Okinawa is associated with beautiful beaches and a relaxed, friendly culture that distinguishes itself from the constant on-the-go attitude of Tokyo. The unique history of Okinawa has cultivated a food culture distinct to the island, and it is said that a healthy diet and lifestyle explains the famously long life expectancy of Okinawans. Through one of our cooking classes, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the secrets of Okinawan cooking from a local!
Okinawan Traditional Cuisine & Historical Market Tour is popular with other travelers visiting Okinawa.
On average cooking classes in Okinawa cost ¥6236 per person (based on airKitchen prices).
Popular cheap cooking classes in Okinawa include Chiharu's Cooking.
All cooking classes in Okinawa on airKitchen are offered in English.
Goya, or bitter melon, is a staple vegetable in Okinawan cooking, and goya chanpuru is one of the region's most quintessential dishes. Slices of goya are stir-fried with tofu, egg, pork, and soy sauce. A common home-cooked food, it is often enjoyed during the hot summer months as way to ward off summer heat and fatigue. Other variations of chanpuru include tofu and papaya chanpuru.
Pork plays a huge role in Okinawan cuisine, with it being said that every part of the pig is used except its squeal. Rafute is an Okinawan pork rib dish that involves braising the meat in a sauce made of brown sugar, soy sauce, and awamori (Okinawan liquor). The slow cooking process yields meat that is incredibly tender and flavorful.
Pig ears are thinly sliced and either boiled or steamed to make the Okinawan dish mimiga. It is served with a dipping sauce, though exactly what that sauce is made from depends on the cook preparing this side dish. Vinegar, peanut, miso, mayonnaise, and ponzu are among the common dressings that accompany mimiga.
A type of seaweed with bubbles in place of leaves on its stem, umibudo makes a unique and refreshing Okinawan side dish. It is often enjoyed with a glass of cold beer or as a garnish to rice or noodle dishes. Umibudo doesn't require any cooking preparation and is typically enjoyed with a simple soy sauce and vinegar dressing. When eaten, the bursting of the bubbles releases a subtle taste of the sea in one's mouth, with the "popping" sensation described as "puchi-puchi" in Japanese.
The different areas of Japan often develop their own styles of classic Japanese dishes like sushi and ramen, and soba is no exception. While soba noodles are usually made at least partially with buckwheat flour, Okinawa soba solely uses wheat flour. This leads to a texture similar to udon noodles, but with a flavor enhanced by the sea salt abundant in Okinawa. Soki soba is warm soba dish that contains broth and slow-cooked pork ribs. This is a popular dish in Okinawan home cooking, with each family having a unique spin on it.
Sata andagi is essentially an Okinawan donut. Made from solely flour, sugar, and egg and deep-fried, this treat is a simple way to satisfy your sweet tooth while on the island. A popular snack to make at home, sata andagi is also widely sold at specialty shops around the island in a variety of exciting flavors – including sweet potato, brown sugar, sesame, and more.
With one of Okinawa's top crops being peanuts, many of its local foods make use of this familiar ingredient. Jimami tofu is one example. While regular tofu is derived from soybeans, jimami tofu is made from peanuts and potato starch. It is often served with simple garnishes – like grated ginger, wasabi, soy sauce, and brown sugar syrup – so its special sticky texture can be fully enjoyed. Don't miss out on this unique dish in Okinawan cooking during your trip!
Taco rice, which sounds exactly like what it is, originated in Okinawa following WWII after American military presence increased on the island. Representing a fusion of Tex-Mex and Japanese cooking, taco rice involves adding typical taco fillings – like ground beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and salsa – atop a bed of white rice. This dish has since spread to other parts of Japan and is offered in many restaurants.
Another pork dish common in Okinawan cooking is tebichi. Pig's feet are slow-cooked for several hours to achieve a soft and glutinous texture that is easily eaten. Tebichi is often enjoyed in nitsuke (a soy sauce based broth), oden, soup, or on soba (tebichi soba).
