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That’s why Dakarayoh

Date Posted: 2001-05-10

If there’s one thing that Okinawans know how to do, that’s to throw a party. Good food, song and drink is as essential to nourish an Okinawan body and soul as is the air we breathe. It is said that in old times, if a house caught fire, the first thing an Okinawan saved was his sanshin, a banjo-like three-stringed instrument.

No wonder then that there are several Okinawan style restaurants that besides serving good local food, present music and dance shows on the side.

One such place is called “Dakarayoh” (the name means “That’s why” in English). Located in the smack middle of Naha City right around the corner from Kokusai Street this place offers Okinawan cuisine, beer, awamori and five shows daily, two during lunch hours and three in the night.

The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch with shows at noon and 1:30 p.m. The lunch set costs ¥2,000, and includes a full six-dish course of seasonal Okinawan fare. The dinnertime is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and dinner sets cost ¥3,000 to ¥5,000. Dinner shows are performed at 7, 8:30 and 10 p.m.

All dishes can also be ordered separately at ¥800 per dish. Cold Orion beer costs ¥700 per mug, juice and cola ¥500. Awamori is ¥6,000 or ¥7000 per bottle depending on grade.

Dakarayoh is not a place where people go alone. This place is for parties. It can seat up to 110 people and there are two party rooms that can be separated from the rest of the restaurant by sliding doors. The party rooms have seats for 10 and 20 customers. Provided that the customer makes a reservation at least a day in advance, the restaurant manager promises to work out a special lunch or dinner set that fits the customer’s budget and tastes.

The show features two women and three men playing and singing Okinawan folk songs. Customers are welcome to join either singing or dancing.

The restaurant accepts dollars at the day’s rate, but change is given in yen only. No credit cards. There’s always someone on duty that speaks English. For reservations, call (098)869-8556.

How to get there: Take Highway 58 to Naha. Turn left at Matsuyama intersection – that’s the second intersection with blue pedestrian overpasses if you come from north. Dakarayoh is on the second floor of a building on the left about 50 meters before Kokusai Street across from a large pay parking lot.

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