Nakayoshi: 宮古そば なかよし

宮古そば Miyako soba

Near to the university, on a back road, there is a small local restaurant called Miyako Soba Nakayoshi. As my sensei is from Miyako-jima, he is partial to this place, so of course one sunny day he treated us students to lunch and kakigouri (shave ice) かき氷.

When you see the place, you know it is a true mom&pop type shop, filled with regulars. Inside, it seems everyone knows everyone else. Anyway, we all sat down and checked out the menu; mostly the typical shokudo stuff, including a type of Okinawa soba (suba) popular in Miyako-jima.

Well, being as I don’t eat meat, sometimes eating Okinawan food can be a bit of a challenge. But the owner is very kind and made me Goya Chanpuru without the pork. Funny enough, one of my lab-mates ordered the same as me. For dessert, my sensei ordered us all Okinawa zenzai, which is basically shave ice with sweet red beans.

Everything was delicious and cheap, as expected from a  small place like this. Anyway, if you find yourself looking for small hole-in-the-wall places near Ryukyu University, this is a place to check out for some local hospitality.


5 thoughts on “Nakayoshi: 宮古そば なかよし

  1. Hello there~ chanced upon your blog while looking for a kuji place in Okinawa 😀 I’m planning for my trip to Okinawa in Oct with my friends and one of them is vegetarian (not vegan though). It’s our first trip to Okinawa, and we really want to try the few famous meat places including sukiyaki/shabu shabu, but don’t want to leave out our friend… Was wondering if restaurants in Okinawa are generally vegetarian friendly? Would you happen to have some places to recommend? Thank you very much and have a nice day!

    1. Overall, Okinawa is not especially veg-friendly. Vegetarian is much easier than vegan; but it will depend on how “strict” they are while traveling and ability to communicate in Japanese. A lot of things may seem vegetarian but still contain fish sauce or fish extract, or meat byproducts. Pork and lard is used in a lot of things here, but can be avoided if you know what to look for.
      For shabu shabu, you can get a simple non-meat broth, so as long as they are okay with sharing it with the meat eaters, it should be fine. Sushi places generally have decent options. Any izakaya can actually be pretty accommodating since you order several small dishes to share between the group and plenty come without meat or fish. Ramen and Okinawa soba is for the most part a no go since the broths are all meat-based (exception: Stripe Ramen offers a vegan option). Traditional Okinawan food may be more difficult, but can be possible, especially if they are not too strict. Learning some very basic Japanese makes ordering vegetarian meals easier.
      Do you have any particular places you will be visiting or staying while in Okinawa (Naha, Chatan, Onna, Nago…)? It will be easier to make recommendations based on location. I have listed a few places I like here on my blog, though I admit I am not very strict (I usually eat fish as a compromise when going out with friends or coworkers, and sometimes I will eat things with meat broth or extract because I am lazy).

      1. Thank you so much for your kind response! We’ll be staying in Naha, (right next to Animate and opposite Don Quijote!!). Will be driving up north to the aquarium area and also to the area where Shurijo Castle is.

        1. In Naha:

          Japanese soba (not Okinawa soba) can often be veg-friendly. I like Minosaku 美濃作.
          A nice sort of izakaya place is Shimabukuro 沖縄 伊江島 食の家 しまぶくろ, and the owner can make things veg if requested.
          At Bookcafe&Hall ゆかるひ, the owner makes veg oyaki, though it is a food famous in Nagano prefecture not Okinawa.
          Yazaemon is decent for a sushi-go-round and they have some options for everyone (there are 100yen sushi-go-rounds but they are generally cheap).
          You can go to Okonomiyaki, just have to order with no meat/seafood, usually is comes with strips of pork on top but you can ask them to leave it off.
          There are a lot of izakaya in Naha, though I don’t really have too many specific recommendations.
          For shabu shabu I like a place in Nago on the way to the aquarium called Yanbaru Dining Churashima Kitchen– there are a ton of all you can eat local veggies from the salad bar for putting in the shabu shabu, and technically they will order a small plate of meat, which they can just pass off to the rest of the table.

Let us know what you think!