Top 20 Popular Okinawa Souvenirs That Are Guaranteed to Be a Hit
Not sure what to buy in Okinawa? Whether you're in Naha Airport and on your way back home or shopping around the prefecture, it's worth knowing the popular local souvenirs. Luckily for you, as Japan's tropical paradise, Okinawa Prefecture is famed for its sokisoba, chinsuko, and many other delicious souvenir delights. We've compiled together 20 souvenirs from Okinawa that are sure to be a huge hit with your family and friends. Please feel free to use this article as a reference when buying your souvenirs in Okinawa!
Jun 19 2019 (Feb 06 2020)
1. Okinawa Sokisoba
The first souvenir on the list is the famous Okinawa sokisoba, which is also known as Okinawa soba. This is a traditional Okinawan dish that showcases traditional Japanese flavors with pork.
It's so popular that it's even been made into an instant ramen flavor, and it's considered a classic Okinawa souvenir! The flavors aren't too overpowering - one bite and you'll be hooked!
When it comes to Okinawa, chinsuko is one of the first things that comes to mind. It's a traditional Okinawan sweet that's been loved by the locals since long ago. In recent years, many different flavors of chinsuko have been released, such as chocolate and cream-topped variaties.
It's widely popular with both children and adults, and its delicious, addictive flavors and texture cannot be beat! Be sure to buy some when you go to Okinawa!
3. Kokutoh Chocolate
If you're looking for a slightly unique souvenir in Okinawa, Kokutoh chocolate is definitely one to consider! While it brings together an unusual combination of brown sugar and chocolate, the flavors blend together beautifully in your mouth. It's a souvenir that truly represents Okinawa, as the chocolate is made with brown sugar from Okinawa. Even those who aren't big fans of brown sugar can enjoy these chocolates since they don't have a particularly distinct brown sugar flavor.
Another great point is that you'll be able to easily find these at souvenir shops all around Okinawa, such as in Ishigaki Island and Naha Airport. If you know someone with a sweet tooth, these will make for the perfect gift!
Menbei is a very famous type of senbei (rice cracker) that is originally known as a popular souvenir from Fukuoka. However, the menbei you can find in Okinawa come in various unique flavors that you wouldn't be able to find in Fukuoka, such as shikuwasa (a type of local citrus fruit). It's so delicious that you won't be able to stop at just one bite!
5. Beni Imo Tart
When you're having trouble deciding what souvenirs to buy, the beni imo (purple sweet potato) tarts, a classic Okinawa souvenir, is a great choice!
The mild sweetness of this treat is popular with people of all ages! You can purchase it at the shops in the airport, so be on the lookout for them!
6. Beni Imo Cheese Tart
The beni imo cheese tart is essentially just the cheese tart version of the beni imo tart that was introduced right before this. The texture is very similar to the beni imo tart, but there's a rich cheesy flavor added into the mix!
The beni imo cheese tart from the popular freshly baked cheese tart shop PABLO can only be purchased in Okinawa, so make sure to visit the store when you're here!
7. Shimatogarashi Ebi Senbei
This is a type of senbei made with shimatogarashi (Okinawa chili pepper) and shrimp from Okinawa. Savor the tasty, spicy umami within each crispy cracker! You can find these in the airport or in large-scale supermarkets.
8. Sata Andagi
Sata andagi ("sata" means "sugar" and "andagi" means "deep-fried" in Okinawan) is a classic Okinawan treat. The outside is crisp, while the inside is moist, so you can really enjoy the exquisite contrast in texture.
Sata andagi has really been gaining a lot of traction, so you can even buy it in other prefectures throughout Japan, but you'll want to try an authentic sata andagi in its home prefecture, too!
Souvenirs usually equate to sweet treats like cakes or cookies, but salt is great as a souvenir, too! Okinawan salt differs from salt in other prefectures, and is sometimes separated into categories for what foods it should be used on, such as "rice salt" and "boiled egg salt."
If you have a friend who loves eggs or rice, you can gift them salt that best matches their favorite food items! There are a lot of different types of salt, so if you have a hard time choosing, you might want to ask the store staff for help.
