Ladder of Bread

When Japanese businessmen stroll from one bar to another, getting very drunk in the process, they call it a “ladder” or hashigo. Today Natsuko and I did a bakery “ladder” in search of the perfect sweet roll! We visited three bakeries and one cafe, even getting free bread in the end!! I know I shouldn’t be eating all these calories, but it was all so good!

Natsuko ate the bigger half!

Natsuko ate the bigger half!

We began at a bakery that gives us free coffee with any purchase. We grabbed a seat by the window and shared a cinnamon roll. The coffee was really good too. We just wondered about all those bookshelves located so high up that no one can reach them! Boulangerie Lien  is located in AsaMinami Ku area, on the grounds of a wedding chapel. ( 安佐南区大塚西6-7-17 082-209-7756)

Just for show??

Just for show??

From there we drove to Miyajima-guchi and stopped by the bakery called 海辺の手作りパン屋さんUmibe no Tezukuri Panya-san. We bought some more sweet rolls and a pork bun for Hiroo! There is a space to sit and eat here. You can order coffee or tea.

Umibe no Panya san 廿日市市宮島口1-10-6

Umibe no Panya san 廿日市市宮島口1-10-6

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Driving towards Ono-cho, we spied this intriguing little shop so Natchan turned the car around and drove back. It was an antique shop and cafe. The chain-smoking owner was a little distant at first but by the time we left, he was flirting with Natsuko! The RCA Victor dog figurine was 2000 yen for the smallest one. But I suspect ,Mr. Funae (船さん)is willing to bargain a little as are most antique dealers in Japan! (船江古美術 廿日市市早時3405-1  (オ829)56-4898)

Gramaphone and VIctor dogs!

Gramaphone and VIctor dogs!

Japanese antiques! (Ono-cho, Hatsukaichi City)

Japanese antiques! (Ono-cho, Hatsukaichi City)

I was using only English again so when I said “I am 64 yearsold,” he said outloud,外人は年より老けて見える ( “Foreigners look so much older for their age .” Then, realizing what he had said, he began to apologize. Quick-thinking Natchan brushed off his apology saying, “Don’t worry. She doesn’t understand Japanese!”

Lacquered bamboo tiered tray

Lacquered bamboo tiered tray

It turns out Funae-san is quite an artist. Many of his watercolors adorn the walls of the coffee bar. Finally he showed us one of his treasures, a three-tiered case for carrying tea ceremonies confections. It is woven bamboo from China, he told us.

The owner flirts with Natchan!

The owner flirts with Natchan!

I was getting too much secondhand smoke so we hurriedly left and went in search of some lunch. This was not an easy task. We were totally lost, asked directions no less than five times but finally found the cafe nestled on a hillside with a view of the ocean in the distance. These are the people who helped us along the way:

Hitachi Appliances shop with more decor than merchandise!

Hitachi Appliances shop with more decor than merchandise! Very kind man draws a map!

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Where's the merchandise?

Where’s the merchandise?

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This tiny electrical goods shop was decorated from floor to ceiling with cute things so we can’t find anything actually for sale! But the owner was very kind and drew us a map!

We asked directions of a girl at the gas station, a woman walking her dog and a senior citizen carrying flower branches for ikebana.

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Hirakiya serves lunch from 12:00 to 2:30 and cake and coffee till dark. The cafe is housed in a  very stylishly-remodeled Japanese farm house!

Home-grown vegetables!

Home-grown vegetables!

It was almost three o’clock and the higawari lunch was sold out, but we were able to order the pizza lunch! Our bubbly and cute server, Rie is the owner’s daughter and she bakes hte bread for the cafe! Another mother and daughter cafe!

This is half vegetable and half fruit pizza. Natsuko loved the fruit side with hasaku, banana slices and all!

Vegetable/Fruit Pizza!

Vegetable/Fruit Pizza!

Chitose and her daughter, Rie

Chitose and her daughter, Rie

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch of salad (organically-grown vegetables), soup and pizza.  ( Hirakiya Cafe 0827-57-5575 廿日市市大野町鳴川8467)Closed Sun/Mon/Tues.

Leaving the restaurant, we walked around back and down the drive way. Natsuko is more artistic and more observant than I so she was the one who spotted them first.

Tin art!

Tin art!

Pinwheels around the field!

Pinwheels around the field!

All around the vegetable patch, there were pinwheels and water wheels and such to keep the birds away.But these were not like any we’d ever seen. Made from empty beer cans and spray-painted, there were dragonflies, as huge sunflower and all sort of objects.

Natsuko makes a new friend!

Natsuko makes a new friend!

We noticed a man bent over his work with a pair of wire cutters and a flattened tin circle. Natchan soon bonded with him, was given a pinwheel and made a date to come back and learn how to make these. Kodaki-san is out there almost every day. Yesterday was quite chilly and windy but it didn’t seem to faze him!

We were offered some hasaku oranges to take home and began to select a few, only to look up and see Kodaki-san with a great big sackful asking where we were parked! He seemed to be a very open and generous person. We were lucky to meet him. Natsuko loves to make things so it was a lucky encounter for her!

Last of all, the secret is ..look closely at this picture…

Kodaki-san is 74 years old! No way!

Kodaki-san is 74 years old! No way!

On the way back we took a roundabout route and drove past one more bread shop. Peer Bread is in an private home and sold by reservation only. Even so, we were gutsy enough to ring the doorbell. Finally, a woman came out to speak to us. She explained she would soon move to a new location.

Close Encounter with an Old Friend!

Close Encounter with an Old Friend! Makiko Yoshioka of Peer Bread)

As we spoke, she seemed quite familiar but I didn’t realize it until she called out my name. She was an old acquaintance! In fact ,we used to go to the same church!I hadn’t seen her in almost 20 years!

In the end she gave us a bag of soft flaky sweet rolls to share! That was quite a coincidence! And the perfect conclusion to a great day!

Check out her blog to see the varieties she bakes and the prices.

Peer’s Bread

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debbie
    Feb 17, 2014 @ 12:20:58

    Hello Hiro & Leah,
    Congratulations To Us All! Leah please notice the quilt on the wall of the Mint House in your Oct. 2013 blog
    Debbie

    Reply

  2. leahmama1
    Feb 17, 2014 @ 14:31:19

    Yeah! We are excited! OK. I checked out the quilt. I don’t know if this woman made it or not. She is amazing and teaches how to make wreathes and various arrangements with the flowers she dries. It is cold up there on the mountain where her cafe is…so the flowers retain great color even when they are dried! We can go there too ! Lots of places to see around here!

    Reply

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