Two blocks up from Ishigakis City's main intersection and set back into an inviting wooden storefront, Buku Buku Tea Shop would be famous just for its kitchen, were it not for the rare traditional tea that really steals the show. Great lunch and dinner sets usually begin from a standard base like the don-buri—a rice bowl with stir-fried meat or vegetables served on top—but dishes are tweaked and specialized with locally grown vegetables and innovative styles
of rice preparation and rare strains of rice to bowl over your palette. Tea is delightful by itself, too, when you try making it the Ryukyu way. A wooden bowl holds thick, black tea made from baked rice grains, but this isn't what you drink: with a big bamboo whisk, you'll whip it into a thick cloud of foam to spoon onto the drink of your choice; sharing one drink among friends so everyone looks equally foolish with a splash of foam on his nose is highly encouraged, and the drinks are delicious.