While in Okinawa: coffee on Zamami

Across from Zamami Island’s main port, there’s a neighborhood made up of several apartment complexes, a few guesthouses for tourists, and scattered homes with tiny backyards. Hidden within this tiny neighborhood are a handful of family-owned cafe/restaurants that I wouldn’t have known existed if I wasn’t looking.

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The first cafe my friend and I found was called Cafe Amulet. It had a sign outside that said it sold pasta and ice cream. We stepped inside. A bell rang as the door closed. A young couple standing behind the bar, who I assumed were the owners, greeted me welcome and motioned for us to sit where we wanted. I chose a table next to the shelves, which were stocked with plenty of books about travel, culture, and of course, coffee.

IMG_8748The young man brought us a cup of water and took our order. I couldn’t decide on a tea, so he offered me wine, even though it was 1pm. I opted for iced coffee.

IMG_8747For a while, my friend and I were the only people in the cafe besides the couple, and their little girl – who wandered around the cafe and took books from the shelf and read them at the bar while swaying back and forth in the swivel chair.

It was nice there, cozy and comfortable. We lingered after finishing our drinks and didn’t feel rushed to leave.

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A few people eventually came and went, all of whom – to my surprise – the owners knew by name. One person even brought the couple a gift (a bag of salt from the main island I think, from what I could hear), which the wife sounded pretty excited about. The way the couple interacted with the guests who stopped by made me want to stay in Zamami and become a local too, just to visit Cafe Amulet and hang out with the family and bring them salt. (And to drink wine at 1pm.)

In the end I decided against that, but here’s the address if you ever take a trip to Zamami Village and want to bring the family salt for me.

 

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