Sun-dappled dining

By L. MacLean    - 2 min read

Once upon a time, there was a restaurant in a wooden house on a hill in a sun-dappled forest where heartwarming meals were served ever after to customers from far and wide.

The story of Komorebi takes place at the edge of Kumakogen, a 45-minute drive from Matsuyama. There, sunshine streams through the cedar trees and cool greenery, magically provides a fairy-tale setting for your lunch or coffee break, making it more than a stop on the way elsewhere, but an enchanting destination in itself.

Mr. and Mrs. Namba’s Komorebi is on a clearing of land shared with another family business, Kai Koubou, a woodshop specializing in artisan crafts. Komorebi’s meals are made on-site with as many homegrown or locally produced, in-season, fresh ingredients as possible. Hours of operation are from 11:30 to 5:00 and lunch is served until 2:00 with Saturdays and Wednesdays closed for business. Due to cold weather and road restrictions resulting from it, Komorebi is only open to visitors with reservations during January and February.

Guests are seated in the welcoming dining area at tables crafted at Kai Koubou. Warmth radiates from the iron wood-burning stove and the kettle upon it in cold weather, from the kitchen and the food prepared in it, as well as from the Namba’s pleasant manner and hospitality. Choose the lunch set or the lunch set with an appetizer plate, both served with soup, rice or rolls, and a beverage. The menu offers meat and fish main dishes each with thoughtful, creative touches and delicate presentation, and you will find that desserts are also made with care in portions that will satisfy without leaving one feeling guilty for indulging.

There are cookies, langue du chat wafers, and rolls for sale so you may take a bit of sun-dappled warmth home. Enjoy a short walk next door down the hill past wild flowers, dragonflies, a pond filled with tonosama frogs and princely toads to Kai Koubou where visitors can browse through masterpieces on display and for sale.

The wicked witch of this tale may be the nagging desire to return week after week.

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L. MacLean

L. MacLean @l.maclean

I'm a Canadian living in Japan for twenty years, and I think Ehime is this country's best-kept secret.

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