Being the second largest island in the Setouchi Triennale, there are a lot of choices when it comes to eating and snacking on the island. By far, the easiest place to eat is around Ieura Port, but you can also easily find things to eat around the Karatoka, the hill in the Karato area. Trying to find places can be a little difficult at times but with a little investigative searching, you can find places where you can eat. I only experienced 3 shops, relaxed in 1, and dipped my head into a few others. The majority of the time I tried to frequent places that were a bit smaller or places that was more interesting. Cafes were a theme that I enjoyed on these islands and full on restaurants were a little difficult to come by, but not impossible to find.
The first day I was in Teshima, I didn’t need to eat as I had already eaten on Inujima. I was pretty content but when I went to Il Vento, the café inside the funky house by a German designer, my friend needed some caffeine, so he got a coffee, or was it a latte. While the price of drinks was not really overpriced, I didn’t feel a need to get a drink. If you want to check out the art, and not pay the entrance fee, you should get a drink as the entrance fee of 300 yen is waived if you buy something. If anything, one reason to buy a drink, or food, is to say you did have something in the artwork. How often can you say you had a drink in such a funky place? The one place I did enjoy was going to Ichigoya. It is a small little shop that specializes in strawberries, hence the name being “Strawberry Shop” in English. It wasn’t so much of a shop as it was just a place for locals to go and get a quick snack. The people running the shop were very friendly and felt like going to a farmer’s market. They had strawberries available for purchase as well as their own sweets. It appears that the most popular dish was the strawberry crepes. I decided to go for the strawberry ice cream instead and it was delicious. They had some really nice strawberry syrup as well as a fresh strawberry on my ice cream cone. I do regret not trying the smoothie but the prices were a bit high for my tastes, but the next time I go to Teshima, I’ll more than likely give it a try. On a quick side note, their website “teshima158” is a really interesting play on numbers. 1-5-8 can be read ichi-go-ya, so I was amused when I saw it.
The next morning, I arrived in Karato Port really early. I had an hour to burn before I could enter one of the artworks. I decided to just enjoy myself and went to a tea house that was in the guidebook. I went to a shop called 涼風庵 (Gyofuan). It was an old house located just off the main street. The only way to access it was to walk through some of the small pedestrian alleys between the houses. The shop was well marked but it was difficult to find if you didn’t know how to read the kanji. The older lady running the shop lived in the house and was wearing somewhat traditional clothing. She wasn’t wearing a kimono but she was wearing one of the top layers of a kimono to keep warm, along with grey sweat pants. It was an interesting combination to say the least. I was a bit nervous to enter at first but she was very warm and inviting, constantly telling us to come in. We were seated in her tatami room, next to the living room and kitchen. It felt as if we went to someone’s Japanese hometown, to their grandmother’s house. The house was nice and the tea was prepared properly for us, including some little sweets for us to eat. She even played a type of pianica. I can’t really explain the sound too well, but the device was kind of like a pianica but the sound was closer to a koto. She was even trying to get us to take some flat rocks she painted with various fruits on it. She said it could be used as a chopstick rest, but I really didn’t need it, so I didn’t take it. She was a wonderful host and as long as you can speak a little Japanese, the tea and company is nice.
The last place I went to for food was Shima Kitchen. Shima Kitchen is a very interesting place as it was part of the art itself. Similar to Il Vento, but on a better scale, Shima Kitchen was a really nice restaurant with great food. The building was designed by Ryo Abe and features a large terrace for people to enjoy special events along with their food and drinks. The chef from the Marunouchi Hotel worked with the mothers of Teshima to create a menu that was very local. Watching a video on the restaurant, I watched the chef from the Marunouchi Hotel teach the local mothers how to prepare dishes. While he was the one who came up with the dishes, the mothers worked in collaboration with him, from what I understand. When it comes to the kitchen itself, the mothers are the ones who do the actual cooking, but the chef oversees everything and ensures that the dishes are plated properly too. Regardless of what set you order, the general things you get are the same. For a starter, we got a small salad along with deep fried fish in a curry sauce. For the main dish, I got the special of the day, which was tsukemono (Japanese pickles), rice, oshiruko (I think), vegetable tempura, and deep fried fish with a Thai sauce. It was very delicious and most, if not all, of the items were locally acquired. They even have a set number of dishes for the day and they change the numbers on the board throughout the day. It was nice to be able to enjoy such a nice place for lunch.
