Cawaz Base

The gathering spot for hikers, cyclists and nature lovers

By Sherilyn Siy    - 2 min read

The last time I saw this place, it was a dilapidated house, the sort typically found abandoned in the Japanese countryside. The rundown premises were surrounded by wild plants that seem to be waiting for their chance to overtake the property.

That was five years ago.

This month, I went by the place and was astounded to see it completely transformed and practically unrecognizable. In the place of the more than 60 year old ramshackle folk house and shed are a trendy cafe, co-working space, and multifunction event area.

The sunlit wood deck had a long table with tall chairs facing the Koma River, and already, there were customers sipping their coffee while working on their laptops, the picturesque river a ready source of insight or break.

Outdoor space that looks out to the Koma River
Outdoor space that looks out to the Koma River

Welcome to Cawaz, born of a dream inspired by one of the most bucolic locations in Hidaka, Saitama. Ideally located near Hiwada Mountain, Kinchakuda (purse-shaped fields), and the winding Koma River, Cawaz Base is a gathering spot for hikers, cyclists, or people who simply find pleasure in spending time in nature.

Site map
Site map

After an active day outdoors, Cawaz Base has showers for those who want to freshen up before the journey home. The cafe partnered with MyMizu, an initiative to reduce plastic bottles. MyMizu affiliates are eco-conscious businesses where people can freely go to refill their water bottles. And those who want to still play and relax more can book the tent sauna or borrow the paddle board (inquire with the staff for these services).

Cafe entrance
Cafe entrance

But the heart of Cawaz is the cafe. Stepping inside, you still see the original beams of the house. The interior is warm. Sunlight pours in from big sliding glass panels on the south side, while the north side is kept warm by a wood stove by a Czech maker. The menu consists mostly of drinks and a few light snacks.

Whether it's a meeting table, couch or bench, you'll find the perfect seat.
Whether it's a meeting table, couch or bench, you'll find the perfect seat.

There were also items not on the regular menu. On our visit, we were attracted to photos of raw cake, which are vegan cakes that minimize the use of processed sugar and are not baked. We ordered the cacao apple raw cake and it was absolutely divine. Occasionally, Cawaz shares its kitchen and special lunch buffets are held. Check out the website and the calendar for these food events.

Raw cake with cocoa and apple
Raw cake with cocoa and apple

Getting there

Cawaz Base is approximately a 15 minute walk from Koma Station, served by the Seibu Chichibu Line. Ample parking spaces are available.

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Sherilyn Siy

Sherilyn Siy @sherilyn.siy

For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan. 

Join the discussion

Justin Velgus a week ago
Very cool place. The coworking is not just a trend but something here to stay. Once international travel reopens, I think we may see more visitors that work while traveling.
Sherilyn Siy Author a week ago
I agree. I think the pandemic has redefined the parameters of work.
Bonson Lam 2 weeks ago
Cacao and apple, what an interesting combination, I would have thought more about pairing Cacao with grand marnier or orange marmalade based sauce. Also great to see the transformation of this old shack and that you can support it.
Sherilyn Siy Author a week ago
I can attest that it is a delicious combination. Yes, friends we were directed this way have been impressed so far.