[Why I Travel to Entô] “I can look at the sea to my heart’s content and enjoy that view while having a meal” Entô guest, Mr. Naoyoshi Tsuzuki and Ms. Kaori. The Oki Islands / Sightseeing | Ep.05


Interview Ama town

Yumiko Shiramizu

[Why I Travel to Entô] “I can look at the sea to my heart’s content and enjoy that view while having a meal” Entô guest, Mr. Naoyoshi Tsuzuki and Ms. Kaori. The Oki Islands / Sightseeing | Ep.05

When you are living a busy life, do you ever find yourself wanting to get away from your everyday life or to feel refreshed in nature?

If you find yourself thinking “yes,” we would like to recommend going on an island trip!

A journey to Entô is like travelling to a remote and exotic country that can only be reached by ferry.

Even though it is far away, why do I want to visit again and again?

What makes Entô so different and worth visiting?

Guests who are planning to visit the Oki Islands, or those who have already visited, may think this way.

In this series [Why I Travel to Entô], we ask our guests about their reasons for visiting the island and the abundance and light they found during their stay.

This time we interviewed Mr. Naoyoshi Suduki and Ms. Kaori, a lovely couple who enjoy travelling around the island and are food enthusiasts.

The reason I keep coming back is not just the delicious food. “It’s having a meal while staring out into the beautiful ocean,” said Mr. Naoyoshi Suduki and Ms. Kaori.

After reading this article, you will also want to visit a remote island for sure.

Text by: Yumiko Shiramizu
Photos by: Naoyoshi Suduki and Kaori Suduki
Interviewer: Nana Sato and Haruo Fujii Haruo
Interviewer & Editor: Educare
Translation by: Nicharee Plubsiri



We Felt That the Oki Islands were a Perfect Destination for Our Trip.

── You have visited the Oki Islands many times already, what attracts you here?

Mr. Naoyoshi We love to travel, and we realised that we also love spending time on islands. At first, I went to a resort hotel overseas. While I was there, I visited remote islands several times, and I started to realise that I really like remote islands. Then out of nowhere, my wife discovered Entô.

— A mere coincidence?

Ms. Kaori I saw Entô on a hotel reservation website, however, because of how far it is I thought it would be too difficult to travel to the Oki Islands. Then at that time, I happened to hear from one of my friends who mentioned that “it was really nice when I visited Entô,” so I thought, “Hmm… even though it is far away, let’s go anyway.”

— If you were travelling domestically, there must have been other places you could visit besides the Oki Islands right?

Mr. Naoyoshi As I looked at Entô website’s homepage, I thought that it would be a nice and quiet place. Since it probably is not somewhere that could be flooded with tourists that easily.

— Yes.

Mr. Naoyoshi I guess it’s the same for travelling overseas, the amount of tourists visiting the island is unlikely to increase because access is limited. Besides, we don't travel to see the tourist spots. That’s probably why I like islands. So, the Oki Islands seem like the perfect destination for us.


First Time Meeting One of Our Dining Staff Members, Mr. Haruo Fujii.

── How did you spend your first time on the island?

Mr. Naoyoshi I rented an e-bike and went to the Oki Shrine in the afternoon. Bought some bread to have, and went back to Entô around the evening. After that, I stayed in my room and just spent time looking out into the ocean (laughs).
After that, we had dinner with pairing drinks, and there we met Mr. Fujii, one of the dining staff members.


── Meeting with Mr. Fujii

Mr. Naoyoshi At that time, I was a little surprised because I thought there were so many young and beautiful people working here. The first thing I was told was “There are not many types of wine for flight drinks.”

Being a remote island, there seem to be various restrictions on purchasing, but it was very interesting to find rare combinations such as rice wine and sweet Japanese rice wine (mirin) instead of wine.
Mr. Fujii is very interesting, in the way that he thinks by himself and decides which drink to recommend to us, asking “What do you think” as he suggests. I was attracted to the way he had the courage to show originality, perhaps even try to not repeat the same patterns. He loves Ama Town, and you can feel his love for this small island in every word he speaks.

Mr. Fujii Mr. Naoyoshi seems to enjoy trying something different from the usual menu, and I enjoyed accommodating his requests.

Mr. Naoyoshi Mr. Fujii’s recommendation was straightforward and proactive, and made me feel like “I’d like to give it a try.”



── It was your first stay. I’m impressed.

Mr. Naoyoshi Come to think of it, Mr. Fujii was probably in a lot of trouble because we had dinner with pairing drinks for two days in a row (laughs).
After putting a lot of thought into it, we had Wadatsumi no Sei (shochu), Tottori Scotch, and finally the Mama Mirin, Japanese sweet rice wine.



Visiting the Oki Shrine at Night

Mr. Naoyoshi After dinner, we went to Oki Shrine in the evening. The darkness and the peacefulness at night left a strong impression on us. We visited the shrine in pitch black, and the chief priest gave us blessings. It was quite a mesmerising experience… We felt like we had stepped into a completely different world.


