やちむん通り Yachimun Street
Small charming street with a pottery museum, pottery craft shops, café, nature and historical sites
“Yachimun” means pottery in Okinawan dialect, and there are all kinds of potteries made on the island from daily-use plates and cups to “Shisaa”, Okinawa version of Sphinx or Chinese guardian lions. So, if you are looking for souvenirs for yourself to use in everyday life or gifts for someone special, probably it is a good place to look for ones.
Pottery in Okinawa developed with historical backgrounds of Ryukyu Kingdom. As the kingdom was flourishing through trading with Southern Asian countries starting in 14th century, many potteries were brought back to Okinawa, which contributed to improve qualities and techniques of potteries, it is said. Then in 1616, Korean potters were invited to Ryukyu from Satsuma (current Kagoshima Prefecture) to teach Korean style techniques, and Ryukyuan man, Mr. Tentsu HIRATA, studied Chinese potteries in China and brought back their techniques to Okinawa in 1670. In 1682, Ryukyu Government gathered kilns that scattered about in different areas to one location, Tsuboya area, as a measure to improve art industry. At that time, kilns in Tsuboya area were making tributes to present to the royal government.
You can just stroll along Tsuboya Street and the back street to check out some pottery shops. Some of shops carry other hand craft items from the island. The area is perfect location for taking photo in front of charming street corners, or enjoying tea time at a cute café by imagining the area back in 400 years ago.
1. Tsuboya Museum
2. Phenu-kama Kiln (Prefectural Tangible Cultural Asset)
3. Tsuboya Pottery Street (shops, café)
4. Agarinu-ka spring
5. Arakaki-ke house and Agarinu-kama Kiln
6. Suujii-guaa (small back road)
7. Café break (Phenu-kama coffee shop, Chaya Suuji-guaa)
Time: About 1-2 hour
Admission: Tsuboya Museum, 350 JPY for adults, 200 for high school and college students, 100 JPY for children
Note 1: It can be hot to walk during day time in summer, so it is recommended to bring a bottle of water and hats, and take a break at a café.
Phenu-kama coffee shop (1-9-29 Tsuboya, Naha City, Open 1000-1900, no closed day, Tel 098-861-6404)
Cyaya Suuji-guaa (1-15-23 Tsuboya, Naha City, Open 1100-1800, Tel 070-5493-9317)
Take a stroll through a quiet flowery pottery street
“Yachimun” means pottery in Okinawan dialect. The potteries sold around the Yachimun-dori area, “Tsuboya”, are called “Tsuboya-yaki”.
Yachimun-dori is a narrow street, so when you visit here, it would be a good idea to park your car around Kokusai-dori and walk to Yachimun-dori. You can find Yachimun-dori if you go straight through Heiwa-dori, which stretches from Kokusai-dori.
Yachimun-dori is a quiet place full of nature, where pottery shops are located; it seems unbelievable that this street is also part of the Naha city considering its serene atmosphere.
Each pottery shop has its own unique style, and they sell various potteries and sculptures such as shisa objects and mugs. There are potteries that are available at an affordable price as well so you will be able to find a perfect souvenir. Some shops even have workshops where you can make your own pottery. Many people would make a shisa object at the workshop since shisas are believed to protect from some evil.
There are also pre-WWII kilns preserved in this area, so if you are interested, check it out!
Yachimun-dori also has several cafes where you can rest while having tea served in handmade pottery teacups. Having a cup of tea while viewing the hibiscus and bougainvillea flowers blooming around the street would be a blissful experience.
- * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
Other Sightseeing Spots of Okinawa
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