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Esthetic in Okinawa

I will admit it-- though I am a student, I still like to occasionally get my nails and hair done, get a massage, etc. While many places here in Okinawa cater to Americans, many of them can be overpriced, or on occasion, have poor service (*not to name names*... Cocoks). So I try to go outside … Continue reading Esthetic in Okinawa

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Okinawa All-island Eisa and Orion Beer Festival

One of the most popular natsu matsuri (summer festival) 夏祭り is the All-island Okinawa Eisa and Orion beer festival held the weekend following obon-- at least with Americans that is. Held at the Koza Sports Park, I have seen more Americans at this festival than any other. It is actually 2 festivals, coinciding with each other: … Continue reading Okinawa All-island Eisa and Orion Beer Festival

Rikkarikka-yu: りっかりっか湯

Located in the middle of Naha, at the Naha Central Hotel, is a charming sento ("onsen") called "Rikka Rikka Yu" りっかりっか湯. It does not have quite the same atmosphere as a natural outdoor Japanese onsen, but it does have a quaint feel of a community bathhouse. It is not quite as "retro" as some of the … Continue reading Rikkarikka-yu: りっかりっか湯

Karukan: かるかん

So karukan かるかん is not entirely just Okinawan-- it is also a famous sweet from Kagoshima prefecture (Kyushu). But it is so common in Okinawa, many people in Okinawa consider it to be an Okinawan sweet. I have not tried karukan from Kyushu, so I am not sure if the taste is the exact same … Continue reading Karukan: かるかん

Kame Andagi

カメアンダギー Kame Andagi is a small cafe located in Umikaji Terrace on Senaga-jima (same area as the Ryukyu Onsen and Happy Pancake) that serves fresh sata andagi サーターアンダーギー with various types of toppings. Sata andagi is a classic Ryukyu sweet, and here at Kame Andagi, it gets a little bit of a twist. There were … Continue reading Kame Andagi

That’s not a pineapple…

Okay, so one thing I have noticed wayyyyy too often: people wondering if that strange "pineapple"-looking fruit growing on a tree by the beach is edible. The answer? No, not really, you will regret trying to eat it and it will be rather unpleasant. You won't die, though if you do, but you also won't … Continue reading That’s not a pineapple…

Where to see eisa during Obon…

If you are in Okinawa during Obon, then likely you will hear eisa drums in the distance. I previously wrote a tiny bit introducing about Okinawa's bon dance, eisa エイサー, in another post. You can hear eisa pretty much year-round, and especially at summer matsuri (~July-October), but it is most important during Obon. Neighborhood Obon eisa … Continue reading Where to see eisa during Obon…

Usanmi ウサンミ: Okinawa Feast Boxes

ウサンミ (kanji: 御三味): usanmi. Usanmi are Okinawan feasts typically prepared during holidays such as shiimii 清明祭 and Obon 旧盆. It is packed into lacquered multi-tiered boxes. The amount of food should be in odd numbers, usually 9. Usanmi seems to be a mixed custom, with origins in China and with Japanese influence... after all, Okinawa is … Continue reading Usanmi ウサンミ: Okinawa Feast Boxes

Uchanuku: Okinawa mochi for offerings

ウチャヌク uchanuku comes from the Japanese 御茶の子 (ochanoko). It is a plain rice cake made without sugar, typically used as an offering (供え物) for the hinukan (火の神) or altar (butsudan 仏壇). It comes as 3 tiers of 3 pieces, as well as a "bonus" one for making a "new offering,"  which you can remove the top … Continue reading Uchanuku: Okinawa mochi for offerings

PABLO Cheese tarts

PABLO is a popular Japanese chain store that sells cheese tarts; I think they have even opened some overseas locations. There is a small location on Kokusai-dori in Naha, Okinawa that has been open for several years already, and recently they opened a large cafe in Haebaru, Okinawa. So, the big question is, are they … Continue reading PABLO Cheese tarts