Learn about this craft and find a plethora of pottery items to take home!
Yomitan Pottery Village does exactly what it says on the tin. Consisting of around 45 artisans, a lot of whom make their wares from home, it’s open year round. If you love ceramics, you’ve come to the right place. There are a lot of little streets to explore, lined with houses and studios, with items at all prices, so something for all budgets. You can buy tiny tiny pots for tiny tiny flowers, or giant dishes big enough to sit a full grown adult in (please don’t though!). Everything is hand made and hand painted, so no two items are the same, which is wonderful. Each place has it’s own unique style too, from traditional to ultra modern, something to suit all tastes.
Okinawan pottery is traditionally very thick and heavy, often painted in earthen colours, however like I said, there are also a lot of modern variations. You can of course pick up Shisa Dogs here, again these vary in style, size and price. There are some wonderful traditional Shisa, as well as some quirky takes (I particularly liked the large, shaggy looking ones painted in bright blues and greens).
Although modern methods of pottery making have taken over in recent times, you can still see the old kilns, housed in a traditional barn, at the centre of the village. It’s a small history lesson as well as a shopping destination. There’s food available too, with street vendors offering up Okinawa Soba and baked Beniimo (local sweet potato, very tasty!), or, if you’re really peckish, a lovely little cafe can serve you up a hearty curry with rice or noodles. It’s sweet and delicious, and everything is served on plates from the village itself. The owner is very cheerful and welcoming, it’s almost like dining with friends. I loved it. If you’re simply thirsty, you will find vending machines dotted about to quench your thirst.
Once a year, just before Christmas, the village has a market, where all sellers offer up some of their products at discounted prices. Some of it can be at 20% or more, making it an attractive day out (or weekend, it lasts from Friday to Sunday, usually the weekend before Christmas, but this varies year to year), great for some traditional gift buying, or a way to nab that piece you had your eye on earlier in the year that your bank didn’t quite agree with!
Not much for children to do, but the village is very pretty, peaceful, and the walk round may just wear them out, so still a place ideal for a family day out.