While there are many other places to eat on Teshima, I feel I went to some of the best places. I would love to go back to each and every one of these places. My only regret is not being able to try everything on their menus as well as being able to spend more time relaxing in these shops. It is difficult for them to keep making a living and I did my best to help out. I really hope they continue to do well and that they will become more famous in the future. While the quality may not be Michelin 3 Star quality, just the fact that most of the food was made with love and care is more than enough for me.
Eating on Teshima 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
- 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
- Il Vento (Japanese Only)
- Ichigoya (Japanese Only)
- Ichigoya (Official Twitter)
- Ichigoya (Official Facebook)
- Karato Tea House (Teshima Web – Japanese Only)
- Shima Kitchen (Japanese Only)
Incidentally, @teshima158 reply back on twitter when people leave comments and messages or include their twitter handle when posting twitter photos, etc.
Actually, @teshima_isle in general seems to be really up on twitter promoting various twitter accounts and hashtags all over the place.
Cool. Forgot to promote them. Might do it later.
Another nice obachan! ^^
That strawberry place sounds very lekker. I may have got stuck there, stuffing myself with every item on their menu. Oy. It’s fruit. It’s healthy. Isn’t it? 😉
Yup. Love them.
Fruit is very healthy. The ice cream and crepes… You can also buy me a smoothie. 😉
Ironically, I don’t know many places to eat on Teshima, as I always end up in Shima Kitchen (to the point I befriended the manager, who’s one of the nicest people I’ve met, just like everyone else in Karato), as I’m a huge fan of the place.
As you suspected 100% of what you eat there is local and the recipes were designed as a collaboration between the chefs from Marunouchi and the local women.
I can’t advise this place enough.
Great to hear about Shima Kitchen using locally sourced products. I wonder, do they always make the same things? I saw a few photos and saw the curry, tempura, and that’s about it. Wonder if they try new things too.
Considering the quality of Shima Kitchen, I don’t blame you for going there all the time. Next time, remember to get an ice cream at Ichigoya before you leave? 🙂 I wonder what other places are there, but I didn’t have time to try them out. Maybe next time.
They tend to have the same menu (curry or fish basically), but the “details” change depending on the season and such: what veggies, what fish, what soup, etc.
However, on some days, they have some special dishes (seen from their blog) but I never know when, I guess it’s random.
But yeah, I need to try other places, the problem with Teshima is that I don’t go there often enough (I’ll try to go more during the second half of the year).
I figured it was dependent on what is in port that morning. 🙂 Hope the other places are good. It is hard to try other places when Shima Kitchen is so good.
Thank you for this amazing information you’re providing for all people planning to go to the triennale. Let me ask you, do you think 5 days are enough?
I’m glad you like it. I think 5 days is enough for a taste of the festival. 7 days would be best to see most of the festival.
Thank you Dru.
Actually I have only 6 days… I’m planning my stay like this: 1 day in Uno, 3 days in Naoshima, 3 days in Takamatsu. Any suggestions?
When are you coming? Summer or Fall?
For Summer, I’d say :
-half a day in Uno
– one day in Naoshima (three days is way too long)
– one or two days on Teshima
– one or two days on Shodoshima
– one day in Takamatsu + Oshima or Megijima
– half a day or one day on Ogijima
– one day on Ibukijima
(yeah, that’s kinda more than 6 days, but 6 days is not enough really)
For the Fall, 6 days is definitely not enough.
