Saying Goodbye to Ishihara Market – A Beloved Kaua’i Institution

Ishihara Market a cherished westside institution serving fresh poke, plate lunches, and bentos in Waimea, Kaua’i will be closing its doors for good on Sunday Feb 12, 2023, at 6 pm.

Founded by Shoko Ishihara, a Japanese immigrant who arrived on Kauai in the early 1900s to work the fields at Kekaha Sugar Company has been serving locals and visitors alike since 1934. The family-run business was sold to Foodland an Oahu grocery chain store back in 2018 but kept the Ishihara name.

When I found out the news early this week morning, I knew we had to go. I got my oldest son in the car and with heavy hearts off we went to get one more meal. Upon arrival you could tell there was a different feel to the place, workers were only notified the day before and everyone in the building seemed a bit in shock, but the customer service that I grew to love was still there.


Saying Goodbye to Ishihara Market

Saying Goodbye to Ishihara Market

Too Many Great Options

We stood at the poke counter and ordered a good spread of ahi poke, shoyu ginger, Ishihara Original, and Chili Pepper. There’s so many to choose from it’s almost overwhelming but those 3 are my go-to.

I couldn’t forget about my wife Lynell, and I got her favorite – the  Raw Kimchi Crab, she’d be ecstatic when we’d return.

I soon realized it was 11 o’clock, and local plate lunches were available to order I was just in time. Kalbi beef ribs with steamed vegetables and Roast Pork with Filipino noodles sounded perfect.

Upon coming home, we put everything out and proceeded to have a perfect lunch, the poke was fresh and flavorful, and plate lunches were piled high and amazing.

We couldn’t have asked for a better meal and we’re so thankful for all the memories Ishihara has given us throughout the years.

I hope to make it one last time before Sunday.

Ishihara Market – you will be sorely missed.

Yoshi Yonemura

Scroll Down for More Ishihara Market Photos

Yoshi Yonemura

Yoshi Yonemura

Yoshi Yonemura is a Kaua’i based food and travel writer.

A Chef is in his own right – Yoshi and his partner & wife Lynell own the Dim ‘N’ Den Sum Food Truck located in Old Koloa Town/

Follow Yoshi’s Food and Travel Adventures:

@kauaifoodies Instagram account –

@yonemurasushi Instagram –

Dim 'N' Den Sum Food Truck

Follow The Dim ‘N’ Den Sum Food Truck



Instagram  –


More Ishihara Market Photos

Ishihara Market Ishihara Market Ishihara Market Ishihara Market Ishihara Market Ishihara Market

Saying Goodbye to Ishihara Market

Ishihara Market