CONTRIBUTED BY MEGAN MCMURRIN
The Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom offers extensive shopping, delicious cuisine and exciting entertainment while reflecting the culture, landscape and diversity that is distinctly unique to Okinawa. From the commanding Shiisaa flanking the entrance to the breathtaking aquarium on the first floor, once you enter the Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom you will also experience the flavor of Okinawa in a truly modern way.
Even the mall’s name honors the relationship between the United States and Okinawa. “RYCOM” is taken from the name of the former U.S. military headquarters “Ryukyu Command” and is additionally significant since the mall was built on land reclaimed from the U.S. military. However…. you didn’t come here for a history lesson…you came here for Old Navy.
That’s right!! Many of the 220+ specialty stores will be familiar to American shoppers—and if you miss your hometown mall and are tired of online shopping, walking into American Eagle, GAP, Sports Authority (and more!!) will make you feel right at home.
Once you are ready to leave your comfort zone and return to an equally beautiful reality, European and Japanese brands such as Desigual, Urban Research and Uniqlo will transcend your shopping into an experience you can only have at this resort mall.
You haven’t been able to visit all the destinations on your “Japan Travel” Pinterest board? No worries! You can shop tax free at “Churaon.net Souvenir” for souvenirs not just from Okinawa but many other prefectures in Japan. For more information about shopping tax free at select stores (listed in directory), please see this link from the mall’s official website and don’t forget to bring your passport!
“Tax Free” Shopping Details.
Additionally, if you show your passport at certain stores, like GAP, you can get an additional 10% discount on your total purchase.
There is also an Apple Premium Reseller called “Newcom” that specializes in Apple products and their accessories.
Use this link for a complete list of the stores at Rycom, or this one for a complete floor guide.
Has all that shopping made you hungry? Fortunately, this mall has one of the largest food courts in the world, so there will be many delicious options for you from all different kinds of cuisine. Or you can always just go to McDonald’s!
“Rycom Gourmet World” spans levels 3 and 4 with fast(er) food options and restaurant quality selections with comfortable seating and island style décor. On the fourth level there is even an area with kid tables and chairs for the convenience of families with small children.
Check out the Wandering Waffle Heads video about the Rycom food court dining options:
If you have more time, you can dine in style at one of the many restaurants found on the 1st, 2nd 4th and 5th floors.
Now for the entertainment! On level 4, the multiplex Cinema Rycom has nine screens and seating for 1,403. The theater has HD and 3D viewing capabilities for select shows. For live entertainment during the day, head to Rycom Stage “Air” on the third floor where traditional performances will be held. At night, Rycom Stage “Sky” features music concerts and other international performances.
I could go on and on about all the wonderful aspects of this mall, but at this point I am sure I have already convinced you to go, so it’s likely you are, in fact, no longer reading but are now carefully backing your vehicle into one of the 4,000 parking spaces. However, just in case I still have your attention, I will highlight just a few features of the mall that stood out to me:
- Welcome station on Level 1 with ATMs, foreign exchange windows and tourist concierge
- Free Wi-Fi throughout mall
- Signage and mall brochure in English, traditional and simplified Chinese, and Korean
- Drink Vending machines and lockers in bathroom areas
- Nursing lounge, diaper changing stations and other facilities for those with babies in bathroom areas
- Small Kids Play Space on Level 4 near AEON
- “Rycom Kids Park” play area on the 5th floor (outside) with a water mist plaza that operates every 30 minutes
- Information Service Counter staffed with guides to answer your questions on Level 2
- The “anchor” store AEON has a much more modern look and layout than other locations in Okinawa- with a larger grocery, bakery and produce section
- Relaxing and attractive rest areas with comfortable seating
- Beautiful panoramic views of the island on the roof (5th floor)
BONUS RYCOM TRIVIA- just because I love how well this mall represents Okinawa:
- The ceramic Shiisaa at the mall entrance were crafted by ceramists in Yomitan
- Outside before the 2nd floor entrance in “Rycom Village” the group of ceramic Shiisaa were jointly crafted by local ceramists in Kitanakagusuku
- World-renowned landscape artist Ishihara Kazuyuki designed “Rycom Village.”
