There’s nowhere on this island that is quite like downtown Kin Town. While going to an Okinawan Castle like Zakimi Castle or Katsuren Castle might feel like you’ve gone back in time to the Ryukyu Kingdom, going to downtown Kin makes you feel like you’ve gone to an alternate timeline!
It’s hard to explain, I’ll just go ahead and show you!
What’s Kin Town?
Kin Town is a town located in the skinny middle part of Okinawa main island. It’s a lovely town filled with friendly people, and its downtown area sits right next to Camp Hansen, a US Marine base, which has undoubtedly influenced the area.
Kin Town’s claim to fame is the famous Okinawan comfort food: Taco Rice! I’ll talk about it more in a little bit.
The downtown Kin Town area was built in the 70s and 80s, and highly influenced by the US Marine base that sits right next to it. As a result, a lot of its architecture still retains the same vibes and feel from that area, but dial it up a notch because it’s a blend of two cultures: American and Japanese!
Full of funky charm
The downtown area is also known as “Shinkaichi”. It’s right in front of the main Camp Hansen gate, so on weekends and at night, US Marines can be seen out and about getting a bite or just hanging out.
To many Japanese people, this sight is totally incredible and even exotic! It’s hard to find areas in Japan where there is such an active blend of different cultures, so the people of Kin work hard to maintain their unique atmosphere.
If you’re a K-Pop fan, you might also recognise some of these spots as shots that appeared in BTS’s music video! Seoul is just a 1.5 hour flight from Okinawa, so many K-Pop artists have recorded their MVs here!
The Ultra-famous King Tacos!
Taco rice is something that every Okinawan child has eaten since they were little. When I taught in a Okinawan school, I always knew when the students had taco rice for their school lunch. Their cheers could be heard from the teacher’s room!
For the uninitiated, taco rice is, like the name suggests, taco meat over rice. It’s often served with a generous helping of cheese, as well as tomatoes and shredded lettuce, making it a really easy, simple, and complete meal!
So how did taco rice come to be? Well, the owner of King Tacos in Kin saw that some of the Marines nearby sometimes looked homesick, so he wanted to make a dish that could comfort them while they are away from home. Thus, he put taco meat over rice and cheese, and started selling it to Marines rght out of Camp Hansen.
Today, taco rice is not only loved by US military servicemembers, but also Okinawans, and literally anyone that tries it. You should too!
Lots of places to shine
Anyway, this town is full of places that stand out ♪ It’s a place that might make your head spin! Am I really in Japan, or am I in an old American movie? No, you’re in Okinawa!
Depending on where you choose to shoot, or even the angle of the photo, you could end up with a completely different feel! So if you’d like photos with a dozen different feels and moods, Kin Town might be the place for you!
What do you think? Would you like to take wedding photos in a place full of Okinawa’s unique cultural blend?
If so, you can choose Kin Town as an additional location to any package, or simply choose our “Good Couple Support” / Marriage Celebration Package or our Custom-made Package and choose Kin Town as one of the included add-ons!
Click below to see our packages and add-on options!
We have native English speaking staff and photographers and we would love to help you capture your love story! Feel free to email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or drop us a message on LINE for a free online consultation!