How, where to slurp noodles like Okinawans

Mozuku soba, photos by Shoji Kudaka
Mozuku soba, photos by Shoji Kudaka

How, where to slurp noodles like Okinawans

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

You may have heard that it’s OK to slurp noodles in Japan. That is very well said and very true, and in Okinawa there are many soba noodle restaurants across the island for you to slurp to your heart’s content.

In the northern part of the land, Motobu Town is known for around 70 soba joints dotting local streets.

The mid-part of Okinawa has some famous soba joints near the U.S. military facilities, while the southern part, on the other hand, has many places, especially in and around Naha City. You can hop around from one soba place after another if you will.

So next time you run into a soba joint on a local street, stop in and slurp way like Okinawans.

Soba Joints in Motobu town

- Yambaru Soba
A popular place, often crowded with tourists. 
GPS coordinates: N 26.650518, E 127.949460
Hours: 11 a.m.- till food sold out. (Closed Mon. and Tues.)

- Kishimoto Shokudo – Honten (main shop)
A famous soba joint near Motobu Municipal Market
GPS Coordinates: N 26.660328, E 127.895893
Hours: 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. or till food sold out (Closed Wed.)

- Kishimoto Shokudo - Mt. Yaedake
A famous located near the mountain.
GPS Coordinates: N 26.657104, E 127.911035
Hours:11 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

- Sawanoya – Motobu
A popular soba joint near Motobu Municipal Market.
GPS Coordinates: N 26.660179, E 127.896308
Hours: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Closed Thur.)

- Kairo
A local restaurant near the Expo Park. 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.685050, E 127.877898
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Closed Tues.)

Other noodle joints up north

- Gabusoka Shokudo Honten (main shop)
A famous soba joint in Nago city.
GPS Coordinates: N 26.62226, E 127.99973
Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Closed Mon. If a holiday falls on Mon., the non-business day shifts to Tue.)

- Yakasoba
A restaurant in Ginoza village known for its various menu items.
GPS Coordinates: N 26.50716, E127.99295
Hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

- Ufuya
A fancy soba restaurant housed in a traditional Okinawan residential building. 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.62100, E 127.96363
Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Lunch, L.O. at 4:30 p.m.), 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. (dinner, L.O. at 9 p.m.)

Noodles near US military facilities

- Hamaya

Located near Sunabe Seawall in Chatan, this is popular among locals and tourists, alike.
GPS Coordinates: N 26.32931, E 127.74431
Hours: Open 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (L.O. at 5 p.m.)

- Gabusoka Shokudo Koza
This popular soba chain has a branch just a 10-minute walk from Kadena AB Gate 2.
Their Okinawa soba broth is rich and tasty;
GPS Coordinates: N 26.33572, E 127.79107
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. (L.O. at 9 p.m.)

- Gen Restaurant
Near Camp Foster Gate 4, Gen offers a variety of local favorites.
GPS Coordinates: N 26.30520, E 127.77349
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Joints in mid - island

- Daruma soba 
A popular soba joint, a 5-minute drive away from AEON MALL Okinawa Rycom
GPS Coordinates: N 26.32238, E 127.78940
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. (L.O. at 8:55 p.m.)

Soba down south and Naha

- Heiwaen soba
A soba joint near the Peace Memorial Park.
GPS Coordinates: N 26.098268, E 127.721910
Hours: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

- Ishigufuu 
A popular soba joint near Naha Airport.
GPS Coordinates: N 26.17892, E 127.65643
Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Closed on Mon. If a holiday falls on Monday, the non-business day shifts to Tue.)

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