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Izakaya Yoichi, a notch above the rest

By: David Knickerbocker

Date Posted: 2002-07-04

Recently, I was introduced to an izakaya in Hamby Town called Izakaya Yoichi. As soon as I was escorted to my table, I almost instantly fell in love with the place. Here’s why: we arrived at about 5pm when the sky was beginning to yellow with the approaching sunset and were seated right next to a window with a splendid view of Araha Beach. I regret that I had to leave before sunset. The view from my table’s window must have been so beautiful. However, it was a beautiful day and I had a beautiful view. I was completely relaxed before I had even a bite to eat.

A short while later, my meal was brought to me. I sampled “the very best sushi” (¥1500), seasoned roast chicken (¥480), and seasoned roast sirloin (¥580). Everything was delicious and the prices were also very good. Many restaurants on island serve delicious fresh sushi and sashimi and it is very easy to acquire a taste for raw meat while living on Okinawa. “The very best sushi” was extremely generous in proportions for its cost and all of it was indeed fresh and delicious.

Aside from a great view and great food, I was struck with the biggest surprise after the weekly specials were translated to me. Izakaya Yoichi is more than generous with their daily specials, called “service days”. On Mondays, “the very best sushi” and “the best sushi” (regularly ¥1200) is all half price. As far as I can recall, you simply can’t beat that price. On Tuesdays, all awamori (Okinawan sake) is half price. On Wednesdays, all Japanese sake and pizza is half price. On Wednesdays, draft beer is only ¥290. However, from 5 to 7 p.m. everyday, draft beer is only ¥190. On Sundays, all families get 10% off of all orders, so bring your family for dinner after soaking up the sun on Araha Beach for a great meal and great savings.

Also, for those who can’t read or speak Japanese, the menus are written in both English and Japanese. Most prices are about average for an izakaya, but the daily specials make Yoichi special.

Like most izakayas on Okinawa, Yoichi also has a great selection of seafood, sushi, and sashimi. The assorted sashimi (¥2000) and assorted sushi (¥3000) are large enough to suit a big group, but smaller proportions are also available if you come with only a friend or two. If you aren’t into seafood or raw meat, Western dishes and salads are available as well. There’s certainly something for everybody.

Izakaya Yoichi is clean and comfortable. It has the same basic appearance as many other izakayas, but the view of Araha Beach—especially during sunset—and the specials set this place a notch above the rest. This is a popular place with foreigners and locals, and yen, dollars, and most credit cards aside from American Express are accepted. Reservations are also available if you’d like to book a party. Cal 098-936-8000.

Yoichi is very easy to find. If you are driving from Camp Foster, head towards the Hamby Town San-A department store. When you reach the final t-intersection with Araha Beach directly in front of you, turn right. You’ll see a two story white building on your left. Yoichi is on the second floor. Izakaya Yoichi is open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. everyday. Enjoy!

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