SUBMITTED BY SHANNON REUTER
A friend and I set out to have an awesome lunch at a fantastic cafe, so I’m glad we ditched plan A and wound up here! Kouhudou (thank you Linda Cordes for the translation!) is a cozy little cafe, gallery and shop, tucked behind the tall white walls of Kikko Park.
We received a warm welcome in the entry and, after removing our shoes, were shown to the dining space. It’s a small room with two tables in the center and counter seating along two large windows. The corner opposite the windows displayed Japanese pottery and paintings, all available for purchase.
The Japanese menu is quite a few pages, but of what we’re not sure. An English menu of drinks and desserts is available. There is also a pictorial menu of even more sweet treats! All of those treats are packaged and available for purchase in the shop if you’d like to take any home for yourself or gifts.
The lunch set was spicy curry and it was DELICIOUS. The curry is served with purple (black) rice, Japanese sausage, mixed greens and pickled daikon. Our set also included dessert and we were given the option of pudding or jelly. The set was listed on a separate “menu” which was just a little tent on the table. Our server pointed it out to us and told us what it said. There was another item listed below the lunch set. She didn’t tell us what it was, but now I am thinking it was the breakfast set since they open so early. Don’t be shy about asking when you go!
We both chose pudding and it was, by far, the best we’ve ever had! Incredibly creamy and most definitely made with fresh vanilla beans. We weren’t about to stop there, though. We also ordered coffee, chiffon cake and a chestnut tart. The plan was to share the cake and the tart, but through the powers of the language barrier, we each wound up with our own. I didn’t mind eating 3 entire desserts, I’m just not sure how it happened!
When we’d finished eating we were invited into the shop to look around. We found books, music, clothing, treats and more. There was an entire room dedicated to beautiful scarves at reasonable prices. There is also a large table in a far room of the shop, presumably to accommodate big groups for dining.The ladies taking care of us were simply wonderful! So attentive and happy to show us things and answer our questions.
Address: 2 Chome-4-26 Yokoyama,
Iwakuni-shi, Yamaguchi-ken 741-008
Directions: Cross the Kintai Bridge and enter Kikko Park. Take the road next to the ice cream shop on your right. At the end of the road, turn left toward the Iris pond. You will see a large wood sign that reads “Cafe & Gallery Shop” as soon as you turn the corner. Kouhudou will be on your left and the pond on your right.
You can also enter the above address into Google maps.