Ikadaya

Uwajima, Japan

May 2015

When we reach our destination, a man wearing a bandana and a printed fleece is cooking. He’s roasting extra large shellfish and pastel colour shells on the grill on the only table in the room. His wife is wearing a naïf apron. She is frying big fish on the burner near the entrance. This building on stilts sits over the waters that touch Shikoku west coast. Tonight this will be the extraordinary setting for a very private dinner. The chef is a seadog who seems to hold the key to all the secrets of the bay. We enjoy a Japanese style banquet of fish and shellfish surrounded by multicolour decorative sails. Once dinner is over we board the floating deck that during summer hosts dinners en plein ciel. The suspended nocturnal atmosphere leaves us speechless. A group of shy little girls in their pyjamas, the owners’ nieces, come toward us intrigued by our European features. We take pictures of them and them of us. An authentic taste of Japan: pure and magical.

いかだ屋, 4496 Shitaba, Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture 798-0104, Japan 

Thanks to Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and to Batholomeus Greb, Kiya Ryokan

Words Laura Taccari

Photos Luca De Santis

Translation Raffaella De Tommasi

 

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