One of Okinawa’s lesser known specialty stores is Kawanchu (革人), a leather goods store located in the town of Motobu, about 1h 40m from Naha City.
It’s about 10 minutes away from the Churaumi Aquarium, so if you’re heading there, make sure you stop into Kawanchu for beautiful, high quality custom sandals that are made while you wait. This place didn’t even come up in my research for specialty shopping or things to do in Okinawa, so I’m glad I took the time to read through the brochures table at the car rental office.
You can pick out a pre-made sandal if it’s your size, or you can have them make one for you while you wait.
The shop is quaint and cozy, and the “showroom” consists of several rows of pre-made sandles and samples for how you can customize your own pair.
The base price of sandal starts off in the $40-50 range, but once you start adding on different color insoles, straps, and outsoles, each pair can cost $80+.
The red sandal on the left has a higher heel, which is extra.
Tons of customization. The straps on the left are their basic and most popular styles.
The solid and cube-patterned straps are gorgeous.
Choose from different colors and types of leather.
These pieces are added on the strap where the toe post (aka thong) meets it.
Determine your size with these sandals.
In addition to regular cow leather sandals, they also offer something a little more unique: sting ray and shark.
The sandals along this fence wall start around ¥13,100, or roughly $120.
The workshop is just on the other side of the special sandals.
The ladies, particularly the one who helped me and made my pairs, are very sweet, thoughtful, and respectful.
Check out their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kawanchu.leather