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Yaeyama Palm Grove Area, Yoneko Pottery Studio Kimsa Hall, Yoneko Yaki Kobo Shisa Farm

 

I'm going to introduce several sightseeing spots near Yonehara Beach. These places are close to each other and it doesn't take much time to take a look.


Yonehara Palm Grove

554 Fukai, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0451

Yonehara Palm Grove

You can take a walk through the colony of the endemic Yaeyama palm that only inhabits Ishigaki Island and Iriomote Island. There is a large parking lot, and there is a Satake Yaeyama Memorial Palm Museum nearby. I have never visited the Palm Museum, so I will try it next time.


Yonehara Palm Grove in Ishigaki

The walking path is shaded and cool. Tall palm trees grow thickly, and there is plenty of tropical mood. It's like a taller version of Amami Oshima's cycad forest. The trees of the same kind growing densely together create a nice atmosphere. (Except cedar.)


Yonehara Palm Grove

Yonehara Palm Grove

I'm glad that this plant was designated as a natural monument about 50 years ago and has come to be protected. It is a rare plant which only lives on two remote islands of Okinawa. May this forest remain like this even after hundreds of years.

 

Yoneko Pottery Studio Kimsa Hall, Yoneko Yaki Kobo Shisa Farm


656-1 Fukai, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0451

Yoneko Pottery Studio Kimsa Hall

At Yoneko Pottery Studio Kimsa Hall, you can purchase Shisa-related souvenirs.


Shisa means "lion" in the Okinawan dialect, and is sometimes pronounced as Shi-shi.


Shisa I bought on Ishigaki Island
Traditional Shisa (Asahi Pottery)

I like the traditional style, so I bought this cool pair of Shisa. (Asahi Pottery's Shisa) It's always displayed at my home entrance. Shisa is placed in a fixed way, and normally we are supposed to place the female Shisa with its mouth closed on the left side and the male Shisa with its mouth closed on the right side.


In recent years, a lot of comical-style shisa are on the market.


Giant versions of them are built in the Shisa farm which is landscaped behind the Yoneko Pottery Studio. (I think the outdoor ones are made of mortar.)


Yoneko Yaki Kobo Shisa Farm

Every year, every time I stop by, the number of giant Shisa and the number of newly planted plants are increasing. There are various spirits (monsters?) which I feel, "These are no longer Shisa."


Yoneko Yaki Kobo Shisa Farm

Can this place really become a positive power spot? What are they aiming for? I'm not sure. The color they use is so strong, so it definitely attracts attention.



Yoneko Yaki Kobo Shisa figures are sold all over Ishigaki Island as souvenirs. They look like low fired clay dolls which are not glazed and just painted.



I would like to watch from afar how the Shisa culture of Ishigaki Island will keep changing in the future. I only like traditional looking ones, to be honest.



Please visit my glass jewelry shop from the link below.


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