“HAGISO” is located next to Sorinji-Temple, the symbol of Yanaka, Taito-ku. It used to be a 60 years old wooden apartment building and was renovated as a cultural complex facility.
“HAGISO” is called a cultural complex facility, and so has several dimensions. It has “HAGI CAFE” and a gallery on the 1st floor. And on the 2nd floor, there are the reception/lounge of “hanare” which is an accommodation facility located nearby, and a private salon that has different themes depending on the day of the week. Various kinds of people, like tourists from overseas, neighborhood children and seniors, come here and spend their time as they like.
The highlight of “HAGI CAFE” is a Japanese style set meal, “Travelling Breakfast” served in the morning. The manager, Runa Kitagawa says, “When you meet delicious food while travelling, does it make the journey a little more special for you? I am hoping to share that feeling with many people.” With “Travelling Breakfast,” they have featured Shimane, Shiga, Shodoshima in Kagawa, Fukui, Saga, Yamanashi and Tottori so far. They use local materials and provide local tastes for breakfast.
The point of “Travelling Breakfast” is to introduce not famous local specialty food but local dishes which locals have always had. While Ms. Kitagawa visits various places and communicates with local people, she meets local traditional dishes and materials and gets ideas for menu. “I hope this café is the place to provide local dishes and share my experiences and the stories I got in various places.”
They have a café and a gallery on the 1st floor but didn’t set up divider between them. “Because of that, the people who come to the café can see art works and may find art and modern artists of interest. To enjoy unexpected encounter is the concept of this facility.”
Ms. Kitagawa is hoping the café could be an opportunity for people to come and like Yanaka. Because this place has a lot of stories, you may want to visit again and again.
Aug. 2019 Text: Ryoko Kuraishi Photo: Yasuo Yamaguchi