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Located about 20 minutes by car from Naha Airport and marked by its bright yellow storefront, Shima no Yosooi Store is a store where you can find various items made in Okinawa, from crafts such as ceramics and glass to illustrations and food products.
Shima no Yosooi Store, a store originated from an event

In Okinawa, which has the third largest number of nationally designated traditional crafts in Japan, there are many makers with unique and distinctive approaches to their crafts. In order to connect such makers with users and also to convey the appeal of Okinawan craftsmanship to a wider audience, Masayuki Sesoko, an editor based in Okinawa, and APARTMENT OKINAWA, an Okinawa-based apparel and accessory brand, have teamed up to run a joint project called “Shima no Yosooi Project”. Later, the project started to organize an event every year where makers from Okinawa gathered, called “Shima no Yosooi Exhibition”. Since the event is only held once a year, the project decided to set up a base where people could encounter Okinawan craftsmanship at any time of the year, and opened Shima no Yosooi Store in November 2021.


The concept of the store is "a store that provides Okinawan 'craftsmanship' to adorn your daily life.” Not only selling products, but in the hopes of connecting the makers with the users and making their voices heard, the staff members try their best to visit the makers as much as possible when selecting products and ask them about their thoughts behind their creations. Information such as the thoughts of the makers and their commitment to their products is shared through the store's social media.

Products made in Okinawa that blend naturally into your daily life

The items sold at Shima no Yosooi Store are basically made in Okinawa. The shop sells not only crafts and folk art, but also cosmetics, processed foods, and other household items used in daily life.


Among the various products, the Livistona chinensis basket is one of the most popular. This is a product that can also be used as a small container. Also popular are products made on the remote islands of Okinawa, such as products from Miyako Island's Fukugi Cafe and Shop and ones made by the maker in Ishigaki Island.





Photo 1: Livistona chinensis basket  Photo 2: products made in Okinawa’s remote island

For souvenirs, Veggie Taco, made with island tofu instead of minced meat and suitable for vegans, and chili oil are highly recommended. Another is a mist spray inspired by Shima no Yosooi Store called “Hidamari”. It is made using shell ginger as a base, and was created by SunnyTime in Ishigaki Island, a brand that makes aroma products, etc. Since the items lined up in the store are mostly unique products from Okinawa, they are perfect as souvenirs.




Photo 1: Veggie Taco   Photo 2: chili oil    Photo 3: Hidamari

Cream puffs are sold at the attached parlor

The store has an attached parlor where coffee and other beverages are sold, and on Fridays and Saturdays, cream puffs are also available for purchase. The cream puffs are very carefully made, and the deliciousness of the dough stands out as you eat them.



Photo 1: the parlor   Photo 2: the cream puff

Workshops and talk events to connect makers and users

Shima no Yosooi Store offers workshops and talk events in addition to selling products at the store, in order to create a place where makers and users can connect. They announce information about events on Instagram, so make sure to check the store's social media for more information (Japanese is the only language available).

Photo: a talk event held in the past

Shima no Yosooi Exhibition, the event held every year

Shima no Yosooi Exhibition, which led to the opening of Shima no Yosooi Store, is an event that introduces "craftsmanship of Okinawa" that is filled with the passion of the makers, and it has been held every March since 2021. This year, about 60 groups of makers from the main island and remote islands of Okinawa gathered for 10 days in the first and second halves of the event. Various products were sold at the event, including folk tools, yachimun (pottery in Okinawan dialect), glass, Bingata (a dyed and woven textile in Okinawa), cosmetics, accessories, sweets, and bento boxes. In addition to the sale of products, there were also performances by Ryukyu dancers and musicians.

The main purpose of them holding the event is to let more people know about the craftsmanship of Okinawa. By making more people aware of the craftsmanship, the makers can create more actively, and their creations will enrich the lives of the people who use them. The events are planned with the hope of creating such a cycle. In addition to the event in March, they also hold pop-ups outside of the prefecture as well as outside of Japan to share Okinawa's craftsmanship with a wider audience.

From the craftsmanship of Okinawa, you will surely get a sense of the temperament of the Okinawan people and other aspects of their culture. Come and experience Okinawan craftsmanship in person at Shima no Yosooi Store and  Shima no Yosooi Exhibition, and enjoy the "uniqueness of Okinawa" firsthand.

Shima no Yosooi Store

Address: 1-329 Toyosaki, Tomigusuku, Okinawa
TEL: +81-98-987-1593
Instagram: @shimanoyosooi_project

Posted on 2023/11/22

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