Okinawa Tourism Information:Addspicetoyourmeals!CheckoutauniquespecialtyshopinOkinawa

Add spice to your meals! Check out a unique specialty shop in Okinawa

post : 2017.07.11 07:00


Hi, I’m Sachiko from Okinawa CLIP. I’ve loved cooking since childhood and when I travel I enjoy visiting cooking supply shops, farmers markets and local food specialty shops even more than sightseeing.


One day, I noticed a distinctive scent while strolling in the center area of Kokusai Street in Naha City. I was on the corner of Hotel JAL City and FamilyMart, a convenience store.



The scent was coming from an interesting shop Harenohi Shoten, who deal in various spices and herbs.



Nowadays it is quite easy to purchase spices at supermarkets or international food shops. However, at Harenohi Shoten, you can ask owner Toda for details and advice on such things as specific usage of certain herbs before making your purchase.


They sell spices by the gram so that you can just try a tiny bit even if you have no idea what it is.




Toda’s first recommendation is the Original Curry Mix that is made with 13 different spices. The aroma is totally different from ready-made curry roux. You can cook Indian curry at home like a pro with this special mixture easily.


“Believe me. You won’t be disappointed,” Toda said. Well, I did believe him and so I bought some.



Peppers, cumin, clove, nutmeg, star anise, rosemary, oregano, basil and so on... About 500 different kinds of spices and herbs are used around the world and about 100 can be purchased in Japan.


Some are used to add flavor while cooking, while some eliminate fishery or gamy smells. Some are even used for medicinal purposes. For example, Kakkonto, a Chinese herbal medicine, contains cinnamon, ginger and licorice.



Certain spices and herbs are also used for easing fatigue or indigestion, improving blood circulation, sleep enhancement, or eliminating bacteria for improved metabolism. You may not need to see doctors as often if you use certain spices and herbs correctly.


I made a dish using spices from their shop


My tofu noodles with clove, star anise, ground meat, bamboo shoots, chill oil and cilantro is ready to eat. The spices are supposed to ease indigestion and are great for blood circulation. I think it'll go great with Shaoxing wine.



Before closing, I should mention that  bhutjolokia, certified by Guinness World Book of Records in 2007 as the hottest pepper in the world, is available for purchase at Harenohi Shoten… If you are brave enough to try it!


Harenohi Shoten

Address: 1-2-19 Makishi, Naha City, Okinawa

Tel: 098-911-2609

Hours: 12:00–19:00

Closed: Irregularly



Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Sachiko