Inujima, being a small island, has very few options in terms of food and places to stay. There is only one cottage that can be rented out on the island, 3 restaurants, 2 places for a snack, and 1 café. For people who are a little scared of visiting local places because of a lack of Japanese language skills, I would probably advise them to pack a lunch, but in reality, the places are very friendly and the people have warm hearts. I would hope they would go out of their way to help you but the friendliest place to eat for a foreigner would have to be trees Inujima or the Benesse shops. The Benesse shops are located in the Seaside Inujima Gallery, which has bento boxes and a small seating area, and inside the Seirensho Art Museum where there is also a café but your options on food would be very limited.
If you only need a little food to survive, there is the 在本商店 shop that is a general tourism shop. It is run by an older lady who has a few souvenirs, a few simple dishes, as well as tours of the island. Their claim to “fame” has to be the obviously named Inujima-don. It is a simple dish that was, to be very frank, not the best meal I ever had. It was still a lovely homemade style dish that is easy to make and keep. For a small island with relatively few visitors, it is hard to make many dishes, and on a weekday, it is unlikely they would have many visitors. It was simply a bowl of rice, some fish, veggies, burdock, and a broth to make it a cross between a typical donburi and ochazuke. It was hearty enough that I could get through the day easily but not as hearty and satisfying as eating in Takamatsu. It wasn’t very cheap either but when you are supporting a local who could use the money, I can’t help but feel a bit happier. Plus, you can’t say the food wasn’t made with love.
The shop I wanted to visit was trees Inujima. It is a restaurant/café located near the main port in Inujima. It was run by a younger man who seems to be a bit of an artist. The shop itself is very small, but this wasn’t really any different than any other shop in Inujima. It was a lovely little house with various couches and a tatami room to sit in. Their main dish is the curry set, but unfortunately with only 1 hour before my ferry, I didn’t have time to try it. I was more interested in trying the beer though. trees Inujima has their own craft beer that they make. They have the Inujima Jamboree and the Inujima Mugimonogatari. I had the Mugimonogatari and it was a nice little beer to try. While it wasn’t outstanding, it wasn’t bad either. I would happily enjoy trees’ beer more often but it appears the beer is limited to only their shop as well as being a bit expensive to be sent to Tokyo. If I had a choice on where to eat next time on Inujima, I would definitely choose trees for many reasons but the atmosphere was more pleasant for me than the small shop where I had the Inujima-don.
Food in Inujima can be difficult to find but it is available in Inujima. For an average person, visiting Inujima won’t be on their to-do list, but for those who love art, architecture, or music festivals, Inujima could be the place for you. I hope you can try out these two shops and help support them in their adventures on this tiny island.
Food of Inujima is part of a series of posts on the Setouchi Triennale. Follow the links below to read more about the different aspects of the Setouchi Triennale.
- Dru’s Great Setouchi Triennale 2013 Misadventure
- EAT&ART TARO on Shamijima
- Food of Inujima
- Teshima – Kou and Ieura
- Teshima – Karato
- Eating on Teshima
- Ogijima (Part I)
- Ogijima (Part II)
- ONBA CAFE
- Naoshima (Benesse Art Site)
- Naoshima (Honmura & Miyanoura)
- Naoshima (Transportation)
- Takamatsu Revisited
- Takamatsu (Setouchi Triennale Edition)
- Ferries in the Setouchi Triennale
- trees Inujima (Japanese only)
Seems pretty decent.
& they have beer. 😛
Yes. Beer is the main thing that is important. 😉
Trees Inujima is nice. Curry does sound good but too bad you didn’t have enough time to try it out.
Here is a reverse shot of Trees Inujima
I hope to be back again someday. Then I would love to have the curry. Maybe go there earlier and return to the other houses. Who knows.
It’s confirmed: I could live here because it has a coffee shop. 🙂
Thanks to that beer label I’ve just realized that Inujima is dog island. See? Beer improves your intelligence! 😀
There’s a study that beer can help runners too. 😛
Where’s the link? I need to prove it with my own eyes and stomach. 😉
I read it at Runner’s World. The hardcopy. But I can think you can find it online too. I’ll search which month it was featured. 🙂
Yup. Now you can close up shop, retire on this nice tranquil island, and enjoy a little beer at the same time.
I wish I had Sox with me on the island. Just what you need. Dog on Inujima. 😀
And when you do, can’t blame Sox if he lords around the island! LOL
Nope. I would expect it. 😀
For some reason, I really liked Inujima-don. Very simple, nothing special, but very satisfying nonetheless, and like you, when I shop local on the islands, I simply don’t look at the price.
I missed trees Inujima, though.
I guess that means I have to go back (it took me three years to go to Inujima, I hope it won’t take me as long to go back).
I did enjoy Inujima-don too. Hopefully my writing didn’t imply I didn’t. 🙂 I was happy to go there and not the cafe at the port. That seemed as if it wasn’t really “local”. Not too sure though.
trees Inujima was great. I would love to go back just for the cafe. Felt a bit like Onba in terms of the vibe. Just 1 guy running the entire cafe/restaurant.
You mean the café in the Inujima Seaside Gallery?
Well, no it’s not local, but it’s run by Benesse.
Yeah, that one. I knew it was a Benesse one. I didn’t really care for it though. Nice place to relax but the food didn’t look as appetizing.