Joge Pizza and Cakes Vittorio

Pictured above: Sage is enjoying a birthday strawberry cake from Vittorio.

Happy New Year! Apologies for it being a little late! I waited with my fingers-crossed hoping that the omicron variant would slow down, but unfortunately it seems the numbers across Japan may keep rising. To keep the chance of spreading the virus to an absolute minimum I was unable to visit Joge this January. Yet, even though many shops and restaurants in Joge are currently closed, I can’t help dreaming about the future when I can enjoy some of my favorite restaurants and museums in Joge. Like the Suehiro Sake Brewery Museum (featured here) or experiencing a historical exhibition at the Shinno Museum (featured here).

The many landmarks and tours Joge offers give you a chance to fill your mind with thoughts of the past and create a new understanding of history and culture. No doubt, this deep thinking and learning is bound to make anyone hungry! Thus, these days I’ve been excited to give you a taste of what Joge has to offer your stomach, not just your mind!  For example, last time I showcased a traditional Japanese winter food called udon from the wonderful ladies at Taru-chan Udon! If you did not check it out please follow this link and read all about it. This time, I thought it only fair to explore the other side of the culinary spectrum with the very western dish, pizza!

Pizza is well loved by people around the world. It’s affordable, fast, filling, comes in a variety of styles, and, perhaps most importantly, is delicious! Now, many of you may be thinking, “Pizza!? Way out in the countryside of Japan? That seems a little strange”. I understand your shock, the first time I heard Joge had its own pizza shop I was very surprised and a little skeptical, after all how good could pizza be so far away from its roots in Italian culture? However, before you turn up your nose, let’s take a deep dive into the pizza and cake shop Vittorio, what you’ll find may surprise you!

Vittorio’s is located near the end of Joge’s main street and can be easily located using any preferred map application or for the more adventurous by asking any locals for directions!

When you see the large sign on the side of the building or the little blue sign on the street you will definitely know you’ve arrived! Built inside a traditional Japanese home the owner has modified the building with a large oven, tables, chairs, and display cases full of hand-crafted sweets!


Although I was unable to visit in person this month, the owner, Mr. Katano, was kind enough to give me a brief interview through online messages.

As a lover of pizza the first thing I noticed about Vittorio was the pizza menu, but Mr. Katano admits that originally he was a cake chef at heart. He first studied in Kobe and then Osaka for a total of 10 years. Following this extensive culinary training, he worked at cake shops as a baker for 3 years, before giving his passion back to the world as a cake baking instructor for a vocational school where he worked for 7 years. Yet this begs the question, why did a well-trained, skillful cake artisan decide to add pizza to the menu as well?

When pressed for details about where he was inspired to begin a pizza shop bakery combo in the first place, Mr. Katano says his passion for pizza is all in the sauce! With his prior cake training, dough, and large oven readily available it was easy enough to learn the ins and outs of pizza making in only a week, said Mr. Katano. However, developing the perfect sauce, he went on to say, was the real exciting challenge. For the past 28 years, Mr. Katano has been researching and developing pizza sauce flavors and believes that only in the past 3 years, he has succeeded in making the perfect flavor balance!

Mr. Katano explained that he began Vittorio about 28 years ago. For the first 10 years or so he was using the space that was part of Joge Gallery and Café (featured here). Then he moved to the current building and has been there for 18 years. So, not only is Mr. Katano well practiced in the art of pizza and baked goods, he is also a long time part of the Joge community.

Although some time has passed since he first began, Mr. Katano has kept his menu very consistent. He still offers the same variety of cakes, pizza, and bread that he did when he first started. A tribute, I believe, to his passion for the work, always looking for ways to perfect his already delicious selection, focusing on quality and consistency, rather than introducing new things for the novelty.

You can see the care and quality in the pizza’s picture here.

My favorite is the Vittorio vegetable pizza (above) and the strawberry cake, which Sage is enjoying in the first picture of the article!

Mr. Katano used mantras throughout his life to get him through challenging times. He shared some with me. He said they changed throughout the stages of his life. In the Osaka years he would say to himself, “I’m confident that I am second to none!”. Later, after his grandfather passed away, it changed to “live positive until you die, and continue to explore your potential”. These days it is, “Yes I/we can” inspired by the campaign slogan from the former American President, Barack Obama. At the heart of all Mr. Katano’s mantras is a passionate drive to improve, be positive and confident. I believe this is a message we all need, especially these days with so much change and uncertainty.

Until next time, when I present more information about Joge’s most interesting spots, people, and events, keep a positive message in mind and a hunger for life (or pizza!) in your heart.

If you are interested in visiting Joge please contact:
thometeach@gmail.com for English help or joge001@gmail.com for Japanese

Images modified and borrowed from Google images, Vittorio Google Reviews, and Sage Panter

Meet the Writer and Editor

Matt Thome and Sage Panter have lived in Hiroshima Prefecture since 2018. The first year they arrived was spent in Joge. They are both in love with Japanese traditional culture and trying new things.  Together they work in the fields of English education, peace activism, and international tourism to help promote a kinder, and more adventurous, international world.













片野さんには何かに挑むときにずっと心にとどめている言葉があって、私にもいくつか教えてくださいました。その言葉で人生の転機を乗り越えてきたそうです。大阪時代には「だれにも負けない!」と自分に言い続けていたそうです。その後、お祖父様が亡くなられてその言葉は「命ある限り前向きに生きる、そして可能性を切り開くことをやめない」に変わり、この頃は元アメリカ大統領バラク・オバマ氏の任期最後の演説でのスローガン「Yes I/we can(やればできる)」が流行した時期と同じだそうです。片野さんの処世訓はどれも熱い向上心に基づいていて、前向きで確信に満ちています。きっとこれは様々な変化が起こる中、確信の抱けない現代の私たちみんなに必要なメッセージだと思います。


Matt Thome(マット=トーミ)とSage Panter(セイジ=パーンタ)