Coming Soon to Ogijima: Damonte & Co

 

There is currently a small problem on Ogijima.

In 2016, two of its most popular cafés have closed. Murakami Shoten, the small restaurant owned and managed by Ms Murakami for about 60 years or so recently closed. Ms Murakami’s health didn’t allow her to keep on working anymore (she’s nearing 90 years old now). She stopped working last summer. Her daughter managed the place for the remainder of the Setouchi Triennale, but as she doesn’t live on Ogijima, she can’t take care of it on a regular basis.

And last November, Café Tachi, everyone’s favorite café (both random visitors, regular visitors and islanders loved it) closed too when its manager – Kido-san – became a full-time grandma. While we all understand her decision, we feel like she abandoned us (just kidding Kido-san if you read this 😉 ).

So, at the moment, Ogijima is seriously short on places where you can hang out and have a quick, cheap and delicious meal.

The island is not totally devoid of eating options at the moment. Madoka and Bistro Iori are open every week-end (or more), and while I warmly advise both of them, they’re a bit on a pricey side. They’re both must-go places with delicious local food and a very nice staff, but they’re not really places where you can spend time, hang out, chat, get a drink… Well, they’re not cafés, they’re restaurants.

There’s also Shima Table, and while Mr and Ms Hamaguchi are very welcoming people serving nice food, the place is not really designed for something other than eating. Once again, not really a café.

Of course, there’s Onba Café, one of my favorite places on earth (I mean it), but Onba café is a café in the Western meaning of the term, that is, it doesn’t serve food, just drinks (also, as a part of Art Setouchi, it’s not open in winter).

So, once again, there’s a serious lack of café on Ogijima at the moment.

But, you’ll just have to be patient, because… a café is coming… soon…

Actually, if you came to Ogijima during the Setouchi Triennale and you went to the library, you may have seen this place:

 

 

This was Damonte & Co (or Damonte Shokai in Japanese), a tiny café – a counter really – located on the terrace of Ogijima Library. It was managed by Kaisho and Yuko Damonte. And it was a delicious and friendly place, just like the ones we all love. However, it was only temporary, and the reason for that is….

Well, Damonte & Co will reopen soon at a different, bigger, location, and this time permanently!

You’ll just have to be a little patient, as you can see:

 

 

At the moment, the main part of the work is redoing the roof. This is what it looked like today:

 

 

And as I have a fear of heights (a manageable one, but a real one nonetheless) I didn’t stay too long there (I didn’t go on the actual roof, I stayed on the scaffolding).

I stayed long enough for this picture though:

 

 

And the view from the terrace will look like this:

 

Yes, that’s Takamatsu on the coast.

 

Stay tuned, for more development. 🙂

And in case I’m getting side tracked, you can follow Damone & Co here and there:

 

Addendum: Yuko sent me a few pictures she took. Enjoy:

 

I did some actual work… on the ground… 🙂

 

On top of the scaffolding, not too excited to be there (well, nobody made me climb up there)

 

Not me.

 

 

David Billa

David was born and raised in France. After a few years in the US and then back to his home country, life led him to the shores of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan. After falling in love with the area, he decided to show its beauty and all it has to offer with this blog.

2 Responses

  1. Mai says:

    C’est dommage que Murakami-shoten était fermé ! Nous l’avons beaucoup aimé. J’ai senti qu’on mange dans la cuisine d’une famille. En plus, bien que nous n’y soyons jamais allés avec notre chienne, il aurait accepté. Car il y avait un petit chien de MUrakami-san. Bon, Je ne sais pas s’il y a des cafés qui acceptent le chien mais tu nous montres une bonne nouvelle. Est-ce que tu connais le Jyouko café ? Il existe toujours ?

    • Oui, Murakami-shoten était le plus vieux établissement de l’île. Peut-être que la fille de Mme Murakami s’installera de nouveau sur Ogijima à la retraite et rouvrira le restaurant ? Je ne sais pas, je ne la connais pas vraiment.
      Peut-être que Damonte acceptera les chiens dans la cour, je ne sais pas.

      Je ne sais pas si Joko café existe toujours (je ne suis pas allé au phare depuis deux ans je pense), mais l’homme qui l’a construit a aussi fait dorima no ue dans le village. Il était fermé depuis la fin de la Triennale, mais peut-être va-t-il rouvrir au printemps, je ne sais pas.

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