Okinawa: Eating Our Way Through the Last Stretch

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Cafe Pipineo is about 10 minutes from my apartment and serves the most luscious cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had my whole life.

Welp! We are just about 6 weeks from our presumed rotation date, and the Marines still haven’t given us orders for the next assignment. Never mind that pretty much everyone else in our lives knows where they are going. Chuck and I are masters of the “hurry up and wait” philosophy, at this point. That said, I continue to assume that we will depart Okinawa this spring. With our time here drawing to a close, I am hoping we can squeeze a few more adventures into our remaining weeks – however big or small.

One thing I will surely miss are the darling cafés that dot the island.  They typically offer just 2-4 menu items at any given time, which sounds limiting but actually ensures a more memorable culinary experience. Of course, the ingredients are always fresh and local, and the décor is consistently unique and charming.

I won’t mind having more options (especially vegetarian and/or gluten free) when I return to the States, but I don’t know what I’ll do without a hearty guarantee of savory Japanese curry, garnished with local vegetables known to bless Okinawans with the longest lifespans on the planet.…  Continue reading

4th of July in Tokyo

Over the long holiday weekend, Chuck and I took our first trip to the mainland together. I had been to Osaka and Hiroshima before, but together, we haven’t actually explored Japan outside of Okinawa. We had a great time in one of the world’s biggest cities, and the only disappointment was that we had to cancel our planned hike up Mt. Fuji due to more extreme weather than anticipated. We weren’t quite equipped to hike for 6 hours in snow and sleet… So, we will try again next summer!

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Asian Food Porn 2.0

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Two delicious meals from our lunch spot in Kunigami-son, after our excursion to Hiji Falls and Okuma Beach. I don’t actually know what any of this is, but I’m guessing it goes something like this: Rice (or) Noodles + Meat + Veggies. Mix with delicious magical Japanese potion and serve 🙂

Here’s a little Asian food porn for ya: Today’s lunch at Transit Cafe on the Seawall, which was comprised of tuna, avocado, seaweed, rice, a quail egg, sea grapes, and some sort of delicious sauce #yum

Mizu shite kudasai?

So, remember the post I wrote earlier about our first authentic Japanese meal? Scratch that. We experienced it today, in the town of Uruma-shi.

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We found this little spot after we accepted our housing offer, mildly depressed and famished. There was not a hint of English anywhere – not on the signage, the menus, and surely not spoken by the staff. I wish I could tell you the name of it, if only I read kanji. We removed our shoes and sat Indian-style on the bamboo mats, and the waitress brought us a strange beverage that I can only describe as really, really watered down coffee. Parched, I remembered I had downloaded my Babel Fish translator to my iPhone, and I hastily typed out a request for water. I also used it to ask for a meal recommendation, since we were hopeless in understanding the menu, and there were no pictures to guide us (as we had seen in other restaurants in the more Americanized areas of the island.)

The meal and the experience did not disappoint, though I had no idea what to do with the raw egg included on my tray. I REALLY need to learn some Japanese. I hate being that fool American. But seriously, thank goodness for smartphone technology!