Mihama American Village
CONTRIBUTED BY LOUISE DUPUY
American Village is a hugely popular tourist attraction. A short drive off Highway 58, between Camp Foster and Kadena Air Base, and across from Camp Lester, it’s a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. But what does it have to offer? Rather a lot, as you’re about to discover.
Who doesn’t love to shop? There’s quite a variety here, including clothing, gifts, kids toys, perfume, accessories, and even hover boards, if that’s your thing. All the buildings have facades, brightly coloured, and the place has a kind of “Pirates Of The Caribbean” feel. There’s a huge store selling everything Americana, though this is aimed at tourists, so it’s maybe a little cheesy? However, they still have some splendid stuff. I like the old licence plates particularly, and some of the quirky cool t-shirts. It would be a neat place to shop if you were theming a room.
Across from Depot Island (the area housing the Americana store, plus other shops and eateries), is a multilevel shopping centre. It has a 100 yen shop, a tax free shop, some gift places, a few clothing stores, and a quirky Japanese-style sells everything type place. It’s called Honey, second floor, and it’s worth at least a slice of your time. I love all the cat-themed items they carry! A short walk down from Depot Island, behind the multiplex, is a large Aeon Mall. You could spend a good few hours in here alone.
All that shopping is bound to work up quite an appetite. Luckily, there’s a plethora of eateries to satiate! What do you fancy? Japanese? American? Mexican? Thai? Indian? You’re covered. It’s all here. There are also cafes and dessert places, in case you’re peckish but not ravishing.
To find a full listing of restaurants we have reviews about in American Village, check out our To Eat Index: By Location.
Two of my favourites are Bollywood Dreams and Jetta Burger. Bollywood Dreams deals in Indian food. If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out! Mostly curry based, Indian food is rich and full of flavour. Bollywood Dreams has some good lunch sets, and for a reasonable price (from 1,080 yen), it’s a smart way to dip your toes in the Indian food pool!
Jetta Burger offers a mix of Mexican and American, with several varieties of the Okinawan favourite: taco rice, but also has tacos and burgers on the menu. The restaurant feels like a street market, the food is divine and the drinks menu is extensive. I particularly love the matcha (green tea) smoothie. It has caramel in it, a heavenly combo!
Have kids (or an adult) to wear out? American Village isn’t just about food and shopping. There are two arcades: Sega and Dragon Palace. Dragon Palace is multilevel, plenty of running up and down will soon tire them out! A big variety of games will hold their attention too. Sega is also pretty big, and has a similar selection to Dragon Palace.
There’s also bowling, and of course, the Ferris wheel. You can ride this day or night (weather permitting), and get a spectacular view of the area. If your idea of entertainment is being pampered, you can find nail bars and salons here. Get your nails done, a new do, and grab a coffee and a slice of cake at a cafe! Perfect! Another option is the movie theatre, a stone’s throw from Depot Island. Do you love to sing? Test out your vocal chords at the karaoke! Delight (or horrify) with a rendition of your favourite song.
On any given night you may discover a local band playing in the plaza between the Ferris wheel building and Depot Island. Grab a cup of Starbucks or a cup of fro-yo and enjoy! This is a fun activity for all members of your family… and it’s free!
Parking isn’t too bad. There’s Mihama public parking across from the Aeon Mall, a small amount of parking behind Depot Island, and another fair-sized lot in front of the Sega arcade. It gets really busy on weekends and special holidays, but for the most part you can usually find somewhere to park. And it’s free, another bonus.
Life’s A Beach
Just when you thought there wasn’t more to do here, surprise! There’s a beach too! Sunset beach Mihama is barely a 2 minute walk from the main hustle and bustle. It’s a fair size, with soft, lemon-yellow sand, and crystal clear waters. If anyone has ever told you “you’re never too far from a beach on Okinawa”, they weren’t exaggerating. As the name suggests, this is a wonderful spot to watch the setting sun. So after a long day of shopping, eating, and beating your loved ones at various arcade games, you can relax on the beach, feet in the ocean, until it’s time to catch a movie. Perfect.
Mihama American Village
Address: Japan, 〒904-0115 Okinawa Prefecture, Nakagami District, 北谷町１５−６９
Google Maps Coordinates: 26.315851, 127.7576689
Directions: American Village is located in Mihama, just off 58. From Kadena Gate 1, take a left onto 58. Take a right at the 5th light; Four Seasons Steakhouse will be on your right. From Camp Foster Commissary Gate gate a left onto 58; take a left at the 6th light. A Lawson’s Station will be on your left.