Tottori Okayama Shimbashi-kan opened in the autumn of 2014.
There are various regional antenna shops in Tokyo, but this one is a bit different. Anyone who has visited will understand what I mean, but all the staff members are really sunny and friendly!
While the main shop area is on the 1st floor, upstairs there is a bistro café and a special event space, and lots of staff working.
Holding Bizen ware, an Okayama traditional handicraft, this is Mr. Seo, the 1st floor sales manager.
When I think of traditional handicrafts, the image of something serious that has remained the same since olden times springs to mind. However, the products lined up at the back of the shop are very modern and fashionable!
Among others, I particularly liked this piece. It’s part of a series called ‘Blue Bizen’.
Mr. Seo says, "Above and beyond selling, we are focusing on getting people interested, acquiring fans. Our fresh produce is something into which we're putting a great deal of effort, and I'd like you to know that we have fresh produce delivered directly from farms every morning. We also carry a range of sweets full of hometown love. Our goal is to make this into a shop where people can relax."
Check out this article for details on the fresh produce into which Mr. Seo and others have put so much work, and other recommended products:
Next off is Mr. Minabe, the manager of the 2nd floor bistro café, Momotenashi-ya.
Mr. Minabe says, "We try our very best to make sure that the ingredients are prepared in a way that maximizes their high quality. Most of all, I wish to convey the good quality of the ingredients. As first and foremost we want every area of Japan to know what we have, we chose not to make a distinction between the two prefectures."
Yours truly also had lunch when researching this article. My expectations of this restaurant joined with an antenna shop were betrayed in a good way. Not only is the food delicious, but also the menu changes according to the time of day (lunch time, tea time and dinner time), allowing customers to enjoy an abundance of seasonal ingredients.
Do try the roast beef and the rich soft serve ice cream – absolutely superb!
Further details on Momotenashi-ya can be found here:
Lastly, Mr. Katsuya, the general manager of the Tottori Okayama Shimbashi-kan, says, "Rather than just having customers buy goods and produce, first of all we want to give information. We paid special attention to making this a shop from the customers’ point of view and the Tokyo point of view. Both Tottori and Okayama have plenty of things that are still not well known. It's hard to buy something you don't know. That's why we want our customers to first have a taste. I believe it's most important for them to know."
Indeed, there are probably not many people who can say right away what the specialties of Tottori and Okayama are! In various ways, all the staff work together to convey the charms of both prefectures.
By the way, I thought that each manager would have a personal product recommendation, but they all recommended the "Cigar fry!" snack!
Salty, sweet, and endlessly delicious – I just can't get enough!
Try them out with some milk from the prefectures.
In cooperation with: Tottori Okayama Shimbashi-kan:
Bistro Café Momotenashi-ya (Tottori Okayama Shimbashi-kan 2nd floor)
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