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Restaurant Interview Cafe Uemaru Kawanehon- cho

Written by Wisani Shibambu

When you think of life in the inaka of Shizuoka, you probably don’t imagine a really good restaurant experience, but I assure you- food out here is good!

I live in the endless mountains of Kawanehon- cho and although it can get frustrating, when I venture out to find food, I am always gladly surprised! The people here are very friendly and welcoming and will never turn you away, even if they don’t know a word of English!

I can honestly say that I love eating here and living here. There is always something new and my current weight is proof of how many opportunities I have for eating. Over the next three months or so, I will be interviewing a couple of restaurant and cafe owners in Kawane. Hopefully, it will encourage you to come down and experience this wonderful place.

Café Uemaru is a quaint shop in Senzu, Kawanehon- cho. It’s owned by Atsuko Yamamoto and her mother, Maruko. Read on to learn more about this lovely café and insert it into your Golden Week plan!

Maruko on the left and Atsuko on the right, outside of their store Cafe Uemaru.

W: Please tell me about yourself
A: My name is 山本敦子 Atsuko Yamamoto. I live in Honkawane.

W: I have tasted the food at your restaurant, I think it is delicious. Why did you decide to open a restaurant?
A: We are farmers. At our shop, we work because we want many people to eat locally grown vegetables and fruits.

W: What is the name of your restaurant and why did you name it that?
A: cafeうえまる (Uemaru) うえは、いつも上向きに、向上心をもつこと。まるは、地域やお客様との和をいつも大切にという意味を込めました. cafe uemaru
“Ue” means always being ambitious.
“Maru” means to value encounters with local communities and customers.

W: Are you a trained chef or do you just love cooking?
A: I like cooking. I studied nutrition at the university and got the qualification of a managed nutritionist. We are thinking of offering a healthy menu.
I am a tea farmer with a Japanese tea instructor. We grow tea in a way that does not use pesticides. I would like to offer safe things.

W: How did you learn about running a restaurant?
A: 私の祖母が、30年程前から、和菓子やそばなどを製造する仕事をはじめました。それを基本に経営しています。スタッフみんなで、お客様に喜んでもらえるよう、取り組んでいます。
My grandmother started work to manufacture Japanese sweets and soba from about 30 years ago. We operate based on that. All the staff manage it to make customers happy.

W: What are some of the biggest challenges you face in running a restaurant?
A: It is to continue stable management.

W: How would you describe your menu?
A: We are farmers. I am making a menu that incorporates vegetables from my own farms that I made without using pesticides. Also, we use plenty of fresh vegetables from local farmers.

Atsuko makes many snacks to choose from at Cafe Uemaru.

W: Why should people come to your restaurant?
A: We are thinking about creating shops that will make customers happy.

W: What is the most popular dish on your menu and why do you think it is so popular?
A: The popular menu at my shop is Nagashima Dam Curry. The reason for popularity is curry which can only be eaten here.

W: Can people find your restaurant on Facebook or Instagram?
A: We introduce our shop by homepage and Instagram.

Inside Cafe Uemaru

W: What can people expect when they come to your restaurant?
A: I want you to eat homemade dishes that incorporate vegetables made in Kawane.

W: Thank you for your time! What are your opening hours?
A: Everyday is open, but Wednesday is holiday. It will open at 10:30. It closes at 17:30. Last order is at 17:00.

W: Is your restaurant easy to access by train?
A: Our cafe is near (opposite) Senzu station.

W: What is your restaurant address and phone number?
A: あなた のレストランの住所は何ですか 4月以降→静岡県榛原郡川根本町千頭1216-20 cafeうえまる千頭駅前店 phone number is 080-1620-0358.

Make Cafe Uemaru your one stop shop for all things delicious and cute.

Thank you!

Facilitated by: Hitomi Nakahara