Tuesday, March 22, 2016

#Okinawa Shopping ④Making Souvenirs! Kokusai Street's Happenin' Spot HAPiNAHA Okinawa: Unique Experiences

An Okinawa Travel Experience Story!
Let's make souvenirs together @ HAPiNAHA

You'll find the cheapest rates when traveling
to Okinawa in March because as the rest of Japan 
is just now warming up, Okinawa is already warm
thanks to their subtropical weather. The mighty
 "Ryukyu Kingdom", the kingdom that existed prior to 
Okinawa's annexing, provides an unique backdrop
and interesting  story that has been scattered
 into the heartless sea. 

People may be divided on the subject, but it is 
Japan and it provides a great getaway from
high travel rates and cold weather from January
to March. During the cherry blossom season
it seems unlikely anyone would make a trip
to Okinawa because their cherry blossoms 
bloom much earlier, but we'd like to introduce
a different reason to make the journey.

An unique experience on Okinawa Kokusai International
HOT place,  HAPiNAHA!

Don't know about HAPiNAHA? No worries....

3 Astonishing Experiences You Must Try

Here at HAPiNAHA you'll find 3 unique experiences
you can take part in, and it may actually be the only
place you can try within Japan!
1. Bakauke Circus - Make your own original rice cracker.
2. Morinaga's fun sweet shop - Create your own unique
Hi-Chew candy.
3. Chuko Awamori My Blend - Test your skills at mixing
and making your own original awamori.

With the current buzz in DIY merchandise and
experiences, these activities are sure to garner
massive crowds! ^^

Unique Experience #1: Decorating Rice Crackers
 @ Bakauke Circus

The majority of Japanese people love and enjoy
rice crackers, so for this activity you can try
your hand at decorating and making your own
one-of-a-kind cracker. Needless to say, it's
 very popular amongst children.

[Bakauke Circus cracker Experience]
Duration: about 20-30 minutes
 1,201 yen per person (tax included)
Age: must be 5 years or older.

There's Definitely Some Artists in the Room

If you want a simple demonstration of what you
can create, look no further than the display shelf
to see some the most amazing displays of food
decoration we've seen. But don't let this discourage
you, one created with love is just as amazing...^^

Burn Biscuit, Burn!

The first step is to bake them on
the open burners, and for concerned
parents it's okay to hold your child's hand
during this portion, or take over for them!

Taste & Photo Sort in Soy Sauce

While the savory aroma of the crackers
sweet over your face, try to fight your urge
to eat them before decorating otherwise you'll
miss out on the best part. Using a brush you can
paint in your own cool design. Painting a cool design
that covers the whole cracker is cool but keep in mind
if you use too much sauce it'll be quite salty when you
eat it afterwards.

Finish Drawing!

After you finish drawing, be sure to let it bake
again so your drawing will stay and the soy sauce
will get a chance to seep into the cracker and make
it more delicious. By now the smell will have gotten
unbearable and your mouth will already be watering.

Finally Completed ~!

Your handmade cracker is ripe and ready to go.
From the draft in your mind to the snack plate,
time to pack it up and go. What can we say about
the design? Perhaps an impressionist early Picasso?

Anyway, this is just one the ways you can create
and enjoy your own souvenir at HAPiNAHA!

Safely Packaged With Cushions!

Bubble packaging is used after you complete
your masterpiece to insure that it remains in
all it's glory all the way back home.
It's so cool how they take such strides to insure
you don't damage your piece of edible art.

By the Way ... What Does "Bakauke" Mean?

The name bakauke isn't some far off reaching word
with a deep meaning, but instead a reference to a
popular Japanese snack food that's thinly sliced
and shaped like a banana. The word itself is
derrived from the Niigata dialect meaning "extremely
well recieved". 

Japan's Popular National Treat

At all sorts of Japanese souvenir (gift) shops and kiosks,
 Bakauke is most likely to be found. Just a simple trip
to places like Niigata and Kuruizawa Prince Snow Resort
will yield boxes of these things from visitors and locals

The Best Popular Series of Bakauke is...?

Not surprising but the most popular Bakauke cracker
in HAPiNAHA are fortune cookies! What is there not
to like about a fortune-telling food that you can enjoy
no matter the fortune? You can actually get a chance
to make crackers like this as well.
And, because there was another experience .....

Ever So Tasty, Bakauke ...

Mix Bukauke with cups and 6 different flavored
powders and nothing but greatness could possibly
follow. Take this experience and create something
truly flavorful and delicious. What flavors can we work
- From left
Okonomiyaki, butter sauté, clam cheese, natto, curry, beef tongue

Bakauke Circus' experience may be amazing but one
can't help but wonder what other activities await.

