Kitakaisen, originally uploaded by okinawa hai.

(Click on the photo above for more pictures.)


Kitakaisen is one of my favorite places to eat on island.  First off, you have to love a place that has a huge menu with pictures!  Sushi, gyoza, california rolls, yakisoba, chicken fried rice, horsemeat sashimi; yeah, I’m quite sure I’ve seen that last one on the menu…I could go on and on.  The hubby’s personal favorite is the chicken rice soup; mine is the soumen champuru which you can get spicy or not.  There’s a good selection of food for both the adventurous and the not so adventurous.

When I want to eat out with buddies this is one of the first places that come to mind.  Besides the variety of food it’s a great place for large groups as they have a tatami mat area with long tables that can be divided up accordingly.

It’s also really reasonable.  Most of the time dinner for my family including the two little piglets comes out to about 3500 yen or so and we’re all quite full and happy.  We don’t usually head there on the weekdays but they do offer specials like half price sushi combinations on Monday and 20% off for ladies only groups on Wednesdays.

Hours:  5 PM – 1 AM Daily

Phone: 098-936-7373

Address: 416-6 Ihei, Chatan

Google Maps Coordinates: 26.3250421797, 127.764230383

Directions (from Kadena): Take a LEFT onto Hwy 58 from KAB Gate 1. Take the first LEFT onto 23. Turn RIGHT at the 1st light (at this intersection you’ll see a sign on the far right corner that says Chatan Sports Center and has a bowling pin at the top). Look out on your right for a bright yellow sign that says Chatan Sports Center. Turn RIGHT just before the sign into a large parking lot .  Kitakaisen is located above the bowling alley on the 2nd floor of the building off to your right.



  1. Food was fair to middlin’, and the waiters did try to forget a dish here or there – but in all honesty we dropped a party of 19 people on them at 1600 for an 1800 going away. They *do* take credit and noone complained when 5 children ran screaming around for a couple minutes (parents did assert control) so it is kid friendly, with american and japanese-american style seating. Offers a variety of food from sushi to mexican (surprise!) and takes cash, yen, visa, and mastercard

  2. This place is a great family restaurant. The best part is that things are tasty and inexpensive. My kids can order extra dishes and it won’t empty my bank account. I love the Tempura Shrimp sushi roll, yum.

  3. Basically for Americans who don’t want to eat off base but do want to at least try something. I’d bet most of their regulars like it because it’s the only thing they’ve tried outside the gates.

  4. For Beginners.
    If you have never tried Japanese food before, this place might be your testing ground. Its not a restaurant, its an izakaya, food in izakaya’s are meant to be more tasty to complement alcoholic drinks. We had an office function here before – not impressed. Not presentable and not authentic at all.

  5. We have never had a bad experience at Kitakaisen. I’m not sure how someone would wind up getting food with spit on it and also positively identifying it as spit but, as far as we know, we have never been served food with spit on it at Kitakaisen. I wouldn’t say it’s the best sushi place on earth, but I have always found their food to be decent. I really like their sweet potato tempura.

    As far as the service goes, well, the Japanese have a little bit of a different view on service in their restaurants. It is not uncommon for servers to bring food out as it is prepared and not all at once.

  6. ive heard so much about this place, and when i finally went with my friends, i wasnt impressed at all…. You guys should try Ryuku JAZZRA…so far the best Izakaya in town..its in Awase right across Toys R Us… we’ve tried almost all of the food in the menu and they are all great!!

  7. My husband and I tried this place out last night (after debating between this and Yoshi’s) and I have to say we were not impressed. The food wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything we would rave about. We got the California roll, which I found extremely “mayonnaisey”, yakisoba, which we thought was kind of bland, gyoza, which we actually thought was really good, and yakitori, which was also good- not great.
    I’ve never had Yoshi’s but sushi is one of my favorite foods and we do eat a lot of yakisoba, and this place to us was just sort of mediocre.

  8. Went there for the first time a few days ago. LOVED IT!! The food was awesome and they brought it out as it was done; they don’t wait for it ALL to be done then bring it out. Which is good because some stuff can be prepared faster than others so I’d like it fresh! All the food was great! The people were friendly as well.

    Oh and someone said it’s the only place they’ve seen horsemeat sashimi– I know they serve it at The Barrel as well. However I have not tried it and don’t plan too 😉

  9. My family and I just got back from there a few min ago and while the meal started off nice, it ended horribly. I ordered Okonomiyaki and it was last to arrive…with spit on it!! I kid you not! I wish I had taken a picture. I would not suggest this place to anyone!

  10. This place is more kid friendly that Yoshihachi. The portions here are much larger too. Their rolls are very large! Parking is very good.

    Try the horsemeat sashimi, I haven’t seen it sold anywhere else (well, not on the english menu at least)

  11. We just tried this place last night. It was fabulous! We ordered up the deluxe cali rolls, shrimp tempura rolls (to die for!), chicken fried rice for the little one, and an order of the cooked or chopped beef (I can’t remember what it’s called but it was great). I didn’t expect much from the cooked food but what extremely happy. I think this place will become a staple now that we’ve found it! Thanks so much!!!!

  12. Love love love this place. We’ve been here about a month and a half and have already eaten there 3 times! I love the sweet potato tempura, the yakisoba, fried rice and shrimp sushi rolls! Not too keen on the crab meat egg fuyung (sp?) tho. It’s a fun place to eat and I see more Americans in there than I do locals!

  13. Please, next time anyone goes in, say hi to Senda-san for me and my wife Linda. We were stationed there for 5 years and went to Kitakaisen about 3-4 times a month!! We absolutely loved the place and miss it even more. This is the best sushi on island by far. Yes, we tried Yoshi’s but Senda-san and crew take first place. We are in Alaska now and plan to retire here but also plan to return to Okinawa on vacation. Arigato gozaimas.

  14. Wow, this is my first time on this site and I am absolutely blown away. The information you provide is super useful, I will be getting to Okinawa in October and cannot wait. I love all of your pictures and recommendations. I blog over at (click on my name) and I can’t wait to add some of my own adventures to yours. This particular restaurant sounds wonderful, and is on my list of to do’s.

  15. Their california rolls are really good and I think rival the ones at Yoshi hachi’s. I think this is one of the places most people come for Japanese food when they first arrive on island. The Japanese bowling alley downstairs is also a good distraction for the little ones.