From the riverside walking track only a small wooden gate sign lets you know that both a gallery and cafe lie on the other side. The short path leads you past kid’s bikes, a cubby house and a deflated football that tell you this is an everyday backyard
The Aun Cafe sits in the back of the house with magnificent views over the upper reaches of the Tama River, close enough to hear the constant flow of rushing water around volcanic rocks seemingly deliberately placed to create a cluster of rapids.
Coffee freshly ground. Tea delicately made. Sweets on the side. The Aun Cafe was a great choice, and surprise after a long day exploring the Mitake Gorge and surrounds – a place where you can quickly forget you are just over an hour from Tokyo central.
So this place is three things. It is a studio and gallery for the exquisite ornate and intricate ceramic works of Ryujiro Oyabu (Yaburyu Ceramics) It is Cafe Aun. It is the family home.
This makes it very different from a couple of larger and well known visitor stops just up walking track. Only at Cafe Aun can you get the family dinner being prepared before you, two young children arriving home from school, throwing their bags unceremoniously down, greeting their mother, and then running off to play.
The location of Cafe Aun is 2-922 Sawai, Oumeshi
Mitake Gorge is a great place for a Tokyo day trip. I thank Mandy and Uncover Japan for the heads up.