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Goin’ Japanesque!

Well Kept Secret of Naha Okinawa Tourism!? Vivid Colored Fresh Foods at Makishi Public Market

Don’t Miss the Entrance!

Writer’s Photo: The circle in the photo indicates the signage for “Entrance to the Public Market”. Go below the sign and follow the arrow to get to the entrance.

“Kokusai Dori (International Street)” is a famous tourist destination within Naha, Okinawa. It can be said that this is a small segment of this busy street; going a little ways into a side street is where the Makishi Public Market is located.

There are various shops for fruits, clothing and other things and it can be quite fun to look into and browse each store, but today we don’t want to get sidetracked so we will leave that topic aside for now. Amidst a traditionally atmospheric scene, you will see a few entry spots that you may easily overlook if you are not paying close attention.

Writer’s Photo

Once you open the door, you will see a fresh foods market that sells meat, fish and seaweeds. There are cuts of various types of meat, a pig’s head that can look grotesque at first glance, and types of large and small, colorful fish in hues of blues and reds that you would not seen in the main island of Japan. All these foods fill the small market.

Writer’s Photo: Pig’s Head, and Soki (rib meat of pork) often used in Okinawa Cuisine are displayed


Fresh Ingredients to be Eaten Fresh

Writer’s Photo: The 2nd floor has several eateries set up like a Food Court

The most unique characteristic of this public market is that you can have the fish you bought cooked for you at the eatery located on the 2nd floor.

Of course there is a separate fee that applies, and to be honest if can be on the pricey side considering price of the produce you are buying (if you don’t see a price label, always check the price with the staff before you make your purchase), but the satisfaction you can gain from eating fresh ingredients, cooked on the spot in the best cooking method for the ingredient may just be well worth the extra money you will spend.

If you want to have your purchased ingredients cooked, mention to the store staff that you intend to have the ingredient cooked. Then, the store staff will guide you to the 2nd floor. After that, all you have to do is wait in anticipation for your food to arrive. The fee for cooking will be paid in this area as well.

Writer’s Photo

This is the sashimi (cuts of raw fish) of a blue fish called “Irabucha” a species of parrotfish. It is eaten with some wasabi and dipped in soy sauce. The white flesh has a nice firm texture which is an indicator of its freshness.

This is one dish we would love for you to try if you do not have any dislike for raw fish.

Writer’s Photo

Next is battered fried Gurukun or Bananafish. The fish is fried whole. You first wonder where you should start eating, but just take a big dynamic bite into it and you will find that even the small bones are edible and it is very tasty.

It is said that this is a dish that not many tourists select. So knowing this dish makes you kind of a connoisseur on Okinawan cuisine.

Writer’s Photo

Lastly, the broth of the Irabucha fish; you can really taste the flavors extracted from the fish and it is very delicious.

Here, you are able to separately order alcoholic beverages. The broth to top off meal after having a couple of drinks should be superb.

Access: Map
10 minutes by car from Naha Airport
Or 10 minutes on foot from “Miebashi-eki” Station on the Yui Rail.
Makishi Public Market Official Website:


If you have a chance to take a trip to Okinawa, why not take the opportunity to dine at Makishi Public Market?

Related Articles:
Haisai(Konnichiwa)! How About 5 Dishes from Okinawa?
9 Highlights from Okinawa’s “Gusuku” World Heritage Site

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About the author

I am an otaku that likes rare and unusual things. My hobbies are martial arts and touring historical sites, shrines and temples! These days, I want to learn more and more about the world. I am currently studying Ancient Western History.

View all articles by Momoi