Editor’s Note: Makeman was originally reviewed on Okinawa Hai on October 14, 2009; you can read a PDF copy of that original review HERE. The post below is an updated take on this attraction, published May 3, 2016.
CONTRIBUTED BY LOUISE DUPUY
Makeman is a Japanese chain of home and DIY stores, easily recognisable from its monkey logo. The bigger stores with LCD screens outside also have some pretty snazzy adverts too, with staff dancing and singing along to a catchy tune! Anyway, read on to discover why Makeman is an essential place to visit.
It’s mainstay is DIY. Here, you’ll find everything you need in regards to home improvements. Tools, paints, materials, hardware, electronics, and much more. They have a service desk, are able to cut materials to size, cut keys, service things like lawnmowers and electric weed eaters, and mix paints. Staff are helpful and knowledgeable, even if there is a bit of a language barrier (an electronic translator will help if you don’t speak Japanese). Most locations are pretty big, and trying to track down staff can often be a pain in most places. Not so here. They have a buzzer system on all the aisles, just click it, a cheery tune will play, and a member of staff will be there in no time to help. It’s genius.
As well as DIY, they carry pretty much everything you need for your home. Decor, furniture, textiles, electronics, lighting, and a vast garden section. You can furnish every room in the house, plus buy white goods and kitchen appliances. The gardening section is great, lots of beautiful flowers (real and fake) for inside and outside, to add a pop of colour. Not a flower person? Why not brighten up the patio with a big planter full of succulents? There’s a fair range, and they aren’t too expensive. There’s everything needed for gardening and outdoor maintenance, including planters, soil, storage, mowers, weed eaters, and gardening tools.
So far, nothing too unusual for a store specialising in home improvement, right? What if I told you that you can get leisure items (bicycles, games), car and motorbike/ moped accessories, sporting goods, craft items, a 100 yen plaza and pet supplies? It’s like an Aladdin’s cave! They also sell pets. You can get tropical and fresh water fish, turtles, birds, and probably most surprising, puppies. Whilst it’s not a place I would want to purchase a pet, it does have a good selection of pet supplies and accessories. Running low on hygiene products, baby stuff, and juice? Makeman has that too!
Stores are open 7 days a week, closed for some Japanese holidays, and with opening hours from 9.30am to 8.00pm, there’s always time to stop by. There are seven locations on island, one in the north, two mid-island, and four in the south. There’s also one on Miyako island, and one on Ishigaki island.
Branches are located all over island – you’re never too far from DIY heaven (or hell, depending on your outlook!).
Hours: 930 to 2000
Phone: 81 98-982-7300
Mihama (American Village) Branch Address: Japan, 〒904-0115 Okinawa-ken, Nakagami-gun, Chatan-chō, Mihama, 沖縄県中頭郡北谷町美浜9
GPS Coordinates: 26.3163889, 127.75686489999998
Directions: To get to Mihama American Village from Kadena Gate 1, head south on 58 and turn right at the road with Four Seasons restaurant/Urtore (this is the intersection one light north of Starbucks/Lester gate). Go two lights (you’ll pass the ferris wheel on your right) and take a right at the next light, then left into their parking lot. From Camp Foster, head north on 58 and turn left at Four Seasons/Urtore and follow the same directions.
Other Locations: (Click links to see locations on Google Maps)
Does anyone know what forms of payment they accept? I recently PCSed and my banking is all messed up…so, all I have is American Express. Thanks in advance for any info.
What’s the return policy at Makeman? I bought plastic drawer units but they are too big. How do you make returns?
do they sell chain link fence/materials/hardware? it’s a pain get a fence here via other military members. i guess i could order some within the shipping restrictions, maybe.
I have seen a couple people asking for the phone number, and I as well was on here looking for it. So here it is: 098-982-7300
They also have great pet grooming services, and they are pretty comparable, if not cheaper to everyone else, and they do everything!
Hello,your article Makeman a.k.a. Monkey Store | Okinawa Hai! has a very usefull information for this suject. I found it on Yahoo and will for sure return here soon.
I was just wondering, where is the makeman that has the farmers market by it, the jusco, the sonya (sorry for the misspellings) and the 100¥ store right in the same plaza area. I have only been there once and I don’t know what it was close to. We were new at the time. Thanks so much!!
man I’m late to reply to this but… Jusco is now Aeon. The only Aeon that I know that is in the same plaza as 100 Yen store and Makeman is in American Village… Which is on Mihama (street) in Chatan-cho (City.) You can probably ask anyone where the ferris wheel is (a huge landmark of American Village) and they can tell you exactly where to go. It’s on the 85 directly across from Camp Lester.
Anyways I live in American Village and had no idea that Makeman was so close nor so huge. I had no idea of how I had never seen this monkey sign…. but I normally don’t go down the side street that it’s on =/
Do you know if they have a contact cement adhesive like in the US? I need a flammable one, so I can’t bring it over on the plane!
Do any of you have the phone number for this store?
Do they sell interior paint? I’m looking for other options since the Eagle Hardware paint machine is always broken…
I have not seen interior paint at Makeman (at least not the one in American Village), but there is a paint shop down 58 just past Camp Lester I believe. If no success there, I’d check out some of the other DIY stores, like the lion store mentioned above and the Kanehide shop at Navel Kadena. Haven’t been there in a while but I recall seeing non-aerosol paint there.
Excuse me, Do you have the number to this store?
I agree, the 100 yen selection is great. This is my go-to store for all those crazy home projects. Great store.
I love Makeman. I, too, bought curtains for the sliding glass door in our condo. We brought the measurement of our door [length-wise] in centimeters to the store with us when we chose the curtains and they altered the length to fit perfectly (we just had to pick them up a couple days later). You may need to find an English speaking associate if cannot speak Japanese.
Also, I forgot the kids section! They have great kanji and kana flash cards and writing books to help with learning the language.
What do I not buy there….fish, plants, herbs, wood, screens, tools, 100 yen items, kitchen items, office items, storage devices, gardening items, etc….I also use the DIY near the Yamauchi intersection (I call it the Lion Store because of the lion on the sign) and the Kanehide DIY store near Naval Kadena as well….they are all pretty great!!
I love the monkey store for their Y100 section. At least the one at American Village has some great stuff. My friends have also gotten their hermit crab supplies there. Great store – thanks for posting!!!!
I love Makeman! I spend way too much when I visit! I purchased curtains there. They have huge 200cm x 230 cm panels with hooks inlcuded. Two of those cover the gianormous slider in the Tower dining room. Their gardening supplies are the best with a good selection of herbs for a kitchen garden.
LOVE Makeman! Have gotten all my gardening supplies from there. My funniest purchase has been a plastic ring that fits inside the regular toilet seat to make the opening smaller — perfect for little bottoms — and much less “mess” than portable potties!
For folks in Camp Courtney, there is one at the intersection of 85 and 224. Coming out of the housing gate take a right and follow 224 until you see the monkey sign on your left. Pass the 85, you’ve gone too far. From McT or other Courtney gates, head south on 75 and take a left onto the 85 as if you were going to the Gushikawa Jusco and you will see the monkey store on your left. Turn left on 224 to get to parking lot 🙂
there is no make man store on the corner of 85 and 224 I spent the past 2 hours trying to find it because this person posted that there was one there. Dont waste your time its not there.
Certainly is. Thing is, the 224 crosses the the 85 in 2 places which are several km apart. This is because 224 follows a circitous route past Courtney and back. The place to look is to go up the hill on 85 from the Gushikawa Jusco (Aeon) under the bridge near the top, it’s on the right at the next light.
Now Im kind of confused. Could you give directions from Kadena gates?