A-Price

    CONTRIBUTED BY LARISSA TRAQUAIR

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    This week’s post is a stretch for me as I don’t spend much time in places such as these!  My partner-in-crime, Dasha, was so excited to share this post idea with me and I couldn’t resist her enthusiasm.  See, for those of you who do not know me, grocery shopping is not on my top 10 list of things I enjoy doing.

    Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying you all like grocery shopping either but I really don’t like to even step foot in a store that sells food because that could lead to some actual cooking taking place in my home.  A few years back I was given the perfect magnet for my refrigerator that reads: “I only have a kitchen because it came with the house.”  I also own a sign that reads: “I serve 3 meals…frozen, microwave and takeout.”  I even went as far as to request our kitchen in 29 Palms be converted into a scrap booking room.  That request was not received with any hopes of coming true, and our renters, I’m sure, are very thankful.  It’s funny because our kitchen was the highlight of our home and I spent a ton of time in it – it was my office and was great for overflow scrapbooking supplies!

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    That being said, I know kitchens – and stores that keep them stocked – are necessary evils in my life.  And for those of you who actually visit your kitchen, beyond the frozen English muffins in the morning and cold water throughout the day, A-Price is well worth a visit.  We found some cool stuff that even the non-chef in me could get excited about.

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    For the rest of you, this is a great place to find bulk items such as tomato sauce, interesting items like beniimo flakes and the ever popular fresh produce.  You could almost described this store as a mini-Costco without the membership, tire shop, clothing section, books galore, gadgets galore and the samples available on the weekends.  This store caters to restaurants, hence the bulk items, but the average at-home cook is definately welcomed!

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    What never ceases to amaze me is the customer service the local Okinawan people always extend and how even in a grocery store the manager can make me laugh.  He insisted that I take a picture of the salad dressing display as I assume these items were on sale.  Sales are hard for me.  If I am craving Japanese-Sesame dressing I’m going to buy it regardless if it’s on sale.  Nonetheless, this store offered a wide variety of dressings – some on sale and some not!

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    The bulk items were equally impressive!  Who doesn’t need a bag of uncooked macaroni that requires two people to hold?  Or a bag of unidentified, local delicacy that is almost as big as you are?

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    One last practical note.  The store in Okinawa City became very helpful in my search for a key ingredient in a mixed drink I was trying out.  I was searching for Litchi (this is how it’s spelled on the bottle) Liquor and though the Nago store did not carry it, the Okinawa City store did!  Side note: Lychee seems to be the correct spelling, according to my online sources.  No matter how you spell it, the liquor tasted great and completed my ingredient list without needing to drive to one more store! 

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    San-A

    Payment:  This store takes Yen and Credit Cards.

    Hours: Monday – Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 7p.m.  Only closed on New Year’s Day.

    Locations:  Nago, Urasoe City (Kinser Area), Naha and Okinawa City (outside Kadena Gate 5).

    Okinawa City Address: 6 Chome-40-764 Chibana, Okinawa, Okinawa Prefecture 904-2143, Japan

    GPS Coordinates: 26.3667018, 127.81700339999998

    Directions: The Okinawa City store is out Gate 5 of Kadena.  Pass the Mister Donut and start looking for A-Price on the left.  It is across from the Sakumoto Home Center.  The Nago store is .5 kilometers past 84 going North on 58 after you have driven through the main part of Nago – near the Max Value.

    24 COMMENTS

    1. So, apparently there are two gate 5’s, one of which is actually labeled Gate 5, is on 58 past Gate 1, and is usually closed, and another Gate 5 which I cannot see is actually numbered, which you get to from 23 which turns into 85 in front of this gate. The Gate 5 on 23 is the one you want. I had difficulty finding the store due to the confusion between the two. Lala’s directions are excellent.

    2. Nan-are you coming from Kadena? If so, I would exit Gate 2 and turn right at the second light, it’s the one directly in front of China Pete’s(I do not believe you can turn right at the first light). Anyway, this will put you on 23 Once you are on 23, there will be a McDonald’s up ahead on your left. Stay straight on 23 past the Koza Sports Complex on your left, then stay straight through the next intersection (Yamauchi). Get in the left lane because the next intersection is where you need to turn left. There will be a Pachinko Parlor on the corner and a Detox Soup sign on the other corner and Gate 5 will be across the street. Anyway, turn left there and A-Price will just be a little ways down on the left. Hope you find it!

