Top 5 Cafes and Restaurants in Mashiko, Tochigi
It’s autumn once again and while this season is the most beautiful for me to explore outdoors, it’s also the best time to taste delicious seasonal foods. Think about sweet potatoes, kabocha pumpkins, and roasted chestnuts.
Mashiko which is a small pottery town in Tochigi, Japan is becoming a tourist spot during the fall season. Its annual pottery fair draws people from all over Japan and the world. And while checking out the potteries and handicrafts made by the local artisans, you can’t avoid getting hungry.
Do check out the food scenes from this charming little town. To give you more ideas about where to eat, I narrowed down five restaurants in Mashiko that are worth visiting.
5. Kitchen Slope
The location. Located on the outskirts of Mashiko town, this restaurant was once a mini hotel and was recently renovated. I love the spacious facade in front of the restaurant where you can see the vast countryside. The cafe is perched on a slope, thus the name kitchen slope. Ideally beautiful during the spring and autumn seasons.
The food. Kitchen slope prepares limited-edition menus and cooking-from-scratch-recipes. It’s healthy and unique which you cannot find in other cafes and restaurants. Servings have larger quantities and the price is reasonable.
4. Cafe Fune
The location. It’s quite hidden from the main road and the narrow street that leads to the restaurant is planted with bamboo trees. The place offers a quiet retreat from the busy world and is highly recommended to those who wanted a slower pace of dining. The restaurant has outdoor eating spaces on the veranda and a small garden lawn.
The food. They serve home-style unique recipes in limited editions and beautifully presented on a plate. They come in set meals of salads, main dishes, and a small dessert with drinks.
3. Mashiko Chaya
The location. A walk away from Mashiko Junior Highschool and conveniently located near a bakery and a pottery studio. Mashiko Chaya has its rustic charm because of its wooden structure and dimly-lit interiors. In addition to lunches, you can also check out their mini jewelry and handicrafts shop.
The food. Usually set meals are served to consist of salads, main dishes, and unlimited drinks at the drink bar. Additional desserts like cakes and a scoop of ice cream are definitely a must-try.
2. Hot room Keyaki
The location. Conveniently located at the heart of Mashiko along Jonaizaka street, this restaurant is highly accessible to hungry tourists. Easily seen along the roadside and bus stops which is definitely a plus. This cafe also has an additional terrace at the back which has natural ventilation.
The food. The cafe offers Japanese-style Italian pasta in different flavors, such as Napolitan, Carbonara, Pepperoncini, and Genovese sauces. Their signature desserts include gateau chocolate cake and yuzu cake. Sometimes, they serve kabocha cake during the fall season.
And the number one spot goes to…
1. Mori no restaurant
The location. Okay so, one of my main criteria, why I choose this restaurant to the number one spot, is because of its location and overall ambiance. It is beautifully located at the heart of the forest with spacious grounds and parking space. The surrounding trees turn red and brown during the fall season, giving the outdoor seating area a feel of autumn foliage.
The food. Set meals are served that consist of salads, kabocha cream soup, main dishes of either burger steak or curry rice, and unlimited drinks. Dessert menus depend on every season but gateau chocolate cake is available the whole year long.
So, the next time you visit Mashiko, don’t hesitate to visit one of these restaurants which for me is the best when it comes to ambiance, menus, and overall service. The town has a unique dining experience that is different from the big cities.