Overlooking Setouchi, this building looks like a regular house, but is actually a cafe.
Its name is Kurumi – The cafe with a view of the sea.
The cafe was originally created because the owner wanted to give guests a homely place to relax while gazing out at the sea.
I take off my shoes and climb the stairs to the second floor.
The first thing you see on the second floor is the seating outside on the terrace, and then the wide sea view right in front of your eyes. It’s hard to imagine that you’re actually in a regular home.
Filled with wood and wooden furniture, the entire room has a relaxing atmosphere. Outside you can see the many islands of Setouchi. It’s almost like a painting.
The recommended item on the menu is the Kurumi lunch plate, which guests need to order a day in advance. The lunch plate and a drink cost 800 yen. That’s pretty cheap! For another 200 yen you get a homemade dessert with the set. The owner, Ms. Kaori Fukuyama, tells me that along with other local ingredients, they mainly use the pesticide-free vegetables grown in her father-in-law’s garden. She also says that it’s hard to come up with new dishes every day, but at the same time quite fun.
Kurumi opened about 2 years ago soon after the building became vacant. Apparently, the father-in-law built the house for his retirement, but became bedridden. So, as the family thought it would be a waste to keep this gem to themselves, they decided to open the cafe.
Ms. Fukuyama’s handy husband made the sign himself, among other things. Her mother takes care of the customers and the garden, and makes small dishes with the vegetables picked in the father-in-law’s vegetable garden. Ms. Fukuyama had not in her wildest dreams dreamt of opening a cafe, but with the support of her family, she was able to do it. Truly a “homely” cafe, the family has created a lovely space where guests can bring their children and relax for a couple of hours, while chitchatting and enjoying the calm atmosphere. Please come and visit us, she says.
Kurumi – The Homely Cafe By The Sea
Address: 838-1 Shinto Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Open: 11:00 – 16:00 (last orders)
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays (and occasional unscheduled holidays) ※Please call for more information
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Masafumi Fujimoto
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Masafumi Fujimoto Hi there! My name is Masafumi Fujimoto. Until the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, I was engaged in editing production at an advertising company in Tokyo. However, the earthquake was a turning point in my life and I headed home to Yamaguchi. When I arrived, I was extremely energized and motivated to help revitalize the region, but I had a hard time adjusting to the motivation level of the local people. Around that time I met an elderly lady who said: "It doesn't matter if all the people move away from the island; that's just the nature of things. Someday people will come back again." Lessening the tension I’d been feeling, those few words relieved me hugely, and I was able to finally adjust. Since then, I've been involved in writing and editing magazines, and working in advertisement production, as well as doing a little bit of farming. I also spend time walking around Setouchi searching for the many, many voices out there.
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