Unique Experience #2: Hi-Chew making experience -
@ Morinaga's fun sweet shop

Experience the limits of Hi-Chew from the famous
Japanese confectionery company Morinaga. Just like
Willy Wonka's candy shop this shop is oddly cool
 and interesting.

Hi-Chew and chocolate balls make up the
confectionery Morinaga's range of products and at
first sight, it's really great to see they are having fun with
 the shop by decorating it with all these little cute characters.

Though it's not really a Hi-Chew factory, the appearance does
do the trick for getting the kids to believe it.

Commercialize Your Experience

Don't just simply create Hi-Chew, but also make your own
unique packaging and truly make it your own! Come now
and build an experience you'll have a chance to talk about
with your kids for years to come.

[Hi-Chew factory Experience]
Price: 1,620 yen per person (tax included)
Experience time: about 30 to 35 minutes

Understanding Japanese

No worries if you don't speak or understand
Japanese because written explanations in various
languages are provided for your enjoyment.
For preparations first wash your hands, use the
 provided hygienic gloves, dawn and apron and follow
the instructions from the staff!

Nothing better than an Original Hi-Chew!

The firs step includes mixing two sheets
of the flavorful sheets of your choice.
Which combination will be best I'm wondering...

Slow and Stedy

Perfection cannot be realized in a day
but luckily with the help from the friendly
staff, you can make a completed mix in
no time whatsoever! Rolling and stretching
like clay, you really need to make sure the
flavors are mixed just right.

A Humbling Experience

After loading the mix into the machine to
fully prepare it, then you're all finished.
You can make a variety of different shapes
to show your sweet tooth and personality.^^

Your Original Design Hi-Chew debut!

After you finish your picture will be taken
and used on the cover of the package (talk
about personalization). A popular character
Kyoro chan will be the one to parade your design
along the conveyor belt in front. For us, the best
part is when participants see their finished design
with their face pictured on the box. Such a look
of astonishment!

Unique Experience #2: Awamori Blending Experience
@ Chuko Awamori My Blend

This experience was so good, it was worthy of a
laugh because we found out just how terrible we
are at mixing Awamori! A piece of advice will
be to follow the advice from the staff, they are
professionals for a reason! It's not everyday you
get to try an experience like this so enjoy!!

Find Your Perfect Taste!

You can also taste-test the 5 different kinds of
unprocessed Awamori made by Chuko Awamori
Distillery Co., Ltd. Just taking in the smell alone
will put you on cloud nine...
[Awamori Blending Experience]
2,000 yen per person (tax included)

Waiting to Blend 5 Awamori

While Indica rice makes up the main ingredient in
 Awamori. sake uses grain, and for Korea's shochu,
potatoes and wheat are used. However, there a variety of
 different types of indica rice which can dramatically
 change the flavor of Awamori. The listed 5 types of
unprocessed Awamori come in a wide range from some
newly created to some up to12-years-old. 

Focus the Senses Carefully

New wine with a fruity mellow taste, third year richly
 flavored, and fifth year soft vanilla scent and a hint of
 mixed mango yeast. 10th year with a nuts and chocolate
 aroma, and with the 12th year a very dark taste.... all made
in the old-fashioned way... Almost more important than your
mixing skills is your own since of taste and smell. Hone your
skills through practice here!

Blending Pros!

Graduated cylinders make their entrance
and in a flash you're back to your Jr. High School
chemistry days mixing dazzling concoctions. ^^

Put in a nice bottle ...

After literally pouring your heart and soul
into making your own unique blend of Awamori
you can now get the enjoyment of seeing your
creation delicately wrapped in it's own bottle.
This will also make a great gift for a special
someone who couldn't come along for the
Depending on the mixing ratio and the amount,
the price tends to fluctuate between 3,000 to 5,000
yen at the standard 720ml mix. Be sure to mix
carefully. ^^

When you drink Awamori it's put in the "Caracalla"

The sake kettle for Awamori is referred to as
 Caracalla and it may not contain beads in the kettle,
but since it was carefully crafted it is a fine piece
of art to be admired and enjoyed. ^^

Awamori Fantasies

Kill two birds with one stone by taking on the experience
and also getting a little buzz in the process. ^~^

Well, What Do You Think?

Isn't it amazing how you can experience so many
different activities within the context of one particular
shop?  For couples and families it should be an interesting
experience and one you won't forget anytime soon.
While you're there at HAPiNAHA why not get a little
shopping done as well? Shopping here is like discovering
golden treasure because of all the limited edition items
you can only get at the shop!

 Naha, Okinawa Prefecture Makishi 2-2-30
 10:00 to 22:00
2F Restaurants:
 11:00 to 23:00
3F weekdays: 14: 00〜
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 13: 00〜
4F~6F11: 00~21: 55 (last admission)

Official Website

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