'Jam Bar' in OJana

Old style rustic food & music bar

By Timothy Jones    - 3 min read

Jam Daidokoro-ya, is officially known as "Jam Bar" and is located in the Ojana area in Ginowan city. The business and community area is a bit old and run down, but has loads of nostalgia and history. I love finding those hidden little "hole in the wall" type bars, and Jam Bar is one of those places.

It looks a bit seedy from the outside; the building is a very old block concrete style place that I believe was old US Military housing (gaijin ju taku) from the 1960s. In any case, I love this place. Like the neighborhood it sits in, it's a bit run down, and it has seen its better days, but the food and service is great. Most foreigners new to Okinawa don't know and will never hear about this place -- it has no website and they don't use email. I almost hate to write this in this review! Jam reminds me of the bar in the TV show Cheers, "where everyone knows your name". The bar is run by two professionally trained chefs that love owning their own bar. They are the only staff in the place, but do a great job cranking out the food and drinks when it's busy. Although the bar is closed on Sundays, they open at 6pm and close at 5 or 6am everyday including Holidays. If you are a night owl, there isn't a real closing time and I've seen the place open till 10am if there are customers. Most of the crowd comes late, but everyone that comes is usually a "regular", giving Jam that local hangout feel. This is the spot where people go to after all the other bars have closed down!

The menu consists of a variety of Japanese and Okinawan style dishes that may seem typical, but they are prepared like they would be in a 5 star resort. These are authentic chefs, and they cook the food in a large open kitchen behind the bar, allowing you to see how they prepare your food. One thing special about this bar is the fact that they serve Budweiser beer on tap! I don't know of too many local places in Okinawa that serve Budweiser draft beer. If you were to depart Okinawa's only international/domestic airport (OKA) in Naha City, drive North on highway 58 about 16 km and then turn east on route 34. Continue straight for about 1.5 km and Jam is on your left (the north side).

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Timothy Jones

Timothy Jones @timothy.jones

Greetings! I was born in the USA and originally came to Japan 1990-1993 in the US Air Force. I have been living in Japan ever since, and love it! My travel, life, work experiences in Japan and the rest of Asia are extensive. I have lived in multiple locations across Japan, and I have traveled extensively throughout Japan & SE Asia. I love the outdoors, and in particular I love Okinawa, Japan due to the sub tropical climate, beaches, water sports, golf and fishing. I love traveling, finding new spots for dinner, drinks, and fun. I hope to share some experiences and places that you will also enjoy! As my good friend says, "it's all about good times". ~TJ  

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Brado Porter 5 years ago
Just another night at Jam!
Brado Porter 5 years ago
Great place! I lived walking distance from there for 10 years and spent countless nights in there. Food is great.