Shopping Shintoshin Distsrict

10 years ago there was virtually nothing in the Shintoshin area. The land having been home to U.S. military housing that was razed and left vacant. When the land was returned to the original owners a stylish modern shopping district blossomed. There are two enclosed malls in this area, the upscale DFS mall (duty free shopping) and the two level Naha Main Place Mall. Bookshops, hotels and restaurants of all sorts are plentiful in this district. The monorail connects Shintoshin to other parts of the city via the sleek Omoromachi station just beside the entrance to the DFS mall.

Naha Main Place Mall. This large two level shopping complex has numerous clothing shops and boutiques, both upscale and trendy. There are half dozen restaurants at ground level open to the street on one side and accessible through the mall on the other. The restaurants are mostly Japanese cuisine, but there is an Italian Pizzeria and the ever present Starbucks. Electronics and a huge supermarket are on the ground level as well. The second level of this mall has a food court with McDonalds and inexpensive eateries. An extensive arcade adjoins the food court attracting the younger set. This arcade vibrates with sound and pulsating lights and there are age appropriate games for kids of all ages. Adjoining the arcade is an adult area where pseudo pachinko machines blink and ping. The mall is also home to a cinema complex, but movies are very expensive. A single adult ticket is 1600 yen, about $13.00.

DFS Mall. This very upscale Duty Free Mall features dozens of name brand botiques. Sparkling marble floors glisten and lead the way to Cartier, Tiffany, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vutton etc. These shops are open to the public and prices are generally 20% less than anywhere else on Okinawa so the mall attracts a fashion conscious clientele. If you are traveling internationally, on the day of your departure, you can shop these stores duty free. This is how I understand “Departure Day” shopping to work, but I may not have it all correct. Before you begin to shop you present your airline ticket and passport and a DFS shopping card is issued to you. You must complete your shopping at least three hours before your departure. Your good will be delivered to the Naha International Airport and you must pick them up at the DFS counter 30 minutes before departure. I am not exactly certain how much this saves you, but believe that it eliminates the tax on the purchases. If hunger strikes, take the sleek escalator up to the stylish “Galleria” food court on the second level of the mall. This food court is like no other. When you step off the escalator a scanable meal card will be graciously presented to you. A half dozen sleek, stainless steel and glass food “Islands” offer various sorts of international cuisine. One stylish oval island offers all sorts of libations from fruit smoothies to mixed drinks, wines and beer. You can watch your pizza made from scratch, order an “American Burger,” fill your plate at a salad bar, travel to Thailand and China or eat local Okinawan Cuisine. Each time you make a purchase you present your card to the waiter and your menu choice is scanned. A huge oval frosted glass ceiling changes colors gradually and continually giving ambience to the dining experience. There is plenty of indoor seating or you may choose to dine on the stylish covered outdoor patio with a sleek stream cut into the patio floor. When you are finished, you present your meal card to the cashier and pay the total.

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