islands.
For more on La Cucina Soap Boutique, read more:
That concludes our 7 recommended gift shops around Kokusai Street! We hope you enjoyed it.
Kokusai Street is convenient and accessible, so you can stop by before you depart Okinawa.
Some of Okinawa’s most popular souvenirs are Sata Andagi, Beni-Imo Tarts, Chinsuko, brown sugar, Umibudo, and others, but the items introduced here in our recommended shops offer a tasteful alternative! They’re also great as gifts to yourself, too.
We hope you’ll find that special item and remember your time here in Okinawa.
*The information in the articles linked contain those attained at the original time of post. Please check official websites and/or others for the shops’ newest info.
Okinawa CLIP Editorial Dept.