Once upon a time before big box retailers took Japan by storm there were towns that had but one department store to visit. Then came the retail giants that altered the shopping landscape and forced smaller rivals to innovate or fold. Marue Department Store is an old breed retailer that has survived the onslaught of newer and bigger competitors by staying true to its niche as a discount store offering a wide variety of quality items.
Marue still operates its old store in downtown Itoman and 14 other locations throughout Okinawa. The stores can be identified by their round red logo with two circles and one oval in the center. The stores carry a full range of apparel and shoes for men, women children and infants, a wide range of housewares, a full-sized 100 yen store within the store, toys, gardening supplies, some small electronics and hardware, beach accessories and sundries. This is a Japanese store for the Japanese but is also a useful and interesting place to foreigners to shop at. Nearly all of the merchandise is either made in Japan, or is manufactured exclusively for Japanese tastes. But I've found that the men's clothing lines fit my 73 inch tall 190 lbs frame easily, so it is possible for Westerners that think Japanese stores are not practical to shop at can find items that fit at Marue.
The Uruma City location just south of the intersection of Routes 85 and 75 is closest to my home; but there's bound to be a location near you wherever you happen to find yourself at in Okinawa and on some outlying islands. Most of the locations are open 10:00 ~ 20:00 daily. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the best days for values at Marue as all merchandise is an additional 5% off.
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