Dining by the sea is often romanticized by many, because what other way to feel most relaxed than when you’re enjoying a nice brunch overlooking an expanse of blue sky and blue seas? In this post, I’ll be introducing 2 famous coastlines spots in Shikoku for you to fulfill this dream!
Café Niil Mare by the Pacific Ocean
Firstly, in Kochi, there is Café Niil Mare which gave me one of my most relaxing brunch experiences. Situated at the point where Niyodo River (arguably one of Japan’s clearest rivers) meets the Pacific Ocean, Café Niil Mare has an excellent location. Just a short 10 minutes’ drive from Kochi’s famous Katsurahama Beach (another must-go if you’re in Kochi), Café Niil Mare is easy to miss if you’re not on the lookout for it.
With just a small 3 story-building, but a more than adequate parking space, the building in which the Café is situated in looks like a tiny rest stop. Café Niil Mare takes the 2nd floor of the building, while the 1st floor sells fresh produce from the Kochi area. This is definitely a place for you to get Kochi’s yuzu products or any other fruits to your liking. On the 3rd floor of the building is a small observatory space that allows you to breathe some fresh air while you gaze at the Pacific Ocean.
But back to Café Niil Mare… The café has a beautiful layout, with seats for small groups of 2 – 3 people as well as counter seats that allow the solo traveler to enjoy a nice meal while overlooking the great view. With full-length windows that allow for an unobstructed view, you can literally feel like you’re dining by the sea, but in a very comfortable air-conditioned space.
The food served was amazing too. Serving a range of Western and Japanese fusion dishes, there were items such as Salmon Avocado Donburi and Tomato Taco Rice with Half Boiled Eggs. Desserts were also available, both the French toast and Brownie Cake looked amazing just from the menu. I decided on the Salmon Avocado donburi, and it was delicious right down to the very last bite.
After a relaxing meal spent enjoying the taste of the food and enjoying the view, I headed out to the small stretch of beach just outside the building to walk off the great meal.
Café Niil Mare is located at 38-33 Nii, Tosa City. Opening hours are from 11:30am to 9pm, and they are closed every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month. More information can be found at the official website.
Shimonada Station by the Seto Inland Sea
Moving on to Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku, this train station is famous for having been the train station that is closest to the sea in the whole of Japan (another train station in Niigata now takes this title ever since the roads were extended at Shimonada). Shimonada Station, run by the JR Shikoku railway is on the Yosan Line. The station has been made famous by Japanese anime and dramas, as well as having been a regular feature on domestic campaigns for discounted train tickets.
It is incredibly romantic just to sit in the unmanned train station watching children play in the area, people coming and going, couples spending time, as well as waiting for the train to come.
The station provides great views regardless of what time of the day you visit it, and perhaps you might catch the beautiful sunset hues if you go at the right time! Shimonada Station is accessible via the JR Yosan Line as well as by driving (a small parking lot with around 5 spaces is available right by the station).