Dechibica – my favorite place in Okinawa

My blog is fun. I like making up recipes, i like posting them, and I absolutely love the feedback I get from people about my food. But being that I only have five months left in Okinawa before my husband and I move back to the United States, I  want to start sharing with all of you some of the food and people I’ve come across in my time here. Hopefully this inspires people and encourages them that being vegan in this part of Japan is fun, fairly easy, and an amazing experience.

I want to tell you about my favorite place here in Okinawa. It’s a small restaurant called Dechibica.

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Dechibica is owned by a wonderful, kind woman named Kiwa. Her name means “Peace over this century”. Isn’t that beautiful? It suits her. She and her husband run the place along with a few other very sweet employees. As soon as you walk into the place, it feels like home. Everyone is friendly, it smells delicious, and I love the way its decorated. If my mom owned a cafe, I imagine it would look like Dechibica.

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Kiwa and her husband have lived in Okinawa for three years, and she says they’ve been married for ten years. That surprised me, because she looks so young! She and her husband met in school, just like my husband and I did. They moved here to Okinawa after the Fukushima disaster and opened up Dechibica in Yomitan, a very nice part of Okinawa with lots of little cafes and bakeries. Kiwa tells me about other places where I can find vegan food in Okinawa. Sometimes I bring her things I’ve made in my own kitchen. But my food is not nearly as delicious as hers. I eat at Dechibica very often because frankly, I am obsessed. I even go by myself when my husband is at work and I have a day off. It’s the perfect place to read my cookbooks while sipping on some delicious coffee and choosing some delicious food from their menu.
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I have been here many, many times. My husband loves it because even though I’m vegan, he is not (Just like Kiwa and her husband!). He is an at home lacto-ovo-vegetarian, but outside of the house he eats meat. (UPDATE- As of 4/2014, my husband is now vegan. Yay!) Dechibica makes curry that he loves, he orders it every time we go. There is a lot of curry to try in Okinawa, and out of all that he’s tried the Panang chicken curry at Dechibica is his favorite.Image

I promise he loves the food, but he hates when I take pictures of him. Anyway, my favorite thing on the menu (it is hard to choose one) is the vietnam noodle set. It’s a spicy vegan pho dish and it is so incredible. I’ve never had anything like it before!

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The sets always come with a veggie plate, and what I love about it is that there are so many types of vegetables to try. Some of them I’ve never tried before. The plates always look beautiful, like a work of art. They put so much heart and work into their food and I love that!
I’ve also tried some of their other dishes, like their Singapore tofu rice set, vegan taco rice, avocado curry, and their waffles. Everything at Dechibica is delicious!

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At Christmastime this past year, they were taking reservations for dinners one weekend a few days before christmas. They prepared a special menu. I surprised my husband with a date night there just the two of us. We were so excited when we saw the food, it was four courses! My husband ordered the chicken and I got tofu steaks stuffed with eggplant and cashew cheese. The food was amazing, and I am sad that we will not be here net year should they do the Christmas dinner again. We are never disappointed by anything we try there.

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So, if you are ever in Okinawa, stop into Dechibica to see Kiwa and try her incredible food. Whether you’re vegan or a meat eater, this place has something for everyone. They even have kids toys if you want to bring your little ones with you! Kiwa has two adorable sons of her own who I’ve seen there before. By far, this place is the restaurant I will miss the most when I leave. Okinawa is an amazing place and I’m lucky to have lived here and started my vegan lifestyle here.

Dechibica

  • Address: Japan, Okinawa Prefecture, Nakagami District, Yomitan, Furugen, 648
  • Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. , closed Sundays
  • Phone: 098-957-0111

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10 thoughts on “Dechibica – my favorite place in Okinawa

  1. Hi Rachel!

    I love your theme! I used to have the same one on my blog (until I accidently changed the header and don’t know how to put it back 😀 )

    I’ve been following you on instagram for a while.

    I lived in Japan (Kyoto) for 6 months. Back then I was still vegetarian and not yet vegan. It was kind of difficult for me to get vegetarian food (except in special vegetarian/vegan restaurants). I can hardly imagine being vegan there! So I’m curious: is it very difficult for you? Do you have any tipps, websites that help you?

    Thank you!

    Avilia

    • Hi Avilia! I have been vegan here in Japan for about a year. I recommend joining clubs on Facebook for vegans in your region, the okinawa vegans page on Facebook has been a huge resource for me. Also getting a dietary restriction card explaining that you’re vegan and what you do/don’t eat in the language of the country you’re in is a huge help! Anytime I go somewhere that has no English speaking people, the diet card has helped me to get vegan food. It also helps to find local vegans and vegan restaurant owners, talk to them regarding where they like to shop and eat. And there’s always happy cow! The restaurant that lists where to find vegan/vegetarian food in your city. There’s always vegan food somewhere, no matter where you are! 🙂 I hope that helps.

      • Thank you very much, Rachel! You’re right, there is always vegan food, we just have to try 🙂
        As a uni student we were on a very low budget and since I was the only vegetarian there, I didn’t get to have much say in the retaurant choice 😉 so we went to those Japanese fast food kind of places a lot. Sometimes there wasn’t even a single meal on the menu that didn’t contain meat! And it was a problem for them to prepare me a dish without meat. Lots of times they told me to just pick the meat out :/ So, I guess it depends also where you go! But I managed to be vegetarian and it’s probably possible to be vegan, as well 🙂 just need to get used to it, I guess.
        I wish you a great time in Japan! I miss it so much 🙂
        x Avilia

  2. FunFlyingFour says:

    I have been wanting to go here for a while, after reading your post I am so going this weekend! all the food looks amazing 🙂

    • I actually moved away from Okinawa already. But I tried everything on the menu before I left. 🙂 The owner, Kiwa, is one of my very best friends. Next time you go, tell her I said hello. 🙂

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