Just a 5-minute walk from Hardy Barracks, Kourakuen is a very popular Chinese restaurant among the local salarymen. Although you may not be able to read the name in kanji, many people can recognize the chain-restaurant by its red-brick ball logo.
You may have heard or seen the television series like “Tokyo Diner”, or perhaps "Cheers", where everyone knows your name. It is the concept of an intimate eatery seating less than 20 people, and run by an “onesan” or “mama”, usually the owner of the eatery.
You can’t even talk about – much less taste – Okinawan food without letting soybeans, or a soy-based delicacy, cross your lips. Soybeans really are “the magical fruit” here where traditional wisdom transforms them into a myriad of foods with a variety of colors, shapes and smells.
Weeks after finding out our next assignment would be Camp Zama, Japan, and shortly before our arrival in the Land of the Rising Sun, I happened upon a cookbook co-authored by Naoko Takei Moore and Kyle Connaughton.
Japan, aka the nation of noodles, offers more than just ramen. In The Land of the Rising Sun you can taste virtually any type of noodle – hot or cold, white or grey, flour or rice, and with or without broth.