Sunny Side Cakes: サニーサイドケークス

Today I needed a little cheering up, so I decided to check out a place offering sunshine– Sunny Side Cakes, located in the northern part of Ginowan.

Just some quick info: here are a few parking spaces by the shop building, so no need to park on the street. There is an eat-in area of the shop as well, and they offer some drinks and dessert sets, or you can do take-out. They also do custom cakes.

Anyway, I entered the bright and cheery shop. Some info was English but most of the labels were in Japanese, so of course I was asked if I understood. Well, yes, of course, but it may be nice to know for those of you uncomfortable with reading/speaking Japanese that someone who speaks English is available.

There were a fair number of choices, but I had already decided that the shop’s “cookie sandwich” was a must. There were quite a few flavors, but I predictable ended up with “Cafe Nuts” which was a coffee and nuts flavor… delicious!! I also went ahead and got what was labeled as a “German Cake” of some sort (I forget the name now); it tasted similar to a non-chocolate German chocolate cake. Anyhow, I liked both confections quite a bit, and they were reasonably priced. I would definitely recommend checking out the cute shop if you find yourself in the northern part of Ginowan near Rt 330 (not far from the Ginowan town office).


Cake Shop Asahi-ya: あさひ屋

和洋菓子店 wayougashiten: Japanese-western confectionary shop

Near 2 of the military bases in Ginowan, Futenma and Foster, there is a small confectionary shop next to the Union grocery store. It is called “Asahi-ya” あさひ屋.

When you pull up, you may not notice the small sign for “parking” at first. It is really just one space next to the shop, by the sidewalk. There is a sign indicating you should pull your car all the way in and not block the pedestrian sidewalk. Or you could just park at the Union since it is next door.

When you enter, it is not much to look at, and may seem a bit dated. There is a small area where you can eat-in or you can take out. They have whole cakes, cake slices, and even some Japanese and Okinawan style confections. The cakes may not look super impressive at first, at least not compared to some of the expensive and trendy shops, but if you look closer you will notice they have a lot of different flavors and types.

On this day, I purchased a shikwasa mousse cake slice… it was delicious and decently priced! The slice was 195yen, which is not too bad considering what some of the other shops charge. I would definitely recommend stopping into this “retro” cake shop and trying a slice of cake!



Coronets at Pippi: コロネ

コロネ korone: coronet

At a little place called Pippi in Ginowan, you can find amazing little treats called “coronet.” They have a crispy outer shell and are filled with a cream; you can choose from all sorts of delicious flavors. Honestly, I don’t know how I could choose a favorite from all the flavors… maybe Earl Grey or Salt Caramel. Or Apple. Or… well, it is tough to choose since they are all so good.

Anyway, you can get take away or eat-in. They also have some lunch sandwiches of some sort, but I have never tried any of those. Only the coronets. I definitely recommend them for a special treat.

Just as a note, some bakeries make a different type of coronet: a soft bread shaped like a shell and filled with some sort of cream. These are also good, but that crispy, flakey shell at Pippi filled with unique flavors is amazing.


Rainbow Coffee: レインボーコーヒー

In Nakagusuku, close to the university, there is a cafe called Rainbow Coffee レインボーコーヒー. It is a nice and cozy place with free wifi. It is a great place to study and relax.

The drink menu focuses on coffee from around the world– you can get drip coffee, espresso drinks, and even tea. I also like the “cup cake”. No, not “cupcake”, but “cup cake”… which here means a pancake in a cup. With syrup and lots of cream. They are all pretty good, even if not good for you! Plus you can get a half-size with the lunch entrees, which are all reasonably priced for about 1000yen. They open for breakfast as well (9am). A nice spot to stop at when you are in the RyuDai 琉球大学 area.


Wagashi: 和菓子

Wagashi are Japanese sweets. For now, I will digress from Okinawa related topics and focus on Japan.

和 wa is used for “Japanese” and 菓子 kashi means “sweets” or “confections,” but it can also sort of just mean candy or snacks. So 和菓子 wagashi are Japanese style sweets. 洋菓子 yougashi means Western style confections.

I am lucky that here in Okinawa there are a few very nice wagashi shops. One of my favorites is called Usagi-ya うさぎや on Route 34 in Ginowan, not too far from my university. By the way “usagi” is such a cute name, it means “rabbit” in Japanese. The や ya after it just means “shop” or “store.”

Wagashi overall encompasses many types of sweet, but below are some examples of my favorites, called Nama-gashi 生菓子 which are “fresh sweets.” So delicate, fragrant, artistic. I posted here about some of the different types of wagashi.

Some have anko あんこ (sweet azuki bean paste), some have other seasonal flavors (such as chestnut, sakura) or maybe just a white bean paste. The shapes are always so beautiful and usually related to the time of year; this is year of the monkey, so during the new year I purchased a monkey, a bamboo, and plum blossoms. Other times there will be matsutake mushroom shape, maple leaf, ginkgo leaf, sakura… always amazing.

I hope everyone can enjoy a taste of Japan.

Address for Usagi-ya: 1 Chome-6-2 Ganeko, Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture 901-2214