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One of the best-known seaweeds in Okinawa is sea grapes, which are characterized by their popping texture. In Itoman City in the southern part of Okinawa's main island, there is a facility called "Sea Grape Farm Uminchi" where you can fully enjoy sea grapes. Learn about the programs you can experience there and the useful tips on how to eat sea grapes.
Sea Grape Farm Uminchi

If you have ever been to Okinawa, it is likely that you have seen sea grapes at least once in a souvenir shop or restaurant. “Sea Grape Farm Uminchi” is a facility where visitors can experience sea grape picking and enjoy food such as soft serve ice cream with sea grapes!

Sea grape picking

Sea grape picking is a program that both adults and children can enjoy. A guide will show you around the farm where sea grapes are actually grown. Inside the farm, tanks are laid out in tight rows where sea grapes are cultivated, and visitors can see sea grapes in different stages of growth.


Afterwards, you can experience sea grape picking and also "sea grape scooping," which is scooping sea grapes with a scoop just like goldfish scooping at Japanese festivals. The sea grapes you scooped by playing the sea grape scooping can be taken home with you. (It is also possible to choose the sea grape scooping only program.)







Photo 1: picked sea grapes. Photo 2 & 3: sea grape scooping

Sea Grape Farm Shop Puchi Puchi

For those who want to enjoy fresh sea grapes within the facility, it is highly recommended to stop by "Sea Grape Farm Shop Puchi Puchi". Fresh sea grape soft serve ice cream and other tasty treats as well as processed products are available for purchase at the shop.


Popular menu items include fresh sea grape soft serve ice cream and mini sea grape tamago kake gohan (egg on rice). Fresh sea grape soft serve ice cream is made of Hokkaido milk soft serve ice cream mixed with fresh sea grapes, and you can enjoy the popping texture of the sea grapes. Mini sea grape tamago kake gohan is a dish that allows you to savor a generous portion of fresh sea grapes, and the egg used is from Okinawa.





Photo 1: fresh sea grape soft serve ice cream. Photo 2: mini sea grape tamago kake gohan.

In the shop, you can also purchase the fresh sea grapes harvested every morning from the farm. Other processed products such as sea grape noodles can also be purchased there.

Useful tips on how to eat sea grapes

Although there are many people who would like to eat sea grapes at home, they may not know how to eat them. For those who are not familiar with how to prepare sea grapes, Ms. Yamashiro of Sea Grape Farm Uminchi taught us some useful information, such as how to preserve sea grapes and how to eat them.


Store sea grapes in the package at room temperature

High temperatures above 27 degrees Celsius and low temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius will cause sea grapes to lose their freshness and shrink. The optimum temperature is between 20 and 23 degrees Celsius.


Store out of direct sunlight


Rinse lightly with water before serving

Just before serving, rinse lightly with water.


Dip sea grapes in sauce instead of pouring sauce on them

If you pour sauce over the sea grapes and let them sit for a long time, they will shrink. It is recommended to eat them by dipping in the sauce instead of poring the sauce over.


What to do if sea grapes shrink

If sea grapes shrink, soak them in fresh water for 2 to 3 minutes and they will return to their original texture. Please serve immediately afterwards.

In addition to eating sea grapes as they are with sauce, they are also a delicious ingredient to serve on top of natto (fermented soybeans), on tofu as hiyayakko (a Japanese cold tofu dish), or on top of salad. Among the various ways to eat them, Ms. Yamashiro recommends eating them as shabu-shabu. She recommends eating them by quickly immersing them in the hot water in a pot of shabu-shabu without removing them from the chopsticks.

Sea Grape Farm Uminchi is a place where both adults and children can savor and experience the greatness of sea grapes. Visit them when you come to Okinawa!


The Sea Grape Farm Uminchi

Address: 1931 Maezato, Itoman, Okinawa

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed on year-end and new year holidays.
Tel: +81-98-994-0016
Instagram : @uminchi_okinawa

*Reservations for the sea grape picking program can be made through the website (in Japanese). It depends on the availability of reservations on the day, but if there is space available, you can jump in and join the activity. Groups from overseas can also be accommodated, however, explanations are mostly in Japanese, so if you need an interpreter, you will need to make your own arrangements. There are English and Chinese explanation signs at certain spots in the farm.

Posted on 2023/8/10

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