Okinawa Pottery Street

Follow the footsteps of 16th Century artisans

By Bonson Lam    - 1 min read

Okinawa’s story is the story of baked goods. Not roast pork or pastries, but of ceramics, like the famous red roof tiles that grace the palaces and the everyman’s houses all throughout the archipelago.

Yachimun Street in Tsuboya is the go to place for pottery, ever since the Ryukyu king gathered the very best potters from around the kingdom in 1682 in one place. In fact the very word Yachimun means pottery in the local dialect. Located between the hilltop castle at Shuri and the port in Naha, it has kept its historical charm, its pedestrian friendly scale allowing tourists and locals alike to stroll its single laneway, taking in both traditional and modern variants of Okinawa pottery.

The Mingei or folk art movement is strong here, with the younger generation taking on the reins in stores like Utsuwa, where pendants and other jewellery along with teapots vie for your attention. Further on, it is time for tea, Buku buku bubble tea that is. Originally served in the 16th century to welcome foreign envoys, it is a perfect way to end a day in the warmth of the Okinawan sun.

Getting there

Get off at Makishi Monorail station and walk west on Kokusai Street. Turn south on Tebusu Naha and head towards the Hyatt Regency Okinawa. From there take the limestone lane way and follow the winding lane, heading south east.

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Bonson Lam

Bonson Lam @bonson.lam

I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric lane ways of Kyoto last century. From the skies above Sapporo to the old charm of Naha's alleyways, I have been enchanted by the beauty and variety on every island. I am humbled to have met many distinguished people in my role as Regional Partner, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperial Family. From sushi cooking classes to Ninja training grounds I welcome your ideas on what you like from Please visit us in Kyoto or Osaka and have some green tea or sake with us.