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

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Kusatsu onsen: Food

While on a trip to Kusatsu onsen, I encountered quite a few tasty foods, so here is a look below at a few of the things I ate, in no particular order. ぬれおかき nureokaki: The best way to describe this is a grilled rice cracker skewer, with some seasonings/toppings. My husband got the spicy one … Continue reading Kusatsu onsen: Food

Kusatsu Onsen 草津温泉

Kusatsu onsen 草津温泉 in Gunma prefecture 群馬県 is one of the three famous ancient hot springs in Japan (called 三名泉 "sanmeisen," in addition to Arima Onsen in Hyogo and Gero onsen in Gifu). These hot springs are renown for healing properties, supposedly to cure a wide array of ailments. Because I am an onsen junkie, I … Continue reading Kusatsu Onsen 草津温泉

Shark?! サメ in Okinawa

Recently, my hula kumu (sensei/teacher) brought in shark meat and skins from a fishing tour she took here in the southern part of Okinawa main island. Now, admittedly, I paled a bit... killing/eating sharks can be a bit taboo in Hawaiian culture (since some people believe it may be a god or guardian spirit or … Continue reading Shark?! サメ in Okinawa

Summer Festival Food: 夏祭りの屋台

夏祭り natsu matsuri means summer festival (I wrote a little about this before). Of course, no summer matsuri is complete without the food tents, called 屋台 yatai. Most popular are probably the fried and grilled foods; some of the more "traditional" ones that I have seen in Okinawa are listed below. Just be careful not … Continue reading Summer Festival Food: 夏祭りの屋台

Miyama Shabu-shabu: 美山しゃぶしゃぶ

My husband wanted to try a shabu-shabu place for lunch. It is a chain from the mainland called Miyama Shabu-shabu. There is only 1 in Okinawa, located in the Haebaru Aeon Mall (southern part of the island). They offer a cheap lunch course for 1000-something yen, though the menu has various combinations with varying degrees … Continue reading Miyama Shabu-shabu: 美山しゃぶしゃぶ

Beer Gardens in Okinawa: ビアガーデン

ビアガーデン bia gaaden: beer garden Summer in Japan would not be complete with beer gardens. In Okinawa, there are a few around this time of year. They typically have nomihoudai 飲み放題 and tabehoudai 食べ放題 (all-you-can-drink/eat) plans. Some of these beer gardens are very popular, so it is important to get a reservation. This year, my … Continue reading Beer Gardens in Okinawa: ビアガーデン

Tanabata 七夕 & Somen そうめん

七夕 Tanabata: Japanese Star festival on July 7th (read more here). そうめん (素麺) somen: a type of noodles made of wheat flour so they are white and very thin. It is a very popular dish during summer. I wrote previously about Tanabata and how it is not *really* celebrated the same in Okinawa. But with … Continue reading Tanabata 七夕 & Somen そうめん

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

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