Home' A Plus Magazine : April 2013 Contents Where to eat
• Chuzan Simple tavern serving local
specialties. McCrum-dori, Hirara.
• EminomiseHomely but tasty accent
on local vegetables, tofu and seafood.
61 Okanehisa, Ogimi. 098 -044-3220.
• Exit Café Friendly seaside home
kitchen. Off Highway 75, Ishikawa
(Uruma). 090 -989 -9966 .
• Hateruma Stylish izakaya-style dining.
1-2 -30 Makishi, Naha. 098 -863 -8859.
• Urizun Dark and dim institution
serving Okinawan fare and traditional
awamori liquor. 388 -5 Asato, Naha.
Where to stay
• DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Naha
American-style comfort opened last
year. 3 -15 Higashi-machi, Naha.
• Okinawa Hotel Historic charm in
central Naha. 35 Daido, Naha.
• The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa C ount r y
club luxury resort. 1343-1 Kise, Nago.
• Hotel Nikko Naha Grand Castle
Affordable luxury on historic Shuri Hill.
1-132-1 Yamakawa-cho, Naha. 098 -886 -
• Sunset Beach Hotel Boutique hotel
in remote north. 1574-1 Maeda, Onna.
What to see
Gyokusendo Caves A complex of
subterranean labyrinths. 133 6 Tama -
gusuku Maekawa, Nanjo.
• Kokusai-dori Naha’s main road
features souvenirs such as glassware,
pottery, lacquerware and shirts.
• Makishi Public Market Centrally
located marketplace sells Okinawa’s
unique vegetables thought to promote
longevity. Kokusai-dori, Naha.
Shuri Castle The medieval palace of
the Ryukyu Kingdom. 1 -2 Kinjo-cho,
Naha. 098-886 -2020.
April 2013 57
nawa woodpecker – and there are cherry blos-
som festivals near Mount Yae in January. Other
highlights are the ruins of the 14th century Na-
kijin Castle and the startling cliffs of Manzamo
Central Okinawa is best known for the pro-
fusion of American military installations and is
the centre of Okinawa’s Chanburu or mixed cul-
ture. That means drive-in cinemas showing Hol-
lywood movies, second-hand dealers in goods
made in the United States, A merican-style cui-
sine (often adapted to use local ingredients) and
live music venues blaring Western music.
However, there is also plenty of local culture.
The central part of the island includes several
castles such as Katsuren in Uruma, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site, and the mid-18th century
Nakamura Residence. Murasaki is known for
exhibitions of Okinawa karate, Eisa and Ryukyu
dance and music played on the sanshin, a tradi-
tional three-stringed instrument.
The south was bitterly fought over during
World War II, with more than 200,000 fatali-
ties, including 100,000 civilians, during the
Battle of Okinawa in 1945. The Okinawa Prefec-
tural Peace Memorial Museum is located on the
southern tip of Okinawa Island.
The 160 islands of Okinawa form a prefec-
ture in Japan’s local government system and
only 50 or so are inhabited. The Yaeyama Is-
lands in the southwest are a highlight. Taketo-
mi, a ferry ride from Ishigaki, is reminiscent of
another age with its water buffalo carts used for
transport. Nearby, Iriomote island is famous for
its rare leopard cats and the picturesque Mari-
The Yaeyama islands are renowned for their
soba noodles ser ved with pork, green onions
and homemade miso (seasoned soya paste). Of
course, restaurants, home kitchens, cafés and
izakaya (taverns that sell food to accompany
drinks) offer wholesome, tasty food through-
out the archipelago. Naha also features restau-
rants ser v ing world-class Chinese, Korean and
Indigenous Okinawan food is still highly
popular and features Japanese-style sashimi
and sushi as well as specialties such as goya
chanpuru (stir-fried bitter gourd), umi budou
(sea grapes), mimiga (sliced pigs’ ears) and
tebichi (stewed trotters). Wash it all down with
awamor i (distilled Okinawan shochu liquor) or
the locally brewed Orion lager.
Previous page: Shuri Castle
This page (from top): Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium;
Water buffalo ride; Mariyudo waterfall; Goya
chanpuru (stir-fried bitter gourd).
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