Before Shuri, Urasoe was the economic and cultural center of the Ryukyu Islands and still hosts a multitude of historic and cultural artifacts. The museum specializes in displaying exquisite pieces of Ryukyu lacquer ware and pottery, heavily influenced by trade with China. If you feel inspired to create, contact the museum to find out more about their pottery and wood carving classes. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Located just outside Kadena Gate 2 at the Kadena Airbase in Okinawa City, 7th Heaven Koza provides the area with its fix of hard, punk and alternative rock. Find a seat at the bar or one of the tables, or see your favorite artists up close from the standing space right in front of the stage. Headliners here include Mursaki and 8Ball, though DJs also spin house and reggae on occasion. The venue is only open on the weekends, so be sure to check the website if you plan to visit on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The cover charge generally includes a drink.
With the American Village's Ferris wheel in the background, Live House MOD's is an unassuming venue dedicated to musicians and their fans. Whether it's an amateur or professional on the stage, the acoustic sets will appeal to any music lover. The venue also hosts comedians and occasionally has free admission nights, so be sure to check the website for schedules and prices.
Owner Hidefumi Kamura plays the piano at this jazz bar, frequently mixing it up with guest performers. Though the musical menu is generally standard jazz, you never know when the musicians will catch some inspiration and start improvising late into the wee hours of the morning. Unlike the other bars in Naha City, this venue serves borscht alongside the usual Orion beer.
Located on the first floor of a distillery in Itoman City, awamori (alcohol distilled from Thai rice) connoisseurs will enjoy seeing how this Okinawan spirit is made. The first floor is a shop where visitors can taste and buy the various kinds of awamori, while the second floor displays the historic and modern tools of the trade. Drivers and minors are kindly asked not to partake in the sampling.
Musica's lighthearted quality makes for a relaxing setting after stressful day at work, and on Wednesdays, stand-up comedy sets will help you forget your troubles. Because of the great acoustics, live performances and public reading nights draw large crowds into this stylish bar. On nights when there aren't any live performances, the drinks, food and conversation still make for a great time. Check the websites for performer biographies and set schedules. Opening times may vary depending on the events.
Facing Sunset Beach near the American Village, Entertainment Pub Restaurant Karahaai lives up to its name, with lively performances featuring Tink Tink and the famous Rinken band paired with freshly prepared food and creative cocktails. Both groups perform traditional Okinawan music while wearing bingata (a colorful dyeing technique) costumes. The Fenutin restaurant, by the same owner as Karahaai, is right next door. People who prefer a quieter meal can reserve a table or private room. Reservations can be made through the website.
The stage dominates the venue here, with two floors of seating all focused on the performers. The venue hosts comedians, professional and amateur rock groups as well as wedding receptions. All-you-can-eat or drink menus are also available, making this the perfect spot to hang out with a group of friends. Opening hours vary according the schedule, so check the website for details.