The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is one the largest aquariums in the world. Its main attraction, the Kuroshio Sea tank, houses 70 species of sea life.
In the heart of Naha, Okinawa's capital, lies Okinawa Kokusaidori. Its name translate to "international road," and it is a lively strip of restaurants, shops, and hotels popular among tourists and locals alike.
Another popular tourist attraction in Naha is the Makishi Public Market, where a variety of unique Okinawan ingredients, groceries, cooked dishes, and desserts are available. It is currently undergoing renovations but has a temporary home nearby until its reopening in March 2022.
This theme park is intended to give tourists a taste of historical Okinawan culture and tradition. It features an impressive limestone cave you can walk through, a replica of a traditional Ryukyu village, and a snake museum based around the habu – a local, highly venomous snake.
A bus ride from Naha lies the grandiose limestone Gangala Cave. Guided tours are available so you can learn about the history and significance this cave from prehistoric times to WWII and beyond.
Drive along Kaichu Road and experience the sensation of gliding across the sea. This road bridge stretches between Okinawa and Henza Island, and provides beautiful panoramic ocean views.
Yachimun no Sato, or the Yomitan Pottery Village, is a peaceful area to wander about north of Naha. Small pottery shops, kilns, studios, and houses make up this small artistic community. Today, there are about 45 potters and glass artists who work in this district.
Go back in history and explore these Ryukyuan fortress ruins in central Okinawa. It's high elevations grants visitors stunning panoramic views of the island, especially at sunset.
Another former Ryukyuan fortress is Katsuren Castle. Today, you can visit its ruins and enjoy its unique architecture that integrates with the natural land formations it was built upon.
If you're interested in snorkeling or scuba diving, don't pass up on Blue Cave. The water glows a distinct bright blue color in this cave shaped by the sea over time. Since the sea life is accustomed to human visitors, you'll be able to see and swim with many fish!
Naminoue Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Naha. It has been (and continues to be) one of the most culturally significant shrines in Japan, with its origins dating back to Ryukyu Kingdom times.
Shisa are beasts from Okinawan mythology that are seen as wards and used as protection charms. You'll often see pairs of these lion-dog figures on roofs and gates of Okinawan homes. You can buy your own shisa duo to bring home with you from Okinawa, selecting from a wide array of colors, sizes, and both traditional and contemporary designs.
The art of Ryukyu glass is distinct to Okinawa, arising in the period after WWII. During the period of hardship following the war, Okinawan glass artists repurposed Coke bottles and other glass scraps discarded by Americans stationed on the island to create practical, but unique, glassware. What started as a survival tactic has become a source of artistic and cultural pride and tradition.
Bingata is a traditional dying technique that is unique to Okinawa, developed during the Ryukyu Kingdom period. It features very vibrant colors and is thought to synthesize Indian, Chinese, and Javenese dying processes. Today, you can buy your own bingata cloth as a souvineer or even take a class and make your own in Okinawa.
With a taste and texture similar to shortbread, chinsuko is a traditional Okinawan sweet that makes a delicious souvenir.
The beniimo, a deep purple sweet potato, is considered one of Okinawa's local specialties and is enjoyed in a variety of ways. The beniimo tart, however, might be the most famous and is a popular souvenir to take home and share with friends.
Umibudo are a popular side dish and snack in Okinawa, often enjoyed with soy sauce alongside a beer. It's a type of seaweed with bubbles of air, in place of leaves, on its stem that explains its namesake. The refreshing "popping" sensation umibudo confers when eaten is unique and sought-after, called "puchi-puchi" in Japanese.
In Okinawan dialect, "yachimun" translates to "pottery". The potters of Okinawa developed a unique style over time, distinguished by the pottery's warm colors and rustic feel. Though you can find yachimun pottery for sale throughout Okinawa, you can also visit Yachimun no Sato (Yachimun Pottery Village), where a community of around 45 Okinawan potters and artists work today.
