CONTRIBUTED BY MONETTE EAMES
As I write this post, I’m sitting in front of my computer in Honolulu, HI. The gentle trade winds are blowing through my windows and the usual passing showers are pitter-pattering on the mango trees. I’m longing for Okinawa and that long drive I took not so long ago. Sometimes I find myself desiring to take those long drives, not knowing where it will take me, but knowing that somewhere, I’ll discover something new. This happens a lot in Okinawa. One special, specific drive led me to the Canaan Slow Farm. From the name of the place, one might think farmland. Barns, horses, pigs, chickens, cows, and the scents that come with them. That was not the case with this place. It’s a beautiful restaurant overlooking the ocean in Higashi Village. If this village sounds familiar, it’s where the Azalea Festival is held every year. It’s also where Ai Miyazato, the professional Japanese golfer came from.
Canaan Slow Farm does not look spectacular from the outside, but maybe that’s why we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. In this case, a restaurant by its building. I have found this especially true in Okinawa, or I can also say, “Don’t judge a place by the little handmade sign you see on the side of the road.” When I walked into Canaan Slow Farm, I found a classy, quaint restaurant boasting of being and organic and pure. The food is very unique (I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere) – plus fresh, healthy, and delicious!
The walls were inspired by the owners’ farm – made of dried clay from the fields. If this sounds tacky or dirty, trust me, it is not. It is incredible. The painting, the décor, the openness, the cleanliness – are all unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Okinawa. The large floor to ceiling windows along one wall allow you to look out over beautiful green grass, past a patio to the beautiful ocean just below you. Quite an amazing view! The whole aura of the place soothes you, the gentle music, the books surrounding you, the small seashells on every table, the fresh vegetables for sale by the counter, everything is so incredibly relaxing and purifying!
In addition to owning the café and the farm (where they grow and raise everything they serve in the restaurant) they also have a guesthouse right above the restaurant. The guesthouse/hotel has a few rooms, but don’t think these are like motel rooms back in the states. Each room is designed simply and beautifully. Each is a work of art. With each stay, breakfast in included. Activities like horseback riding and kayaking around the area may be arranged.
There is so much to learn about the young, good-looking couple who run the café, hotel, and farm. During my visit, we chatted about the cafe and farm and the guests that have come through the guesthouse. From just the little conversations, a book can be written about the blessings and trials of the owners and guests. They are remarkable people, and this restaurant is a remarkable, memorable place which you will feel drawn back to time and time again.
My visit to Canaan Slow Farm was so relaxing. It felt like a place to just detox my body from the world. I love my life. Sometimes, though, I do have this urge to step out of it to think, to reminisce. The only thing missing from this equation is maybe a little spa for a massage. However, who needs that when the meals they serve here are just pure and healthy and have my body screaming for more?
Hours: 11:30 to 18:30 Lunch & Café Closed: Thursday
Phone & Fax:0980-43-2468
Directions: From Camp Schwab, head north along Highway 329. Make a right through the tunnel onto 331 and continue north along the east coast of the island for 10-15 KM until you enter Higashi Village. The restaurant will be on your left hand side with a big, green lawn in front and a parking area on the left side of the building.
Address: 863-2 Kunigami-gun, Okinawa Prefecture Taira Tung