Central Okinawa Main Island
On the Central Okinawa Main Island, a wide variety of coexisting cultures from traditional crafts and music to American culture can be enjoyed. For example, Yomitan is famous for its pottery, and there are many workshops creating unique pottery such Yomitan Tsuboya-style pottery, Yomitan Yama pottery, and Yomitan Yama pottery Kita Kiln. On the other hand, Koza/Uruma is heavily influenced by overseas cultures and is home to a unique form of Okinawan music created by blending the essence of western-style music with traditional Okinawan folk music. Meanwhile, Chatan is reminiscent of the west coast of the U.S. and is crowded with many people out shopping and eating while strolling among the shops, etc.
Yomitan with its pastoral scenes is known as “Yachimun no sato” (Village of Pottery, Yachimun means pottery in the Okinawan dialect) as many craftsmen own and manage their own pottery workshops here. An idyllic feature is the allure of the pottery created by pottery workshops including Yomitan Tsuboya-style pottery, Yomitan Yama pottery, and Yomitan Yama pottery Kita Kiln. You can thoroughly feel the warmth of the hand-made pottery in the many galleries and cafes around the neighboring vicinity of the pottery workshops. In Cape Zampa, a famous spot for sunsets, there is a series of 30m high cliffs from where you can enjoy the remarkable contrast between the white lighthouse and the blue sea. There are also restaurants and a park for enjoying outdoor barbecues in the area.
Koza / Uruma
Okinawa City, near the gates of Kadena Air Base, which is a U.S. military base, is also known by its previous moniker of “Koza”. The many arriving and departing visitors in this international city from around the world including the U.S. have given birth to the “the Chanpuru culture” (Chanpuru means “mix” in the Okinawan dialect), a combination of Okinawan and overseas cultures coexisting together. “Okinawan pop”, which fuses Okinawan folk music with various musical elements such as rock, Latin, and the blues, is representative of “the Chanpuru culture”. Uruma City, next to Okinawa City, has the longest Kaichu-doro, the “Road Through the Sea”, in the East. Feel the exceptional exhilaration of driving the 4.75km road over the sea.
Chatan with its fashionable shops is a popular area among young people. Mihama American Village and its American east coast theme is the heart of shopping and entertainment in this area and many casual clothing stores, Okinawan restaurants, and a 60m high Ferris wheel can be found here. You can easily spend the entire day in this area without running out of things to do. Notable are the live concerts at night beneath the romantic lights of the Ferris wheel. In Sunset Beach adjacent to Mihama American Village, you can find many young people enjoying outdoor barbecues, families relaxing under the shadow of the trees, and people having a great time at the beach in their own way.