Ryubo is a wide variety chain of what seem to be primarily grocery stores with a couple department stores and even a chocolate shop. The Ameku branch, in particular, is a grocery store with a hundred yen shop, a bakery, a donut shop, a flower shop, and a food court attached. It is located in the Ameku neighborhood (pretty self explanatory) of Naha, just down the street from my house in Omoromachi. The Ryubo – Ameku branch shares a parking lot with Sports Depot, a Best, and a number of other businesses nearby, making it a one stop shop for all of your needs.
The parking lot out front is always a little crazy and crowded, but what I learned on what was probably my hundredth visit to the store, was that there is parking on the roof. It isn't multilevel parking, which would be more apparent. There is a a ramp on the left side of Sports Depot that leads to the roof, and you just drive over Sports Depot, onto Ryubo. I've never seen anything like it. It might be worth a visit just for the parking-lot situation.
Depending on which door you enter through, you may walk through the Daiso which then leads into the produce section of Ryubo. The produce section is one of the better ones I've seen. They have decent variety and fair prices. I also really appreciate their "local farmers" section. its kind of like miniature farmers market, selling different produce on a first come, first serve basis. I have noticed some of the produce in Okinawa has a tendency to be outrageously priced, which is true of most islands, to be fair. So, if you catch the locally sourced section at a good time you can usually get things like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers for cheaper.
The layout of the store is very straight forward, and like most of the surrounding grocery stores have different ethnic sections. For example, if you're making Italian food, most of the ingredients can be found together.
They have a good meat selection, although I am still struggling with the differences between here and my grocery store back home. They don't seem to carry certain cuts of meat and bacon just isn't the same. That, however, seems to be something I should get used to and has nothing to do with the quality of this particular grocery store.
Ryubo has a very extensive ready made food section or delicatessen. They have so many different options of bento boxes, sushi, fried snacks, pizza, and salads (both American and Japanese). If you cant find what you like there, they also have a food court with soba, steak, pizza, lasagna, and a number of other options. My routine is usually gym, grocery shopping, and lunch from Ryubo because they have so many options.
All of the employees were so patient and kind while I fumbled around with google translate trying to ask where the white vinegar was located (they don't carry it, but the level of empathy I sensed was comforting). Checkout is pretty standard. couple rows are card only, self bagging, three yen per bag. The cashiers are very efficient. i never have to wait too long even when the lines are long.
I cant believe I almost forgot about the worst/best thing about this store. They have a theme song! As I've noticed a lot of the grocery stores do here, but none quite like this one. It plays roughly 3-4 times during each visit. Its a kids choir singing (my best guess is about groceries) in Japanese. Everybody sings or hums along whether they know they're doing it or not. It's great fun. My husband hates it and tells me to stop when he catches me dancing and singing up and down the isles. Moral of the story, go check out Ryubo – Ameku Branch. If nothing else, the rooftop parking, the local produce, and the song is enough to keep me coming back.
Address: 1 Chome-2-1 Ameku, Naha, Okinawa 900-0005
Hours: Open 24 hours
Credit Card: Yes