The "A Sign" was first issued in 1953 and was displayed inside and outside of restaurants and hotels that were "Approved" for U.S. military personnel. In Okinawa City, the A Sign was so closely associated with the city that it was said to "enrich the market and the general economy of the town in times of economic boom." In order to obtain an A Sign, one had to pass strict inspections by the U.S. military in terms of sanitation and facilities. Even today, there are shops in Okinawa City where their original A Sign is still displayed inside the store.
Here are three stores in Okinawa City that have their A Sign on display!
This is Koza! The oldest and most established A Sign bar on Gate 2 Street.
"Prince" is the oldest A Sign bar on Gate Street where you can experience a culture unique to Koza. The walls are covered with $1 bills signed by soldiers on their way to war, with hopes of returning safely.
Original tacos that have been loved for over 40 years.
Located on Gate 2 Street in Okinawa City, the long-established cafe "OCEAN" has their A Sign on display and an interior that allows customers to fully enjoy the atmosphere of Koza. Their popular tacos that are made with original taco shells, taco meat, and sauce still faithfully follow the recipe handed down from the previous generation. Once you try one, you will definitely want to come back for more.
Trace the history of Okinawa back to the days of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands at this long-standing hotel.
The tiled bathtubs and large beds are from the days of the A Sign period. The hallway walls are decorated with old photos of the town of Koza and other traditional crafts and items.