Tired of eating ramen every night? Then worry not because you are able to get rich and decadent Okinawan cuisine right here in Tokyo. If you’re on a budget and aren’t able to travel to the sunny beaches of Okinawa then make sure to visit these restaurants to satiate your appetite for the southern delicacies of Okinawa.
Okinawa the southernmost prefecture of Japan, though it’s cuisine has been influenced by Mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan to create cultural and culinary delicacies that are unique to the island. Known as Ryukyuan cuisine after the Ryukyu kingdom which used to reside on Okinawa. Dishes filled with pork, vegetables, and fruits abound in Okinawan cuisine. Strapped for cash and can’t visit Okinawa? Then check out these Okinawan restaurants in the Tokyo area that are sure to hit the spot!
Okinawa Paradise in Shinjuku is known for its fun and friendly atmosphere. Located in the red-light district of Kabukicho this izakaya is filled with Okinawan dishes such as Rafute pork, Umi-Budou (Ocean Grapes), and Okinawan Tofu. Paired along with their nomihodai (All you can drink) option it is a combination that will ensure a good time. The owner Shingo Tamaki is known to play the Sanshin a traditional three-stringed banjo from Okinawa every night and lead sing-alongs in the bar.
Costing a bit more than your average Tokyo eatery Akasaka Tantei takes a different approach to Okinawan cuisine than the rest of the restaurants on this list. Featured on the Michelin guide for 7 years in a row Akasaka Tantei is home to unique dishes that blend Japanese and Okinawan cuisines into delicacies that are sure to please. Using only produce straight from Okinawa and served in private rooms this Michelin star restaurant is sure to please.
If you’re looking for an Okinawan experience that won’t break your budget then check out Miyarabi in Ikebukuro. Just four minutes walk away from Ikebukuro station this Okinawan restaurant has Ryukyuan cuisine specialized tofu such as Sukugarsu tofu and tofuyo. If you happen to be there on a Monday, Thursday, and Friday then you will see traditional Okinawan dances performed at night.
Taketomijima is named after one of the most beautiful islands in Okinawa. It would be easy to overlook this hole in the wall restaurant as you explore the streets of Ginza. However, if you happen to find this hidden gem then make sure to order their sashimi made from fish straight from Okinawa. Don’t forget to pair that sashimi with Okinawa’s Awamori an alcoholic beverage that is unique to the shores of Okinawa made from rice. The traditional Okinawan food combined with the scenes of Okinawa being projected onto the walls will make you feel as if you have been transported there.
If you’re ever in the mood to be the delicacies of the southernmost island of Japan make sure to visit one of these great establishments!
Francisco is a student who is currently studying abroad in Japan. He enjoys walking around the streets of Tokyo and discovering great places to eat.