ONBA・FACTORY and the adjoining Onba Cafe is a great institution on Ogijima. I really like what they do and I always look forward to visiting this great place. When you enter, you have to go up the stairs and then you have to look at the entire yard. On the right is the ONBA・FACTORY and to the left is the cafe. For 2016, they opened up one of the sheds as a display room and this became the official art for the Setouchi Triennale.
The display room had several examples of onba as well as information of the various onba and how they were made and who they were made for. Onba are basically old baby strollers that were converted into pushcarts, although the current onba are custom made from scratch. The original purpose was that many of the older women of Ogijima needed a way to bring various goods back home from the port and this was the easiest way. It is a great concept and the designs are very imaginative.
When visiting the factory, be sure to look at the main factory that is next door to the display shed and also look at the ground of the main yard. There are a lot of little touches that will surprise you. During the festival, they keep several onba outside but if it is raining I believe they bring them under cover. It is a lot of fun to look at the detail of each onba and the care that has gone into making them.
The main house is where the cafe is located. The entrance is a little shop where you can get souvenirs. I love their book cover, although it feels a bit expensive. They have an illustration of one of the boats in the harbour from Team OGI and it is a great way to protect the Japanese guidebook. Unfortunately the English version is too big for the book cover. I got one in 2013 and a new one in 2016 for the latest Triennale. Unfortunately the design is the same, except the illustration is much smaller on the 2016 edition.
(Author’s note: The 2016 edition is not the official name of the book cover. It was actually released much earlier, but it was released sometime after the 2013 Triennale concluded)
The cafe is a wonderful place to sit and relax as you wait for the ferry. The cafe is not very busy between sailings but about 30 minutes before the sailing you can see a lot of people come, grab a quick drink, and leave. The honey mint soda is the best, with the shiso soda being okay. Nothing has really changed since 2013, including the menu. I think it is still great and I really do enjoy visiting, even if they don’t remember me. Who would remember me if I only visited once, 3 years ago.
ONBA・FACTORY is one of my favourite places on Ogijima. It is a great place to relax and the views from the cafe are wonderful. There are a lot of other places where you can sit and enjoy the view but ONBA・FACTORY and Cafe is one of my favourites. Be sure to visit if you are in the area as you are sure to have a relaxing time.
ONBA FACTORY (2016)
ONBA FACTORY (2013)
ONBA Cafe (2016)
- ONBA・CAFE (HinoMaple)
- Onba Factory (Setouchi Explorer)
- Onba Factory & Works Onba (Setouchi Explorer)
- Onba Factory & My Onba (Setouchi Explorer)
- Onba Factory (Setouchi Explorer – Compilation of stories)
- Onba Factory – September 2014 (Setouchi Explorer)
- ONBA・FACTORY (Official Setouchi Triennale Site)
- ONBA・FACTORY (Official Blog – Japanese Only)
- ONBA・FACTORY (Official Facebook Page – Japanese Only)
- 島の暮らしに最も溶け込んでいるアート「男木島 オンバファクトリー」 – The best loved art work “Onba factory” (You Sakana – Japanese and English)
- ONBA・CAFE (Official Blog – Japanese Only)
- ONBA・CAFE (Official Facebook Page – Japanese Only)