Amanchu-ya (海女人屋 / あまんちゅや, lit Ocean Woman's Store) is a Japanese-style beach cafe and diving services store based in Ito, Shizuoka. It is owned and run by Kino Kohinata who serves as both the store manager and the cafe's chef. Her granddaughter Hikari Kohinata sometimes assists her on a voluntary basis, often accompanied by her friend Futaba Ooki.
About[edit | edit source]
The store is located in a small bay area of the Ito coast, directly below a coastal road, a few meters from the water's edge. The frontage prominently displays a large horizontal banner of the store's name in kanji (海女人屋) and vertical banner reading "yakisoba" (やきそば), one of Kino's dishes. The store is raised up on stilts so that water can flow underneath it at high tide and is accessible via a set of wooden steps looking out towards the sea. Kino frequently sits on these steps to observe the divers and smoke cigarettes.
The exterior of the store features a reasonably-sized open air cafe with a terrace, fitted with tatami flooring and Japanese-style low tables. The cafe itself is typically very quiet, with business only becoming very busy during heavy tourist seasons. The store's cafe is well known by local divers for Kino's homemade tonjiru. Diving supplies are displayed for sale and rental on the porch of the store. Divers are able to use the store's changing and showering facilities before and after diving a second building attached to the left of the main building, and a fresh water diving gear cleaning station is available outside at the rear.
Plot Significance[edit | edit source]
The store was the first meeting location for many of the main relationships within the series. Amanchu-ya was where Futaba first met Kino, and gave her her initial interest in the ocean, followed by the first time Hikari ever saw Futaba as she drove away on the coastal road on her moped. After joining the Diving Club, Amanchu-ya was also where Hikari and Futaba first pet Makoto Ninomiya and Ai Ninomiya, who Hikari instructed on a dive. Several months later, Amanchu-ya was where Hikari first met Kokoro Misaki, who was free diving to watch a local octopus guarding her eggs.