Café Seseragi in Motobu
CONTRIBUTED BY ANTHONY AND MICHELLE CAMINA
Café Seseragi sits nestled between a winding mountain road and picturesque flowing stream in the Motobu peninsula of Okinawa. The first thing one will notice upon arrival, even more so than the shokhiho (Japanese gargoyles) that sit atop the café’s prominent black terra cotta roof, is the entrance to an impressive garden path adjacent to the property and the café’s large parking lot. The café and garden path are both owned by the same family.
The interior of Café Seseragi is intimate and inviting, with its large picture windows allowing for natural light, gentle breezes, and the backdrop of the café’s garden grounds to provide patrons a pleasant dining experience.
The menu is in katakana only and may be intimidating to those unfamiliar with the Japanese phonetic alphabet. However, the majority of the left side of the menu is comprised of beverages (e.g. ice/hot coffee; ice/hot tea; rosehip; lemongrass; ginger; chamomile; and chai teas). The specialties of the house, which are located on the right side of the menu, are the Indo-chicken curry plate and the PoPo. Pictures of the house specialties are also displayed prominently in the café’s window and counter.
The Indo-chicken curry is robust and flavorful with just the right amount of “kick” to make one’s brow sweat. Yellow rice, fried flat bread, and a crisp salad accompany the dish. Be mindful though that the chicken contains small bones due to how it is butchered.
The PoPo special is a lighter snack resembling a cross between a savory crepe and an omelet made with egg, vegetables, and a delicious soy based dipping sauce.
A cup of Café Seseragi’s hot aromatic chai tea rounds out the meal quite nicely, and afterwards, diners may choose to take a stroll through the café’s extensive garden grounds for an additional fee of 100¥, which is paid not at the café, but at the top of the garden path where a traditional Okinawan home stands among grounds comprised of impressive karst rock formations, topiaries, ponds, a red walking bridge situated over a vigorously flowing stream leading down to an enormous Buddha statue, and the unique flora and fauna of Motobu. One is strongly advised to wear appropriate shoes for hiking. There is a blue coin box situated off to the left side of the home’s patio where an admittance fee of 100¥ should be deposited.
There is only one cook in the café that meticulously works on each order. However, the café’s delicious food and picturesque garden walking paths make a visit to Café Seseragi well worth your time, patience, and yen.
Directions: From the 10 expressway exit drive north on Highway 58 through Nago. Turn left onto the 84 towards and past Pineapple Park. After Pineapple Park look for the Highway 123/Esso station on the right hand side (this is a landmark, do not turn on this road.) After you see the Highway 123 intersection look for Izumi elementary school on the left. There is a big mikan orange-shaped restroom prominently placed in a park in front of the school. You want to turn left at the road before passing the mikan landmark on the main road. The road is narrow but well paved. After passing the stone walls of the school you will arrive at an intersection. At this intersection you will see a large traffic mirror and signs for cafes Gyutto and Seseragi. The Seseragi sign is in katakana but the Café Gyutto sign is in English. Turn left towards Café Gyutto and Seseragi and follow the road as it winds to the right. Café Seseragi is hard to miss as it has the largest parking lot and most distinct looking building on the left.
Google Earth Coordinates: 26°38’46.42″N 127°56’51.31″E
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday (CLOSED on Mondays, Tuesdays and Japanese Holidays).
Phone: +81 980-47-6163
Payment: Japanese Yen only