Fisherina area in Chatan aims to become Mecca for marine leisure
The west-coast areas of Chatan Town are some of the most relaxing resort areas on Okinawa with a large international community. Especially Mihama district is very active and urban neighborhood.
Mihama centers in the American Village shopping and entertainment area, but next to it there is the Chatan Fisherina, and Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort that opened just last year. It’s one of the fastest developing areas on the entire island where new fun spots open almost weekly.
The area is very clean and safe, because outdoor drinking and smoking is prohibited in the entire area, and security guards patrol it 24 hours a day.
The Uminchu Warf, which manages a part of Chatan Marina and surrounding district was opened in 2013. The facility houses a couple of restaurants and tenant shops that offer boat sailing, rental boats, and other marine leisure related activities and souvenirs. The facility also has a meeting room available for rent, an event hall and space for outdoor events in front of the building.
Its newest tenant that opened just last weekend is a small farmers’ market that sells fresh produce. The market was opened because many Chatan residents had expressed their frustration that the town had no farmers’ market, but now it’s finally there! Hitoshi Iko, the manager of the market says “Out market is very small and we don’t offer a huge number of products like farmers’ market in Itoman or the Champuru Market in Okinawa City, but we are very confident about the quality and prices of our agricultural produce, and are looking forward to have many local residents soon as our regular customers.” He adds that, “Now we have just a small number of farm produce, but we will install fresh fish market in this facility in the near future, and with that, we should see more and more activity here.”
The farmers’ market is located inside the Uminchu Warf and it’s open 10:00 – 19:00 every day except during New Year holidays.
Uminchu Warf Manager Shinya Nakamura says the biggest industry in Chatan is fishery, but he wants to add all sorts of marine leisure activities to that. “We want to promote this town for not only for the fishery but as a place for all marine leisure activity,” Nakamura says. He says that Uminchu Wharf is planning to expand its marine leisure activities in the near future. “We will start regular whale watching tours from this marina early next year, and also trolling tours for anglers very soon. Of course other light marine leisure activities like scuba and snorkeling tours will start soon, too. With the current boom in Okinawa tourism, we know we should promote this project more and wider,” Nakamura explains.
Nakamura says the wharf is planning a long-term active event schedule for the area starting from the weekend of Dec. 12th and 13th continuing almost every weekend after that. The program includes live music performances, free pleasure boat rides and much more! “Specifically, on Dec. 13th the Uminchu Wharf celebrates its first anniversary with the Marine Music Festival. The National Wakeboard Tournament takes place on Mar. 8th at the marina. Our other plans include setting up an illumination and projection mapping event in the area soon. We welcome everyone to come and enjoy our new Marine fun spot!” Nakamura concludes.
The Uminchu Warf is located at 54 Mihama, Chatan, just next to Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort at https://goo.gl/maps/YC9wsA6rQLp. On Google maps.