CONTRIBUTED BY KAHO
My American friend asked me about “Kurozato (Okianawan black sugar)” and Okinawan salt that her family in the States would like to have. I looked them up on-line and thought “I can write about this!” Okinawan sugar and salt would make good souvenirs.
Two local products of Okinawa that are famous are sugar cane and salt. Okinawans make “black sugar”, which is basically the same as brown sugar made from sugar cane. Click here to view some “Okinawan sugar” products. Okinawan brown sugar is believed to decrease the amount of cholesterol and and neutral fat in the blood. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Okinawan salt is made from the sea water of Okinawa, which is high in mineral because of the coral reef. The famous brand names are “Aguni no Shio” (Aguni Salt) and “Nuchimasu”. “Nuchi” part of “Nuchimasu” means “life” in Okinawan dialect. So, “Nuchimasu” means “salt of life”. You can take mineral you need daily by using this salt.
I found this beautiful commercial of a company called “Aoi Umi” (Blue Ocean), which has a factory in Yomitan Village. You may view a salt making process at this factory. Click here to view this commercial of the salt made by “Aoi Umi”.
Gala Aoi Umi
Free of Entry
Open All Year Round
Restaurant: 9:00〜23:00, Shops: 9:00〜20:00, Other facilities: 9:00〜18:00
Take Highway 58 north. At the Iramine Junction, turn left onto Highway 6. You’ll pass Tori Station on your left. Keep driving towards the north. You’ll pass LAWSON convenience store on your left and soon you will come to the stop light where the road splits into tow. Take a left fork. Follow the sign for the Hotel Alivila. Gala Aoi Umi is right by the “Murasaki Mura” closer to the water. (Directions were written by reading a map. I apologize if the directions are not accurate.)
There is also a factory in Yomitan Village on Highway 58 where you can watch a sugar making process and also experience sugar-making. You have probably seen big plastic black cows and pigs displayed outside of the factory, which can be seen from the Highway 58 on your left if you drive from the south to the north. You can view their commercial with filmed process of sugar making on a little screen on this webpage. Click here. You will see a small screen on the left side. This factory is called “Okinawa Kokutou”, which means “Okinawa Black (Brown) Sugar”. They also sell products in their store.
Okinawa Kokuto Factory
Free of Entry
Hours: 8:00 – 17:30
Appointment by phone call or e-mail
Drive north on Highway 58. Pass the Kadena Circle. Drive further north. Pass “Kina” junction. After passing two stoplights, you’ll see the factory on your left. (Directions were written by reading a map. I apologize if the directions are not accurate.)