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Haninsu Ginowan, ¥100 Mecca with Games, Clothes, Shoes and Food

By: Stephen Carr

Date Posted: 2001-04-06

Okinawa’s newest shopping center is Haninsu Ginowan which consists of eight separate stores clustered around a giant forecourt. It has many of the features familiar with other superstores such as Makeman in Mihama, but a couple of interesting differences.

Its greatest distinguishing characteristic is a giant 100 Yen Plaza. Hundred Yen stores are usually small spaces tacked on to the main stores, almost as an after thought. But this one is bigger than many a supermarket and its range just as comprehensive. It has clothes, towels, bags, books, stationery, stuffed toys, crockery, food and even eyeglasses. Its arts and crafts items, which seem to feature large in most 100 Yen stores, are more numerous and varied than in many shops which specialize in such items. There are candles, candleholders, dinner mats, wooden spice jars, bamboo, ceramic and raffia household items. There is also a big selection of artificial flower displays large colorful bunches of blooms that look almost like the real thing.

The irony of these places is that they are so full of irresistible cut-price goods that customers are tempted to load up with far more than they had planned for. Their potential for generating cash flow obviously has not been lost on Haninsu’s managers, hence the amount of space devoted to this 100 Yen shoppers paradise. It is open 10 am to 9 pm.

The other non-standard fixture in this shopping complex is a small, glass fronted room, beside the 100 Yen Plaza, containing a man in a white coat and some curtained off surgical couches. It looks like a doctor’s consulting room. The place to treat advanced cases of Shopaholicism or 100 Yen Purchasing Mania? No, it is a Massage and Osteopathy room to rejuvenate weary shoppers. Fifteen minute massages are available for ¥1,500, 30 minutes for ¥3,000 and 50 minutes for ¥5,000.

On the other side of the massage place is the Home Center, the biggest store of the complex. This sells everything from bicycles to pet fish. All that is needed for home decorating is here, including a section that looks as if it belongs in a sawmill, with stacks of wooden planks and sheets of plywood cut to specific sizes. The Home Center is open from 10 am to 10 pm.

A spacious Food Court specializing in a big variety of quick-serve dishes, and Marie restaurant offering a lunch buffet from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm and dinner from 6 pm to 10 pm. keep the shoppers fed.

Uniqlo, the Shikoku-based chain store that specializes in fashionable clothes at reasonable prices, and a Shoe Plaza which stocks every sort of footwear known to humankind are both open from 10 am to 9 pm.

A Game Center on two floors is open from 10 am to midnight and a Lawson convenience store is open 24 hours a day.

Directions: Take Highway 58 towards Naha. Make a right at the Isa intersection and then a left, following the signs for the Ginowan Convention Center. A few hundred meters up the road you will see the shopping complex on your right. Go past it and take the next exit on the right, double back and you are at Haninsu Ginowan.

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