10. Ryukyu Glass
Glass making is recommended to those who want to have a uniquely Okinawan experience. You can view some stylish glass pieces at the Ryukyu Glass Village in Itoman or the Ryukyu Glass Museum in Nago. How about giving your friends or family a colorful Okinawan glass souvenir?
11. Ryukyu Shugo Densetsu
Ryukyu Shugo Densetsu (Ryukyu Heavy Drinker's Legend) is a turmeric supplement. Turmeric helps alleviate hangover symptoms, so that one friend who really loves to drink will surely be happy to receive this as a souvenir!
They are made with 4 types of turmeric - spring turmeric, purple turmeric, white turmeric, and imperial gold turmeric - guaranteeing more effective results than your average turmeric product! You can buy these at the airport or convenience stores in Okinawa.
12. Angel Wing
Angel Wing ("Tenshi no Hane" in Japanese) is a type of senbei that gained recognition after it appeared on TV. It sets itself apart from your typical crispy senbei with its addictive soft and firm texture!
It's characterized by its white, fluffy appearance, which aligns perfectly with its name. There are 2 flavors: salt and ume (pickled plum).
People outside of Okinawa may have never heard of tannafukuru, but it is actually a very popular snack with the locals, and it even makes appearances in school lunches. It's made with brown sugar, flour, and egg, and has a texture similar to a crunchy cookie.
It's said that it was named after Tannaha Jiro (pronounced Tannafa Jiru in the Okinawan Islands), who created the dessert during the Meiji era (1868-1912). Be sure to try this when visiting Okinawa!
14. Puccho (Shikuwasa Flavor)
The soft, chewy candy, Puccho, sells an exclusive Okinawa flavor based on the local citrus fruit.
You may find yourself thinking at first that you won't like the flavor of shikuwasa, but it matches really well with the sweetness of Puccho! This is the perfect gift for children or anyone who likes sweets!
15. Okinawa Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is made by boiling and cooling the extracted juices from sugar cane. Brown sugar produced in Okinawa is particularly well known throughout Japan. There are many ways you can enjoy it, whether it's in cooking or just on its own!
16. Pineapple Cake
Pineapple cake can be bought at Pineapple Park, a sightseeing spot in Okinawa. You can really taste the rich flavors from the pineapple juices, and it was even granted a gold award from the Monde Selection. It's a souvenir that is great for any season!
17. 35COFFEE Single Serve Pour-Over Drip Coffee Pack
The 35COFFEE single serve pour-over drip coffee pack uses carefully selected Okinawa coffee beans that are roasted using Okinawa coral fuel. This is the perfect souvenir for your coffee-lover friends!
18. Hirami Lemon Cake
Hirami Lemon Cake can be purchased at oHacorte, which is located within the foreigner residential area of Minatogawa in Urasoe. The cake, which is widely loved by the locals, uses a generous amount of lemon while maintaining the perfect balance of sweet and sour.
The Okinawa "hirami lemon" refers to shikuwasa, the aforementioned citrus fruit locally grown here. Be sure to try this Okinawan lemon cake!
19. Beni no Ki
Beni no Ki is a popular baumkuchen that can be purchased at Fukugiya in Okinawa. The "beni" in its name comes from "beni imo." A purple sweet potato flavored baumkuchen isn't common, so it's definitely worth a taste!
Since it's made without any food coloring or preservatives, the best-by date is only a short 10 days after it's made; it has to be consumed quickly, so be sure to keep this in mind when you purchase it!
20. ROYCE' Ishigakijima PotatoChip Chocolate
These potato chips are covered in chocolate and salt from Ishigaki. This product is produced in Okinawa by the Hokkaido chocolate manufacturer ROYCE'.
The sweetness and saltiness combined together produce a unique and delightful umami. It's a super popular item, and some people come to Okinawa for the sole purpose of buying these chips!
Pick Out Some Souvenirs!
Okinawa has a huge selection of souvenirs on offer, so be sure to bring back some amazing souvenirs from your trip to share with your family and friends!
Translated and republished with permission from：Relux Magazine
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.