Okinawa Southwest Islands cuisine

Okinawa Southwest Islands cuisine

Most people are familiar with standard Japanese delicacy such as sushi or ramen. Okinawa has unique offerings which gives you a different taste for Japanese food. The culinary style evolved from combination of subtropical climate in Okinawa and island topography. It has also evolved as key historical events occur such as independence from Japanese ruling until end 19th century, trade connections with China and US occupation during World War 2. Its local fare combines influences from Japan mainland, Korea, US and China. It is said that Okinawan delights can lengthen the lifespan. Fish and other seafood are not the main ingredients. Pork is made the main dish ingredients. Seaweed is also a treasured delicacy.

The first Okinawan food favorite is brown sugar. It has been in production for centuries. They come from sugar cane harvested in areas rich in minerals. It has beneficial iron and calcium content that is pleasing to the taste bud as well. It is often used for making sweets or ice cream. It can be used for tea as well. Eating It raw is also an option that will give you much needed adrenaline boost. Okinawan doughnuts are small in shape and filled with black sesame and coconut or sweet potato. It is best eaten fresh and hot. Most restaurants serve them together with ice cream. Sweet potato purple in color is another highlight. They are a loyal ingredient to many local Okinawan dishes. They come in different shapes and sizes in the form of ice cream, doughnut or sliced chip.

Another top delicacy is the Okinawa soba. It is thick and white in color. They are best eaten with hot broth boiled with pork. It is tasty and nutritious. Extra flavoring can be added such as chilli peppers or pickled ginger. Mozuku seaweed is also worth mentioning. It is usually eaten raw as serves as a side dish, combined with sesame seeds. Eating the seaweed coupled with tempura would form the best combination. It is light and delicious. Tender seaweed coated with crispy batter would make a hearty meal. Bitter melon is another delicacy unique to Okinawa. It is bitter, as the name suggests and not suited for certain people. It takes time to appreciate the taste. It has high levels of vitamin C. It is usually served with tempura or as a side dish. Goya beer can be made out of the melon juice and it is well loved by many travellers.

Awamori is a rice liquor without sugar. It was first produced during the Ryukyu Kingdom's reign and exported to China about few hundred years back. It has high levels of alcoholic content, up till 80% but tastes mild and mellow. It is a good social drink consumed at dining events. People usually drink it after dilution with water. A recent recipe was made to combine Okinawa brown sugar to form plum liquer, rich in taste and intensity. Awamori can also be served with ice cream with raisins as toppings.

Shikuwasa is a citrus fruit best consumed during summer time. It is served with ice and extremely sweet and addictive. Freshly made shikuwasa juice are better compared to the pre-packaged vending machine bottles. It can be used as sashimi sauce, or mixing with rice liquor. The fruit actually resembles a lime, but plumper. Its taste is hard to describe, most refer it as a fusion between lime, lemon as well as grapefruit.

Coffee is another local Okinawan drinks delight. It has its famous roasted Coffee 35. It can be found at selected cafes around the Naha region. Try out a café named 1-15-23 located at Tsuboya, where the digits in the shop's name literally means coral. Coffee used are locally roasted using coral, and 3.5% cut of profits is channeled towards preserving corals around all the islands.

Ogasawara Islands - hot tourist spot

Ogasawara Islands - hot tourist spot

Not many people will expect seeing clear dark skies dotted with shining stars, clear blue sea and romantic sunsets when they travel to Japan with their friends and families. There is a hidden wonderful spot just for the observing nature's beauty lying just 1000 kilometers south from Tokyo, the bustling city of Japan and the place is none other than Ogasawara Islands.

Ogasawara Archipelago, or more commonly known to locals as Bonin Islands, was awarded the prestigious World Heritage site title. It is located in the center of Pacific Ocean. The distance may seem far away from Tokyo but the Islands are considered a member of the Tokyo prefecture. Human footprints and local dwellers populate the small islands such as Chichi Jima as well as Haha Jima. If you take the ferry from Tokyo, you will be docking at Chichi Jima. It is an island well developed for tourist arrivals and houses Japanese restaurants and plenty of fine accommodation. It is a popular spot for travellers looking for breathtaking beaches. Haha Jima, on the other hand is more but it is a great place for solitary confinement and peaceful outing. Ogasawara Islands is definitely a heaven for nature enthusiasts. The islands have multiple seaside activities that you will not get tired of ranging from snorkeling to kayaking. Great adventures await you if you fancy forest hiking as well as observing whales.

