Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kiina - Cafe next to the Banyan Tree Park

The sleepy town of Shitogo doesn't usually make the tourist books, but it's got a few things going for it, like the Shirakawa organic tea farms in the foot hills, a beautifully clear river, the Banyan Tree Park by the coast, and--as of this March--Kiina Cafe.

Banyan Tree Park next door
Honestly, I've always thought the Banyan Tree Park leaves something to be desired--maybe once the trees have matured another 30 years or so it will be amazing. But pair the Banyan Tree Park with Kiina, and you have a descent afternoon destination for folks staying in the North, or  riding bicycles from Miyanoura.

The entranceway
to Kiina
Kiina has a warm, homey atmosphere that starts on your walk from the parking lot through what feels like someone's backyard to the front door. Slide (don't push) the door open and you'll be greeted with the day's offerings. Today there were two cakes and a bacon-tomato-mushroom quiche. I opted for the quiche which was joined by a green pea porridge. So perfect for a rainy day!

Take your shoes off and you can browse the tatami-mat area, where there are displays of locally-sewn Thai pants and the owner's handmade accessory line. The book nook has only a small selection of reading, but it's a good place to bring your own book. The owner's husband happens to be one of Yakushima's popular hiking guides; so I wonder if this won't become a hotspot for knowledge exchange as well as a quaint, quiet spot nestled between the Shitogo's port and the Banyan Tree Park.

Location: Shitogo (30.44888,130.5197), next to the Shitogo Banyan Tree Park.
Hours: 10am - 6pm on  Thursday through Saturday. (Hours subject to change as the owner tries to figure out the best hours for customers.)

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