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“Traveling to Morocco” Zakka & Downtown Oasis Cafe
post : 2014.05.15 12:00
If you go up on Matsuo Shobosho-dori Street, you will find café and zakka (sundries) shop “Lamp.”
Located on a little higher ground, the café gets wind going through and natural sunlight coming in beautifully.
Entering the shop, you will find sundries from the Middle East, mainly Morocco. Going through the arch at the back, you will find a café space.
The owner, Ms. Ayako Nishida has collected sundries while traveling, most of which are from the Middle East. Pretty goods she bought in Morocco, Turkey, and Tunisia are displayed there.
Aluminum lamp shade and marchais bag from Morocco, a textile embroidered by Uzbekistan women called Suzani. Every item is so good that those girls and ladies who love sundries want to buy it on the moment.
“One day, a tourist from Taiwan came to my shop and bought plate ware from Morocco. It is funny that a tourist buy it in Okinawa.”
Since she opened the café in 2008, she has spent nearly two weeks every year in the Middle East to buy goods.
She gave an episode of her trip abroad.
“Purchasing sundries abroad sounds like something everybody longs for, but actually it is hard. In Morocco, it is difficult to get around. Seven hours by train and four hours by bus happens a lot. Just transfer takes the whole day. Between purchasing days, I will take holidays as a tourist. Even on those days off, I am very happy to find pretty sundries and buy them for myself. (lol)”
“I have liked Moroccan lamps for a long time. Beautiful designs and fantastic light…. In addition, a Moroccan lamp goes well with a Japanese-style room.”
When she starts talking about a Moroccan lamp, she turns into a wide smile.
A dish mat with a Moroccan antique tile and a soup bowl
A geometric design, which is a characteristic of Islamic art, is eye-filling.
These are Lamp original pouch using an African textile.
It is the right size for a cosmetic pouch.
Ms. Nishida is good with her hands and loves making things.
Also aprons and bags are her handmade.
Moroccan cruet stands for salt and cumin
In Japan, you can use it for salt and paper or salt and lemon.
The photo shows Couscous from Tunisia served with vegetable stewed with tomato base with sausage.
Couscous is the smallest pasta in the world.
Some customers are surprise to hear that.
So before serving the dish, she explains that couscous is made from flour called durum wheat Semolina, from which also pasta is made.
Meat is not used in the sauce, so she uses grilled vegetable instead of sausage.
You might be pleased that you can enjoy the food as vegetarian dish.
Vegetables for dishes are from a farmer, who comes to the neighborhood twice a week. She uses local chemical-free vegetables as much as possible.
Scorns using pickled watermelon from Jabana Kippan Shop
Pickled watermelon is famous traditional sweets at the court of Ryukyu monarchy, which is introduced from China 300 years ago.
Jabana Kippan Shop is near her shop, and one day she happened to get leftover pieces of pickled watermelon from the shop. She used them for her scorns and brought them to Jabana Kippan Shop. They really liked the sweets, so she decided to produce the scorns on a commercial basis as a new menu item for her shop.
The concept of the café space is the downtown oasis in Naha.
The café has a number of books on traveling. She wanted to make this space for tourists to take a good rest, sit back and get comfy.
When you travel to Okinawa, this café could be a valuable space to get away from the hustle and bustle of Kokusai Street to take a rest.
Address: 1F, Urban Hills Matsuo, 2-3-25 Matsuo, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 12:00 to 19:00
Closed on Mondays, and final Tuesdays of every month
Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer Osamu Miyajima