What? Cafe and patisserie Caramel Mama
Where? Isohama-cho 8033, Oarai-machi, Higashiibaraki-gun, Ibaraki Prefecture/茨城県大洗町磯浜町８０３３
Opened in 2016, Caramel Mama serves authentic French cakes and pastries in a traditional Japanese house. The cakes change seasonally but all use high quality ingredients and local produce such as melon, chestnuts and strawberries. Their most popular cake is a montblanc which uses local chestnuts that have been gradually boiled in sugar over three days.
As well as the cakes themselves, Caramel Mama is popular for its unique setting and interior design - a converted traditional house and garden. The interior features original sliding doors and screens while the owners replaced the traditional tatami flooring with wooden floors and tables to make it easier for customers to eat and drink. If you look carefully, you can spot pine trees, seagulls and waves carved into the screens - the three symbols of Oarai!