Shima Chubo Kafuu

Vegan sweets in Okinawa with some tropical flair

By Kim B    - 2 min read

When you look at recipes for traditional baking and traditional sweets, the ingredient lists usually contain eggs, milk, and butter - maybe even all three. For vegans, this rules out many desserts found on store shelves, but there are delicious alternatives if you look around a little! If you're visiting Okinawa, one place to check out for their sweet treats is Shima Chubo Kafuu in Kunigami.

This dessert shop creates a range of different products to satiate the sweet tooth, but without the use of any animal products whatsoever. For example, one traditional Okinawan sweet is chinsuko, a type of shortbread cookie. The standard recipe typically calls for lard to be used, but Shima Chubo Kafuu make a vegan version which uses sunflower oil instead.

Another wonderful thing about this dessert cafe is that there's a real emphasis placed on the use of locally sourced ingredients. There are tarts made with beni imo (Okinawan purple sweet potato), cakes topped with tropical delights like dragon fruit and passion fruit, and cookies in the shape of hibiscus flowers that bloom across the island. Flower petals are often used on their creations as garnishes, too, making them equally as aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious.

If you live in Japan but outside Okinawa, Shima Chubo Kafuu can ship a number of their products to other prefectures, and they're presented in a way that is perfect to gift for a special occasion. If you'd like to browse or order online, check out their website shop here.

Getting there

Shima Chubo Kafuu is in the process of moving their physical store premises, which will be located in the Nakijin Village area of Kunigami District (about 20 minutes drive from the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium). In the interim, please visit their online store linked above for ordering, and their Instagram account for updates on the new store opening.

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Kim B

Kim B @kim.b

I'm an Australian who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan. I've also visited 44 of 47 prefectures, with only Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kumamoto left to check out. I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's growing vegan scene.

Join the discussion

Novia Mardasari 2 months ago
i love dessert! looks so yummy
Elizabeth S 5 months ago
Are the long green leaf-shaped ones chinsuko? I love chinsuko, and wouldn’t mind then without the lard.
Bonson Lam 5 months ago
The shape of the bird and the blue whale shark is amazing too. I can't imagine it without the lard actually, given pork is now such a key ingredient in many Okinawan dishes. It is like having croissant without butter. I am sure sunflower oil works, would be curious about the taste and aroma.
Sherilyn Siy 5 months ago
We love chinsuko. My kids say, "Tomaranai!" (We can't stop eating!)
Sleiman Azizi 5 months ago
Once again, the presentation is just superb.
Kim B Author 5 months ago
11 out of 10!!
Elena Lisina 5 months ago
The second dish reminds me a beetroot - it's sweet and tasty after cooking.
Elena Lisina 5 months ago
We eat only cooked beetroot, but not raw.