Taste of Okinawa: Hilly Valley Jr. near Okuma Beach a hamburger heaven

Photo by Shoji Kudaka
Photo by Shoji Kudaka

Taste of Okinawa: Hilly Valley Jr. near Okuma Beach a hamburger heaven

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

A trip to Hiji Waterfall will most likely mean a hike of one hour and 20 minutesl. If you are planning to go there, it would be a good idea to replenish your energy before starting a long hike.

For me, Hilly Valley Jr. was a great pit stop before my exploration of the Hiji Waterfall and its surrounding national park. Find this eatery inside the Yui Yui Kunigami, a roadside station near Okuma Beach, where you can grab American favorites like hamburgers, tacos, and more.

A popular selection, according to a restaurant employee, is the hamburger (580 yen) cooked with 100% beef.

The interior décor has Americana touches like old Pepsi logos and the classic M&M dolls. The joint also serves up food with local twists and tastes such as “Agu Burger” (780 yen), a hamburger cooked with a specific breed of local pork, and even a burger made of goat meat (1,080 yen).

As an Okinawan, I felt it was an obligation to try the goat burger, as it is something we seek out when we need to replenish our energy levels. Though goat meat isn’t very common nor commonly liked because of its unique flavor and smell, I enjoyed the smoothness of the meat patty and felt like the strong aroma was very restrained and the Okinawan touch of Artemisia herbs added a nice bitter taste.

You may have noticed that many of the burgers you get in Japan are small and served neatly. At Hilly Valley Jr., however, these burgers are beefy, big and meant for a sizeable bite. It’s not very often I come across burgers like this, so it was fun to sit down and eat one.

Hill Valley Jr. ensures you’ll have plenty to work off when you hit the trail to check out Hiji Falls. Stop in before, or, if you’re famished, after your long hike. You won’t regret it.

Hill Valley Jr.

GPS Coordinates: N 26.732090, E 128.169501
Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Closed on Tuesday and last Monday of every month) 
*Payment in dollars is accepted.

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