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Encountering the Tida (Sun) and Ocean on Ukishima Dori in Naha. [Ti-da Beach] Offers One-of-a-Kind Handmade Accessories
post : 2019.03.26 06:00
The brilliant shine of the sun and the sparkling blue seas. There’s a shop whose name is overflowing with such feeling of the southern paradise that is Okinawa, offering various lovely accessories. Their name is Ti-da Beach. In the Okinawan language, Tida means the sun. Kei Nagayama, the designer, relocated to Okinawa because she loves the ocean. She and her husband, Takashi Nagayama, who’s originally from Naha City, run the shop together.
Initially, Kei started all of this as a hobby, collecting seashells that she liked as she enjoyed her day at the beach, and making her own original accessories with them. As she made more pieces, little by little, she started getting orders from her friends and acquaintances and so she decided to open up a shop to offer her creations. In the summer of 2013, she opened Ti-da Beach on Ukishima Dori, just a block from Kokusai Street at the center of Naha.
Ukishima Dori is full of specialty cafes, interesting shops selling miscellaneous goods, fashion items, and other cool establishments. When you go further along in the narrow alley, you’ll be welcomed by their charming neon sign decorated with hibiscus and palm trees.
On display inside the shop is a large shell which was given to Kei by a fisherman and has become a symbolic presence in the shop. The shop is also decorated with lots of dried flowers and lush greenery. Their pop interior is attractive, with tropical neon signs, an original sofa by Okinawa’s Hawaiian furniture shop, MARTAC, and other colorful items. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming so you can take your time looking at all their merchandise and perhaps find something you like.
The earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets and other wide range of original items are all handmade by Kei and her staff. “We make each item carefully, combining shells we collect in the waters and beaches of Okinawa, corals from the Okinawan seas, and natural stones. Because the parts and combination of the shells, coral, and stones are different, all the pieces have different designs. You’ll find something just for you here.”
The dangling earrings caught my eye, with its delicate and feminine lines. One of the characteristics in their accessories is that many of the pieces have gentle colors. The corals with beautiful colors of red and pink are especially popular. Kei tells me that during the peak tourist season, they can barely keep up with the demand.
The shop has a great selection of lovely earrings to add a touch of lively color, like the bigger sized shells that are cut to expose the beautiful inner curves, and those with the shapes of coral lined with gold. The small starfish and seahorse parts add a sweet touch to the pieces and that essence of a southern paradise.
They also offer accessories using the increasingly popular Okinawan item, the Hotaru (firefly) Glass. Hotaru Glass is a type of Tombo glass bead, made with a special technique that combines silver leaf and glass. The shine of the silver twinkles like that of fireflies, and that is how it got its name. The blue shine of the glass is just beautiful, as though the breathtaking blue of the Okinawan seas was compacted and sealed into the glass ball. The Hotaru Glass items seemed to nicely represent Okinawa’s sun and seas.
They have an original brand line called DREAM BEACH that offers key rings and earrings created by their staff, Hitomi. Hitomi dyes the cords herself, laces them, and adds conchos and turquoise stones. These have that warmth and charm of handmade goods.
If you want to arrange a piece closer to your taste, you can also ask them to change the combination of stones, parts, and charms, right there on the spot. What’s more, you can try making your own accessories in their shop, too. They said, “For those customers who are having a hard time deciding what to get, we offer them to try making something themselves. We assist in how to make them so don’t worry if you’re a complete beginner. It only takes about an hour to make. It makes us happy too, to see people creating their own one of a kind accessory during their visit, and it makes it a great keepsake to remember the trip to Okinawa.”
Ti-da Beach offers not just their own original productions, but also items from other brands that they carefully select. Like GLAMSEA, which offers items with their signature turquoise blues. PALM SEASON is another brand they sell, and they offer order-made necklaces with your name in the design. Like these, you’ll also see other accessories produced by local Okinawan accessory artists.
Kei also selects other lovely items that she finds, like candles, aroma wax, sachets and others. There’s a great selection of pottery created by painter and potter Kenichiro Kuba, offering his flower design series. Kei says, “They’re so pop and colorful and unlike any Okinawan Yachimun pottery I’ve seen before. I loved them the moment I saw them.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wear a piece of Okinawa while enjoying your trip? Ti-da Beach offers you the opportunity to do so and that’s what makes them so special. “Lately, I’ve had customers who say, ‘we just landed at Naha Airport and came straight here’. That really makes me happy. They search us in advance so that they can find accessories here that they can wear during their trip. To have our accessories to be a part of people’s precious memories of their trip here, we couldn’t ask for anything more.”
I definitely recommend a visit to Ti-da Beach to find something to accompany you on your trip in Okinawa, or as a gift for someone special. The accessories offered at Ti-da Beach have all the charms of Okinawa’s sun and seas, so drop by and find your own special piece.
Address: 1-B Chatele Matsuo, 2-2-13 Matsuo, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 12:00 to 20:00
Official Website: http://tidabeach.theshop.jp
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Norie Okabe