Tea house Ichiyou: 茶房一葉

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.

address: 沖縄県南城市大里嶺井502-2