Whether trekking the 88 Temple pilgrimage route or simply stopping off for a visit, there’s no better place in Shimanto’s Kubokawa quarter to relax and recharge than at the stunningly-situated Hanpei café. Slide off your shoes and step up into the warmly-lit tatami dining area, where a clutch of tables overlook a traditional garden. The garden itself makes the best use of the surrounding landscape and borrows elements from beyond the grounds to make the setting seem even more impressive.
Hanpei is known for its desserts, ranging from traditional wagashi (Japanese sweets) that change with the season to zenzai (red bean soup) or parfaits with matcha-flavored ice cream. Top it off with a serving of green tea or indulge in some herb tea, a local Kochi brew.
On your way out, don’t miss poking around the rest of the home (free without admission) to see the impressive wood carvings on the overhead lintels and the occasional cultural display (Girls Day in March is a highlight).