    3. Hey can someone please give me direction to get there. Obviously i can’t used gate 5 since it’s only for school bus and people that are picking up their kids. thanks

    4. Shannon:

      I had problems figuring out the directions too, but I finally figured it out! From Camp Foster, it’ll be easier to take 58 North, then make a right onto 23.. then make a right onto 85. I believe it’s either the 4th or 5th light on 23, but you’ll be able to see Kadena Gate 5 on your left on this intersection. And then A price will be on your left!

      OR

      You can take 330 towards Kadena, then make a left onto 85. Take this to the very end, then make a left, and then another left at the light. 85 is very confusing since it’s everywhere! Good luck finding it! 🙂

    5. I am trying to understand the directions??? If we live on Foster, what is the easiest way to get there?? Thank you!!

    6. Jackie,
      I know it’s on 58, on the west side of the road (opposite side from Kinser). What I’m not sure about is what the cross street is. I’m kind of thinking near the big A&W. I hope that is a little helpful!

    7. Jackie – it is on the side of 58 opposite of the base. If the gate closest to Naha were open, you’d go out that gate and turn right (heading south) and instead of going over the bridge you’d travel along side it. A Price will be on the left side. You can pretty much see it from that bottom gate. For now, just go out the main gate and head south on 58 and stay in the left lane.

    8. Hi,

      We opened a few months ago an online shop where we sell Okinawa products (food, drinks, tea, glassware…).
      We sell worldwide and our website is available in Japanese, English and French.
      Basically we would like to know which kind of products you would like to be able to buy online. We already have quiet a few products and categories and looking for more ideas !
      Please let us know and contact us at shop(*at*)okinawa-shop.jp

      Our website: http://www.okinawa-shop.jp

      Thanks !

    9. Gate 5 is between Kadena Middle School and Kadena High School. This street is Schreiber Ave.

      Or go out Gate 3 and make a right onto 74 then vear right onto 85. Pass Gate 2 on your right and then continue as you pass the soccer stadium. You’ll pass another 85 which would take you towards the Loop and eventually to Camp Butler and Awase. Pass this signal and the next signal is Gate 5 – turn right and you’ll go through Gate 5 and be back on Kadena. This gate is usually only open in the morning and after school. Turn left and you’ll be heading down the street towards A-Price.

      I hope that makes sense and is helpful!!!

    10. I get a lot of my Thai ingredients there (what I don’t have sent from Thailand or the States) and they have great prices. I have to say their frozen mango pieces are awesome and I always use them for mango and stickyrice…I have an Aprice card I am there so often and I use the one out Gate 5 since I am centrally located but I know there are many all over the island…

    11. Aviva – thanks for sharing what you get at A-Price. Their frozen food section is fabulous. They do have a great international foods section, too!!!! There was so much I could write about in this post that I had to cut back and not cover every area. Thanks for adding to the long list of things they carry – it’s endless!!

      Vanesa – thanks for identifying the unknown item. I had heard the name before but I couldn’t remember all the details. I appreciate your input!!

      Happy food hunting!!!!

    12. Chrissybean- is the Sesame dressing as yummy as it is at CoCos? I tried the kind at the commmissary, but it just wasn’t the same. Thanks..

    13. I love A-Price! A great place to go for hard to find items that you can’t find at MaxValu, Jusco or even the Commissary for that matter. I’m a huge fan of the sesame dressing, so being able to buy a huge bottle of it, helps save me $$! Definitely worth a visit.

    14. The name of the inidentified local delicacy is FU 🙂 By the way the bag is so big! Fu is Japanese wheat gluten, is high in protein and easy to digest. Before cooking, the pieces are soaked in water, softening to a sponge-like state, and the excess water is squeezed out. They are used in soups. I tried many times the Okinawan famous “Fu Champuru” Simply delicious.
      Nice pictures!

    15. There’s a store near Naha too, on the left near kinser i think.

      I call A-Price “Costco meets Trader Joe’s” – bulk items, now produce, and a HUGE freezer section! I buy smoked salmon slices and shrimp and dumplings of all sorts in the freezer section there. Lots of kinds of ice cream and berries/fruit are there too, and meats and fish. Also rare (at least on Oki) spices and noodles can be found there, it’s a great place to check if you cook; curry pastes, sauces, quinoa, noodles – ALL kinds of things. Have fun shopping, BIG yay for A-Price! Yes, the people are super nice.

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