If You Opened This in Okinawa…

If you opened a taco shop in Okinawa, you’ll make a lot of money. But the rule here is that the taco shop can’t be the typical Okinawan/Japanese taco shop. No El Paso corn taco shells from the box. Let’s think about the mom-and-pop shops where the owners only speak Spanish. They have the best tacos with the cheap prices!

If you opened an all-day pancake house, everyone who doesn’t want to cook and just loves pancakes would also love you. There is only one pancake house in Okinawa, but it’s far for the southern folk.

If you opened a Chick-fil-A, many people would flock to this all-day all-chicken fast food restaurant. In the United States, Chick-fil-A restaurants have spanned across the country with many loyal customers. And who doesn’t like chicken?

If you opened an American doughnut shop that was open by 6 AM, salarymen and single people could indulge in a sweet morning bite. Most doughnut shops in Okinawa like Mr. Donuts aren’t open until 9 AM, a time when everyone has to be sitting in their morning meetings.

If you opened a Planned Parenthood in Okinawa, local people and foreigners alike can benefit from the specialized help. Getting birth control is like a leap through fire. Women have to make an appointment, go through several tests, and talk to a gynecologist before they’re administered birth control that might not work for them while shelling out a lot of money, even when insurance can pay partially for it. And the unlucky part of it all is that, unless you get more than a month’s supply of birth control, women still have to go through the same process just to get another month’s supply. At Planned Parenthood, all you do is make an appointment, they give you a pregnancy test and ask a few questions before receiving a year’s worth of birth control for very little. Also, Planned Parenthood specializes in gynecology-related matters (i.e. pap smears, pregnancy, and abortions) and also, like it’s name, planning a family.

If you opened an independent DHL, Fedex, or UPS store, so many people would appreciate it. There were so many times I’ve needed to ship something or mail something, but I couldn’t because the post office only stayed open until 4:30 PM or 5 PM. (Yes, there is Black Cat shipping store, but you have to go in search of their green banners next to stores.)

If you opened a big-and-tall store, mostly foreigners and big Japanese people could be happy about being big in Japan. Clothing in Japan has a “one size fits all” only sign on the tag, so it’s really difficult trying to find something that actually fits people who are taller than 5’2″ with wide hips, broad shoulders, big butts, big busts, and big guts. The only places that sell big sizes–and ironically, they hardly fit–are in the plus size sections of San-A, Shimamura, or Uniqlo, that is, if you can’t get on base.

If you opened a sandwich shop in Okinawa, summertime would bring in tons of sweltering customers trying to find a delicious yet cold fix that isn’t shaved ice or ice cream. Right now, the only places that make good sandwiches–and we’re talking the Subway-esque type sandwiches loaded with ham, cheese, and a myriad of toppings–are on base with the real Subway.

Since October of 2012, a Subway opened up in Okinawa. It’s located in Oroku of Naha City. The prices are slightly expensive compared to the base Subway, but their menu is a little different from the American brand (expect to see teriyaki-flavored chicken and tandoori chicken). For a half-foot sub with french fries and a drink, it’s about 430 yen. If the Naha Subway is too far, it’s better to make your own sandwich.