By ORINA SAKAKIBARA/ Staff Writer
October 26, 2020 at 07:00 JST
MATSUE--This lakeside drink stand is staying true to its name.
The Shinjiko Sunset Cafe, which opened at the edge of Lake Shinjiko in July, declares itself open only on days “when the sunset is beautiful,” from evening to nightfall.
It is proving popular among people who come to watch the sun glisten in the water as it sets and dusk approaches.
The business is located inside Kishi Koen park, adjacent to the Shimane Art Museum, on the east shore of Lake Shinjiko in the capital of Shimane Prefecture.
The park is a renowned sunset-viewing spot. People start showing up more than an hour before sunset to grab a beverage, nab a spot on the lawn and snap photos with their smartphones as they take in the view.
Visitors can see the setting sun through the glass walls of the 2-meter-square structure, although it has no seating for customers. It serves coffee, lemonade and other beverages.
Natsuki Ueda, who came up with the project, said she felt it was a waste not to indulge the tourists and locals who come to watch the setting sun and decided to help set the mood by serving drinks available only at that time.
Ueda, 30, oversees planning at Chiikiokoshi, the company that runs the cafe. She said the sunset is especially beautiful in October.
“The scenery looks different every day,” she said. “We want to continue our efforts to entertain people who come here to enjoy the sunset.”
The city government, which manages the park, granted the company permission for exclusive use of the spot.
The cafe was open only for about half of July during the rainy season. In August, it was closed for just two to three days as the area was blessed with a streak of warm, sunny weather.
The operator pays close attention to local weather forecasts to decide in the afternoon whether to open the cafe.
The cafe uses the “sunset index,” published online by the Matsue Travel Association, to decide whether to open.
It opens when the index is at or above 50 on weekdays and 30 on holidays. Even if the setting sun is hard to see, the sky can be illuminated with colors when the rays of the setting sun are blurred by clouds.
Sometimes the sun brushes the sky with a cotton-candy pink that reflects on the water’s surface, a color on which the café’s lemonade is themed.
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