While ordinary tofu is made from soybeans, this Okinawan spin on tofu is made from peanuts and potato starch. Jimami tofu can be enjoyed both as a sweet and savory dish, and makes an excellent souvenir to share the unique flavors of Okinawa with friends.
Shima togarashi is a small, red, and very hot chili pepper of Okinawa. It is processed into a dry pepper powder called Yanbaru Hiri Hiri, of which a little goes a long way.
Miyako, a small island in Okinawa Prefecture, is home to this small but beautiful beach. Yonaha Maehama Beach has a good balance of coral and fish for the exploratory swimmer or snorkeler.
Minna Island is a small, isolated island in Okinawa surrounded by a coral reef that is known its ocean recreational activities. Visitors flock here to swim, dive, snorkel, and go boating.
This tranquil beach on Taketomi Island features a sandy beach and shallow waters that make it ideal for those with children.
Sesoko Beach lies on Sesoko Island, which is accessible from Okinawa's main island by car. An expansive stretch of white sandy beach awaits you here!
Now accessible by car, Kouri Beach is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Enjoy a white sand, clean turquoise water, and views of the Kouri Bridge from this beach. At night, you'll have a great view of the stars!
On Zamami Island lies Kozamami Beach – also called Old Zamami Beach. It is an excellent spot for swimming and snorkeling.
Located just 20 minutes from Naha Airport, Toyosaki Chura Sun Beach is a convenient and popular beach on the Okinawa main island. It is the largest artificial beach in Okinawa, and the perfect place to catch a beautiful sunset!
Hatenohama Beach refers to a 7km-long uninhabited island near Kumejima Island in Okinawa. It consists of three sandbars of sandy, white beaches. There are a variety of tour services through which you can visit this beautiful, unmarred stretch of beach.
This is a popular beach on Miyako Island. After a short walk through wild vegetation, you'll find yourself on a beach shaped by tides and winds over time. A picturesque arch, diverse coral, and beautiful blue waters lie at Sunayama Beach!
Though a little harder (and more expensive) to access than other beaches in Okinawa, Nishihama Beach is consistently rated as one of the area's best beaches. Its seclusion and excellent snorkeling conditions help it stand out from the rest.
Aharen Beach is a popular beach on Tokashiki Island, welcoming visitors with translucent blue waters and coral reefs that make it ideal for snorkeling.
One of the more popular remote islands in Okinawa is Ishigaki Island. One of the most southernmost islands of Japan, it features beautiful beaches, hiking, and night skies – it's one of the best islands in Japan for stargazing. Its remoteness has also lent itself to the development of a unique island culture with specialty foods, song, and dance.
Ie Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from Mobotu Port in northern Okinawa, is perhaps best known for the distinct mountain the rises from the otherwise relatively flat small island. A hike to the top of Mount Gusuku, also called Tacchu, is rewarded with a 360 degree view of the island, Okinawa, and the surrounding blue sea. The island is also known for its beautiful flowers, with its annual Lily Festival attracting tourists every April. Local specialties include sugar, peanuts, and beef.
The southernmost inhabited island of Japan is Hateruma Island, accessible by ferry from Ishigaki island. Snorkeling-friendly beaches, sprawling sugarcane plantations, and unparalleled stargazing await visitors here.
Retreat to Tonaki Island, where rustic Japanese architecture and community traditions persevere. About 400 people live on this tiny island known for its warmth and welcoming atmosphere. With the town of Tonaki being designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings, you'll have the sense of stepping back in time when you visit this island.
This small remote island was the setting of the NHK drama Churasan, which cast the national spotlight on Kohama Island and attracts many Japanese tourists. On the island, visitors can enjoy a hike up Ufudake mountain, views of sweeping sugar plantations along "Sugar Road", and beautiful beaches (of course).
Natural landscapes and formations are preserved on Kohama Island, which has some of the most pristine and translucent waters in Okinawa – fishing is big here! The remote island has a long and lasting tradition of pre-Buddhist, animist ritual that has undoubtedly influenced the community's reverence for nature. A popular site to visit is Kumaya Cave, an ancient place of worship that requires squeezing through a narrow crag to enter.
