Okinawa Tourism Information:SelectShopKayakYaeyamaWorkshophasavarietyofquality,attractivegoodsofOkinawa.

Select Shop Kayak Yaeyama Workshop has a variety of quality, attractive goods of Okinawa.

post : 2015.05.11 19:00

Kayak is one of many sundry shops lined up on a street in the downtown of Ishigaki Island.

Since its opening two years ago, the shop has been offering varieties of lovely items of good quality, which are created by local people of Okinawa, mainly people who live in Yaeyama Islands, such as glass ware, potteries, accessories, original T-shirts, etc.

An art director, Mr. Isao Koseki, who has been selecting sophisticated items, and the owner, Mr. Shinji Sonoda have loved Ishigaki so much that they had visited Ishigaki Island many times a year before moving to the island.

The Owner, Shinji Sonoda-san

Between their busy everyday lives in urban areas, they had a small break on Ishigaki Island.  The abundant nature and the time that slowly goes by on the island soothed their minds and their bodies.  They thought it was their turn to introduce charms of Yaeyama to many people, in gratitude for the island.

Importantly, all the items found in Kayak are something you can wear or use for everyday life.  It is because that they would like you to remember the islands even when you return to your ordinary lives.

In addition to that, Kayak offers many items which are not found in any other shops.  They find budding artists to introduce excellent items that shows charms of the islands.

Brilliant glass ware reminds you of the sea and the sun of the island.  These are made by Ponte-san, who is the only one glass ware artist on Ishigaki Island.

The round form of pierced earing are so cute.

As for yachimun (an Okinawan word meaning pottery), they have a variety of crafts made by artists from Ishigaki Island, Yonaguni Island, and mainland Okinawa.  Also, Koseki-san designs Kayak original items and creates potteries in collaboration with artists, which can be found only here. 

Lacquerware in Okinawa?  You might be attracted to it for its unexpectedness.  The lacquerwares are made by Lacquerware Studio UNO in the northern part of Ishigaki Island.  Some are made by using island trees including yarabu (Alexandrian laurel) and some are made by fixing about-100-year-old lacquerware with his unique technique. 

Lacquerware Studio UNO runs an Italian restaurant “Forestale Uno” in the Nosoko Sakae community, and you can savor pasta and pizza on lacquerware that Uno-san made.

Beekeeping has been increasing in Yaeyama in the past several years.  Bees collect fresh honey from flowers on the island with abundant nature.  “Ishigaki-jima Honey” is an excellent item, additive-free and non-heated.  The honey is sold only on Ishigaki Island, and honey soap, honey balm,etc. are also sold. 

The shop has pouches and gamaguchi (coin purse with a metal snap frame) made by bingata (resist dyed cloth) artist of Ishigaki Island, Ms. Fumie Kyoda and a fukugi (Common garcinia) dyeing artists, Sakai Ai-san sisters.  The colors are amazingly beautiful, and they feel really nice.

KAYAK original T-shirts using motifs of things found on the island such as a banyan tree, a water buffalo, etc. are designed by Koseki-san, who has been inspired by Yaeyama and Okinawa.  Baskets and sandals handmade by a local elderly gentleman, using leaves of adan (screw pine).  He uses a colorful African style to make these T-shirts KAYAK original items.

Sonoda-san never forgets to give helpful advice for travel to his customers.  From the conversation with his customers at the cashier, he finds and gives information on what the customers need or what they will like. 

“Hoping that their precious trips to Yaeyama will be wonderful memories, I would like to keep delivering fresh information only the local can provide,” he said.

They would like all his customers to think that they are glad they visited KAYAK.  The shop has full of hospitality, and they have passion to introduce objects, things, and places fostered by the islanders. 

Please stop by Kayak in the downtown of Ishigaki.

Kayak Yaeyama Workshop

Address: the second shop from the south, 270-1, Okawa, Ishigaki City, Okinawa
TEL: 0980-87-5696
Opening Hours: 10:00~21:00
Opens 365 days a year
Website: http://www.kayak8.co.jp/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/kayak.ishigaki

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Shimaai Plantation, A Slow, Serious Indigo Dyeing Workshop on Ishigaki Island
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Okinawa CLIP Phot Writer  Masumi Sasamoto

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