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Gem of a cafe in the quiet hills of Kitanakagusuku, central Okinawa
Cafe Natura is a gem of a cafe tucked away in the hills of Kitanakagusuku in central Okinawa, well worth the effort of seeking out, even it it might well be just that - an effort. The first thing one notices about Cafe Natura is the look of the place. From the outside it exudes a dilapidated, rustic charm scattered with ornaments and potted plants. Whitewash decking protrudes from the main building into the gravel carpark offering the promise of good times and beer. Inside Cafe Natura things get a little more organised, although no less charming - rich wooden flooring covering a spacious and cool interior furnished with whitewash, wood-topped tables and comfortable chairs. A small counter offer stools for the solo diner. Indoor plants and nooky wall features add to the charm. At the time of visiting, around midday on a hot and sweaty Thursday, Cafe Natura was serving a couple of small groups as well as ourselves. Staff were friendly and attentive. We came for coffee and snack. Blend coffee and roast coffee were 350 yen and 300 yen respectively. This Okinawa traveler had their coffee hot and it was delivered in a tasteful cup and saucer to match the interior. The travel partner went with a coffee and cake set at 600 yen. They were pleased with the fact that the ice coffee came served in an old jar. It’s the simple touches, eh? Lunches are also available at Cafe Natura for around 1,000 yen. The bill is left at your table here. Take it to the counter and pay there when you’re done. The cafe sits off the road a little, so you have to keep an eye out for it. Parking is fairly limited and it’s a tight turn to enter and exit. Nervous drivers and car parkers might not enjoy the challenge. Another challenge is walking around these parts. This traveler was doing just that and with the roads around this part of Kitanakagusuku not having any sidewalks and also being subject to a number of tight bends with poor visibility, walking around here isn’t the most pleasant of experience. Which is presumably why I was the only person I saw doing it! Overall though, Cafe Natura was thoroughly enjoyed by both myself and the Okinawa travel partner. It’s cool, laid back, tasteful, tasty and just a little bit off-beat, which I really like. This is the kind of place where one shouldn’t fear rocking up alone with good book or a diary that needs filling out. Hours: 8:00 - 16:00 Closed Tuesdays and national holidays. It's a shame that this place closes so early, although perhaps understandable given the seeming lack of traffic around these parts.