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Chichibugahama is a scenic spot in Kagawa often called "the Uyuni Salt Flat of Japan." Hyakusai Syoten, located right by this beach, sells quality local products based on a unique concept that makes them perfect as souvenirs.
Chichibugahama Beach in Mitoyo, Kagawa Prefecture, has become a popular spot renowned for having the most gorgeous sunsets in Japan.
Picture courtesy of Mitoyo City from “A Gorgeous Sunset! 5 Ways to Enjoy Chichibugahama Beach in Kagawa”
Large tidepools form on the sands of Chichibugahama during low tides. On still days with little wind, these tidepools become a mirror that beautifully reflects the sky. This is why the beach is nicknamed “the Uyuni Salt Flat of Japan” and “The Sky Mirror of Setouchi.”
The Chichibugahama area has several trendy stores. Among these is Hyakusai Syoten, the main shop featured in this article.
While it may be called a syoten (bookstore), they don’t exactly sell books. Hyakusai Syoten is considered more of a souvenir shop. However, there is a reason the store intentionally uses “syoten” in its name.
Chichibugahama during high tide. The sand is so soft, you can walk on it barefoot.
First, we'll describe Chichibugahama before introducing Hyakusai Syoten.
Chichibugahama Beach was originally planned to be reclaimed for development during the latter half of the 1990s. Upon hearing the news, local volunteers began periodically cleaning with “the desire to protect the beach they’ve known since childhood.” The result was a gorgeous seashore.
Hyakusai Syoten is run by locals with a passion to “share experiences and stories of the local community." Thus, these experiences appear in various areas of the store.
These books, displayed with other products in the store, are the origin of “syoten” in the store’s name. The books were authored by the manufacturers of products sold at Hyakusai Syoten. They detail the emotions and experiences that went into making their products.
Customers are welcome to read the books and leave messages to the manufacturer. This is an opportunity to send feelings of support to manufacturers working hard in the community!
If you want to send a message to a manufacturer, then write it on the paper available to customers in the store. Afterwards, place it into the respective mailbox installation on the wall.
Photos of the manufacturers and their magnificent smiles are posted onto the mailboxes. You can truly feel their wish to "create a face-to-face connection between manufacturer and customer."
What kinds of products are sold at Hyakusai Syoten?
Hyakusai Syoten's concept is to be a store that carries "products that have prospered for 100 years or wish to prosper for 100 years." Various products express the community's charms, from high-quality goods to reasonably priced snacks.
Here, we’ll introduce products that represent their locality.
Kagawa Prefecture is a famous production area for olives, which are cultivated in various parts of Mitoyo City. Akatsuki—produced by Mitoyo Olive Co., Ltd.—is a superb product that won the "Best of Japan" award in the 2021 International Olive Oil Competition (Starting from 1,200 yen with tax).
Niosu Rice Vinegar is a traditional product made by Nakahashi Vinegar since their establishment in 1741 (Starting from 400 yen with tax). The product is characterized by a mellow fragrance and instantly adds a flavor profile often found in Kagawa cuisine to your dishes.
The 100% SOY Premium Caramel is a candy option for vegans (Starting from 510 yen with tax). A young local farmer, whose child has a milk allergy, wanted to create a confection that even children with allergies could safely enjoy.
The ingredients used are sourced freshly from the area and make perfect souvenirs.
Mitoyo Cola is a craft cola syrup (2,950 yen with tax). The syrup's base is made from mandarin oranges harvested in Mitoyo. Moreover, salt harvested from Chichibugahama and the Kagawa hontaka—a native variety of red pepper—act as flavor accents.
Not only is it delicious when diluted with carbonated water, it also pairs well with milk.
Sanuki Kagari Temari is a traditional Kagawa handicraft made in Mitoyo (Starting from 1,760 yen with tax). Cotton thread hand-dyed with vegetable dyes are used to make this product. It can be used as a home ornament or phone charm.
Hariko Tigers are another type of traditional Kagawa handicraft (6,000 yen with tax). The decorative paper-mache product also acts as a lucky charm to pray for the healthy growth of one's child. Like the Sanuki Kagari Temari, it is made by traditional craftspeople in Mitoyo.
Additionally, the store carries products that will make your trip memorable. For example, these hourglasses are filled with sand from Chichibugahama (2,500 yen with tax).
They also sell memo pads made by a local printing company alongside other creative goods. These portable products make excellent souvenirs.
Chichibugahama postcards and clear files are also sold here.
Hyakusai Syoten has a unique design special to a region brimming with heartwarming stories. How about learning about community experiences at this store and creating memories while enjoying the amazing sights of Chichibugahama?
The official Mitoyo Tourism and Exchange Authority website introduces the history and volunteer cleanup work in Chichibugahama in more detail. Be sure to also check it out!
In cooperation with Hyakusai Syoten