There is no better spot for snorkeling and diving at around Ogasawara Islands. Divers are in for a treat as they are able to spot rare manta rays roaming the seabed of the Islands. Plenty of unique sea creatures await the patient divers ranging from sea turtles to whales. There are also beautiful coral reefs all around the island. Chichi Jima is the best diving spot one could find. Diving packages are available and you can take your time to select from the best operators. As for snorkeling, one should visit Miyano Hama as well as Tsuri Hama where the beaches are the undisputed kings. They are accessible via foot just over a hill. Miyano Hama is a good spot for beginners looking for more shelter. Tsuri Hama on the other hand has more rocky beach but offers better coral.

Whale watching is and activity not to be missed. Do not miss the sighting season from January to April every year if you crave to see the great humpback whales. Be wary of the cold weather in January as well as February which is not conducive for island exploration. Sperm whales can be sighted from May right to November. Whale tours are widely available from multiple operators. One could just indulge in swimming non-stop around the beaches just west of Chichi Jima. Copepe as well as Kominato Kaigan are attractive spots. One could also hike up a mountain trail to witness the sparkling white sand from John Beach. Make sure that you bring enough drinking water supply as the walk by take more than 2 hours.

Must-See List in Tokyo

Must-See List in Tokyo

Tokyo is the biggest city in Japan. In this place, a lot of things seems unique and you may not find something in Tokyo like any other places in the world. Here is some list of must-see things in Tokyo.

Cat Café

Outside Tokyo a little, exactly at Chiba prefecture, you can find this café with cat all around the place. You can pet them, stroke them, give some treat, and the most fun is to play with fox tails toys, or any other cat toys. They have strict rules about not to chase them to cuddle, and let them approach near you. No sandals or shoes inside the café. The cats are not placed in a cage, but they are bounce everywhere at the café. Inside the basket, upon the cat-trees, on the table, and chair. If you live in an apartment and cannot have a pet, then you might want to visit this cafe sometimes. This café makes you forget about the outside world of Tokyo as the busiest city. It can make you relax and rest for a while.

Maid Café

Like the story of a manga or the Japanese comics, which the characters are often a cute girl use a short maid dresses colored in black with a white apron. This kind of dresses is very famous and recognizable between the manga reader around the world and the manga-ka (refer to the manga maker). Tokyo has brought this kind of maid-things into a maid in a realistic restaurant. Every guest is served as the master, and be greeted "Welcome home, Master". This might be the most desirable place for manga lovers all around the world.

Onsen

Onsen, or a natural hot spring, which is very famous and also the first thing to visit when you went to Japan. Not only for tourists, the local Tokyo people also loves to soak in an onsen and become one of their holiday destination too. There also a theme park onsen named Oedo Onsen Monogatari. Usually, they provide yukata or thin kind of kimono for the guests to be wear while in the onsen area.

Food

Japanese food is the most recognizable in the world, as much as French cuisine. Food is the most passionate culinary both for tourist and the local people. If you watch Japan TV, about half of it shows anything about food. There's why a lot of food model made from plastic displayed in front of the restaurant. Kappabashi-Dori is one of the places sold this kind of food models. You have to see the details and how much it resembles the real food. It's really are a fantastic art to enjoy.

The department store

You have to make a swift visit to the department store, although you didn't need anything to buy. You can see a melon with $100 price and other things which are rare and edibles. The fancy thing to buy, but it is worth it since it handled with care. They touch it only when they wear gloves. The taste? Is not something to be asked, the taste, the texture, the price just warrants it all. The Tokyo people shop at this department store, but this kind of fancy fruit is not something to but daily, but it will make a good gift.

Vending Machines

It heard nothing special about it, but in fact, this is very interesting to gawk at a vending machine at Tokyo. You can find vending machines in every corner of Tokyo. But something interesting about it, you must see what they sold inside there. They contain hot canned coffee, cold green tea in bottles, canned bread, beer, hot noodles, and even umbrellas. The technology is also unique and modern. The vending machines menu in a touch screen, and even the face recognition software.

