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The Gigantic San-A Store that’s Clean, Neat and Well Organized

By: Elizabeth Garrett

Date Posted: 2001-01-26

Whether you are a regular at San-A stores such as Hamby Town or you have never been to one, you definitely need to stop at a San-A store named Main City in Gushikawa. From the Legion Club Gate it only took 17 minutes to arrive at Main City driving on Highway 330 north towards Gushikawa. Once you arrive in Gushikawa, you will pass by various stores such as BEST and Book Market along Highway 330. Shortly afterwards, turn left onto Highway 85 going towards Kadena. At this major intersection there is a Jusco billboard on the right hand side. As soon as you turn left onto Highway 85, you will see a large yellow San-A sign on the left side of the road. Turn in here to park on the third floor in Main City.

Once I walked inside Main City, my first impression was that this San-A is “kiree” (clean, neat, and nice-looking). It was very enjoyable shopping in a store so well organized. As far as size is concerned, Main City is almost twice as big as Hamby Town, Chatan town’s equivalent. If you have never shopped at a large San-A store, Main City is definitely a place you should visit. I found the sales people at Main City to be exceptionally friendly and helpful.

The floor plan inside Main City is very similar to Hamby Town. Parking is on the third floor, the supermarket is on the first floor, and the department store is on the second floor. On the second floor, you will find items such as umbrellas, belts, handbags, shoes, children’s and babies’ items, men’s and women’s clothing, housewares, electronics, and so on. Americans often mention that items off base are expensive but if you shop around you will be surprised. For example, I bought a sturdy 60 cm umbrella for only ¥300. In the electronics department, there was a Sony Cyber-Shot digital camera with 3.3 mega pixels, on sale for ¥79,800. This same camera was selling for $799.00 at the Base Exchange. If you consider the current exchange rate, the Sony digital camera at Main City is a better deal than the one on base.

For all of you 100 Yen shoppers, the 100 Yen Plaza is on the second floor. San-A stores just wouldn’t be the same without their 100 Yen Shops. Because of the Christmas season, there were quite a few Christmas items in the 100 Yen Plaza. I have several friends who travel to 100 Yen Shops around the island looking for stocking stuffers. Just in case you didn’t know, 100 Yen Shops are great places to find a variety of inexpensive gifts for relatives and friends stateside. (They will never know you paid less than one dollar for each item. In fact, since most people know that the cost of living is high here they will appreciate gifts from Okinawa. One of my friends, Christine, had the novel idea of buying various Japanese snacks and cookies for friends and relatives living on the East Coast).

On the bottom floor of Main City there is a large supermarket. For all of you Hello Kitty fans, there were tables full of reasonably priced Hello Kitty Christmas gifts. On the same floor there is also a Book Box, a bakery, a cosmetic department, and various trendy shops. If you have teenage daughters, I am sure they will like shopping at the “groovy” shops downstairs. (When is the last time you saw the word “groovy” in print?). Well, we all know how important it is for teenage girls to have a supply of unique clothes and accessories different from the girl next door. Next to the supermarket, there is a small food court with a McDonald’s, a Blue Seal Ice Cream shop, a noodle restaurant, and other fast food restaurants.

So what are you waiting for? Take a ride northbound on Highway 330 and checkout Main City in Gushikawa.

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