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!
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?
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.
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: 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.
Facilitated by: Hitomi Nakahara