Travel Diary

Walking around the retro port town “Mitarai” on Osaki Shimojima Island♡

Mitarai, a port town on Osaki Shimojima Island, is known for its compact size, making it easy to get around on foot when looking for a restaurant for lunch, a cafe for a break, and even souvenirs.

I went out for a day of walking around the town enjoying the nostalgic scenery.

First, I visited the rest station on “Tokiwamachi-dori,” the main street in the Mitarai area.
There you will find a cafe that offers a citrus fruit menu from the island, including Ocho Mikan juice.
There is also a shop where you can buy a variety of original goods and island specialties.
After taking a break, I got a walking map of Mitarai from the cafe and started my walk around the town!

Seafront Dining Shintoyo
Next, I headed to a restaurant by the sea.
The building was renovated from a traditional Japanese inn that operated from the late Edo period until the early Showa period.
The menu includes many dishes prepared with fresh seafood from the Seto Inland Sea.
The “Shintoyo Shiki Gozen,” using seasonal ingredients, is a feast for the eyes♡
You can also stay overnight at “Kangetsu-an Shintoyo” on the second floor, which can accommodate only one group per day.

Seafront Dining Shintoyo
Mitarai Townscape Preservation District
The national government designated the streets of Mitarai as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings in 1994.
The streets running across the town are dotted with houses, shrines, teahouses, and inns.
Old-fashioned post boxes and nostalgic signboards can be seen all over the town.
Your heart will be thrilled by the retro-inspired townscape. Taking a leisurely stroll around the tranquil town will soothe your soul♡
Boathouse Cafe Wakacho
This is a traditional folk house cafe renovated from a 200-year-old building that was a “boathouse” designated by the Ozu and Uwajima clans during the Edo period.
The cafe offers a variety of sweets made from the island’s citrus fruits, such as “Lemon Zenzai (sweet red bean soup with mochi),” which has a sweet yet refreshing flavor.
I recommend taking a seat at a table on the second floor, where you can relax and enjoy the view of the beautiful islands that seem to float on the Seto Inland Sea.

Boathouse Cafe Wakacho
Mitarai Showakan
The last destination was the Toy Museum, which exhibits toys from around the 1960s.
The first floor exhibits items that were sold in candy stores and stationery stores, and the second floor exhibits manufacturer’s products that were sold in toy stores.
The museum’s more than 5,000 items are a sight to behold.
On the first floor, you can also buy snacks and candies and play with old toys, giving you a retro feel.
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