Retro Kissaten in Okinawa: 沖縄のレトロな喫茶店

喫茶店 kissaten: traditional Japanese tearoom/coffeeshop serving drinks, sweets and light meals; often they have a nostalgic vibe as most of the shops look as if they’re stuck in time.

I have a thing for the retro kissaten. Something about them just feels peaceful once you step through the front door. Sure, there are tons of trendy, cute, modern, hipster cafes with high-end coffees and stylish desserts sprouting up everywhere but for the quintessential Japanese coffee shop experience an old-style kissaten is where it is at.

Today took me to CoffeeShop Laramie コーヒーシャープララミー. There is no parking at the shop, so you need to go to the paid parking lots (there is one around the corner for 100y/30 min). This place is only open Fridays and Saturdays, from 1-5pm.

As I walked up, the outside says “Coffee & Pancakes” plainly on the outside. A step through the door, and you are in a difference time and place. There are 2 working jukeboxes, some table seating, and counter seating. A quick warning, the seating is a little low to the ground; if I had brought my husband (194 cm) he would have had a hard time fitting. The menu is pretty simple, pancakes, desserts, and drinks. I think they may occasionally have some light meal on the menu but there was not today.

I ordered the pancake and coffee set for 850yen, with the Laramie blend coffee (might as well try out the house coffee). While I was waiting for my food, an older gent came in got a coffee, played some songs on the jukebox, and read the newspaper. It added to the retro atmosphere. There are vaguely some “Hawaiian”-themed items up, which made me chuckle a bit and the shop is entirely wood-paneled.

I noticed when I went to pay that even the cash register is retro! I admit, I thought that was a nice touch. Anyway, the shop staff was kind, the food and coffee was really good, plus an awesome retro atmosphere. If you are looking for a retro kissaten in Okinawa, I would definitely recommend trying out this little place in Naha.



looking for more retro kissaten in Okinawa? More posts coming soon, but also check out Genten 原点: Coffee Specialist in Okinawa.

A Happy Pancake: 幸せパンケーキ

幸せパンケーキ shiawase pancake literally means “happy pancake”… it is the name of a very popular pancake chain started in Osaka (also with locations in Tokyo), known for their incredibly fluffy pancakes, keeping up the Japanese trending love for pancakes.

Very recently, they opened a cafe in Okinawa, on Senaga-jima 瀬長島 in the Umikaji Terrace ウミカジテラス (umikaji is Okinawan language for “ocean breeze”).

I figured if they are so popular, I must try them. Well… let me tell you, this place gets busy. After 2 failed attempts, I finally arrived 15 minutes before open and secured my name on the list (I was #4). Luckily, it also happened to be a gorgeous day, so eating pancakes overlooking the ocean with nice weather is pretty nice. The view is not so great to be quite frank since you are actually overlooking the airport and construction, but it is still technically an ocean view.

The pancakes were as delicious and fluffy as promised. The price of the pancake meals were not too bad, but it is not very cheap either. Although I enjoyed my smoothie I ordered, it was wayyy overpriced… so next time I would skip it.


Some tips for getting here, getting a seat, and getting food the quickest:

  • They take reservations on weekdays ONLY– so get one!
  • If you much prefer a weekend, then know that weekends are first come, first serve. So arrive at least ~15 minutes or so before opening (which is at 10am), go directly to the cafe and write your name down on the list. Then just walk around for a bit or sit and chill until they open!
  • If it is a nice day be sure to circle terrace seat when you put your name on the list テラス席. If you arrive late, and it is busy, then maybe you will choose to settle for inside or whatever is first available.
  • Parking: warning, it is a little crazy, as it is part of the hotel and shopping complex. There are clearly not enough spaces… so once you cross the bridge to the island turn left at the first turn (there is a sign in Japanese for Umikaji Terrace). Hopefully you will not need to resort to parking alongside the road, so continue up the road and you will see some poorly planned parking lots on either side of the road before you get to the actual buildings. Park anywhere here that is available. If you unfortunately pass these (or they are completely full)… well, then continue past the hotel and hope you get lucky (just be careful since there are hotel guest only lots, don’t park in these). You may have to make a loop around and come back.
  • Once you put your name on the list, check out the menu (in 4 languages, not to worry they are ready for everyone) and decide what you want! As soon as you are seated, you want to put in your order right away… it takes quite awhile to make and if there are lots of people who have ordered ahead of you… it could be an hour until you get food. And since you probably already had to wait just to get seats… you don’t want to wait much longer. So be ready to order before you even sit down!