The Oda / Izumo Coast

This past weekend I visited Oda-cho and was able to enjoy the early morning beauty of the Sea of Japan. As a friend and I strolled along the wharf I watched numerous fisherman scattered along the shore. I didn’t see any exciting catches, but I did notice a man with a large grocery bag full of fish. I would like to know whether this was a pasttime, a subsistence practice, or if the fishermen were going to sell their catch. I should have asked.

That morning we drove to Taki Beach, near Izumo. We had a late breakfast at a small cafe  which served excellent coffee, homemade bread, and had unusually delicious salad dressing. I enjoyed the familiar relaxed atmosphere of a cozy cafe, full of wooden furniture, intimate spaces, and scattered reading materials. My meal, the toast set, was presented as such:

Others ordered coffee trays and chai tea, also beautifully prepared:Next to the cafe was a small shop, full of funky clothing, posters, jewelry, djembes, and even a small collection of didgeridoos, which the shop keeper willingly played for us. We gave it a try, but our efforts were futile…and we succeeded only in providing our comrades with a few good laughs.

The external atmosphere of the cafe was one of delightful disorder – an overgrown and overwhelmingly aromatic herb garden, a rickety table overlooking the beach, and a collection of furniture that invited creative consideration as to choice of seating.We also stopped at a nearby a local bakery, known for its specialty in figs (ichijiku). There were all manner of breads either filled, stuffed, wrapped, glazed, or created in the image of figs. I enjoyed a fig donut and a dried-fig filled loaf of bread. All of it was fantastic, as expected.

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