My trip is almost at an end. My final destination is the huge supermarket next to the beach where I was able to feel like a real Okinawan local as I blended in with the crowd while pushing my cart.
Kanji, Katakana, Hiragana. The Japanese bubble writing was like hints to solving a puzzle. I peruse the products lined on the shelves to see what the symbols symbolize.
It’s time to go ahead and by a souvenir for my treasured friend who is waiting across the ocean for my return.
Snacks galore fill the shelves. I find myself lost on which to pick, but I use my senses to see which packaging I like the most and put something in my basket.
Part of the fun is looking forward to what flavour it will be after opening them. Let’s call it a Happy Bag.
The meat and fish aisle is overflowing with items. I see stickers along it with the names of products and their prices. There’s a mountain of ready-to-eat foods. It’s not like this is something uncommon to see, I have them in my country too, but it’s interesting to see the little differences.
There were fruits and vegetables I had never seen before too.
How do they taste?
How do you use them in cooking?
The supermarket breathes the lives of Japanese people.
I take some chopsticks with me too which I learned to use during my trip.
This vermilion colour is unique to Japan. Though vivid, it’s an elegant and refined red that sticks in my mind.
This country’s culture is packed tight into these chopsticks.
Their respect of dining, delicateness and humility. It would be great to share these feelings with someone.
When in Japan, an everyday scene in the country that’s different from what one usually does is almost like a dream to a foreigner like me.
Even though I am leaving the country, I will remember the sights I saw here clearly and vividly. I can wear this little bit of courage I gained from flying into a new culture with pride.
I really mean it when I say that what I have gathered on this trip will spill into my road ahead in life.
I push my cart and begin moving forward.
Model / Mala Morgan
Items to send to a precious friend found only in Okinawa, Japan
TOPVALU Brown Sugar Dough Cake Triple Friend in Rice Oil ¥98 (Before Tax) / ¥105.84 (Tax Included) –150g
This brown sugar dough cake is made using Okinawan brown cane sugar. Simply frying them three times in rice oil gives them a crunchy texture. They feel nice to chew, there’s a rhythm to it; I ended up buying several bags so I want to share them with my friend as an afternoon snack.
TOPVALU Full-Bodied Brown Sugar Toffees Made with Okinawan Brown Sugar ¥90 (Before Tax) / ¥97.20 (Tax Included) – 100g
I liked the look of the brown sugar snacks so I went ahead and grabbed another. These toffees are cooked on an open fire. They are a mix of sugar, brown sugar and starch syrup. They have two enjoyable textures―the inside and outside―and are delicious enough that your taste buds will never tire of them. I’m completely obsessed with Okinawa’s brown sugar.
HOME COORDY Dishwasher-Safe Brown Apitong Wood Chopsticks ¥398 (Before Tax) / ¥429.84 (Tax Included) –23cm
These chopsticks are relaxing to hold. They have a really nice wooden texture. On my trip food taught me about the delicateness of Japanese people as well as polite manners. I want to convey that same feeling by taking these chopsticks back as a souvenir.
AEON Mihama’s matchless stock of Okinawa’s amazing products
Whether it be daily necessities during your travels or souvenirs to take back home, AEON boasts a wide range of Japanese products at an affordable price. The Maihama branch is close to the beach and hotels too equaling convenience for quickly picking up what you need on your trip.
Address: 8-3 Mihama, Chatan, Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture
Opening Hours: Food 7:00-Midnight / Clothing & Living Goods 10:00-Midnight
*Business hours may differ for certain select stands and stores.
*The Clothing & Living Goods section is open from 9:00 to midnight on weekends and Thank You Day
*Tax-inclusive prices are displayed up to the second decimal point.
*In the case that multiple items are purchased, the fraction below the decimal point will also be added to calculate the consumption tax.
We are handing out coupons for the products mentioned here. Be sure to use them the next time you visit ÆON for great discounts.
ÆON Store Search: https://www.welcome-aeon.com/storesearch/index.html
About ÆON Group
ÆON Group is a retail corporate group based in Japan that has established 21,742 branches (as of February 2018) in 13 countries across Asia.
Its private brand TOPVALU sells high-quality products at an affordable price. The TOPVALU GURINAI range for example stocks a myriad of products crafted with the utmost care through various production techniques, and of the ingredients used only the best are selected.
The GURINAI range is divided into three parts that give customers the opportunity to easily purchase organic products and ingredients. ‘TOPVALU GURINAI Organic’ offers organic foodstuffs marked with the official organic stamp of approval. ‘TOPVALU GURINAI NATURAL’ provides fresh meat that, as a general rule, is farmed using no chemicals. ‘TOPVALU GURINAI free from’ stocks processed foods with additives, raw materials and ingredients taken into strict consideration.
ÆON Group Private Brand TOPVALU: https://www.topvalu.net (Japanese only)
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