Chez Noir

Quirky mountainside cafe built by hand

By Sherilyn Siy    - 1 min read

If you visit Chez Noir, you will be greeted by Mr. Kazuo Kuwabara dressed in what looks like the uniform of a wait staff in a European establishment. Mr. Kuwabara built this house with his own hands, learning along the way, using waste materials from houses and buildings that were being demolished, and furnishing the cafe from the dumpster. This explains the patched up appearance of the place, but somehow, the overall look comes together. The knick knacks that you can browse while waiting for your meal have been collected by the Kuwabaras in their travels throughout Europe. I highly recommend the hamburg set with drink (¥1000) -- the steak is perfectly succulent and tasty. A solo sized homemade pizza costs only ¥500 and will be served to you piping hot on a sizzling plate. Also try the coffee and cake set (¥500). Mr. Kuwabara used to work at a cake shop where he learned how to make light and moist cakes.

Getting there

From the foot of Mt. Hiwada, the cafe is a 7 minute walk. The nearest train station is Koma Station along the Seibu Chichibu Line. From Koma Station, it is a 21 minute walk. Best to combine a visit to this cafe with a hike up the mountain. 

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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.