Old Military Housing area ‘Minatogawa’

Map of Minatogawa, Eden sulking because we kept walking and not stopping for lunch

Map of Minatogawa, Eden sulking because we kept walking and not stopping for lunch

Minatogawa is quickly becoming one of my favorite areas to dine, admittedly I have only been there twice now but I am itching to go back to try all the different eateries there and do a little window shopping too!

Ring Ring Bell Closet, Minatogawa

Ring Ring Bell Closet, Minatogawa

This small area in Urasoe was once military housing which has been turned into a variety of businesses from cafes, bakeries & coffee shops to vintage clothing stores, beauty shops and even a wooden toy play place/shop for kids!


‘Stateside town’ has one ‘main’ road used for parking and then 10 side streets named after various States in America. The first time we went we parked right at the beginning and explored the area on foot, which I highly recommend doing because the streets are narrow and surprisingly its quite busy down there, and more importantly this way you wont miss any hidden treasures.


About 1/3 of the 62 properties are either empty or appear to be private residence, which is kind of a shame; selfishly I would love if ALL the properties were turned into businesses.

this bakery, Ippe Coppe, was so busy we had to leave but it looked so good!

this bakery, Ippe Coppe, was so busy we had to leave but it looked so good!

I found it really interesting seeing the ex-military family housing, its surprising (and at the same time not surprising) how small they are! Some are run down with chipped paint while others have had a fresh, often bright, new coat; they are all charming in their own way.

Casa Michilda; wooden toy play place & shop

Casa Michilda; wooden toy play place & shop

We arrived a little before lunch and started at one end and worked our way down to Michigan Street where we settled on dining at Cafe Rich Epi…it was delicious. The menu was limited (from memory there was a chicken, curry, beef & one other option) but the set came with the most delicious salad and a glass of juice. They also had a kids set which was pretty decent size so the girls shared this.

our delicious lunch at Cafe Rich epi

our delicious lunch at Cafe Rich epi

After lunch we quickly checked out Arizona & Oregon streets before making our way back to oHacorte for some beautiful tarts to share…of course we devoured them before I could take a photo.

the kids set at Cafe Rich epi

the kids set at Cafe Rich epi

I suggest you head down to Minatogawa to taste the tarts, and everything else out for yourself.

oHarcorte, the tart place...so delicious!

oHarcorte, the tart place…so delicious!


15 responses to “Old Military Housing area ‘Minatogawa’

    • Its such a neat littke area isn’t! It looks as though a few of the houses have had a fresh coat of paint…lots of bright colors! Do you miss Okinawa?

  1. Can I just say your photography is amazing and I’m totally going to follow you now! Wow! I love this. Our chances are soooooo tiny to ever go back to Japan. But I can live through you! Ha! We just PCS’d to Hawaii a month ago.

    Amazing to see the Japanese do so much with so little right? I love that about them. I wish I could go see that!

    • Thank you! Were you in Okinawa also or elsewhere? We love everything about Japan, I already panic that our time here is running out (and we still have over 2.5 years left!) I don’t think I would complain about going to Hawaii though…do you like it?

      • Never been to Okinawa. But when I was a teen my parents were stationed at Yokota AFB. And then when I enlisted my first base was Misawa AFB. I am not in anymore cause of my child but yeah Japan had a special place in my heart. I loved there in total 6 years.

        Hawaii is serving up a nice dish of growing pains. But I feel like any time you move you have to get adjusted first. We are just starting to explore here. Have some fun things lined up like sky diving and hopefully going to the big island. The little one loves it. We can go to the beach any day of the year.

      • What did you think of Misawa? Yeah it always takes a little bit to settle in, someone once told me 6 months…i am sure hawaii will be home in no time at all! We love okinawa and the weather/beaches definitely contribute to that love!

      • Oh my gosh! If I could go back to Misawa I would be there tomorrow! It was so much fun. The food, the hot baths being able to travel all over northern Japan. I speak a fair amount of Japanese so it helped with that. I loved the snow. I’m a Air Force brat so I’m not used to living in a place that gets that much snow. I didn’t care for winter activties but just the quiet and the peace of the snow. Oh my gosh. I would sit with a blanket wrapped around me and tea on our patio in our tower and just soak in the quiet it was soooo beautiful!

      • We had Okinawa & Misawa last on our lists, but now that we are in Okinawa we would seriously consider moving Misawa further up the list! Amazing that you speak a little Japanese, I only know the very basics 😦

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