Translated by Kayoko Windle
Osawa Engawa Cafe In Shizuoka: Feel The True Japanese Hospitality!
A small village, Osawa is surrounded by mountains and tea plantations. During Osawa Engawa Cafe, a village-wide event held twice a month in this village, people in the village open their old houses as cafes and offer tea and sweets to the visitors.
Written by sakaguchi nao
A small village, Osawa is surrounded by mountains and tea plantations. Osawa Engawa Cafe, a village-wide event, is held twice a month in this village. During the event, people in the village open their old Japanese houses as cafes and offer tea and snacks to visitors. Let's take a closer look at the Osawa Engawa Cafe and feel the warm spirit of hospitality that Japan is famous for!
Also read：Japanese Encyclopedia - Engawa
An Event to Promote Tea Began in a Tea Village
The Osawa Engawa Cafe takes place in Osawa village in Shizuoka prefecture. There are 23 houses surrounded by foggy mountains and tea plantations in this small village. The event started with the wish of the people in the village to promote the tea made in Osawa.
The cafe opens the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month. On these days, all of the houses in the village open to serve visitors tea and snacks on their verandas. Some of their houses are 200 years old, so visitors can enjoy both rural Japanese dishes and conversations with people living in history-rich houses in a comfortable, countryside atmosphere.
Homemade Dishes and Tea!
The menu offered at each cafe is simple: homemade tea and snacks from that house. You might imagine the 'snack' as Japanese sweets, but here they offer a lot of homemade Japanese dishes such as miso konjac, simmered taro potatoes, and pickled vegetables. Surprisingly, they change their menu every season.
Of course, their tea is very special. Shizuoka prefecture, where Osawa is located, is famous for tea. This is especially true in Osawa village, where each house has their own tea plantation, so they can offer their very own homemade tea at the cafe and you can enjoy tasting different teas at each house.
The price is only 300 yen per person, even if you try all the dishes and tea. It's the best deal around.
Relationships Grown on Verandas
Usually, when people go to a cafe they only talk with the group of people they come with. However, at the Osawa Engawa Cafe, relationships grow between house owners, groups of visitors, and other groups of visitors.
Some of the elder people in the village are very excited to talk with visitors, and the conversation naturally begins from a 'where did you come from?' while drinking tea. Visitors also start communicating with each other through house owners. If you keep meeting other groups of visitors, touring the many cafes around you, and you'll soon find that you've made many new friends.
A part of the kanji for veranda, '縁'(En), can also mean human bond. Just like the meaning of the kanji, the verandas tie people together.
Many visitors come from within Shizuoka prefecture, but more and more people from all over Japan are visiting there recently.
The Osawa Engawa Cafe now opens from 10:00-15:00 on the 2nd and 4th Sunday every month. Please note that they open 10:00-14:00 from November to March.
Osawa village is an hour from JR Shizuoka Station. Using your own car or a rental car would be the most convenient choice, but you can also take the bus from Shizuoka Station.
Take the bus bound for Yokozawa from the No. 9 bus stop at the north exit of Shizuoka Station; get off the bus at the Osawa Iriguchi bus stop. There are 2 buses at 7:42 or 11:26 on Sundays and the bus ride lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes. If you take the 7:42 bus, you will arrive at the village by about 9:30, as there is also a 20-minute walk along the road from the bus stop to contend with.
By that route, you will arrive in the village about 30 minutes before the cafes open, but don't worry, time will pass quickly while you wander the village and enjoy the beautiful scenery here.
There are two buses at 13:15 or 17:28 for the trip back. We recommend you to leave the village at 12:50 to catch the 13:15 bus or leave at 17:00 for the 17:28 bus.
There are no restaurants or cafes in Osawa village other than the Engawa cafe, so we recommend you to take the 13:15 bus.
If you need a rental car, there are some rental car shops only 2-3 minutes walk from Shizuoka Station.
・JR station rent a car Shizuoka Station shop
・Toyota Rent a car Shizuoka Shinkansen Exit shop
・Orix Rent a car Shizuoka Station shop
The Feeling of a Japanese Hometown
It is impossible to feel the heart of a Japanese farming village culture unless you have friends or acquaintances living there. However, the Osawa Engawa cafe allows you to feel and experience the people, cultures, and food in Osawa village to your heart's content.
Why not go on a day trip from Shizuoka Station to a Japanese hometown where tasty food and kind people are waiting for you?
Osawa Engawa Cafe
Address: Shizuoka, Shizuoka city, Aoi, Osawa (postal code 421-2227)
Dates: the 2nd and 4th Sundays every month
Hours: 10:00-15:00（April to October） 10:00-14:00（November to March）
Language: Japanese only
Nearest Station: Shizuoka Station
Access: (By car) Run to north on Japan National Route 27 from Shizuoka Station and change to Route 189. Turn right from 'Osawa Iriguchi ' bus stop
(By bus) Take the bus 'Shizutetsu Just Line Abe (Yukozawa)' to Osawa Iriguchi bus stop. 20 minute walk from the bus stop
Price: 300 yen per house (including self-service Tea)
Phone: 054-292-2656（Mr. Masaki Uchino）
Website:Osawa Engawa Cafe (Japanese)