This was one of the first weekends where Satoshi didn't have to work and didn't have his German language class in the evening.
Not wanting to stay at home in front of the television, we decided to check out a soba shop in Nakayama. I had heard about this place from several Japanese blogs.
Ittokian is a tiny shop near the JR Nakayamadera station. We've actually walked past this place several times but just thought it was someone's house.
There are 18 seats in the tatami room and 6 seats in another room off to the side with tables and chairs.
We decided to sit on the floor and check out their garden.I ordered their pasta-like tomato soba (1200 yen about US$12). This dish is only served during the summer and they only make a couple of servings a day. This was delicious. Thinly sliced soba served in a tomato sauce made with lots of black pepper, basil and garlic, topped with thinly sliced shiso (perilla). I think this dish could have been colder, but it hit the spot.
Satoshi ordered their special (2000 yen about US$20). His dish came with his choice of soba (he chose soba with mochi on top), soba manju (which was a dumpling filled with beans and put into a warm soup), konnyaku (jellied devil's tongue) with miso, okowa (rice steamed in a bamboo leaf) and a soba pudding. The soba pudding was interesting because you could taste the soba flavor and the "caramel" topping tasted like chocolate.
After lunch, we wanted to go have some coffee. We noticed this huge house next to the railroad tracks. They had a menu out in front.
It turns out that Ebis Garden & House is a landscaping company. They also have a cafe on their property. I loved how they had a big wooden deck, a sun room and lots of plants.
They also had a consulting area and also have space to hold classes upstairs. It was a nice place to sit and have coffee. I was disappointed with the service though. After the waitress took my order, it was about 5 or 10 minutes later when she came back to tell me that they didn't have what I ordered (a swiss roll or what the Japanese call "roll cake"). So, I ended up choosing their assorted pound cakes--rum raisin, chocolate walnut, poppy ginger (800 yen about US$8, comes with choice of drink).
Open 11:00-15:00 and 17:00-20:00
Ebis Garden & House/Cafe Leon