In the Yamazato area of Motobu Town in the northern area of Okinawa’s main island, characterized by the only karst geological formations in Japan. These formations are found in tropical to subtropical areas in warm humid areas. This craggy area is said to be around 200 million years old.
It is in this mountain also called the “Motobu Fuji” that Nanban Kiln and Café Aun are located.
Together, ceramic artist, Choichi Yonaha, his wife and his daughter, pastry chef Naoko runs the dual family businesses of gallery and café. You can enjoy the view of Motobu gulf from the café surrounded by Ryukyu pine trees and local ferns called Hego.
Choichi’s pottery can be seen on the tables in the café. These pieces, made without glaze are called “arayachi” in the Okinawan dialect. His wife grows and picks out flowers for the tables. Flowers add to the beauty of the ceramic pieces. Oil paintings on the wall are by artist Taichi Yonaha, Choichi’s nephew. They add even more color to the café space.
You can sample the café’s tasty offerings, such as homemade curry, grilled curry and pizzas while viewing the gallery’s art pieces.
Freshly made hot pizza has lots of ingredients, and is quite rich. Takeout is also available.
Pastry chef Naoko’s handmade sweets go great with her organic coffee, brewed one cup at a time with a siphon method. Of course, all of the dishes used are made by Choichi.
This regular customer, says that some of his favorite moments are spent at this seat eating zenzai and chatting. The way Taichi’s painting (hanging on the wall) changes in appearance depending on the time of day is very cool.
You can see more of Choichi’s Yachimun ceramic works and Taichi’s paintings at the gallery next door to the café.
Choichi’s works, ranging from traditional shisa, urns, flower vases and dishes are unique and striking in their subtle yet powerful design.
Spread out before the terrace is the mountainous karst and a view of the sea beyond Motobu. It is the same scene as Taichi’s painting on the wall.
Why not take some time to relax in a world of clay, warmth and color in the in the heart of Yanbaru’s karst. Come to this place for a dose of grown up relaxation and art. Take in a breath of nature.
Motobu Nanbangama/Café Aun
Address: 433 Yamazato, Motobu Town, Okinawa
Hours: 10:00-19:00 (10:00-18:00 Oct.- March)
Obon and New Years Day
*Artworks are sold at the gallery