Photo: Richard A. Dart, MD

Wood-Fired Pizza: Moon

Pizza in the Pottery District

By Justin Dart    - 3 min read

After spending a morning at the ceramics museum in Tajimi, you can get famished. Not far from both the Kobei Kato museum and Ceramic Park is Ichinokura Sakazuki Art Museum, a very modern-looking compound of neat, well maintained buildings including a museum, shop and restaurant, with a moderate parking lot built to accommodate tourist buses, yet looking very small and restful.

The sense was this was a special place, but there was nothing that blared “Pizzeria”. In fact the only announcement of that nature was the presence on the side of a very white, plaster-sided building reminiscent of some Japanese barns, noting “MOON” restaurant and a small sign on the ground with a colorful Italian banner painted on it, also with the name of the restaurant. The pizzeria actually was but one of several connected buildings. One in the center of this cluster was apparently a museum, which we didn't get to explore.

Inside the pizzeria was a very unexpected structure to the building: Huge wood beams clearly meant for a much larger building, but adding a very clever and pleasant sense that this was a ‘special’ place. Light colored walls, the narrow, vaulted ceiling, entryway, moved directly into the restaurant, the doorway into which was standard height. The actual seating area was a long ‘L’ shape, extending from the back wall, which included the wood-fired pizza oven and the open kitchen area, to a smaller lower-ceiling dining room. The entire seating area had about 8 tables, some accommodating parties of two, and some that were larger, from 4 up to 8, but all felt cozy and very comfortable.

The waitress arrived promptly, and we made the decision to have a unique pizza each, so we could share a piece with each other. Lunches were mostly pizza of various types, a salad and drink all for about 1,200 yen, if you had dessert (chocolate cake, this day) the price was 1,500 yen. 
As I like beer with pizza, I chose to add that and my wife, a ginger ale.

The pizzas arrived within no more than 15 minutes of our orders, while we’d been able to enjoy our salads of mixed greens and sesame dressing, prior to the pizzas. Our choices included a Margarita, a four-cheese, unique for two of the four being unusual: gorgonzola and gouda, the other two being Parmigiano-Reggiano and mozzarella, and the third was topped with cheese, ‘bacon/ham’ and sliced asparagus. The most delightful part was that every type of pizza was delicious, and you couldn't ask for more exceptionally fine crusts. Light, crispy, thin and superbly baked, making this dining experience a truly memorable one and this place a ‘must do’ if we ever return to Tajimi. Needless to say, because of so much food we’d eaten, we took a ‘bye’ on the chocolate cake.

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Justin Dart

Justin Dart @justin.dart

I am a country boy transplanted from Wisconsin in the USA to central Gifu Prefecture.The main focus of my life in Japan has been to introduce people to the world and the world to local communities and culture through international exchanges and educational programs. My hope is that people will hang a right at Nagoya, get off the beaten path and explore Gifu...what I call The Jewel of Discoveries.アメリカの田舎で育った男、岐阜県の田舎に引っ越しました。ジャスティン・ダートです。僕の日本での生活は「世界を紹介し、世界の地域における文化と生活を、国際交流や教育プログラムを通して紹介する」という目標です。観光客が名古屋で右を曲がって、岐阜県の旅を試してみたいという希望を持っています。岐阜県:発見の宝。多年前,我从美国的乡村搬到日本岐阜県的中部。現在我最大的志向是向本地人介绍世界各地的文化及把当地文化介绍给世界各地的人。通过国际交流和教育方案,我希望會有更多的人开始去探索岐阜県的美丽与文化。

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