Off the Beaten Path Okinawa: Part I
CONTRIBUTED BY KELLYERACE
I just finished a project with my ESL students in which we talked about places that are “off the beaten path”. They read about off the beaten path treasures that sprinkle New York City. They wrote about the off the beaten path gems they love in Okinawa. Among them are a bakery, a Christmas restaurant, a museum, a beach, and the most beautiful spot to watch the sunrise on the island. Fortunately, my students agreed to my shameless request to post their writing here on OkiHai. Since today is “to eat” day, I’m just going to post the first two, the bakery and the restaurant. You’ll have to sit tight until Saturday to find out about the rest!
HAVE A HAPPY DREAM RESTAURANT: (click to go to an in-depth post about this restaurant – with directions)
Contributed by YUKIKO
Phone: (098) 982-5610
I recommend a special restaurant in Ishikawa City. The restaurant’s name is, “Have a Happy Dream” and the phone number is 982-5610. The restaurant is in operation for only four months of the year, during Christmas season, from October 25th through January 25th. There are a lot of kinds of food on the menu such as spaghetti, hamburger steak, and a special Christmas dinner.
The restaurant’s owner decorates her restaurant and garden with Christmas ornaments over the four months. The inside is decorated with many kinds of Santa Clauses (about 500!) and with a huge Christmas tree and unusual decorations. Also, the garden is decorated with a big snowman and three hundred lights in a lot of shapes. This place looks like a wonderland. I have never seen such a beautiful landscape.
I have participated in the yearly Christmas party that the owner gives five times with my family. During this party, Santa Claus comes to give children presents and a clown makes many balloon animals. You can take a picture with Santa Claus and the clown. My family has a pleasant time at the restaurant every year.
MUNAKATA-DO (natural yeast, stone oven bakery):
Contributed by MAKI
Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 11am-6pm
Address: 1-20-2-005 Kakazu, Ginowan
If you are discerning about the quality of your food, I recommend a bakery called Munakata-do in Ginowan. They are located really off the beaten path and at first sight their building doesn’t even look like a shop. But, they have a wonderful variety of breads and buns that are made of organic ingredients and handmade natural yeast and are baked in a stone oven with firewood.
My favorites are a graham bread called “campagne”, also pizza, focaccia, and their cookies. My husband always gets a sesame English muffin, banana bread, a chocolate, fig, and cashew nut bun, a raisin and rosemary bun, or a bun full of prunes and cream cheese. If you like salty snacks more than sweets, you can choose a blue cheese bun or mini sausage roll.
Munakata-do is open Thursday through Sunday, but you have to remember they bake only on Thursday and Saturday. So, if you go there on Friday or Sunday, you’ll get cold leftovers from the day before, and you can’t choose from a large variety. That’s why I recommend going there on Thursday or Saturday.
- From Camp Foster, head south on 58
- After the McDonald’s, turn left on 34 (OJANA intersection)
- Go straight then turn right on 241 (MAEHARA intersection)
- Go straight then turn right at the 3rd traffic light
- You’ll see old love hotels on both sides of the street, right after the love hotels (there’s a church on the corner), turn right down a small road
- Go straight, after a boxing gym and a karate dojo you’ll see a small wooden Munakata-do sign on your right
- Turn right and you’ll see the little house and their parking lot