When we arrived on Yakushima, the wild, volcanic island off the coast of Kyushu, it was lunchtime.
Onoaida, in the South of the island isn’t exactly a restaurant hub. Think more of a sinuous road dotted with small concrete buildings ready to wither the next tropical storm. Yet, here, somewhere between the fearsome mountains of the background and the colorful spiders hanging from the electric posts, there is the cutest bakery on earth. Foolish we were to have forgotten it was still Japan, after all.
It begins with a Boulangerie-Pâtisserie sign written in French above the front door, pretty much the same one as those of my childhood, no matter how impossible this sounds. Then of course there is the bread and pastries, a rather common sight in Japan, but still pretty surreal in these surroundings. But the craziest thing has to be the decor. It felt like stepping inside a real-life Secret of Mana house, something kitsch and exhilarating at the same time. There were stomp-like stools with lace cushions, owls and cats looking at you, an extensive collection of teapots and a radio that only played innocent piano renditions of rock’n’roll hits. In other words, the perfect spot for milk and sandwich before hitting the forest. The place is owned by the cutest Japanese granny, she might or might not have had a gingham scarf on her head, not sure at this point.
Peita, open 9:00-18:00, closed on tuesdays and wednesdays, Onoaida 179
I’ll show you Yakushima’s fabulous landscapes soon, but drink your milk first.
Yakushima is a small sub-tropical island a hundred kilometers south of the coast of Kyushu. It’s famous for its lush, preserved nature and its ancient cedar trees.