Cafe Canape

Cafe & Italian

If there had not been the Great East Japan Earthquake, Kaoru Chiba would not have met Kanae. They got married and opened CAFÉ CANAPE in a trailer house in Baba-Nakayama in the Utatsu district. In Minamisanriku where the best and freshest ingredients are available, people are apt to eat them raw. “However, it would be nice if we could eat pasta cooked in a sea-urchin cream sauce,” Kanae says. Mr. and Mrs. Chiba’s hearts are filled with dreams of creating such a restaurant that Minamisanriku has never known before.

After the disaster when all roads were cut off by the debris carried by the huge tsunami into the Baba-Nakayama area, Kaoru promptly launched a blog and sent information on the condition of the district, thus leading to supplies of relief goods and attracting volunteers.

Immediately after the earthquake, Kanae took a paid leave from her company and went north to Minamisanriku where she worked preparing meals for victims at the evacuation center for two weeks. In this way, her visit to Utatsu once a month started.

“I had problems understanding what people were saying in the dialect” Some people helped interpret for her and one of these interpreters was Kaoru. In their wedding ceremony held this past April, the bride’s walk down the aisle was along the evacuation passage “Miraido (Future Road)” that people in the Baba-Nakayama area built at the top of the hills. Everyone that gathered there had their best smile on. The couple says that people gather where there is such a smile. The fact that Kanae was attracted to this place proves this. CAFÉ CANAPE is a place where visitors can relax over a cup of coffee while viewing the beautiful sea equal in beauty to any famous overseas resort. The couple has just started to build a café together where everyone ― local residents and overseas visitors alike ― want to smile at each other.

Kaoru & Kanae Chiba

Cafe Canape

  • Hours: Open 10:00-17:00 (weekdays) 8:00-17:00 (holidays) / Closed Tuesday
  • Closed: Tuesday (long breaks in February and September)
  • Menu: English Available
  • Tel: 090-1069-4870   E-mail:
  • Web:
  • Address: Nakayama-2-1 Utatsu, Minamisanriku-chō, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 988-0432