Yanbaru already had a line 15 minutes before they opened. On a weekday. In the off season. This place is almost as famous as the nearby Churaumi Aquarium.
But while the manatees are happy to munch on greens, I wanted the complete opposite; decadent pieces of stewed meat served over noodles in a simple dashi. I wanted sokisoba.
The whole area is famous for sokisoba, Okinawa's local noodle dish that can be found anywhere in Japan. Yanbaru stands out. An old building nestled on the side of the road, I didn't really know what to expect.
You won't find soki like this in Tokyo. Served on the bone, each piece was meaty and full of flavor. Surprisingly, it wasn't as melt-in-your-mouth as what I'm used to. And while I thought the toppings at nearby Kishimoto Shokudo were a bit better, Yanbaru's mandmade noodles and soup were perfect.
In typical Okinawan style, you can put some of their homemade spicy sauce in for a kick. Be careful, though. Not only is it very spicy, but this is actually local Awamori liquor; the Okinawan rice wine that packs a punch. Maybe not the best condiment for a motorcycle rider.
What an amazing bit of Japan!
Okinawa-ken, Kuinigami-gun, Motobu-cho, Izumi 70-1
Closest station: None
Open 11:00 until they run out
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays