Hai Sai! Welcome to my Blog.

Hello, my name is Tom Corrao and I am the blogger behind the Okinawaology Blog. I created this blog to share and discuss all things Okinawan. I’m also the Public Relations Officer and Minkan Taishi to the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai. My experience with Okinawa is derived from the time I spent there during the 1980's and 90's (10 years) when serving in the United States Air Force. I've also been married to an Okinawan woman for 30 years now and have been immersed in many things Okinawan through both friends and family. I do not claim to be all knowing about everything Okinawan but I try hard and study the history and culture. I welcome everyone that is interested in Okinawa and hope that I can provide useful information to those uchinanchu that may be curious about their culture and heritage. I also welcome those who are not of Okinawan heritage but have experienced, or are experiencing, the islands culture while stationed there with the United States Military. Comments are welcomed and will be published as long as they are in good taste and on track with the purpose of this blog. My hope with this blog is to bring Uchinanchu people around the world a little closer to their cultural roots by expressing information that has started to fade in light of a more modern world. We should never forget our culture or the people who came before us and through the Blog my intentions are to meld the old with the new and implant knowledge that will help maintain the traditions and culture of an island people.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Orion Draft Beer - It's from OKINAWA!

When exploring Okinawa, it's hard not to notice the word Orion, whether it's seen on an advertisement, outside a business or on a T-shirt. After spending any length of time on the island, it becomes apparent that Orion is Okinawa's beer of choice. I particularly like the stuff and think of it as the Miller High Life of the orient.

Orion Breweries Ltd. was founded in May 1957 in Nago City as beer's popularity grew in the region during the post-war economic boom and the construction of U.S. military bases. The boom led to more jobs and higher wages, making the drink affordable for most Okinawans.

Orion, pronounced or-ee-on, unlike the constellation, prides itself on the freshness of its beer. The beer, which is specifically designed to suit the island's hot and humid climate, is made from malt and hops imported from Germany and the Czech Republic and then ripened under a strictly controlled process. The brewery's location in Nago was selected for its proximity to a fresh water source.

Orion's beer production is divided into a six-stage process. The series of steps are as follows: ingredients stage, mashing, fermentation process, filtration, bottling and canning, and quality inspection. Beer enthusiasts can witness the entire process by taking a tour of the brewery.

Brewery tours are available to the public for free everyday from 9 to 11 a.m. and 12 to 4 p.m. The brewery is closed Sundays and national holidays. The brewery is also closed from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3rd for the New Year.

A guide escorts groups on a 30-minute tour where patrons can view the entire brewing process. On the tour, visitors can watch beer go through each step as the tour guide explains what is happening. There is also a short video on the assembly line process and a beer tasting. Soft drinks are available to those who don't drink or are driving. There is also an Orion gift shop in the guest hall.

We visited in December so we had our jackets. Here we
are sampling a free beer at the end of the tour.
To schedule an English tour, call the brewery at 098-052-2136.

Here is a Video Review that My friend James Knott put together. He does beer reviews from all over but I found this on especially interesting.

Orion is Okinawa's top selling beer, and one of the top five in all Japan. Orion also has international distributors in Taiwan, Hawaii, California and New York. Orion is fondly known among Okinawans as the "beer of beers." Additional information about the factory is available at: The Orion Beer Website
Orion is a pilsner-style lager, which is distinct because of its use of Saaz. Saaz is a variety of hop found in the Czech Republic and the Hallertau region of Bavaria, Germany, which gives pilsners a stronger hop flavor than most lagers.


  1. One can only hope their quality control is better than back in the day when I served in the Corps as it ranged from acceptable to poor.

  2. Now days its excellent and the beer is brewed in many variations.

  3. My question is are you aware of any distributors I can get it from here in the states? Been hone from Okinawa for just over a year and going crazy trying to find some.

  4. One truly cannot appreciate Orion if they have not lived in or been to Okinawa! Would love to get my mouth on some but I wonder if it would be the same not being back in paradise.

    1. Hi Dave - I'm not sure where you live, but we just had and bought Orion in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We visited my nephew in the Air Force in Okinawa in 2011, and toured the Orion factory. Happened on a restaurant in Tulsa that served it, and we found a liquor store that stocks it (Park Hill in Tulsa - $5.01 for a 21 oz bottle). We bought all 12 bottles they have to bring back to Little Rock. Good luck!

  5. Dave, do you know how I can get some Goya Dry Beer from Okinawa?

  6. If you happen to live in Australia you can buy Orion online at

  7. Beer is a drink which is give enjoy in a party and other occasion. Some times it is a interest of students and teenagers. Soft drink is the best solution to get refresh.
    Visit: Beer Distributor