Okinawa’s American Village Themed Area In Chatan

The area in Chatan, Okinawa is known as American Village is an entertainment complex for the residents to experience an American-themed shopping and dining experience.

The history of Chatan’s American Village

The town of Chatan is in the central part of Okinawa Island. It’s on the west coast of the island and right on the East China Sea. Dating back to World War II, the United States military has covered a little more than half of the area with bases. These bases mean there are a lot of Americans and their families that live there. 

American Village was built in 1998 and was modeled after the American west coast. Built to have the same look like a San Diego shopping mall on a  street with palm trees and brick streets, it has expanded over the years. 

There are two hotels, a nightclub, an area for restaurants, an area for shopping, a bowling alley, and a theater complex.

You can shop for souvenirs and listen to concerts and even spend time shopping for the latest clothing fashions.

This village serves as a nostalgic place for Americans to go that feels a bit like home and can make others feel like they are visiting the States.

Depot Island

Depot Island has several restaurants, shops, and cafes and is the main hub of Mihama American Village. Depot Island is a big, labyrinthine shopping area that contains five buildings. The buildings are lettered A, B, C, D, and E.

Depot Island At American Village With Western Styled Buildings

The Views

The views in the American village are spectacular and to get an even better view you can take a ride on the Ferris wheel and check out the views from there.

Whether it’s day or night, the view of the beach and especially when it’s lit up at night is a sight to see from the Ferris wheel. The twinkling lights below are truly magical.

The Ferris wheel is 196 feet high and it’s also amazing to see when lit up at night. 

SKYMAX 60 Ferris Wheel

The Ferris Wheel

The Ferris wheel is called SKYMAX 60. It’s hard to miss as it stands 60 meters or 196 feet high and is located on the third floor of Carnival Park.

Official Website Of The American Village And The Ferris Wheel

Sunset Beach

There’s a reason the beach is named sunset beach; because it’s a great place to see a sunset. Facing west, you couldn’t ask for a better view when the sun goes down. 

It also has shallow water and soft sand for walking and playing along the beach with the entire family. Swim the day away on the beach and enjoy the sunset at the end of your day. 

Chatan Park Sunset Beach Official Website

Great Location To Watch The Sunset At Sunset Beach Chatan American Village Okinawa

Restaurants 

With so many restaurants to choose from, which one should you pick? 

While many are American restaurants, there are also some Japanese restaurants to choose from and other types of cuisine as well, such as Indian, South American, Thai, and Italian. 

Restaurants In American Village Via Tripadvisor

There’s also great craft beer from local breweries as well, such as Okinawa Brewing Company and Chatan Harbor Brewery. There are some beers from American breweries too.

Chatan Harbor Brewery And Restaurant

Bollywood Jewel is an Indian restaurant. This award-winning restaurant opened in 2017 and features traditional Indian dishes and a feel of the Indian movie industry.

Bollywood Jewel Official Website

For a traditional Okinawan-style dinner, Rinken’s Kitchen is a relaxing environment to eat delicious Japanese food.

Rinken’s Kitchen Chatan Official Website

For an American-style sports grill complete with large screen televisions, go to Cheers Bar and enjoy what are said to be the best wings you’ll ever eat.

Cheers Bar Via Tripadvisor

If you’d like to go to an American-style restaurant and to feel like you’re back in the 80s, go to Steakhouse 88 for a steak, salad bar, and some Blue Seal ice cream to round out the dinner.

Steakhouse 88 Official Site Chatan

If you’d like to go back even further in time, Sunrise is a retro 50s style American diner. Their specialty is the Philly cheesesteak served with a friendly attitude.

For a casual Mexican meal with vegetarian and vegan options, go to Tacos and Coffee. Featuring a salsa bar and free wifi, they have lattes as well as alcoholic beverages.

Tacos And Coffee Official Website

Shopping 

If shopping interests you, there’s plenty to be found. 

There are some local shops with Japanese and western-style clothing and home fashions. 

Then there’s AEON, a mall which is opposite the Ferris wheel, where you can find pretty much anything you would need.

Aeon Mall Chatan Okinawa

Spread out over four floors, there are restaurants, a pet shop, groceries, and fast-food restaurants. There’s a beautiful fish tank on the first floor and you can go to the bakery or do some clothes shopping or children’s items.

This is a great place for an entire family to spend the day and never tire of the different things you can do. There is something for everyone here, especially if you’re an American and accustomed to shopping at malls, you will feel right at home here.

Transportation 

American Village is located in central Okinawa about 9 miles north of Naha. It takes about 30 minutes to reach it by car.

You can take the bus from Naha Bus Terminal to Mihama American Village. It will take 40 minutes and cost 740 yen.

Naha Okinawas Capital City

Movies

There is also a movie theater called the Mihama Seven plex and it shows movies in both English and Japanese. 

Art

There is a rich art scene and you can see it for yourself at the Akara Gallery and the Bokunen Art Museum. Both of these have been located in the village since 2010.

These are both located in a building with an unusual wave-shaped roof called the Akara Building, which is adjacent to Depot Island. The Akara building was designed by Bokunen Naka and was based on traditional Okinawan motifs.

Akara Building Located At The American Village Okinawa

Bokunen Naka is best known as a printmaker but works in several other media types. He is a native Okinawan, born there on Izena Island in 1953.

Akara Gallery Official Website

The Akara Gallery features works by other artists as well as Bokunen himself. They also sell a myriad of art merchandise.

There are plenty of small parking lots available throughout the village. There is also a large parking complex across from AEON and 7 plex.

American Village Chatan Official Website

Virtual Tour Of American Village In Okinawa

MT Lee
My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.