Well the wife was bored and was complaining that we haven’t really go out exploring yet since we been here on Okinawa (2 months). What she was really saying was that she hasn’t done any hardcore shopping yet and it was high time she did! I heard there were some big shopping malls/outlets on the island, so I did a quick search on the web and came across ASHIBINAA Outlet Mall. It is about an hour drive south, depending on traffic, from Kadena AB. If you use Google Maps, it will find this place and route you all the way there no problem. Well, I didn’t tell the wife exactly where we were going when we left, I just said we were going to Naha to shop. Well, when we pulled up the area where ASHIBINAA was, the wife’s eyes almost popped out of her head! This place is pretty big and has just about every band name you can think of. But remember that even though this is an Outlet mall, the prices are still going to be higher than you would expect, since everything in Japan is just more expensive. But I am not saying you not find deals there, but you just got to go there at the right time to find the deals. I noticed that most of the stores display the typical xx% percent off in their windows, but the major discounts of 50% or higher were only taking place during a limited time window that I noticed. For example, the Adidas store was doing a 50% off just about everything in their store for few hours and there were plenty of people grabbing stuff in there while they could. I sure the season change here has something to do with all the sales I noticed while we were there, but who knows. Now the practicalities…There wasn’t much spoken English going around that I noticed, so getting information in the shops may be a challenge for some. I think my wife would have been better off trying to speaking Korean than English in regards to communicating with people there. I say that because this place is near the Naha airport and there seemed be many Asian tourist there. So naturally, I would assume the shops would have more Korean and/or Chinese speaking staff, than English in this case. Next, the parking is FREE! There is a massive parking structure right next the mall, so it shouldn’t be too bad finding parking when you go. Additionally, I noticed that just about every store accepts major credit cards, so you should be good to go with making all your purchases. Just don’t forget to tell your bank you are in Japan, and save yourself from the experience of getting your card denied when you go pay. Finally, there are plenty of other nearby shopping areas around the Mall, which includes plenty of places to eat as well. Oh yea, I almost forgot to mention to bring a umbrella when you go there. Most of the mall is open air, so keep that in mind, since it can rain anytime here in Okinawa. So, we ended up doing some light shopping and we made a good day trip out of it. I would recommend to anyone to head out there for all your brand name shopping needs when you are in Okinawa. I also posted the shopping guide, with the map of the place as well. I am sure this will help the hardcore shoppers plan out their attack!
Here is the link to the Outlet mall…
|ASHIBINAA Outlet Mall|
|ASHIBINAA Outlet Mall|
|ASHIBINAA Outlet Mall Map|