2014.9.28
Gourmet Ehime

Experience Stone Oven Cooking on a Deserted Island : Iwagi-jima

Summer is over and autumn is in the air, but how about a fun-filled deserted island experience?

Made up of a brace of isolated islands just off Shimanami Kaidō, there is a quiet ‘town’ called Kamijima-chō.

One of the islands is famous for producing high quality citrus fruits. Known as “Blue Lemon Island”, Iwagi-jima has been growing lemons and the like since 1965.

Just off the coast of Iwagi-jima is 津波島 (tsunami + island) there is a deserted island.

Though reading the translation of the Kanji characters might be mildly surprising, this tiny, peaceful island’s name is pronounced “Tsuba-jima”… Maybe I’m just getting excited because it’s a deserted island?!

Only a 5-minute ferry ride from Iwagi-jima!

Offering a custom-made, fun-filled deserted island experience at the “Tsuba-jima Community Island Camp Site”, a group of (mainly) young people from Iwagi-jima that belong to a project called “Protect Tsuba-jima” provide all the necessary support.

The project is led by Mitsuhiro Sunagawa, the 2nd generation proprietor of “Yoshimasa”(an Inn and Izakaya pub on Iwagi-jima), who came back to the island after training and gaining experience as a chef at a high class Japanese restaurant in the Kansai area. Along with members of “Protect Tsuba-jima”, Mr. Sunagawa is making a great effort to revitalize the community by promoting Iwagi-jima and Tsuba-jima both locally and further afield.

Thanks to the generous support of the staff, including Mr. Sunagawa, who provide a BBQ and a bath made from an empty drum, etc., everyone can enjoy a one-day trip to a deserted island.

Handcrafted by Protect Tsuba-jima members, the centerpiece is a splendid “stone oven” in which surprisingly delicious dishes such as pizza, bread, roast chicken, salted baked sea bream, and roast boar are regularly cooked.

Guests are welcome to cook by themselves, or leave it to the staff if they prefer…

The delicious flavor of cuisine fresh out of a real stone oven, and eaten al fresco in such a location? How could anyone resist such temptation??

Do you know of anywhere else that offers such an experience? Drop by and give it a try!

Contact: Protect Tsuba-jima (in Yoshimasa) TEL: 0897-75-2267

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