- A Day in the Hamlet of Kayo, Where the Time of Nature and the Time of Humans Crosses
- Kitanakagusuku Sunflower Festival
“Ameiro Shokudo” Owner Keiko Tateno’s Case 4/4
post : 2014.03.08 16:00
Keiko Tateno, the owner of “Ameiro Shokudo”, seems so peaceful and relaxed that she blends right into the laid-back atmosphere of Okinawa. So how did she feel about Okinawa after relocating?
We will post her story in a four part serial.
In this final part we asked her about the image she has of Okinawa now that she has relocated and her advice for people who want to relocate as well.
Is there anything that you were not expecting after you started to live in Okinawa?
Be it in good or bad, did the image you had of Okinawa change?
Tateno: I am a transplant or “naicha” in the Okinawan dialect, so of course I was worried whether the people of Okinawa would accept me or not, but once I actually lived here I realized there was absolutely no separation between us. There is a feeling that people here warmly help those who work hard.
Even now the elderly women in neighborhood are very kind to me and it‘s really heartwarming.
That is great! It makes sense that if you don’t familiarize yourself with the locals before actually relocating it would make you anxious. Many people in Okinawa are warm.
Is there anything else?
Tateno: The cold (laughs). Winter is surprisingly cold.
The year I relocated it was rather warm, but from the second year I thought it was actually cold.
I feel the same. I came here two and a half years ago and your body gets more and more used to the weather here.
But in fact it is actually 10℃ warmer than the other prefectures.
Tateno: It feels cold because the wind is so strong. I live in a folk house so it may make things worst, but sometimes it feels warmer outside (laughs).
Old folk houses have great atmosphere and I like them a lot but they are very drafty and it is surprisingly difficult at times (laughs).
But it is must nice to live in a folk house!
They are nostalgic and relaxing, and I think that many of those who want to relocate dream of drinking jasmine tea and living in such a house.
Do you have a vision of what you would like to do in the future?
Tateno: My partner was working at a different restaurant but this year we will start working together, so the three of us, along with the person on our staff, we will run the place.
I plan to remodel the shop a little more and having a tatami seating room on the 2nd floor ready by the beginning of summer.
So more customers will be able to enjoy Ameiro Shokudo! I’m looking forward to it.
By the way, people tend to think that it is hard to relocate, don’t they?
So I think that many people who want to do it but cannot find the courage to take the first step.
Do you have any advice for them?
Tateno: For me, once I took the first step, like when pedaling a bicycle, everything followed naturally.
In the beginning I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to relocate or not, because I am a very indecisive, overly cautious person, so at that time I decided that I should first come to Okinawa and worry over it while I was there.
I had discussion with my friends at the guest and everyday I worried over whether I would or would not live there.
But if I didn’t decide to live here for good then I may never have opened my café and would probably be living a completely different life now.
So in the end, did you think make the right choice living here?
Of course I am glad I tried living here and I plan to stay in Okinawa.
One day I think I would like to live in a house with a garden, and I want to keep working in my shop too.
Chronology of Keiko Tateno’s Relocation
2004 June: Quits her job at the company she has been working at since her graduation from junior college.
July: She likes Okinawa so much that she comes for a 3 month stay.
September: She returns home temporarily.
2005 July: She moves into a guest house.
September: She starts to work part-time at a café.
September: She rents a furnished apartment with a 6 month lease.
2006 March: She rents an apartment.
2009 March: She quits her part-time job, finds another one, and starts looking for a place to open her café.
2010 February: She finds a place for the café and starts remodeling it.
June: The café of her dreams finally opens.
2014 Early Summer: “Amerio Shokudo” plans to open its second floor.
Keiko Tateno relocated to Okinawa by herself, and little by little her will to live here got stronger, then found her dream out and made it come true step by step.
Opening her shop took time, connections, money that she saved when she was working in a company, and patience to find the perfect place, so even if she seems so laid-back, she is also a very down-to-earth person that managed to make her dream come true.
So how was our first relocated person?
We will continue to introduce the stories of people that do different activities who moved to Okinawa so, if you are seriously thinking of doing the same, please check it out.
Third Part Here
The Series from the Beginning Here
Address: 1-3-7 Higawa, Naha City
Phone Number: 098-911-4953
Business Hours: 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.,6:00 p.m-10:00 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays
Okinawa CLIP Photowriter Sandy