A public market in Naha, Okinawa

I visited a market in Naha, Okinawa in September 2016

These arcade markets are quite normal in Japan, you can find them in almost any city. A few streets closed for traffic, a glass roof built over to keep the elements out. Inside is row after row of tiny shops and stalls. You can find anything in a market like this. Clothes, shoes, souvenirs, dolls, food, art, swords, snacks, beer and fruit. And so much more. In a market like this in Nagoya I saw a store selling crumpled up paper, the kind you use to protect fragile objects in boxes when moving. A whole store sold nothing but that. I walked down through the market, briefly looked at the different shops. Nothing immediately caught my attention. I did not think I would buy much. The visit here was more about sightseeing than shopping. I don’t like shopping. Unless it is for books or vinyl.

A public market in Naha, Okinawa, Japan.

Inside the market in Naha

The shops sold a good mix of different merchandice. I quickly found the food part of the market to see what they had for sale there. It is always interesting to see what food is for sale at markets in other countries I think. It says a lot about the country. You can see what the locals eat, what quality food they like to buy, what kind of snacks they prefer. At the market here, like everywhere in Japan, there was a lot of fish and seafood for sale. Fresh fish, probably caught today, in large quantities offered for sale. Different shellfish. Octopus. And of course, this being Okinawa, lots of pork. I took my time looking at the selection of foodstuffs for sale.

Fruit stand at a market in Naha

Various fruits

Just outside the market lay Don Quiote (Donki), a chain of stores in Japan with a massive selection and reasonable prices. With over 160 stores throughout Japan, it is a store you cannot help to notice when travelling in the country. I went inside to take a look at what they had to offer, ended up buying an Orion Beer souvenir glass, an Orion Beer towel and an ice cold Orion beer.

Shop sellinh musical instruments at a public market in Naha

Shamisen for sale at the market in Naha

Don Quiote stores are packed to the ceiling with goods. Ailes are narrow and set up in a labyrinth-like way to keep the customer wandering around. Like IKEA in a way. I spent a few minutes walking around, looking at what they had on their shelves, before leaving. Put the glass I had just bought away in my bag, kept the towel to wipe sweat from my forehead and opened the beer. I walked back down the street, from where I came, as I started wondering what I should have for dinner.

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