Easily accessible from Okinawa Island, Minna Island is a popular destination for those interested in water recreational activities – such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving! If you stay the night on a clear day, you'll catch a beautiful sunset along the beach. The island is home to only about 40 people, though it draws tens of thousands of tourists each year.
Only a 15 minute ferry ride from Okinawa Island, Kudaka Island is a terrific day-trip spot! The island is considered one of the holiest sites in Okinawa. According to Ryukyu legend, it was the first island descended upon and created by creator goddess Amamikiyo. A strong sense of ritualistic tradition perseveres today, and there are various sacred sites (utaki) you can visit on the island. Sea snake soup is a local delicacy of the island as well!
Drive over the Kouri Bridge to access Kouri Island, a tiny island famous for its sandy beaches with turquoise waters. If you're seeking magnificent views, head to the observation deck at Kouri Ocean Tower.
Miyako Island is the fourth largest island in Okinawa Prefecture, best known for its white sandy beaches and beautiful scenery. Surrounding coral reefs provide excellent snorkeling conditions. Other popular tourist destination spots include the Eastern Cape, the Tropical Botanical Bridges, and the bridges that connect Miyako to smaller neighboring islands.
Accessible by car, Hamahiga island is a small island with great spiritual significance in Okinawa. It is the home of Shirumichu, a sacred cave known as the original dwelling place of Ryukyuan creation gods Amamikiyo and Shinerikiyo. Muruku Beach, the two towns of Hama and Higa, and a salt factory are among the other attractions of the island.
A quick drive from the Okinawa mainland, Ou Island offers calm waters that are ideal for scuba diving and many sacred worship sites to explore. In addition, cheap but tasty tempura using the freshest seafood is a popular food to snack on here.
Though it is the second largest album in Okinawa – second only to the main island – Iriomote Island remains largely undeveloped and and covered in dense jungle. Explore the unique natural landscape yourself with a trip to the vast Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park. Outdoor recreational activities like hiking, kayaking, fishing, sailing, and diving are very popular on this island!
Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. It is a series of islands that has its colorful history as a self-governing empire and a specifically subtropical weather and a remarkable food culture. If you want to know more about Okinawa cuisine, enrolling a homestyle cooking class Okinawa right at the comfort of the host’s kitchen is a must.
Our cooking class Okinawa is ideal for locals and tourists who would want to experience and take pleasure in local Okinawa culture as well as home-style Okinawa meal prepared in an actual Okinawa home. Our cooking class is far different from a studio type cooking lesson. We assure you that you love the personal attention our cooking host offers to their students.
Learn an Okinawa homestyle approach to preparing yummy and simple Okinawa dishes. You can pick from a vast array of cooking classes such as sushi cooking lesson, tempura cooking lesson, udon making, and many others.
Our skilled and friendly host will teach you how to cook delicious home-prepared meals with organic and straightforward recipes as well as amazing techniques that you can use when you go back home. By taking a cooking class Okinawa, you will know how to keep things simple and easy and how to use the right cooking equipment.
Taking a cooking class Okinawa is a chance to know what essential items you must always have on hand when preparing Japanese cuisines. You might be astounded at how easy and fast to prepare these Japanese cuisines. Our hosts are skilled and have many years of experience in this business. They are well-versed about Japanese foods, so then be afraid to ask queries.
Access to a cooking class Okinawa and Okinawa cooking hosts means you have someone who can help you in not only the art of Japanese cooking but what other kinds of classes might suit your taste and interests. Here at Okinawa, there are lots of cooking classes available.
Cooking class Okinawa allows you to see what our comfortable and warm little kitchen looks like as well as how successful our visitors have been with their creations.
Learn to make expensive, restaurant quality Japanese foods for far less money than eating out. Take the plunge. Enroll now at cooking class Okinawa!