Okinawan Jewelry Brands

Isetan Department Store is a major landmark in Shinjuku and known as one of the prime department stores in Japan (if not Asia) in high fashion. With that said, I look forward to the success of TILLA-EARTH, a jewelry brand from Ishigakijima. Shizuka Taira, the owner of the store, will sell his jewelry for a limited time from June 27th ~ July 17th on the first floor of Isetan. He will also set a booth at the well established Ginza Mitsukoshi (July 18th ~31st).

There are many other Okinawan jewelry brands, many simple and charming. Here’s a list of some of them (the website may not have English translations):

Grand Blue (known for rings with natural star sand in them and minsa motifs)

KAI (jewelry section of the Okinawan brand, Kaiso)

Ruca (jewelry using coral reefs)

cicafu (accessory inspired by Native American jewelry)

Grain (furniture design, but they sell rings made of Yakushima cedar)


Iejima Handuguwa (伊江島ハンドー小)

Written by Yukou Majikina (真境名由康),Iejima Handuguwa (伊江島ハンドー小)is an Okinawan play considered as one of the three tragic love stories of Okinawa along with Okuyama no Botan (奥山の牡丹) and Toumaiahkah (泊阿嘉).

The story takes place 180 years ago in Iejima. A deputy landlord’s son, Kanah-hee, traveled to Hentona in mainland Okinawa where he falls in love with a beautiful girl named Handuguwa. However, Kanah-hee’s uncle forces him back to Iejima, splitting the two. Depressed and unable to forget Kanah-hee, Handuguwa travels to Iejima, but a boatman on board warns Handuguwa not to go and looks after her. Continue reading


Founded as a part of Discover Okinawa Promotion Project for Island Tourism, DOR39 collects and displays photos, videos, and other media from voluntary participants with the purpose of sharing their island experiences and bringing more visitors to 39 islands off of Okinawa. For more information, here’s an article from Ryukyu Shimpo in English:

Tonaki Island footlights win Public Design Award

The Japan Urban Design Institute recognized the Village Road Route 1 footlights of Tonaki Island with the Block Division Prize of the 1st Public Design Award.

According to an article in Okinawa Times, the village first started to set footlights from 2000 to 2005. The 152 lights along the 765 meter long road create a magical atmosphere, illuminating the coral stone walls and Okianwan red-tiled roofs under the starry sky. Tourists who stay in the traditional houses can enjoy the nature safely at night, thanks to the hearty footlights. Continue reading

Tea at Shurijo Castle

Okinawa tea and sweets

Okinawan Tea and sweets for just 300 yen in the “Sasuno-ma” (a room used by princes to host meetings with government officials) at Shurijo Castle. The participants are first escorted into the room with the view of a beautiful garden built with Ryukyu limestones. This garden is not only outstanding, but is also the one and only garden amongst the gusukus in Okinawa. After an explanation about the history of Shurijo Castle and what they’re serving, the servers then bring sanpin (jasmine) tea with Okinawan sweets. The Tsuboyayaki cup, Okinawan lacquered saucer and tray along with the serene atmosphere become essential in creating a gracious moment in your visit to the Shurijo Castle.

Location: Sasuno-ma in Shurijo Castle (15 minute walk from the Yui Monorail Shurijo Castle Station)
Hours: 9:30 ~18:00 (Last Order at 17:30)
Price: 300 yen (* separate from the 800 yen admission fee to Shurijo Castle)

Ishigaki Island web site

I’m a British guy who has moved to the island of Ishigaki with my Japanese
wife. I’m currently building a website about the island. I’ve only been
doing it for a couple of months so far, but so far it’s progressing quite
well. –Richard

Ishigaki island is part of the Yaeyama archipelago and its city is the southernmost of all cities in Japan. Despite being part of the prefecture of Okinawa, Ishigaki city is located 411km from its capital, Naha city.