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[Ishigaki Island] Introducing 6 Tasty Spots Close to Sightseeing Areas
post : 2021.12.26 21:00
Located about 400km southwest of Okinawa Island, Ishigaki Island offers sights like Kabira Bay, selected as one of Japan’s 100 most scenic sights, and other dynamic natural beauty orchestrated by the lush hills and breathtaking waters surrounding the island. Ishigaki Island is the second largest among the Yaeyama Islands, following Iriomote Island, so if you’re planning a trip there, it would be best to plan ahead and get a little familiar with the island before you go, especially on the places you’d like to visit and delicious foods you don’t want to miss.
In this article, we’ve put together some suggestions for great places to eat that are conveniently located near popular sights of interest. We based the ideas on a two-day trip to Ishigaki, so we hope this will help you plan for a great trip of sightseeing and delicious stops.
1. Prepared with lots of local vegetables, try a healthy & nutritious plate at Re: Hellow
After you arrive at the airport and check-in at your hotel, let’s drop off your belongings and get ready to play! But first, let’s get a bite, shall we? Here are two spots recommended for lunch that is conveniently located within the city.
The first spot is a café called Re: Hellow. Here, you can enjoy a delightful, nutrition-packed lunch from their selection of lunch plates prepared with plenty of colorful local vegetables like goya bitter melons, winged beans, island shallots, Beni-Imo purple potatoes, and more. All the veggies on the plates are listed with the names of the growers to ensure that the ingredients are fresh and safe.
With selections like Loco Moco, curry, garlic shrimp, and other tasty plates, you’ll leave the café fully satisfied and ready to start your first day in Ishigaki. Also, do try their house beverages like the Pine-Sanpin Cha (pineapple and jasmine tea) for a taste you won’t find anywhere else!
■Info on Re: Hellow: http://www.rehellow.com/
2. Enjoy Ishigaki Beef on the terrace at Puff Puff
The second establishment is Café & Bar Restaurant Puff Puff, where you can enjoy the tastes of Ishigaki Island. On the menu are their popular Taco Rice made with Ishigaki Beef and Moromi Pork, Keema Curry with Ishigaki Beef, Pizza with Chomeiso (coastal hog fennel leaves) sauce, and others.
They offer a tasty, house-original beverage, Yuki-san’s Brown Sugar Ginger Soda, made with a brown ginger syrup by a lady who lives on the island. Customers can enjoy a relaxing dining experience on their bright white terrace seats with the beautiful ocean view and the gentle sea breeze. Only available at PUFF PUFF, the Taberu Olive Oil is a popular product that many of their customers pick up to take home or as souvenirs, too.
■For more information on PUFF PUFF: https://www.puff2.com/
Or see their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Natural-Garden-Cafe-PuffPuff-116589131727817/?ref=hl
3. Recharge your body with herbal teas from GARDEN PANA
One place you wouldn’t want to miss on your trip to Ishigaki Island is Kabira Bay, a beautiful spot that’s on the list of Japan’s 100 most scenic sights. You can enjoy the beauty by simply taking in the sights from the observatory or catching a ride on a glass-bottom boat. Nearby, you’ll find other scenic spots like Kabira Ishizaki, a breathtaking natural beach, and Kabira Tabaga, another spectacular beach with shallow waters.
After enjoying the beauty of the area, there’s a café nearby that you’ll want to stop by for a nice break.
The café is called GARDEN PANA, a lovely establishment that offers delicious meals and beverages prepared mainly with various herbs. In their garden, they have over 50 varieties of herbs, from popular ones like basil and mint, and Okinawan herbs like Gettou ginger lilies, and when in season, you’ll see lemons coloring the branches of the lemon trees.
In the connecting shop, you can purchase dried herbs and blended herbal teas in bulk, and also be sure to check out the soaps made with Okinawan ingredients.
■Read more on GARDEN PANA: https://okinawaclip.com/en/detail/1572
4. Cool down at Miru Miru Honpo, a gelato shop operated by a dairy farm.
What to have after some time out under the sun? Something cool and delicious, of course! On your way back to town from the Kabira area, along the west coast of Ishigaki Island, is Miru Miru Honpo, a gelato shop directly operated by a dairy farm.
You’ll find a flavor to your preference from their selection of about a dozen choices of gelato. The shop has approximately 40 various gelato recipes, with their most popular one being the classic, milk flavor. In their glass display case are 12 different flavors like Shio Kokuto (salt and brown sugar), Shima Banana (local banana), Beni Imo (purple potato), Mango, and other seasonal flavors.
The shop stands on top of a hill, where you can enjoy the beautiful ocean view with Taketomi, Iriomoto, and Hatoma Islands in the distance. It’s also a popular spot to view sunsets, too.
■Miru Miru Honpo website: https://mirumiru1583.com/
5. Enjoy the fusion of local ingredients and Spanish cuisine at [bar costilla].
Just eight minutes away from Southern Gate Bridge, another popular sunset viewing spot, is Bar Costilla, a great place to enjoy dinner. Housed in a classic resident built 50 years ago, and after undergoing renovations, the establishment has a wonderful atmosphere. The warmth of the bar is inviting, especially with the gentle lighting in the middle of a quiet, residential neighborhood.
At Bar Costilla, you can enjoy Okinawan ingredients prepared in Spanish-style dishes, like Ishigaki Beef braised in demi-glace sauce, Nankotsu Soki (pork ribs with soft cartilage) in tomato sauce, and other tasty creations. They offer light, finger foods made with local ingredients as well as full meals with meats and fish, and even paella. Enjoy your meal with their lovely sangria, made with local fruits like mangoes, pineapples, passion fruits, and others.
■Bar Costilla website: https://bar-costilla.jimdofree.com/
6. For lunch on your last day in Ishigaki, stop by for Yaeyama Soba at Kunatsuyu.
If you still have time before your flight on your second day in Ishigaki Island, head over to Panna Park, a very popular spot where the kids will love playing and you can also enjoy a lovely walk. The whole mountain is one big park, so you can see the city and the surroundings.
After some fun at Panna Park, head to Kunatsuyu for lunch, located just six minutes away by car. This is a popular Yaeyama Soba house that is cherished by both the locals and visitors to the island.
The broth is prepared with plenty of love and care, with pork bones as a base and also with bonito tuna. The round noodles are made right here on Ishigaki Island by Kinjo Seimen-jo noodle shop. Take one slurp of the noodles and you’ll be delighted with the gentle, delicious flavor. To add a nice kick, sprinkle on some Piyashi, a must-have island pepper when enjoying Yaeyama Soba.
When visiting anywhere, it’s nice to have some idea of where you might like to eat depending on where you’d like to visit. It takes away the hassle of trying to find something while there and lets you enjoy a more relaxed trip. This way, you can be free of the stress of trying to make it to a place on time, and you can enjoy the sights and feel the breeze, sounds, and the moments that you’ll only enjoy here.
Address: 203 Ishigaki, Ishigaki City, Okinawa
Hours: 11:00 to 14:00
Written by Ai Matsuda, Edited by Aya Asakura
*The information in this article is from the time of the report. Please check relevant official websites for updated information.