Ms. Kaori The Oki Shrine, which was built as a dedication to the retired Emperor Go-toba, has a historical image, so it was very impressive to visit the shrine in the darkness, with the shrine being the only source of light shining.

Mr. Naoyoshi Usually it’s brighter with more people visiting, but we were the only ones there, so it felt very special.

Ms. Kaori There are fireflies inside the temple grounds, which is a fantastic sight to see. I truly feel like this type of activity is unique to remote islands.


“I Can Look at the Sea to My Heart’s Content and Enjoy That View While Having a Meal”

── I’m curious, when we were talking about dinner earlier, I wanted to ask about the reason why you ordered pairing drinks for two days in a row.

Mr. Naoyoshi Because ordering that during dinner on the first day was really fun.

However, when I thought about it, I realised that we probably accidentally put a lot of pressure on Mr. Fujii (laughs). It was difficult for you to come up with new drinks, wasn't it Mr. Fujii?

Mr. Fujii No, no, you don’t have to worry about that at all! Thank you so much as always. But to be honest, when I look at the photos from that night, I feel both nostalgic and embarrassed.

— By the way, do you usually drink at home?

Mr. Naoyoshi Yes, we enjoy drinking and it’s not just evening drinks, but on days off, the two of us start drinking together pretty early.

— Is there a difference between the two of you starting drinking around noon on the weekend at home and drinking while you are in Oki?

Mr. Naoyoshi Completely different. First of all, the scenery is different. Entô Dining is designed with a huge glass window facing the sea. You can’t get that experience at other restaurants. It’s a meal that includes an exclusive view.

I think having a constant view of the ocean has a great visual effect. Beach resorts often have sandy beaches and beautiful beaches, but the sea in Oki is a little different.

In many ways, it’s not that it's hard to go into the ocean here, nor are there any strict rules. The sea is just not noisy with the waves crashing the shore sound (laughs). I just like eating at Entô Dining because it’s so charming that you can just stare at the ocean for a long time.


・   ・   ・


A journey to a remote, exotic island by ferry.

The darkness that exists on the island and the scenery that you can admire forever may be the true value of remote islands.

Their story will continue in the second part.

Click here for the second part:
[Why I travel to remote islands] “Unexpected connections make me want to come back to the Islands” Entô guest, Mr. Naotoshi Tsuzuki and Ms. Kaori. The Oki Islands Sightseeing | Ep.06


Mr. Naoyoshi personally wrote the values that Entô values.
Together with our guests, we use travel as an opportunity to light up one's way.


― Writer ―
Yumiko Shiramizu
She was born in the prefecture of Fukuoka. From 2017–2021 she worked as a waitress at a long-established ryokan (Japanese-styled hotel) at Kurokawa Onsen in Kumamoto Prefecture. She came to Ama Town with her pet cat in the summer of 2021 intending to understand the future of tourism through hotels for the first time in her career in the hospitality sector. She's been employed by Ama Co., Ltd. which runs Entô. First, she worked as a housekeeper where she was responsible for cleaning guest rooms and creating spaces. She is also a part of the dining team, where cuisine represents the island's ingredients. Currently, she is working in all departments as a supporter. She's a person who cooks and writes to express her life on the island.

― Interviewer / Photographer ―
Nana Sato
Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido. She spent several years in the United States and became interested in Entô and Ama Town because the hometown of Entô CEO (Atsushi Aoyama) is the same as her. She moved to the island in 2022 after returning to Japan. Even within the company, her taste and style are excellent in the casual pictures she takes of her daily life. She currently works in both marketing and the front desk. Many people are influenced by her flexible mindset in which she lives her life, accepting conflicts, worries, fun things, and challenges with all her might.

Haruo Fujii
Born in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture. He visited the Oki Islands for a university graduation trip with his friends and decided to move to Ama Town in the spring of 2022. He is a mixologist who is in charge of developing new drinks at Entô Dining. His graduation thesis was based on branding and distribution of conger eel, and he is very particular about it, researching things he is concerned about and repeating the process until he is satisfied. He was born to be a researcher. As someone who expresses the charm of the Oki Islands through food, he continues to explore the knowledge of ingredients and the island’s flavour and cooking methods.

― Interviewer / Editor ―
Takuro Komatsuzaki
Born in Ryugasaki City, Ibaraki Prefecture. He is the representative of Educare LLC. After living in Germany, he now lives in Omori Town, Shimane Prefecture, a town nestled in the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Site. His family consists of him, his wife, and two chickens.

–– Translator ––
Nicharee Plubsiri (Yaleen)
Born in Thailand and raised in New Zealand, she moved to Japan in 2017 for her studies. Having to move to the island after her graduation during COVID-19 was an exciting new journey. She currently works as a front desk staff at Entô and as a copywriter, and translator for Oki Islands Geopark Management Bureau. Being the only Thai living on the Oki Islands, she has a hobby with the purpose of promoting Thai culture on the island by joining the local food stall events to sell Thai food that she cooked, while bringing out her unique characteristics and ideas with her handmade goods. She describes herself as a "third-culture kid" and a "jack of all trades."

Category :