- The mall stands on land that used to be the U.S. military’s Awase Golf Course.
- The “Rycom Aquarium” is over 100 tons with 25 tropical fish species (1,000 fish). Take the elevator and pretend YOU are in an aquarium!
- That really BIG fish you all want your picture with? It’s called a Humphead wrasse and is one of the largest reef fish—some may grow to 80+ lbs.
- At the 5th floor restaurant “Roy’s”, the menu honors founder and celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi’s Okinawan mother by incorporating elements from traditional Okinawan cuisine.
HOURS: The mall is open 365 days a year. Hours vary according to the store. A few stores open as early as 8:00 a.m., while most of the stores open at 9:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. Closing time ranges between 1o:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Generally speaking, stores mainly open between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., however you can enter the mall before 10:00 a.m.
The cinema is open from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Official hours can be found here (Japanese only)
ADDRESS: Japan, 〒901-2305 Okinawa-ken, Nakagami-gun, Kitanakagusuku-son, Higa 県道85号線
DIRECTIONS: Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom is located near the intersection of 85 and 330.
From Kadena Gate 2
- Turn right at Koza Music Center onto 330.
- Continue on 330 and you will see the mall on the left hand side.
From Kadena Gate 1
- Head south on 58 and then turn left onto 23
- Turn right onto 85
- Right before the mall you cross 330.
- The mall will be clearly visible from that intersection.
Access guide from website with map.
COORDINATES: 26.314286238611693, 127.79647502090143
An absolutely beautiful complex that will fulfill entertainment and shopping needs for many people on Okinawa. The interior decor provides a relaxing and air-conditioned environment to rest, while the shops provide a expansive array of gift shopping and interesting dining and entertainment options. My hats off to the architect and designer of the Rycom. It’s a marvel in itself. In response to the commenter on the clothes fading after one wash, I did not have that problem. Perhaps it’s an isolated event or plain bad luck. I find the garments are no different than the clothes produced for the USA line. I saw the same exact clothing items for sale in Old Navy USA (a few weeks ago) represented in the store here on Okinawa. And to the other commenter above, I think it would be uncommon to find clothing sizes XXL and larger for sale in Okinawa off base. You will certainly find better luck on base or through retailers in the US.
Just a quick word of advice for the Movie theater. They apparently run US movies in English with Japanese subtitles. However, when looking at the showtimes, it is a bit confusing. Note: the times in (parenthesis) are the end times for each movie showing, not the start time for English audio. And, the fact that this mall is Massively Overwhelming and awesome.
Good to see a new building on island. This mall is merchandised for Asian Tourists. Quality and size/style is for Asians….I washed old Navy and American Eagle once and the fabric is ruined. Exchange carries National Brands at affordable price that last forever…plus, Aeon Mall does not support our community like Exchange keeps our MWR open for my neighbors and family. Good place to walk on a hot day in the mall and enjoy the food but not to buy clothing I would wear.
The clothing sold in the exchange are similarly made in China and Vietnam, despite the major brand name label (or rather, especially because of the brand name). I would prefer that the clothes purchased from the exchange not “last forever”. I assume you have looked at the clothes at the exchange? Abysmal at best.
It’s makes no difference how big the mall is if none of the stores carry XXL. I workout a lot and those japanese sizes just won’t fit me. i guess I will continue to shop online
I’ve been to the mall once, and I had a headache and 3 (mostly well-behaved, but still…) kiddos with me, and thought, “I really need to come back when I can enjoy this more!” And this shows me that, yes…. yes, I do! I didn’t even take the aquarium elevator!! Actually, I should take the kids back with me, and just make sure to leave the headache at home… thanks for a very informative (and rather entertaining, as well!) article!