Since I was a little girl, it has been my dream to become a massage therapist, so I had searched the web looking for places in Oki where I could learn.  I found ALA Relaxation and gave them a call.  The owner’s name is Kaz and he has a place right by the seawall in the Sunabe area.

I have now taken both levels of massage with Kaz and am about to graduate and get my certificate from ITM Chaing Mai, Thailand, where Kaz learned Thai massage and received his teacher certification.  Anyone wanting to learn how to massage I highly recommend this course.  It’s one-on-one and very professional.  I have three children, so was worried whether I’d be able to figure out a schedule that would work for me.  But they are all so nice and understanding that I’ve been able to make my own schedule.  

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Kaz offers two levels here, each is 30 hours and you can take your time and do it over a month if need be.  Level 1 is learning how to do Thai massage from front position, meaning the client is lying on their back face up.  Level II is learning how to do Thai massage with the client on their side, belly and sitting up.  Level I class was about $1,200, which might seem pricey but it’s one-on-one and has definitely been worth it.  Level II is $300-400 more than Level I, but if you take the two together he gives a discount and it ends up being the same price as Level I.  I was able to take the class any time during the day or evening that he was open for regular business.  I believe his hours are from 1100 – 2000.  I took classes from 1230 until 1430, three days a week, since I have kids to pick up from school and run around.

In December, I am going to Thailand to the school where Kaz earned his certifications to continue my education. (Their certifications are valid in the US.)  There are many different levels to take in Chaing Mai, but you only need the first two to begin massaging, so that is all Kaz teaches here.  I feel that I know more than enough from the classes here to work as a massage therapist, but I just want to learn more!

I have also received massages from ALA and they were wonderful.  It is reasonably priced and I felt a ton better afterwards.  Thai massage is a lot of stretching and acupressure, for those that aren’t familiar with it.  Kaz also has Hot Stone Massage and Oil Massage and Hot Herbal Compress Massage on the list.  I haven’t tried those but I definitely want to.  ALA Original Massage is something Kaz designed with some Thai and some Shiatsu he learned while in NY.  I loved it and felt like jello!  The price for this and the Original Northern Thai massage is: 50 min. for 4,000 Yen,  70 min. for 6,000 Yen, and  120 min. for 9,000 Yen.  Hot Stone Massage is:  90 min. for 10,000 Yen and 120 min. for 13,000 Yen.

*All students get a nice discount on these prices when taking classes with him*

ALA Relaxation

Phone: 81 98-936-7369


Address: Japan, 〒904-0113 Okinawa Prefecture, Nakagami District, Chatan-chō, Miyagi, 北谷町宮城2-111

GPS Coordinates: 26.3270474, 127.7467302

Directions:  From Gate 1 Kadena, turn left out of the gate, then get in the far right hand lane to go toward the seawall.  When you get to the last stop light before the seawall make a right, go a little bit down and it’s on the right.  It has a green awning and banners up of massage.  It’s right next door to tall whitish/manila apartments.  Catty-corner from a cafe.


  1. I’m sorry if this is a dumb question… So I I would be able to get everything done here with ALA and don’t need to go to Thailand to get certified correct? Your going for more experience not to confirm your cert, is that correct? I would love to get trained and certified here, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get loose to head to Thailand that easy. I appreciate your story on this and it was very helpful and informative. Thank you!!!

  2. Yes, before I started I checked ITM website in Chaing Mai and it is valid for the U.S and a couple of other countries as well. You can email me at and share phone numbers and maybe even meet up so I can introduce you to the owner. Really recommend it!!! I have no regrets and am enjoying every minute I massage!

  3. Do you have any more info about how the certifications transfer to the U.S? Getting into massage therapy is something I’m really interested in (and this program sounds amazing!!), but I’m a little confused about how these courses would get you certified/licensed to practice in the states? I’d love to talk to you more about this!