茶房一葉 Sabou Ichiyou, translated means “teahouse one leaf.” It is the name of an adorable tea room and shop in Nanjo, Okinawa. It is kind of my secret spot since- I may have been her only gaijin customer. I found it after searching online where to find mooncakes in Okinawa, which turns out to be a bit scarcer than one would imagine (the irony is that the popularity of mooncakes has now risen, and are a bit easier to find over the last year). I was desperate, and I really wanted mooncakes 月餅 for moon-viewing ceremony. I finally found this place after sifting through results in Japanese, and decided to seek it out.
I plugged the address into my phone and drove off through a rural area of Nanjo. I pulled up to this small place, and it seemed a bit quiet and off by itself. Tentatively, I opened the door and sure enough I was greeted by a gentle looking woman. She seemed very surprised to see a pale foreigner entering, but nonetheless was extraordinarily kind. I explained in poor Japanese that I was seeking out mooncakes for Tsukimi (moon-viewing). She was excited and decided to serve me some green tea and a jelly dessert called youkan 羊羹. It was indeed wonderful. Then she gave me some acerola jam to take home and asked to take a photo with me. She was so sweet and kind.
Later, after actually reading the website more in depth, I realized she very skilled and professional at tea and tea ceremony. Maybe I can convince her to teach me some of her knowledge one day… but I will probably need to be better at Japanese. Hopefully this will motivate me to continue to learn.