After Hours: Western World brings country to Okinawa
January 17, 2008
OKINAWA CITY, Okinawa — Bull horns, wood floors, pine plank tables, pine stump stools, a mechanical bull, the American flag and flags from every state — yep, this is definitely a country bar.
Western World is a mecca of country for those good old boys and girls missing the latest hits by Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride and Kenny Chesney. The newest country is mixed with standby favorites such as “Friends in Low Places,” “Strawberry Wine,” “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and “God Blessed Texas.”
On a Saturday night, the place starts off a little slow, but it’s really hopping by 10:30.
By then, as the sweet twang of country music echoes through the bar, would-be cowboys and their gals stomp their boots in unison, proving that you can line dance to any country song. The more adventuresome line up for a ride on the mechanical bull.
The crowd — a mix of Americans and locals — is here to have a good time, and it shows. Lots of laughter is mixed in with the beers as newcomers take to the floor to learn the moves from old hands. Some break into couples to twirl about in a fancier version of the two-step.
If dancing and bull riding aren’t your thing, there are also pool tables and darts.
There are some traditions here that should not be missed.
Sometime after 11 p.m., when “God Bless the U.S.A.” starts to play, the whole bar kneels in a group hug in the middle of the darkened dance floor as one person waves the American flag. Other songs have their own performances that you have to be there to believe.
So if you’re missing the songs of home, don your cowboy boots and hat and head on down.
Drink prices: Beer is $4, mixed drinks are about $5 and water is $3.
Cover charge: Cover charge is $5 but the first, third and fifth Friday and second, fourth and fifth Saturday are Ladies Night — no cover charge from 7-9 p.m.
Entertainment: Country music, pool, darts, a mechanical bull and lots of line dancing.
Clientele: An even mix of Americans and locals, men and women. The Americans are a younger crowd and they’re here to have a good time, but this isn’t a “meat market.”
Dress: Casual dress. Just put on your favorite pair of faded blue jeans and cowboy boots and you’ll fit right in.
Location: Head straight out Kadena Air Base’s Gate 3 on Route 74. Follow the signs for Southeastern Botanical Garden. Just before you get to the garden, you’ll see a sign for Western World on the right.
Web site: None