I’m going on october… I’ll try to plan 7 days so. I put three days in Naoshima but going to near islands. I’ve heard that Benesse house is the best option but I don’t mind staying on cheaper places.
For October, evne 7 days won’t be enough. Actually, if you already live in Japan, I’d advise to skip Naoshima completely, as there is nothing special there in terms of art (it’s the same all year long, Triennale or not).
You want to be based in Takamatsu to go from island to island, anywhere else will be quite complicated (although if you stay in Honmura on Naoshima, you can access Teshima and Inujima from there – don’t miss the boat though). Takamatsu is safer though because you’ll have options (boats that go from island to island are rare and fill up quickly, you miss it or it’s full and you’re stuck wherever you are, if you’re in Takamatsu, if one boat is full or missed, you just change your plans and take the boat that is not full).
If you’re adamant about staying on Naoshima though, Benesse House Hotel may be the best option, but not the cheapest – but maybe you can afford it – and you’d better book right now, it may already be full for the Triennale.
Well, thank you again… Can you suggest a 7 days trip to visit triennalle on october, as you did if it were summer?
I’m not sure I can, as I don’t know Honjima, Awashima and Takamijima that well (I’m only familiar with Honjima, but the art of the three islands is completely new, so I don’t know which one is not too be missed) nor how long it’ll take to visit them (I’ll be tempted to say one day each, although, they’re small, so maybe half a day each).
So I’d say:
– 1 day Naoshima
– 1 day Teshima (you won’t see everything)
– 2 days Shodoshima (let’s say 3 days between Teshima and Shodoshima)
– 1 day Takamatsu + Oshima or Megijima
– 1 day Ogijima (plus more of Takamatsu if you spend less time on Ogijima)
– 1 day Awashima and Takamijima if possible to go to both on the same day (there will be a boat connecting both, but I don’t know the schedule)
Once again, if you live in Japan (do you?) skip Naoshima (and go there next year) and add one of the new islands (Honjima?) or more time on Shodoshima/Teshima.
It seems wonderful to me. Actually I live quite far, in Brazil. I’ve been only once to Japan. This time I want to go to Tokyo, Himeji Castle, Hiroshima, Miyajima, and the triennale. Thank you very much. Any other suggestion please write me to firstname.lastname@example.org. All the best.
Yeah, if you’re that far, I guess you want to visit Naoshima.
If you want more info on the area, I suggest you follow my blog, it’s pretty much entirely devoted to the area with a big chunk concerning the Triennale.
Dear Dru, do you suggest any ryokan or hotel in Takamatsu?
Seems you 2 had a great discussion. 🙂
David has a great itinerary. This is what I did, and it was very packed.
1 day – Inujima and half of Teshima
1 day – Half of Teshima and Uno
1 day – Ogijima and Megijima
1 day – Naoshima
I don’t know about the autumn exclusive islands, but considering I have 4 days listed, you can easily visit the other islands on the other days. You can even take a more relaxed paced tour. Depending on your Japanese ability, which I would assume is not fluent or advanced, I would say it can be difficult to get around quickly and efficiently like I did. Assume up to 30-100% more time so you can get lost. That makes things very fun. I can’t say how much time YOU will need on each island as it depends on your character and how much you love the art. I could easily have spent a whole day on Ogijima, but wanted to see Megijima. I hope you can see as much as you can and enjoy it.
As for where to stay, I stayed at the Takamatsu Terminal Hotel. It is close to Takamatsu Station, which is really great for getting to the ferries in the morning. The Toyoko Inn and many other hotels are located a bit closer to the centre of the city. While you can’t do as much at night near Takamatsu Station, it is still a great place to be. Just a bit dead at night. Note that I will have a bit more info on Takamatsu in the coming weeks. All of my Triennale posts should be finished by the start of the summer edition.
I forgot to mention, yes, I recommend the Takamatsu Terminal Hotel.