The town of Misaki

offers visitors the chance to interact with Senshu’s tight-knit community.

Lunch and a Stroll around the Historically Charming Town of Misaki

Located in the southernmost part of Senshu, the town of Misaki is a charming, quiet place influenced by its proximity to both the sea and mountains. It is an example of a satoyama, a term that describes a residential area built around the foothills of the mountains with land ideal for growing crops.

What kind of town is Misaki?

Enjoy the retro atmosphere of the local line station building.

The town of Misaki is a small area—just over 49 square kilometers—and 80% of the town is mountainous. The climate is typically mild, and the area sees little rainfall throughout the four seasons. The Misaki coastline offers great views of Awaji Island—which connects the Japanese mainland to the island of Shikoku—in the distance on a clear day. This area has also been voted as one of the “Top 100 Sunset Spots in Japan.” The Izumi Mountains straddle the border between Osaka and Wakayama prefectures, and provide views of lushly forested hills.


The ancient coastal town has a recorded history that dates back to the Yayoi period (300 BCE-300 CE), and relics and remains from this period can be seen at the Tannowa Ruins. A number of small keyhole-shaped burial mounds (kofun) from the Kofun period (ca. 250-552) are also scattered around the town. These burial grounds are believed to have been for high ranking individuals such as princes and emperors. Between the Kamakura period (1185-1333) and the Muromachi period (1336-1573), the town became a prominent transport hub for goods traveling along the Nankaido Highway between Kii Province (present-day Wakayama Prefecture), Awaji Island, and the island of Shikoku.


The fishing industry is of vital importance to the local economy, and residents have great pride in the abundance of fresh, delicious seafood which is landed off the coast. A number of fishing parks are located around the area, popular not just with locals, but also with domestic tourists from other parts of the Kansai region.


Misaki Community & Information Center

The lovely façade of the Misaki Community & InformationCenter.

A short walk from Tanagawa Station (served by the Nankai Line) lies an old building which plays a vital role in the revitalization of the area. The building itself is about 80 years old, and was originally a traditional inn. As business slowed, the building was abandoned; called akiya, these buildings have become a common sight in many small towns across Japan. In recent years, there has been a trend in renovating akiya properties in countryside areas to help revitalize small towns, and according to project editor Noriyuki Kawaguchi, “the Misaki Community & Information Center was born in 2018 as part of a renovation project by the towners. Most of the original materials and structure of the building still remains. The small imperfections still visible around the building adds to its charm and character.”

Every visit offers a new menu!

The kitchen of the Misaki Community & Information Center hosts a pop-up café called Ofukuwake, where lunch is served on the second and fourth Tuesday and Wednesday of every month. A new menu is devised for each two consecutive open days. The meals mainly focus on providing a healthy balance of various original concoctions using locally sourced vegetables. Those with a sweet tooth can also visit a different pop-up café, Café Hiiro, which they run in the same building every Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.


Mr. Kawaguchi actually moved on his own to Misaki from neighboring Wakayama Prefecture. He saw the chance to utilize akiya and other local resources to support the area. As part of their overall goal of revitalizing the local area, they host a variety of events, such as cooking classes and markets selling items made by local residents. The hope is that they will be able to attract visitors to the area and learn more about the charms and history of the town.


Local Woodworking Craftsmanship

The façade of Boo-Zhoo furniture studio. The studio is on the left, and a gallery is on the right.

A local furniture studio called Boo-Zhoo specializes in handmade wooden items produced on-site at the Misaki woodworking studio, which opened in 2009. The owner of the store, Toyohiko Yumiba, is originally from neighboring Nara Prefecture, and has been creating wooden furniture and items for over 20 years. While he never had a lifelong desire to move to Misaki, he found the quiet town to be quite different from the initial image of factories one might conjure up when thinking of coastal areas in the Osaka Prefecture. He eventually decided to renovate an akiya property in the town and set up shop.

A wooden pencil holder shaped like a die.

Most of the furniture he creates is made to order, though smaller souvenir items such as wooden dice are available to purchase at the store. Some workshops are also held here for small groups. The wooden spoon workshop is a popular one, and starts from ¥3,000 per person. Chemicals are not used in any of the products; only natural products are used, such as edible oils. The studio is a stone’s throw from the Misaki Community & Information Center, so if you visit one, be sure to stop by the other!


For information on tours around Misaki, please contact the Senshu Japan Concierge Team.

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