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Mihama Carnival Park marks 10th anniversary

Date Posted: 2010-10-21

Just about everyone on Okinawa knows Carnival Park, even if they don’t really know the name for an integral part of Mihama American Village in Chatan Town.

Patterned after the American San Diego City Seaport Village, Okinawa’s American Village is the hub for dozens of daytime — and nighttime — activities for families, and singles alike. Asking about American Village may meet with a blank stare, but ask about the ferris wheel, and directions are readily available. It’s the landmark anchor tenant in this special foreigner-centric village, but it’s far from the only thing.

Okinawa’s tallest hotel, the 24-story Beach Tower Okinawa, is on the beach side of American Village, only yards from the pristine beaches and emerald green waters. Sunset Beach is there, too, and the just-opened Depot Island, and a Do-It-Yourself Store Makeman that has just about everything a person could ever want for home and garden, and that’s not all.

Aeon Group’s JUSCO sits in the middle of the American Village complex, directly across from a sprawling parking lot, described as the largest parking lot on the island. The very notion of people using cars to go to-and-from shopping and entertainment was what led forward-thinking Chatan Town officials to conjure up American Village and the humongous parking lot. It sits smack dab in the center of everything. Within the JUSCO building is a multiplex movie theater, and the shopping areas of American Village are nearly endless.

There are live houses, clubs, restaurants, game centers and a bowling center, a Karaoke house, and a host of import casual shops. There’s a definite American flavor and atmosphere to the American Village, where Carnival Park Mihama is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with plenty of fanfare. Carnival Park Mihama has Salt & Pepper, an Indies Live House, international cuisine, fast food, and definitely, ice cream.

American Village and Carnival Park Mihama are open 365 days a year, with most stores, businesses and restaurants open 11 a.m. ~ 11 p.m. American Village is located just west of Highway 58 between Camps Foster and Lester. No need for specific street directions; just look for the ferris wheel, and follow it to the parking lot.

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