(Photo by Shoji Kudaka)

It had been more than a year since I made a trip up a hilly area in Okinawa’s Motobu peninsula. It is a location that draws many tourists thanks to its superb view of the west coast of the island. There are several cafés and eateries along the way where tourists can enjoy the view over food and coffee.

However, getting to the hilly area takes a drive on narrow and winding roads, which are at times only wide enough to safely allow one vehicle through at a time. The idea of having to navigate these conditions is what kept me away from the popular area for a long time.

I found Anettai Chaya by accident as I made my way through the hills of Motobu peninsula. Its name means “semi-tropical teahouse” and it overlooks the waters Ie and Minna Islands call home. Many tourists rave about the teahouse and post photos online, so I decided I would bring my family to check it out.

The teahouse’s orange roof and pale-yellow walls stood out amongst the lush green of the hills it sits on. Inside the teahouse looks like a fancy southeast Asian resort and the theme moves to the outdoor seating, complete with Chinese Fan Palm leaves filtering the sunlight and hammocks perfect for a quick post-meal nap.

Tables and chairs along a cliff overlooking the ocean on the sunny winter’s day were an inviting option. It was not my first time to be on that hill because I had been to other cafés and restaurants in the area. The tea house’s panoramic view, however, surprised me.

While gazing in amazement at the ocean and the islands, I enjoyed French & Honey Toast, topped with whipped cream and ice cream along with diced kiwi and oranges. The dish’s restrained sweetness felt very soothing especially after being a little nervous on narrow roads. The scent of coconut oil went well with coffee. The pieces of toast were served with a festive mini-parasol, a galingale leaf, and a Cooktown orchid for a nice tropical touch.

My family and I also shared the Cinnamon Toast Set, which had a refined taste I would imagine a fine bakery in France might serve. The restaurant also offers different lunch sets featuring a variety of dishes like gapao rice, fried rice vermicelli and pho. In addition to the main entrée, sets come with a salad, a slice of grapefruit, a small piece of cake and a drink. As I was enjoying the toast, I was already imagining how my next visit would include one of their other delicious options and a view of the sun setting.

After my relaxing time at Anettai Chaya, the worry about the narrow roads leading to the experience melted away. Once you’ve tried Anettai Chaya’s delicious food, beautiful view and comfy hammocks, you’ll forget all about it and will be ready and refreshed for your next adventure.

Anettai Chaya GPS Coordinates: N 26.667548, E 127.900386 Hours: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed on Thurs. TEL: 050-5484-1379 Blog Website

*The easiest way to get to the location is to go northwest on Route 84 on Motobu Peninsula, make a right to Route 115, make a right at (N 26.663459, E 127.904903), make a left at (N 26.665007, E 127.905921), make a right at (N 26.664187, E 127.898636). Anettai Chaya is located near Kajinho a.k.a. “Pizza in the Sky.”

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