“Gourmet theme park” to open at former Mitsukoshi building

The former Okinawa Mitsukoshi building on Kokusai Street in Naha that until June last year housed a shopping and entertainment complex “HAPiNAHA” will reopen as a shopping and restaurant complex concentrating on attracting overseas tourists.

The shops and restaurants in the complex will feature services, products and foods from various regions in Japan to offer short-time visitors, such as those arriving on cruise ships, a change to experience Japanese culture in one place.

The re-opening of the complex is scheduled for Dec. 1st, according to a spokesman of Yui Market Co., a company operating import and export business in Naha. “Yui Market” is one of the operators of the complex.

The spokesman describes the facility as a “gourmet theme park” that offers products and gourmet foods from all of Japan. Stage events and a photo service experience service featuring Japanese culture are also included.

Some 50 restaurants will be located in the basement and on the first and second floors. Regular tuna cutting shows will be staged as an extra attraction.

A new system for customer convenience to pay for purchases is also introduced. The customers entering the building are given a pass with a QR code that they can use for purchases, which they then pay at one stop when they leave. The operators expect the new system to prove popular especially among short-time visitors coming to Okinawa on cruise ships. They also plan to coordinate with tour companies dealing with inbound visitors.

Currently, operators of the complex are busy with opening preparations, renovations and retaining staff.