I walked by the Hisamatsugoyuushi stone monument located on the west side of Miyako Island and found two goats and a dog enjoying the sun in an open field.
An unobstructed, stunningly beautiful, view of Yonaha gulf can be had from the 10 to 20-meter high hilltop.
Takako Inoue – “Taka san” – moved to Miyako Island from Osaka prefecture and opened taka’s parlor on the hill in 2001. There were no such things like cafés on the island back then, although there are many now. The hill was an untouched area, but she fell in love with the place and started developing the land for her café to open. She just wanted to make a coffee shop where she could spend time. The café she made herself certainly makes one calm and relaxed.
The cute animals wandering around, the great view, the simple décor and so on add to the atmosphere…. More than that, her homemade cooking made with local ingredients attracts customers that come back many times over the course of years.
I was amazed at the variety on the menu. Prices on all items include tax. I tried Hisamatsu soba (500 yen). It was made with mozuku seaweed picked by her husband who is a local fisherman. The straight noodles have a smooth, slippery texture and go well with the crunchy seaweed. The soup was made with bonito, kelp and local peppers. The spareribs on the top were very tasty. It was made using the Kansai (western Japan) way of seasoning. The dish is perfect for hot summer and very restorative. Many regular customers visit just for this one noodle dish. The menu also features Mozukucchi cold noodles (800 yen).
Vegetable curry was a popular dish even when she was in Osaka.
I decided to try Taka-san's banana brown sugar toast (450 yen) as she recommended. Sliced banana from Thailand, banana jam, ice cream and local molasses are served on top of fresh baked bread. A tiny bit of salt brings out the sweetness of the each ingredient. The great flavor and the taste are very satisfying.
Taka-san (apologies for the lack of photos) pays attention to efficient service. She wants to serve her food as quickly as she can. In fact, my order did come out very soon. “I don’t want to advertise on major publications,” she says. “I want to take good care of each customer . Too many customers would not allow me to do that.” This belief is part of her character – and the secret of her popularity for 15 years.
Some accessories, crafts and post cards are also available for purchase. They make great souvenirs.
Her husband also offers snorkeling tours. There are a lot more things that I would like to mention here, but one thing in particular comes to mind. Dinner (one party per night) is available by reservation only and is very popular. Meals consist of fresh Miyako beef, prosciutto, mango and more. I would like to visit Taka-san again – but not for work.
Address: 839-4 Matsubara, Taira, Miyakojima City, Okinawa
Hours: 12:00 – sunset