The US military's presence in Okinawa is still quite visible today, even 60 something years after the war ended, they have several bases scattered around mainland Okinawa and you can also see bits of American culture here and there.
For one thing, Spam is readily available here--cheaper than what I pay for at the gourmet supermarket. The day I bought this it was on sale--195 yen (about US$1.95). As well, as corned beef hash 80 yen for a tiny package (about US$.80) and pork and beans 100 yen (about US$1). Oh and some American brands of toothpaste can also be found--I was actually looking for Colgate but bought this Aquafresh, we can get Aquafresh on mainland Japan too.
The drive-inn is still around in Okinawa. Drive up, park and order. They bring the food out and you eat in your car. I had to explain this to Satoshi as it was the first time for him to see this.
Drive-thrus can be seen here and there too. I was fascinated with this Starbucks drive-thru (sorry very blurry). I haven't seen any SB drive-thrus in Osaka.
A & W--we used to have one in Kailua when I was younger, I remember going to one after the 4th of July parade and having the baby burger with a frosty glass of root beer. (If I'm not mistaken they used to have a papa burger, mama burger and baby burger)
Anyway, I ordered the BBQ burger 220 yen (about US$2.20) A burger with an onion ring, lots of chopped onion and BBQ sauce on it. I really miss Southern BBQ sauce!
Satoshi had their Mozza burger (I think it was called this because of the mozzarella cheese in it) 400 yen (about US$4) And of course we ordered onion rings. Free refills for your rootbeer (I don't think mainland Japan has free refills of anything or anything free for that matter).
JEF burger is a Japanese company (JEF stands for Japan Excellent Food), but they have an American style drive-inn system. Their burgers are "healthy". Goya (bittermelon) omlettes in their Goya burger--282 yen (about US$2.82)
Add spam and cheese to the goya burger and get their Nu-yaru burger which means "what is this, exactly?" in Okinawan. 314 yen (about US$3.14)
Deep fried goya (bittermelon)--this stuff was super bitter! 252 yen (about US$2.52)
The portions are American sized. How is this iced coffee I ordered in Urasoe? The cup on the right is the "normal" serving size. This iced coffee was called "tappuri ice" or lots of ice....the cup was 4 times the normal size! 450 yen (about US$4.50)...had to go bathroom every 5 minutes...yikes!
Blue Seal/Big Dip (a subsidiary of Foremost)--you can find ice cream parlors and stands all over Okinawa. They have "okinawan" favorites like beni-imo (purple sweet potato) and goya (bittermelon). But I usually go for the mint chocolate chip as it isn't readily found on mainland Japan. We checked out the one in Chatan. Satoshi had the beni-imo and I had the mint chocolate chip. (260 yen each about US$2.60)
Tacos can also be readily found. Something that isn't seen too much on mainland Japan. An Okinawan version of tacos called taco rice can be found on menus all over Okinawa.
Everyone has their own recipe and style. We tried a taco pilaf (800 yen about US$8) and taco curry (800 yen about US$8) at a cafe in Naha...delicious.
Spam musubi---or pork musubi as their are called in Okinawa can be found in convenience stores all over Okinawa.
I tried two different types: spam, egg and tuna 210 yen (about US$2.10). Good but I was looking for the tuna....only found it at the last couple of bites.
spam, egg and abura miso 200 yen (about US$2). I think abura miso is made from pork fat and cooked with shoyu, sugar and mirin to get a thick miso-like sauce. I enjoyed this one best.
I really enjoyed seeing and tasting these bits of American culture in Okinawa.