Okinawa Tourism Information:Theycan’ttakelargegroupsbuttinyIrohaShokudoinChinen,NanjoCitymakesyoufeelasthoughyou'reonamovieset

They can’t take large groups but tiny Iroha Shokudo in Chinen, Nanjo City makes you feel as though you're on a movie set

post : 2017.09.19 07:00


The cozy restaurant is located along route 331 between Chinen, Nanjo City and Tamagusuku Village. You can enjoy the ocean view as you drive to the restaurant, whose nostalgic appearance makes it look as though it would great in an old movie. 



The restaurant is only as wide as three Japanese tatami mats with only two tables. The tiny usually filled with local workers around lunchtime casually conversing in their heavy Okinawan dialect, so it is best to visit after 1:00 p.m. when the crowd thins out.



Taking a look at what’s on the wall. Yakiniku BBQ and sukiyaki both sound good!



I ordered and then looked outside. A cat was strolling by on a peaceful afternoon. “That’s my cat,” said the restaurant owner. Did you notice the bumpy face? He gets bitten by a habu snake every year.”



The kitchen occupies an entire side of the restaurant. The hechima (Chinese okra) looked great, so I ordered it stir-fried with gluten. People in Okinawa have eaten this particular kind of okra for a long time. Nbusaa (stir-frying and simmering) is the most popular way of cooking Chinese okra.



The owner has been running the restaurant in this location for over 20 years. Before that, she owned a restaurant in Nanjo City. She works quickly and meticulously for someone who is in her 80’s.



The set comes with miso soup and lots of local vegetables, rice and homemade pickles.



I didn't know what kind of dish was coming as it was just listed on the menu as hechima on the menu. It turned out to be naaberaanbusaa style (stir-fried with local tofu and eggs). “People eat that one over rice,” she said. 



The stir-fried gluten dish contains vegetables, gluten coated with eggs and lots of pork. Nowadays, many people in Okinawa use spam or canned tuna for stir fried (“champuru”) dishes, but here, they used pork as they did in old days.



“I can get my vegetables nearby.” She said. “You can see the tofu, being made over there. It’s very fresh, you know?”



Nostalgic “mom’s cooking” is served with lots of love (“tiiandaa” in the Okinawan dialect). Enjoy some island slow time and great conversations with some nice people at Iroha Shokudo (preferably after 1:00 p.m.)


Iroha Shokudo

Address: 936 Chinen, Chinen, Nanjo City, Okinawa

Hours: 11:30-14:30


Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Naoko Tsuruta