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Restaurants in Takayama/Toyama 2021/2/11 05:19

I've been planning a trip to Japan, Chubu region (hopefully for Summer 2022 or later). Takayama and Toyama are some of the places I plan to visit. Any restaurant recommendations for lunch in both cities? I am a female solo traveler by the way (actually, this would be my second trip to Japan).

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by Sophia (guest)  

Re: Restaurants in Takayama/Toyama 2021/2/11 14:15
There is a burger restaurant called Center4 Hamburgers about ten minutes' walk from the main tourist area that serves a delicious Hida beef burger. It was listed on several websites as one of the best Hida beef options in Takayama. The burger was indeed delicious and is so popular that it is sold in only limited quantities, so best to go for lunch!

I was also a solo female traveller when I visited, and was seated at the counter. I arrived when they opened as suggested online, and by the time I received my burger they were turning others away!

by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Restaurants in Takayama/Toyama 2021/2/11 20:52
The Hokuriku region is known for its rice and seafood. You can't miss it.

A Toyama local took me to Sushiei (Kakeo branch). Don't be fooled by its exterior. The inside is so sophisticated, and most of all I enjoyed one of the best sushi I ever had in such a reasonable price.

On your way, try visiting the Shimakawa Ame-ten, a tiny mizu-ame (starch syrup) shop. I happened to find it during a female solo walk before lunch and enjoyed the museum-like atmosphere. Founded in 1663, their syrup, made from ocarina, malt and rice, is nothing you can find elsewhere.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Restaurants in Takayama/Toyama 2021/2/11 23:03
OP here! Thank everyone for your feedback. That Hida Beef Hamburguer looks delicious! I will add it to my list ;) (I will arrive early, by the time it opens, it's something I've learned on my last trip to Japan, most restaurants I went had long queues, so I began to arrive at the opening time).

That sushi restaurants sounds good Uco. I didn't go to a sushi restaurant when I was in Japan 2018 (not really a fan of raw fish). So maybe this will be my first time? One question, how do you order your food? Is it a set meal? Or does the chef put sushi plates on the counter and one just takes them to eat? Thanks ;)
by Sophia (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Restaurants in Takayama/Toyama 2021/2/12 11:05

At sushi places, you can either order a set meal or piece by piece over the counter. For beginners, I recommend set meals. Ask for an English menu or a "recommendation (osusume)".

By the way, I wonder if you're okay with things like smoked salmon. Because Toyama is also famous for its "masu-zushi" (sushi rice and seasoned salmon pressed together in a bamboo box). You can get them at Toyama Station where you can taste bites of a lot of local goodies.

Either way, the quality of the rice itself is truly great. I'm a Japanese born on the Pacific side and everyone knows that the Hokuriku region is famous for its rice. So try to enjoy rice in its best form while you're in Hokuriku. And good rice is what makes good sushi, just like good ice is essential for good alcoholic bars.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Restaurants in Takayama/Toyama 2021/2/12 11:44
We really love Kajibashi in Takayama for lunches. When we go we will eat there every day if we can, the food is fantastic and the chalk drawings are interesting.

I see it has a pretty average rating and some negative reviews, but I dont really understand that. The staff can be a bit off hand when it is very busy but after being probably a dozen times I've never had a bad meal there. That said, I've rarely had a bad meal in Japan full stop.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Restaurants in Takayama/Toyama 2021/2/12 14:39
I forgot to add about the sushi. If you're not on a low budget, you can sit at a counter and order "omakase". This means it's up to the chef to decide what to serve, and he would serve you the best material of the day, piece by piece. You can tell him your preferences in advance, and you can also tell him to stop when you think you've had enough. Otherwise, the chef will sort of guide you, telling you that a couple more would probably be enough.

So, if you're a beginner, you can sit at a table and ask the waitress for "osusume" and see what set menu she could tell you about, or you can sit at a counter and let the chef do his "omakase".
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Restaurants in Takayama/Toyama 2021/2/13 00:46
Masu-zushi looks very interesting though I'm not sure about smoked salmon (I dislike raw salmon. Raw tuna depends on the slices, it they are too thick I won't eat).

About the ways in sushi restaurants, thank you for the tips Uco. I am a little bit picky with sushi (I never ate sushi during my last trip to Japan). But I wanted to try the second time I go to Japan. When I go for sushi in my country, I usually eat those with pickles/cucumbers and fruits (aka "vegetarian sushi" or whatever it is called).

To be honest, food was the most surprising thing for me during my last trip to Japan. Food that I thought I would love, I hated the flavors (Takoyaki, Taiyaki with azuki beans, Noodles except Ramen). And food I thought I would dislike, I ended up loving it (Melonpan, Shojin Ryori, Tofu). But I also LOVED other foods that I thought I would like such as Shabu-Shabu, Tonkatsu, Tempura, Kamameshi, Matcha icecream, Momiji Manju, Unagi/Anago.

Lazy Pious, thank for recommending that restaurants. I saw pictures, and the food looks yummy.
by Sophia (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Restaurants in Takayama/Toyama 2021/2/13 15:35
On top of my previous comment about Center4 Hamburgers, also check out the range of Hida beef foods available in Takayama. The nigiri sushi was a particular favourite of mine, but don't bother joining the insane lines (at least pre-COVID!) for the one available in the old town - there is a cheaper option with no lines that is just as tasty along the river front walking towards the festival float museum.
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