The Most Populated Village in Japan: On 1 April 2014, Yomitan Village was officially designated the most populated village in Japan (41,446 as of December 2018).
23 Ward / District:  Yomitan is made up of 23 wards, with Sobe, Toguchi, Oki, and Osoe as the primary partners in the district with USAG-Okinawa,Torii Station.
Traditional Folk Crafts: Yachimun (Pottery) Hanaui (Weaving Textile) Ryukyu Glass (Glassblowing)
Zakimi Castle Ruins: Zakimi Castle and Okinawa’s other castles were named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in November 2000.
3 Living National Treasures: Three artists from Yomitan Village are designated as Living National Treasures by the Government of Japan.
  • Mr. Jiro Kinjo, Yomitan “Yachimun” Pottery artist
  • Ms. Sada Yonamine, Yomitan “Hanaui” textile weaving artist
  • Mr. Yukou Tamanaha, Okinawa “Bingata” textile weaving artist
Beni-imo (Purple sweet potato): As part of the local culture and industry, the village promotes itself as home of the purple sweet potato


The Yomitan Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates and honors the Okinawan traditional cultures and history.  The Yomitan Festival features a wide variety of stage entertainment, such as traditional dance performances, bojutsu shows, lion dances, original plays and a classical Ryukyu music concert performed by some 400 lovers of traditional music from around the village. The concert is one of the main highlights of the festival and is held to honor Akainko, a legendary character who is said to be the father of sanshin music. The festival finale is marked by the appearance of an enormous replica of the Shinkosen hand-crafted by villagers. The Shinkosen was a vessel that sailed from the Ryukyu Kingdom to China in order to pay tribute to the Chinese emperor.  



History: Shisa, or lion-dogs form an integral part of Okinawan culture. Also known as shi-shi, these small statues can be found standing guard on top of roofs or at the entrances to homes, businesses and shops all over Okinawa. The shisa was first brought to Okinawa from China in the 14th century. These figures are believed to ward off evil spirits and were originally used as guardians to residences and shrines. 
Lucky Charm/Protection of Home: To this day, a home or business will usually display two shisa dogs -- one with its mouth open to scare off the evil spirits and the other with its mouth closed to keep the good spirits in. One variation you might notice is a shisa poised with a golden sphere under one paw. This symbolizes a concentration of goodness, wealth and bountiful crops.