|Mark and Sayaka
A day out in Kakuozan (vol.2)
M : Hi Sayaka! How are you today?
S : Oh, hi Mark! I’m doing great. What are we going to do today?
M : Well, today I would like to show you some of the interesting places in Kakuozan, Nagoya. Some are big and well known, others are small and hidden away a little, but they are all worth visiting. So let’s go!
S : That sounds good! Lead the way!
S : Apartments? People live here?
M : Well, yes and no. This is a little stone building off the main street, and you wouldn’t know it was here unless you were told.
M : So it’s not really an “apartment”. It’s actually a set of small, very personal, individual shops, often run by highly skilled artists. It’s like the absolute opposite of a big department store.
S : Let’s go inside and see.
S : Aren’t these cards cute? I love this one in particular.
M : And look at this little stone. The artist paints on it and creates something unique.
M : This place almost feels like stepping back in time - and I mean that in a good way.
S: What a charming place!
There are many places in Nagoya where you can go to eat. Very few of them look like this though.
M : This is Shofukaku, which is what is called in Japanese a “ryotei” (料亭). It is basically a traditional type of Japanese restaurant. Very traditional indeed, and very gorgeous, as you will see.
S : Imagine having dinner here!
M : Even the roof is a work of art.
M : The inside of the building is very large. It has many corridors and rooms, and we were lucky to have a guide to show us around.
S: I want to be the guide!
M : Some of the rooms have absolutely spectacular views of the outside. Take a look.
The gardens around the restaurant are typical of Japanese temples and other such institutions.
M : Well, that was quite amazing. However, as much as I love such beautiful buildings with great views, it’s getting close to lunchtime and I’m getting hungry.
S : Me too! Let’s go and have something to eat!
* Shofukaku is not generally open to the public unless they are going there specifically to eat.
M : Lunchtime!
S : Good!
M : Kakuozan larder is a small, but very cool and laid-back little cafe. The interior design is very novel, and it’s fun to look around while you wait for your order.
M : What did you order, Sayaka?
S : I ordered a burger and that’s exactly what I got. A rather big one.
M : It is a popular place and if you’re in the area, it is definitely worth a visit.
S : Well, that was a good lunch. I’m quite full!
M : Feeling more energetic now? Ready to head on to the next place? Good!
S : Yes, I know we just had lunch. But have you ever heard the Japanese expression “betsubara”?
M : Yes. It means “separate stomach” and is like saying “there is always room for dessert” in English. And when the “dessert” looks this good, how can we say no?
M : That is Ito-san, the proprietor of the store.
M : Why don’t you try a smoothie? They’re only 500 yen, and the colors even match your clothes!
S : Ooh, it’s delicious! Thank you, Ito-San!
M : Well, we have one more place to visit. It’s been a busy but fun day, hasn’t it? Let’s go on to the final destination.
S : What kind of place is this?
M : Five e’s is, in its own words, a “vege cafe and wine bar” and is located quite close to Kakuozan subway station.
The name is based on a kind of wordplay in Japanese, and refers to the characteristics of the bar and the food : words like “healthy” and “happy”, which both end with an “e” sound.
S : That’s clever!
We are going to finish up our day with a glass of wine at this elegant bar.
S : That looks rather tasty. Let’s give it a try.
S : Delicious!
M : Well, we have come to the end of our day out in Kakuozan. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have and that you’ve learned a little more about this part of Nagoya.
S : Yes! I had a great day and now I know much more about Kakuozan than I did before. Thank you!
M : My pleasure. Until next time!