A Tale of Two Toys R Us Stores: Naha and Awase (Awase Location CLOSED)

CONTRIBUTED BY HEATHER GELORMINE

Editor’s note: We have been informed that the Awase location is currently closed. However, we’re keeping the information in the post for those of you who may still want to look it up.

We have lived here on island for almost ten months now, and somehow I’ve managed to avoid making a trip to Toys R Us in all that time. Call me a mean mommy, but I don’t bring my kids toy shopping all that often.

But when I found myself heading down to Naha for lunch with friends, I decided to check it out. Just to see if I could even find it. And so I searched Okinawa Hai for a post about this branch of Toys R Us, and though I found many references to it, I couldn’t find a single post telling me what to expect. And thus, I had a justifiable reason to visit this store that simultaneously holds the dreams of children and the nightmares of their parents.

I had been told by a friend that it was overwhelming at first. To me, the combination of a store and the word overwhelming is like putting a big sign with a skull and crossbones in front of my face: I back away. Quickly. But in the interest of helping those of you (the remaining few) who haven’t yet been to Toys R Us, I pushed through the fear.

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And really? It’s just like any other TRU I’ve ever been in. Just with a lot more Japanese toys.

There’s the requisite pink aisle:

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And the planes, trains, and automobiles exhibit:

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A cheaper outdoor sports equipment section, as well as a more extensive bike and scooter collection.

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Including those adorable parent-assisted toddler bikes that I gravitated toward until I saw the price tags and quickly continued moving. They seemed to have the same selection of infant and toddler toys, as well as a large variety of toys for older kids as well, that you’d find in the states. So I headed over to the adjoining Babies R Us section of the store.

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This was actually considerably smaller than BRU stores I’ve been in stateside, but they had a large variety of high-end (and high-priced) strollers, as well as the coolest potty training seats I think I’ve ever seen.

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There’s also a fairly large shoe section, a kids’ clothing area, as well as a small maternity clothing section, and a variety of baby slings and carriers. Perhaps most importantly, they’ve got a sizeable “Baby Room” with changing tables and private nursing rooms to feed your babies.

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In the interest of being thorough in my research, I traveled to the Awase TRU to see if that’s any different from the one in Naha. Nope. Not by much. They do take credit cards/¥/$ (but change is given back in ¥), though truth be told, because I didn’t stop at the registers in the Naha branch I don’t know whether they operate the same way. I’m sure one of our shopping-savvy readers can tell us, though.

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The biggest difference between the two branches is that in Naha there is a specific Babies R Us store within TRU, whereas the Awase branch is more like a Kids R Us, a TRU that has clothing and baby gear available within. The Naha branch is perhaps a little larger, though it seemed to me the selection of American toys and baby products was larger in Awase. Six of one, half dozen of the other, right?

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It seemed to me – the frugal [read: cheap] shopper – that the prices here at TRU/BRU are significantly higher than what you’ll pay at the BX/PX… but you’ve also got a much larger selection here. There are some good bargains on some of the sand and outdoor toys, though you might also be able to find good deals on such things at ¥100 stores, too.

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My final assessment: if you’re making a trip to TRU with kids, make the effort to go down to the Naha branch. It’s worth it for the YuKids Island play area upstairs. But if you’re free of the kids for a few hours and want to be able to do some shopping (window or the real kind) at other stores, head to Awase.

Address: 3-3, Omoro-machi, Naha

Google Maps Coordinates:

Directions: 26.2123124, 127.67915679999999

Take 58 south to Naha. Try to stay in the middle lane, as the far left lane will sometimes become turn-only. After traveling over the second overpass, get into the left lane. Watch for the Uenoya intersection; it’s not well-marked ahead of time, but you’ll see it directly after a Pachinko building and the Premist Tower building. A Birkenstock store will be on your right across from Uenoya street.

Take a left here. Follow the road about a kilometer, past a Sports Depo and a UNIQLO strip mall on your left. The Co-Op (apple sign market) and Toys R Us/Babies R Us share the 1st floor of the same building. Free parking is either directly in front of the building, or in the parking garage within it.

 


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16 Comments
  • April 7, 2013

    The awase location is closed.

