This is probably the most expensive restaurant on the island, but it was well worth the money! The food was phenomenal and the experience was beautiful. I highly recommend getting the Ishigaki steak – it was so melt-in-your-mouth good. Although all the steaks there were cooked to perfection and way better than your regular steakhouse stuff!
Yomitan Pottery Village is quaint a community of artisan potters and glass blowers – you can wander around just admiring everything from huge glass pieces to cups, teapots, plates, and of course shisas (guardian dog/lion statutes, often found in pairs, that are placed on rooftops or outside doorways and gates in Okinawa to ward of evil spirits).
According to some websites, you can even take glass blowing or pottery classes if you ask the potters.
The friends we were visiting live just around the corner from Yomitan Pottery Village (also known as Yachimun no Sato), and so we turned up on a cold windy and slightly wet day!
Where is Yomitan Pottery Village?
The address on Tripadvisor is: Address: 2653-1 Zakimi, Nakagami-gun, Yomitan-son 904-0301, Okinawa Prefecture
But, here’s the Google Maps location:
Should you visit Yomitan Pottery Village?
This area is beautiful to walk around – each potter has their own home decked out with their wares and there’s a large glassworks studio as well. It’s not a huge area, so you can walk around it pretty quickly. If you like artsy things or want to buy some souvenirs, then this is definitely worth a visit!
There’a a very artsy feel to the village – one place even had an old bus that they used for storage:
Glass Blowing at Yomitan Pottery Village
I loved the glassworks place – we parked in the parking lot, which was right next to the glassworks studio. There was everything from function pieces like salad bowls and plates to decorative art pieces. Plus there’s a large structure near the road where you can see people do the glass blowing.
Even the outside of the glassworks studio is decorated with colorful glass.
Photographs of Shisas
Shisas are highly popular in Okinawa – in fact, it’s near impossible to not see them everywhere! I really loved how many different designs there were of them, and the photos below are just a few of the shisa designs I saw at the Yomitan Pottery Village.
Hamazushi is a popular sushi chain restaurant – all the sushi is 100 yen (which is under a dollar with the current exchange rate). Okinawahai wrote a post about the Gushikawa branch of Hamazushi near the Kadena base. Location: Yomitan-son Nakagami-gun, Okinawa, Japan Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Phone: 098-979-2870
This is like a massive sushi boat – you can order food on the screens at your table or take food directly off the conveyor belt that’s going around. Then they come at the end and count the number of plates you have (different plates are different prices).
If you’re looking for cheap sushi, then this is the place! It’s pretty big, but it can still get crowded at peak meal times – the wait goes pretty quickly though. Don’t expect amazing quality (but it’s still better than most sushi you’ll find in the US).
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a Japanese curry place – before arriving at Dechibica, I had pictured the ugly brown curries I had seen at some of the Japanese fast food curry places. But Dechibica was nothing like that.
This was a gourmet experience for the tummy and for the eyes – the presentation was so beautiful I barely wanted to eat it!
During our stay with our friends in Okinawa, we took a trip via ferry from the main island to Ie Island (Ie-jima) one day. It was a bit of a rainy day, but the clouds made for some interesting photos. The beaches were also beautiful (just take a look at the photos below!). Continue Reading
Mihama American Village is a really amusing shopping mall located in the town of Chatan very close to the American Kadena Air Base. Although it’s called American Village, it’s probably more fun for Japanese visitors than Americans. As my friends explained, it’s almost like the Japanese romanticized version of what they envision American outdoor malls to be like (i.e., it has some American shops). Continue Reading
The first time I went to Japan, I was 16 or 17 and living in England at the time. Back then, the thought of eating raw fish was both terrifying and disgusting, not to mention expensive!
I’d love to say I’m older and wiser now, but really all I can admit to is having a slightly better palate. And luckily, I now love sushi and sashimi, although I have to admit that I never realized just how good sashimi could be until I visited Japan again a few months ago.
The food was surprising Paleo most places (I did have to avoid the noodle bars – sorry Laura, Nicole!), although trying to ask anyone for gluten free was really tough. I managed it at one high-end teppanyaki restaurant, and they went to huge trouble to make sure my food was cooked without any sauces and away from the other food.
Perhaps what I loved most about Japan was its serene beauty, and the cherry blossoms in Kyoto exemplified just that. I just wanted to keep photographing them in an attempt to capture that essence.
The best place I found to admire the cherry blossoms was in the grounds of the Ryōan-ji (The Temple of the Dragon at Peace). There is a famous zen rock garden inside the temple grounds (which you have to pay a fee to enter), but the cherry blossoms are in the large grounds outside of the rock garden and is free to enter. In fact, most of the photos in the slideshow below were taken there.