Let’s visit a former elementary school in a mountain village in Okayama to try some tasty wild game! / Fureru Shokudo (Nishiawakura-son, Aida-gun, Okayama)

The former Kageishi Elementary School now has 3 shops inside.

The hunting season starts in the middle of November, and wild boar meat and venison taste really good in autumn and winter.
If you would like to have delicious wild game, go to Nishiawakura Village in Okayama.
“Fureru Shokudo (diner)” inside of the former “Kageishi Elementary School” is the best place for it.
It’s about a 5-minute-walk from “Awakura Onsen Station.”
If you go there by car in the middle of winter, please note that you will need a car with winter tires, as the temperature will be below zero.

The village, located in the mountains, sometimes turns white with snow during winter.

There are 3 shops in the building now (December, 2018), “Fureru Shokudo”, “UKIYO” the hat shop, and “Sake urara” selling Japanese sake .
There are some offices and workshops there, and at certain times people are not allowed to enter.
Therefore, we recommend that you to contact the shops before you visit.

”Fureru Shokudo” serves you the most delicious meat.

One of the rooms in the elementary school was renovated into a diner.
“Fureru Shokudo” moved to this place from Mimasaka City in 2016.

You can have some wild game or fish from Tottori, and local fresh vegetables if you choose the special dish of the day.
The diner only uses ingredients from the certain hunters or farmers who really love their game or vegetables.
The seasoning is really simple and delicate so that you can taste the original flavor of the ingredients themselves.

Do you know the taste of wild meat differs depending on what the animals have eaten?
The aroma of the meat is fragrant if they have eaten acorns, and you can smell a sweet aroma if they have eaten peaches.
The diner buys wild game only from the hunters who can provide high-quality meat which has been properly caught and field dressed.
Please make your reservation for a meal at least 2 days before you visit.

“Actually, I am not particular about wild game. We are serving wild boar meat and venison because I think that they are most delicious,” Nishihara says.
You might think that restaurants which serve wild game are classy and expensive, but not here!
You will find a very natural and friendly atmosphere at the diner, and just serving good food without flattery is what attracts many people to become fans of the diner.

Some pottery and wooden crafts from the local area, as well as Tottori and Shimane, are sold at the diner.
The wooden cutlery and containers, which are beautiful but also handy, are made by Tetsuya Yamada – who is a wood craft artist collaborating with this diner.

Vivid and cute hats from “UKIYO the hat shop”

There is also a hat shop called “UKIYO the hat shop” in the elementary school.
UKIYO designs and manufactures its own hats, so there are a lot of original hats here.
At first, UKIYO was only producing children’s hats, but many people requested them to make hats for adults.
So UKIYO started making matching hats with same design that both parents and kids can wear.

“Ponyu Hat,” with eyes and eyelashes made of strings, is the top recommendation by Yamaguchi, the shop manager.
Aren’t they just cute???

The many designs of these original hats will make your daily life joyful and stylish.
These hats can be a really good accent for your daily clothes, and even make you smile!

The cold in Nishiawakura Village during winter can be pretty harsh, but it might be a really fun and tasty experience for you to visit this former elementary school.
Just be careful driving on the snowy road!

Fureru Shokudo
Address/895, Kageishi, Nishiawakura-son, Aida-gun, Okayama (on the ground floor of the former Kageishi Elementary School)
Closed/Wednesday and Thursday
Parking lot/Available
Nearest station/Awakura Onsen Station on Chizu Express Line

UKIYO the hat shop
Address/895, Kageishi, Nishiawakura-son, Aida-gun, Okayama (on the ground floor of former Kageishi Elementary School)
Closed/Thursday and irregular holidays
Parking lot/Available
Nearest station/Awakura Onsen Station on Chizu Express Line

Photographs and text by Chiaki Sawasaka

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Written by

Chiaki Sawasaka

Chiaki Sawasaka

Chiaki Sawasaka Born in Okayama Prefecture. Returned home in 2010. I used to work as a systems engineer, but since coming back, I have been working on producing local magazines, organization advertising, and organization management. I love discovering stunning natural phenomena that stops me in my tracks, and warmhearted people filled with kindness. I’m going to do my best to write about and convey interesting information on the good places, good people, and good things in and around Okayama.


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