    Melinda
    Reply
    • April 8, 2013

      Melinda and SS, thanks for letting us know! I’ve just updated the post.

      islandmanager
      Reply
  • April 7, 2013

    The Toys R Us in Awase is now closed I believe.

    SS
    Reply
  • July 24, 2012

    Does anyone know how far the TRU in Naha is from Kinser?

    Also, does the BRU have a baby heartbeat Doppler? I’m looking for one but can’t find any at the px or bx. Thanks!

    Mel
    Reply
  • May 26, 2012

    Trena,

    I will be heading to the Awase location soon. I will keep you posted if I see any baby swings (American Brands or Japanese, but I’m guessing you’re looking for American brands). If I don’t see any, just know that you can always order one from Amazon, where I originally decided to order mine from. They have a pretty decent selection and free shipping if it’s going to the states!

    Alexandria
    Reply
  • May 11, 2012

    I AM LOOKING FOR A NEW BABY SWING FOR MY SISTER-IN-LAW. The sweet ones that lay back. Would it be better for me to purchase it here in Texas or find somewhere there to buy it?

    Trena
    Reply
  • February 1, 2012

    The only 2 Toys R Us on the Island, do not carry any American Action Figures (GI Joes, Thundercats, WWE, MMA fighters, Star Wars, no Super Hero toys, or any Hasbro, Mattel, JAKKS pacific, etc…), only Japanese toys for kids. not a good selection for boys at all, the only section you will recognice its Transformers.

    Jorge
    Reply
  • April 18, 2011

    Do either of these stores have baby furniture? I am looking to buy nursery furniture somewhere other than the foster furniture store or the Bx. Help please!!

    Jessie
    Reply
  • August 27, 2009

    FYI – If you’re coming from Camp Courtney or McT you’ll turn left on 329 from 75. Then drive until you reach a McDonald’s on your left (I belive this is 85). Take a left at this intersection. Follow road for about ½ km; Awase Shopping Center is the large building on your right.

    Maria
    Reply
  • August 17, 2009

    Kimja2 – I saw smaller swingsets there, but mostly along the lines of a double-seater. Nothing very large or extensive.

    Heather
    Reply
  • August 16, 2009

    Did they have swing sets? I am looking to buy one. I haven’t seen any on base or okinawayardales.

    kimja2
    Reply
  • June 25, 2009

    so do you actually go over the bridge or do you go next to the bridge? i know where the co-op store is. just want to clarify. thanks

    michelle zarate
    Reply
  • June 15, 2009

    Just FYI, when I last went (to the Naha one), they had a really cute selection of diaper bags there! I wished I hadn’t already ordered one online. That was like a year ago though.

    kellyerace
    Reply
  • June 14, 2009

    If you are out for shop-till-you-drop day, I’d recommend visiting the Naha branch- cleaner, brighter, newer, nicer – and only a block away from San-A Mainplace and two or so blocks away from the DFS center. Not to mention the strip mall on the other side with the Uniqlo and Sports Depot and whatever else in there. I usually just go to one of the near-by Bunny stores though. Good selection, great prices, close at hand. And if you want to throw some culture into your shop-till-you-drop day, in between TRU and San-A Mainplace is the art museum. Haven’t been inside, but it’s on my to-do list.

    Jen
    Reply
  • June 14, 2009

    You can usually find a good selection of kiddie pools at ToysRUs versus the PX/BX too.

    Paul
    Reply
  • June 14, 2009

    I was just at the Naha store and YuKids on Friday – glad to see this comparison with the Awase store so I know which is better for me.

    I thought the toilet training aisle was cool too. :-)

    We had lunch at the Italian cafe there (same building, 2F) on our way to YuKids. Good stuff. There are multiple places to get food there, as well as several other shops on the second floor. I didn’t get a chance to check them out, but now that I know the way, I plan to go back. One of the stores appeared to be a kids’ clothing shop specifically affiliated with the YuKids play area – it’s where you pay for your time in the play area.

    For those who were looking for a children’s hair cut place a month or so back, there is a place on the 2nd floor, right next to/behind the YuKids Island play area called “Powder”. The prices seemed high to me, but then, I give my kids home haircuts…so everything is more than free. ;-) There’s also a photo place where the kids can dress up. Didn’t check their rates. But one could definitely do an all day thing there in the TRU/BRU building at Naha.

    Reply