Shisa Shopping

Editor’s Note: We have a new article (published January 2015) focusing exclusively on Yomitan Pottery Village. Click here to read the new post on Yomitan Pottery Village.

CONTRIBUTED BY KAHO

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In Okinawa, you see a pair of shisa sitting at a gate, outside of an entrance, or sometimes on a roof.  They are the protection charm of the house.  One that has a mouth open is a male shisa and the other with a mouth closed is a female.  The male is supposed to be on the right side when you are facing them.

So, where can you find them?  There are many places that you can find shisa, but here I would like to introduce two places.

YACHIMUN NO SATO (Yomitan Pottery Village)

This is a second store on the left as you enter the Yachimun no sato.  We bought some potteries here and the store keepers were nice, so I took some pictures of the store.
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There is a restaurant right next to the second store on your left.  I think that this restaurant is attached to the store.  It’s a cute little restaurant that serves some Okinawan and western dishes.  How about some coffee after you took a walk in Yachimun no Sato?
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This is a climbing kiln.  You find it towards the end of the loop of Yachimun no Sato (if you walk the same route as we do!  :)).
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This is one of my favorite stores.  This store is located behind the Okinawan glass factory.  It’s called “Utsuwa Ya”, which means a store of dishes.
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My husband and I like taking our guests to Yachimun no Sato.  It’s a fun place to walk around and they might find something that they like to bring home as souvenir.

Hours

Directions
From Naha, head north on Highway 58 towards Nago. Keep left and continue through Kadena Circle on Highway 58. Turn left on Route 12 at the Kina crossroad. Look for a small sign saying “Village of Potters” in English. Turn right and follow the paved road to the left.
Copied from www.okinawaindex.com.

YOMITAN VILLAGE JOINT SALE CENTER

This is a store where you can find potteries made by various artists who live in Yomitan Village.  It’s located right on Highway 58.  It’s close to Yachimun no Sato.  Why don’t you stop by here after you toured Yachimun no Sato?

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There is a very nice soba restaurant attached to the store.  I had a typical Okinawan soba (noodle) dish and it was very good!  I recommend this restaurant for those who are traveling to the north.  Good place to stop by to eat and shop!

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Directions
Drive north of Highway 58.  Pass the Kina Junction with Route 12.  Keep driving a little longer.  The center will show up on your left.  You will see those two shisa sitting outside of the building from Highway 58.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. We were in Okinawa 1995-98 & loved this shop. Now retired & settled near St. Louis & would like to get a set of large shisa for the entry to our home. Anyone there who would be able to shop & ship for us? We would of course pay your costs for time & travel, & treat you to a bowl of soba @ the restaurant.

    • Hi Laura, did you find someone to help you out yet? I’m going to make a trip up there in the next few days, let me know if I can lend you a hand. We pcs back to the us next month, so I’m checking all my shopping trips off my bucket list.

  2. I am looking for the replacement cost of a pair of the largest grey-brown shisa that our movers damaged. I don’t have a receipt and need to file a claim. I bought them here and see them still for sale in their photos. Can anyone tell me how much they sell for?

  3. Visited this quaint village today and found that it is one of the neatest places I’ve found thus far in Okinawa! I had a wonderful time browsing through the beautiful pottery and enjoying the village atmosphere. Yomitan Village is a must see & visit! The store owners were very friendly and most prices were reasonable.

  4. I went to the website and saw that the holiday for them is from December 29 till January 3. I imagine they will open the stores for the tourists during the Golden Week as it is one of the busiest tourist season. The hours is 9:00 to 18:00. It makes me nostalgic to see the photos on the websites for Yomitan Village. Happy Shopping!!

  5. Does anyone know the hours? Is it open during Golden Week? I’d like to head up today but don’t know if I’d be wasting my time. Thanks!

  6. No, not at all. Good question. Unfortunately, they only accept cash in YEN, I believe. I doubt that they would accept credit card. I don’t know if there is any ATM nearby. It’s safe to bring yen on you to shop at a small local places.

  7. Great post Kaho! Thanks for all of this fantastic information. You’re timing is perfect. I was just thinking that I’d like to take my mother-in-law to the glass factory and the pottery stores would be a great stop too. You just saved me from having to search on the internet for directions.

    My mother-in-law loved Ufuya by the way. Thanks so much again!

  8. I love Okinawan pottery and my favorite place to buy it is the Joint Sale Center. I love walking around the Yomitan pottery village for the atmosphere and Tsuboya too. But, to actually purchase it, I prefer this place. It’s got all the different artists’ work under one roof. And the prices are good too.

  9. This looks so great and I’m going to add this to my list of to dos when I am on Okinawa in July. Do you know if they ship? Robin

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