Heiwadori Public Marketplace

Welcome to the Heiwa Dori (Peace Street) Machigwa (public marketplace)!
Just off of Kokusai Dori (International Street) exists a
sprawling shopping extravaganza.

machigwa
public marketplace

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Welcome to the Heiwa Dori (Peace Street)
Machigwa (public marketplace)!
Just off of Kokusai Dori (International Street) exists a
sprawling shopping extravaganza.


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Heiwa Dori is a bustling indoor, shopping arcade where you will find tourists and Okinawan residents alike shopping for everything from souvenir Shisa (lion) figurines to dried sea snakes.

Perhaps my fondest memories of Okinawa are of roaming the endless small roads and alleyways of Heiwa Dori. It is easy to get lost in the wonder of the countless shops and vendors selling their unique wares. Just about anything Okinawan can be found in Heiwa Dori. I would walk around aimlessly with wide-eyed wonder at the unusual commodities that were on sale, wishing I could take this place back to Hawaii with me.

Among the items on my shopping list were: konbu (seaweed), shitake mushrooms, Okinawan herbal tea, okeiko gi (practice kimono for Okinawan dance), Okinawan music CDs (Hidekatsu, Rinkin Band, Nenes, Ara Yukito, and traditional artists), yosudake (bamboo castanets for Okinawan dance), Pokemon cards and shisa figurines. I found all of them, and more, at Heiwa Dori!

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Tsukemono (pickled vegetables) of all varieties can be found here. Most of the vendors are more than happy to offer you a free sample!


a little too exotic for me!

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Above you see a variety of fish, including the Fugu (blowfish) which is highly poisonous and can cause death if not prepared properly. Fugu is a delicacy in Japan and Okinawa, but unless you highly specialized training and knowledge for product preparation, I wouldn't suggest attempting to cook it in your own kitchen. Don't try this at home, kids!


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There is never a loss for pork dishes in Okinawa and you'll soon find that they are very resourceful in using almost every part of the pig. In this picture, you see in the package on the left is called Mimiga (pig ears) and to the right is chiragaa (pig's head). Mimiga is actually quite good when prepared in a peanut butter and miso (soybean paste) sauce, although I haven't ventured as far as to try any dishes prepared with pig's head.

Your visit to Okinawa would not be complete without having a bowl of Ashi Tebichi (pig's feet) soup.


After you go shopping for your uncooked Ashi Tebichi or fresh fish, you can bring it upstairs to have one of the many restaurants cook it for you! If you prefer not to pick out your lunch from the Machigwa, you can simply order a bowl of Okinawa Soba (noodle soup in pork or beef-based broth with spareribs, green onions, ginger, and fishcake)!