A Happy Pancake: 幸せパンケーキ

幸せパンケーキ shiawase pancake literally means "happy pancake"... it is the name of a very popular pancake chain started in Osaka (also with locations in Tokyo), known for their incredibly fluffy pancakes, keeping up the Japanese trending love for pancakes. Very recently, they opened a cafe in Okinawa, on Senaga-jima 瀬長島 in the Umikaji Terrace ウミカジテラス. I … Continue reading A Happy Pancake: 幸せパンケーキ

Gluten-free Okinawa

グルテンフリー: gluten-free I am personally not gluten-free, so I don't really know all the "ins-and-outs," but I can give a little help in finding some gluten-free and wheat-free items in Okinawa. This can be difficult because I don't think gluten-free is really a thing in Japan. But luckily, in SanA there is the "special dietary" … Continue reading Gluten-free Okinawa

Salmon “Jerky”: 鮭冬葉

Yesterday, my (Okinawan) friend brought something called "sake toba" 鮭冬葉 (or 鮭とば) that she found at the market (I believe Makishi in Naha) to our BBQ party. Sake 鮭 means salmon, and toba 冬葉 means swarm or flock in Ainu, an ethnic group indigenous to Hokkaido area. Toba is made up of the kanji for "winter" and … Continue reading Salmon “Jerky”: 鮭冬葉

Ogimi Soba Shop: Esu no Hana 江州の花

蕎麦 soba: buckwheat, or buckwheat noodles. This is the type of soba common in the mainland of Japan, not the kind used for Okinawa suba (soba). Did you know that in the northern part of Okinawa, in Ogimi village 大宜味村, buckwheat (soba 蕎麦)  grows? There are 3 restaurants that serve Japanese-style soba noodles made from Ogimi village … Continue reading Ogimi Soba Shop: Esu no Hana 江州の花

まるっきりお肉: Marukkiri Oniku

まるっきりお肉 marukkiri oniku: "just like meat." But it is not! This product from Maisen has just 2 ingredients-- soy beans and brown rice. Organic at that (if you care about those things, and obviously gluten-free as well). Nothing else, no weird additives, no fake flavors, etc. It is not "fake meat" but actually better than meat. … Continue reading まるっきりお肉: Marukkiri Oniku

Girls’ Day, Hinamatsuri: 雛祭り

ひな祭り(or 雛祭り) hina-matsuri is translated to Girls' Day or Doll Festival. Hinamatsuri is on March 3rd. In Okinawa, there is a special tradition on hinamatsuri of the lunar calendar, but that will be for a different post: 浜下りhamauri. Traditional treats and not-so-traditional treats are being sold in stores. Community centers (and maybe some homes in … Continue reading Girls’ Day, Hinamatsuri: 雛祭り

Yufuin: 湯布院, 由布院

continued from Part 1. 湯布院  or 由布院 Yufuin has 2 versions of its name, one is for the district and one for the town, but I have the impression that no one differentiates between the two anymore. On the third day of our trip, we rented a car. First thing in the morning after breakfast, … Continue reading Yufuin: 湯布院, 由布院

Demon Ramen in Okinawa: ラーメン鬼蔵

Ramen Onizo ラーメン鬼蔵 is located in Nago (northern part of Okinawa). The name caught our eye, since 鬼 oni means "demon." The name of the shop, onizo 鬼蔵, literally translates to demon warehouse. My husband saw a TV program once featuring a shop in Tokyo called Oni Ramen that served a really spicy ramen; since … Continue reading Demon Ramen in Okinawa: ラーメン鬼蔵