There is nothing golden about Kin Town in Okinawa(if you don’t speak Japanese, Kin means gold) but this is the place where the original King Tacos restaurant can be found.
Taco rice is a weird yet delicious Japanese version of Mexican food. Many people outside of Okinawa have no ideas that the dish exist, but it’s popular enough to be on the menu of Yoshinoya in Okinawa. I guess it’s like the poutine that can be found in Quebec’s McDo.
Kin town center is located right in front of the main gate of Camp Hansen. The proximity to the camp explains the creation of this super tasty dish.
I have rarely seen an area so seedy and derelict in Japan, but the whole thing just made sense.
It is said that taco rice was invented in the 1960’s and the whole area looked like it had not receive a fresh coat of paint for the last 50 years.
King Tacos is a tiny restaurant with only 3 tables and a take out counter.
When I got there, the 3 tables were busy and we were asked to wait. At one table, a very young marine was sandwiched between to very drunk Japanese men, nothing like the local drunks to entertain you. Lucky for him, two young girls from Osaka joined them at their table.
The taco rice itself is pretty straight forward, rice, taco meat, cheese, lettuce and a couple of slices of tomato for good measure. They scream behind the counter, you pick up your food. Ketchup and hot salsa is also offered on the side. The taco rice is only 600 yen and the portion is gigantic.
It’s not overly spicy, but it’s definitely not Japanese food. If I was a marine at Camp Hansen, I would probably come to King Tacos at least one or twice a week.
My wife ordered the 4 tacos in a shell (forgot to take a pic before eating these). The taco in a shell are stellar! The shell is deep fried to order, it’s crispy and hot.
Is the trip to Kin worth it? It was for me because I was coming back from the North of Okinawa and I didn’t have to go out of my way to get there. Unless you are pretty hardcore about eating the original tacos, I think there are places all over the island that serves a decent tacos. If you are a marine at Camp Hansen, well you are very lucky to have such an homey tacos spot right outside your base.