The Iwami silver mine in Shimane Prefecture was named a World Heritage Site in 2007. From the late 16th to early 17th century, from Japan’s warring states period to the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1867), this town hosted Japan’s largest silver mine (now defunct). At the mine’s peak, Japan is believed to have accounted for nearly one-third of all the silver produced in the world. At this World Heritage Site in the remote mountains, an Italian coffee producer with a history of over 100 years has set up its Japan headquarters.
Café Cagliari, according to its Web site, was founded in Modena, Italy in 1909. The coffee blend developed by its founder, Ambrogio Cagliari, and its “distinctive flavor and aroma” has been praised as “Cagliari family magic,” capable of captivating “not only gourmands, but people who had not previously consumed coffee.” From its Japan headquarters at Iwami, the company does mail order business throughout Japan and visitors can also taste the wares for a very reasonable price of 350 yen ($3.38) per cup. Its president, Masayuki Ono, says, “I was told by Café Cagliari’s president ‘Coffee is something that is imbibed while relaxing. So to enable people to relax while drinking it, you can’t make the price too expensive.’ This is why we chose a location that’s rich in nature, and where rents are low.”