The toilet

Curious about the toilet? Most of them are the usual toilet, but sometimes they have cool features like seat warmers, air dryers, adjusting water pressure, some are surprisingly interesting to raise and lower the seats.

Gundam statue

There's also something to see in Odaiba. Right here, stands a 35 meters tall and 35 tons weight the famous mobile suit Gundam, with the scale 1:1. The famous anime make the idea. They built it to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the anime in 2009.

Kagoshima The Island Of Natural Treasures

Kagoshima The Island Of Natural Treasures

Hey, have you heard about the "Hawaii of Japan"? Do you want to see the conical volcano? Plan a trip to Japan, which gives the pleasure for all by visiting the places like Hiroshima, Where the atom bomb explosion and Kagoshima, where there is an active volcano, which is known as the "Hawaii of Japan" Wow, nobody can expect such natural disasters are now tourist visiting places in Japan. There are many more sites are to be expected to be explored.

Kagoshima

The Kagoshima, nicknamed as "Naples of the Eastern World", the city which was known for its bay location was founded in the year 1889. This city is a worth seeing place In Kagoshima, where one can see a Stratovolcano, named "Sakurajima"(Stratovolcano is a conical volcano which has many layers of hardened lava and ash) Kagoshima is the place where one can see the live volcanoes. In the year 1914, when the eruption was caused, the lava flowed and connected with the former island Osumi Peninsula. From that day onwards even today the volcanic activity continues and recently, in the month of February of this year the eruption started, and the Japan Meteorological Agency identified that the volcano is active and instructed not to approach near to that place. Sakurajima, is a mountain which has three peaks namely, Kita, Naka and Minami- dake. Among the three the southern peak Minami-dake is active. In this volcano eruption happens regularly with a ground shake for a few seconds, one can see the plumes in the sky by the nearby areas of the foothills.

Kirishma

According to the Japanese mythology, the god "Ninigi no Mikoto, who is the grandson of Sun Goddess "Amaterasu" , who was sent to earth to rule the Japanese emperors. Even today we can see at the top of the mountain – "Mount Takachiho-no-mine", the spear sunk which was used by the Ninigi no Mikoto to descend to land on earth. Kirishma is a mountain range which is situated in the Miyazaki and Kagoshima Prefectures. The surroundings of the mountain range are filled with volcanic lakes, highlands and hot springs. The hot springs and the mountain surroundings offers an adventurous exploration for the visitors. Kirishma is one of the 18 young and small active volcanoes in the Kagoshima bay.

Yakushima island

Yakushima is a part of Kagoshima Prefecture. This is the island of the Japanese oldest cedar living trees. To your wonder you can see the trees about 7000 years old. The Japanese call the cedar trees which are of 1000 years old as "Yakusugi". Most of the tourists visit this place to see the old cedar trees. Some areas in this island ware declared as Natural World Heritage Site in the year 1993.

Izumi

Izumi is a place on the edge of the Kagoshima Prefecture towards the sea of Yatsushiro. This place is famous for migratory cranes. In every autumn season, thousands of Siberian Cranes migrate to this island and stay there until the spring season. Izumi Crane Park, Dome Theater and Crane Museum are very worth seeing places.

Kinko Bay

The Kinko Bay is filled with endless restaurants and shopping centers and the most important view from this place is to admire the Sakurajima's eruption along with the Kagoshima's cuisine. The Kinko Bay belongs to the Jomon-era and having the evidences of human habitation in Japan.

Ibusuki – Hot Sand Bath

Tourists who want to enjoy the hot sand baths can visit this place. Ibusuki is a place famous for sand baths. The bathers are literally buried in the heated sand and the Ibusuki's restaurants also offer Sand bath halls . Apart from the sand baths there are many other attractions in this area. Satsuma Denshokan Museum displays the pottery works of the Japanese people and the displays related to the history one can see in this museum. One can enjoy one more bathing experience at this place is having outdoor baths of Healthy land having a view onto the mountain Kaimondake and the ocean bay.

Plan a trip to the visit the Treasures of Kagoshima Islands.