We've been experiencing so many new things lately, so I thought I'd share a few of our "firsts" (since living in Japan) with you guys!
First sushi we've tried - Yoshi Hachi:
Being used to Californiaized sushi (yeah, I did just make that word up), I was pretty nervous to try sushi over here, since I heard that they eat some pretty crazy things. However, Matt chose an awesome little place for us to try out called Yoshi Hachi, which is supposedly pretty popular around here. It was a great experience! The place was very tiny - we would've never found it if we weren't looking for it. The atmosphere was cozy and traditional Japanese, which included the dining area where you sat on the floor and the tables were sunken in for your feet to dangle (similar to the restaurant The Hub we went to in Naha City - seems like this is very common in most restaurants). We, however, sat at the sushi bar, where our chef was none other than Yoshi himself! It put me at ease when I realized the menus also included English descriptions. We ended up getting 4 cut sushi rolls, an order of sweet potato tempura, and Matt also ordered some mahi mahi sushimi. For those of you who are sushi-challenged, sushimi is simply raw slices of fish, and I'm not quite at this level yet! Beside the fact that the sushi was extremely fresh and delicious tasting, the best part about Yoshi Hachi was the price. It ended up being half of what we would normally spend on a sushi dinner back in California. I think we'll be back!
First ice cream parlor we've gone to - Dairies:
Yes, the ice cream parlor's name is actually Dairies. We stopped off here after Yoshi Hachi to try some Japanese style ice cream. I got one scoop of "Okinawa Salt Cookies" flavored ice cream in a dish, and Matt got their signature - a scoop of ice cream in a cone, topped with soft serve! His ice cream was purple and called "Ben-imo", which I'm starting to think has something to do with the color purple and those purple sweet potatoes they have here... Anyway, mine was really good, tasted kind of like Nilla Wafers.
First furniture we've bought:
We were at our local exchange marketplace last weekend and ran across this adorable set of teak patio furniture. They are unique, fold up easily, and were only $140 for the set of 3! We had been looking for something to put out on our bedroom balcony so that we could sit out there and enjoy the warm Okinawa nights, and we loved these!
First awesome homegoods store we found out in town - Living Design Square:
Okay, so this is actually 3 stores in one shopping center, but I'm loving all 3! Living Design Square is a pretty big building by Okinawa standards, and it is also pretty modern-looking - you can tell it just opened in the past year or two. Today OK! is basically the Japanese IKEA only slightly better. MaxPlus has the homegoods department of a Target (oh, how I miss you!) - times 10! Such cool, unique things you can find in there for your home, especially storage items. I've come to realize that the Japanese are big on storage and modular furniture pieces, because they don't have much space in their homes. The third, and more expensive, store is called The Grace, and it is mostly an upscale furniture store with gorgeous fabrics for custom drapery and ZGallerie-type accessories - LOVE it! I wish I could afford to shop there, but for now it is just fun to look and get some neat ideas:)
All kinds of chopsticks
Some really neat furniture
I loved these stools
They provide slippers for you to put on in certain areas of the store, because shoes aren't allowed!