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Okinawa’s American Village

Those in Okinawa looking for an “authentic” American experience will often head to American Village, in Chatan, central Okinawa. As an American, it was interesting to see how Americana has manifested in Okinawa. Of course, the themed shopping district caters heavily to the US military personnel that occupy a large portion of the island.

The SKYMAX 60, located on the third floor of Carnival Park, is the largest and most recognizable landmark in American Village…it’s also the only Ferris Wheel in Okinawa.

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To the right of this tiny bridge are a variety of touristy shops and eateries.

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We ended up at a place called Taco Loco…because of course we would. I had my first taste of the famed (or notorious) Okinawan Taco Rice. To understand the origin of the Taco Rice, you must watch Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, Okinawa, Season 6, Episode 3.

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They sold habu shots here…habu is a particularly venomous snake and they are found throughout the Ryukyu Islands…even in the alcohol! See the snake?

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Hawaii is everywhere in Japan (and Okinawa)…can you spot the Hawaii connection in this photo?

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Pirates front this shop…not so American. Or, maybe they were referring to the Pirates of Silicon Valley?

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Inside I found KISS posters. Very American.

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And then the American trifecta…a Red Lobster, Tony Roma’s, and Starbucks.

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American Village…where your American Dreams can all come true…or something like that.

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.