Otsumami: おつまみ

Otsumami おつまみ: snacks, usually to go with drinking alcohol or soft drinks. You will see these types of snacks many places, usually by the alcohol section of the grocery or convenience store. It comes from the word tsumamu つまむ, which means "to pinch" but can also mean "to pick up with fingers or chopsticks." It … Continue reading Otsumami: おつまみ

Okinawa War Memorial Day: 慰霊の日

慰霊の日 irei-no-hi: Okinawa War Memorial Day. Irei-no-hi is on June 23rd. This is a prefectural holiday here in Okinawa, so schools and government offices close. It is a day to remember and pray for those Okinawans whose lives were sacrificed during the Battle of Okinawa and WWII, especially since the majority of them were civilians, … Continue reading Okinawa War Memorial Day: 慰霊の日

Moon Beach Luau: ムーンビーチルアウ

It's almost that time of year again... time for the annual Hotel Moon Beach resort Hawaiian luau. "Luau" is spelled in katakana as ルアウ. This is a huge event, with halau from all over Okinawa coming to perform on stage to live music at the Hotel Moon Beach resort in Onna-son. It is over 2 … Continue reading Moon Beach Luau: ムーンビーチルアウ

Power Spots in Okinawa

パワースポット power spot: a "spiritual" spot, a place to refresh your mind, soul, and body. Many people believe that coming to these spots can sort of gain a spiritual power or energy within you. Some people also visiting these spots will imbue you with luck. There are many in Japan, especially in shrine or temple … Continue reading Power Spots in Okinawa

Recommended: Ryukyu Confectionery Shops

I realize most foreigners are more interested in strange KitKat flavors than traditional confections, but for those who would like a true flavor of the Ryukyu Kingdom (you know, besides westernized beniimo tarts), here are some must-try places. Ryukyu sweets are quite different from Japanese sweets, and are probably more similar to Chinese sweets since … Continue reading Recommended: Ryukyu Confectionery Shops

Konnyaku (konjac): こんにゃく

Konnyaku こんにゃく is also called konjac or devil's tongue in English. It is kind of a weird thing, I guess. You can find it in all shapes and sizes; from cubes to noodles. It is becoming more popular with westerners because of the "zero calorie" and high in fiber. I feel like the taste and … Continue reading Konnyaku (konjac): こんにゃく

Paikaji: ぱいかじ

I mentioned this izakaya 居酒屋 in a previous post. But Paikaji ぱいかじ is really a great place for eating and drinking, probably one of my favorites. Since it is a local chain, it has a few locations, mostly in Naha area. Luckily there is one not too far from RyuDai. By the way, the name Paikaji … Continue reading Paikaji: ぱいかじ

Korean Bingsu in Okinawa

So typically in Japan, there is kaki-gouri かき氷, "shave ice." And there is tons of that here in Okinawa, especially Okinawa "zenzai". But today I went to a new place that opened up, a Korean dessert cafe called Yuki-no-Sonata 雪のソナタ in Naha. And also the only Korean dessert cafe I have ever found in Okinawa... so … Continue reading Korean Bingsu in Okinawa

Kayari Buta: 蚊遣り豚

蚊遣り豚 kayari buta: a ceramic mosquito-incense holder shaped like a pig. Sometimes written as just 蚊遣豚. Buta 豚 means pig, ka 蚊 means mosquito. 蚊取線香 (also seen as 蚊取り線香) katori senko: mosquito repelling incense, usually shaped in a coil. Senko 線香 means incense. Kayaru buta is frequently seen around Japan during summer time, so it … Continue reading Kayari Buta: 蚊遣り豚

Kippan: きっぱん (橘餅)

きっぱん (橘餅)kippan is a traditional Ryukyu confection. It is made from kaabuchii カーブチー citrus (also called "kunenbo" 九年母) which grows in Yanbaru (northern Okinawa). The outside skin is peeled and the entire fruit is then used. It takes 4 days to make! It was one of the 16 different kinds of fine fruits, desserts and sweets … Continue reading Kippan: きっぱん (橘餅)