Okinawa Tourism Information:EnjoyaTourtotheMarketandCookingOkinawanFoodat“TasteofOkinawa!”

Enjoy a Tour to the Market and Cooking Okinawan Food at “Taste of Okinawa!”

post : 2018.06.26 18:00

An arcade “Sunrise Naha” is about 5-minute walk from Sakurazaka area near Kokusai Street, and good-old knickknack stores and clothing shops are on this arcade. There is a woodgrain style of building with modern façade, and it perfectly fits into the arcade with no doubt.

This is a dining & beer bar called “Taste of Okinawa (ToO),” and about 15 Okinawan beer brands and more than 30 of Japanese craft beers are served at this bar. Original dishes with Okinawan ingredients are served at night, and the sophisticated space is crowed with gourmets and beer lovers. 

But, its atmosphere is totally different during daytime! You can see why when you look inside the bar. First, you can see 2 big tables in the center of bar. They remind of a big “stage,” and they cannot be seen at any restaurants or bars… It is because a “cooking class” takes place here during daytime. 

The theme of cooking class is “the food of Okinawa,” and the class is available mainly for inbound. This bar holds cooking class during the daytime, and opens as a bar in the nighttime. An ower of "ToO," Tomoaki Goeku opened this bar / food studio in September, 2016.

The concept of cooking class is “enjoy cooking while drinking alcohol” which is unlike the other cooking classes. Tomoaki had lived in foreign countries for many years, and he got the idea of the cooking class when he joined a cooking class in Jordan. His international mind reflects on this class. 

At the beginning of class, participants walk to “Makishi Public Market” and other nearby facilities to buy ingredients for the class and enjoy sightseeing. “Cooking class in foreign countries usually starts from buying ingredients at first.” Wow, this style is very unique! Since it is located in arcade, you do not need to worry about the pouring rain.

After spending about 30 minutes on buying ingredients and talking with ladies at the market, it is time to return to the bar and start cooking. 

Participants cook seasonal Okinawan dishes at the class. For example, Goya champuru, rafute (simmered pork belly), asa seaweed soup, and sata andagi (Okinawan donut). Menu of the day was Okinawa soba, juicy (seasoned rice), and mozuku seaweed (you can also get the recipe of dishes). The good thing is that lots of local ingredients will be used include Okinawan vegetables, pork, and more.

An instructor for the day was Rina Matsuo who teaches cooking in Japanese and English with a wonderful smile. While she moved her hands, she gave a lecture about the history of Okinawa soba and seasoning from the Ryukyu Dynasty era. Her lecture got the participants’ interest. 

The making of Okinawa soba starts from making noodles. Knead, leave, stretch, and cut the dough of noodles. After 30 minutes of work to shape noodles, put them in a big pan, and boil them for 2 -3 minutes while stirring them.

While making noodles, participants can cut up vegetables, and add them with rice and prepared pork into rice cookers to cook seasoned rice♪ Finally, mix mozuku seaweed with vinegar, and mission complete to cook 3 dishes! 

About 2 hours of class goes by very quickly. The class is rich in content, so participants can have lots of fun. And, participants can enjoy drinking beer (additional fee) and cooking at the same time (By the way, Rina’s favorite is a coffee beer called “BICYCLE COFFEE IPA.”) ♪

After every process has completed, it is time to eat♪ Decorate red pickled ginger and shredded green onion on top of soba, then let's eat! 

Oh, and do not forget to take a photo of it for your SNS account.

Dishes that you cooked on your own are the only dishes in the world♡ You might have a deep feeling and the taste must be more delicious than any other dishes!

“I would be happy if participants get to learn about my hometown and Okinawa’s traditional dishes. It would be great even more while cooking, drinking, and having fun at the same time!” Rina (center on the bottom photo) said with a big smile. 

A small tour to good-old area in Naha, buy ingredients at markets, join Okinawan cooking class, and drink craft beer. Can you believe that you can enjoy all of them in 3 hours? When you come to Okinawa, let’s enjoy a unique and wonderful experience @ ToO! 

Taste of Okinawa 
Address: 1-6-21 Tsuboya, Naha City
Tel: 098-943-6313
Business Hours: 17:00-23:00 (only terrace seats are available during the class)
Closed: Mon
Parking: N/A (nearby toll-parking lots are available)

Participation fee: 6,500 yen (adult) / 3,500 yen (child) *tax included
Hours: 15:30 - 18:30 (reservation required)
# of participants: 1 – 20 people 

*Book a reservation via English website. 

Okinawa CLIP photo writer Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)