A stroll down Yachimun-dori, also known as “Pottery Street,” is a walk through the rich history and culture of Okinawa’s celebrated pottery. Its distinctive charm and its significance in preserving Okinawa’s unique pottery traditions make it a popular destination for pottery and history lovers. Follow this guide to see what you can expect when you visit this culturally vibrant neighborhood located in the heart of Naha.
Yachimun-dori is renowned for its pottery, with a focus on traditional Okinawan ceramics known as “yachimun.” As you stroll along the street, you’ll encounter numerous shops, studios and galleries showcasing an array of beautifully crafted pottery items. From intricately designed shisa (guardian lions) to sake vessels, teapots, plates and decorative pieces, you’ll find an impressive selection of local craftsmanship.
If you visit the main store of Tsuboya Ikutouen, you will be able to find hand-crafted tableware, glasses and shisa that were made using methods that have been passed down for six generations. Ikutouen operates many cafes, workshops and pottery shops in the area, so make sure to visit at least one of them to see the true craftsmanship of Okinawan pottery makers. You can even try making your own shisa at one of their workshops.
The streets of Yachimun-dori are lined with charming, low-rise red-tiled buildings housing pottery shops like Ikutouen’s main shop. Most of these shops have been family-owned and operated for generations, contributing to the district’s sense of history and tradition. You will fall in love with the quaint storefronts and the welcoming atmosphere as you stroll through the pleasant neighborhood.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted local souvenir, then you will find plenty of options at Yachimun-dori. Whether it’s a shisa to guard your home or a set of tableware to give to a loved one, the variety and quality of the pottery available make it easy to find something special.
The district’s architecture, ambiance and pottery production are deeply intertwined with Okinawa’s cultural heritage. Yachimun-dori is not just a commercial area, but a symbol of Okinawa’s history and customs. While visiting, take some time to appreciate the cultural significance of the pottery and the stories behind the art.
Okinawan pottery is everywhere in Yachimun-dori, even buried into the walls of the buildings on the sides of the street. When you spot details like this, it makes you appreciate the beauty and generations-long history of this local craft.
You may find some local cats while walking through the peaceful streets of Yachimun-dori. It is much less crowded and bustling than the more-touristy areas like Kokusai-dori, making it a hub for friendly street cats like this one, who is drinking from its own Okinawan pottery bowl.
During your stay at ESTINATE HOTEL NAHA, take some time to visit one of Okinawa’s most culturally and artistically-rich neighborhoods to gain an appreciation of the craftsmanship, history and traditions that has endured for generations. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff or simply looking for authentic souvenirs, Yachimun-dori will meet all of your expectations.
If you’re interested in staying at ESTINATE HOTEL NAHA, click the button below!