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Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/4/30 11:32
Hello - I am visiting a handful of places across Japan in June/July and, while my budget isn't the highest, I am hoping to try a selection of different accommodations and also try some seasonal local foods in each place.

If anyone has any "don't leave without trying XX!" suggestions for each location, and maybe even a low to moderately-priced place that you recommend to eat XX, that would be fantastic!

I'm not a dussy eater and I'll try almost anything, although I'd prefer to avoid eating anything that is still wriggling :) I'll also be travelling alone, so places that won't mind a single female traveller with few Japanese skills would be ideal. I have no objection to places with chatty clientele.

I'd also like to hear about local snacks or drinks that are worth a try, not just full meals.

The places are:

Koyasan (here I'll be trying Shojin-ryori)
Hiroshima (including side trips to Miyajima and Iwakuni)
Tokyo (including a daytrip to Yokosuka area).
by UK Traveller (guest)  

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/4/30 13:06
In Matsumoto, try local soba needles. In Hiroshima try the Hiroshima-style okonomi yaki.
by Jay Key (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/4/30 14:55
Takayama - in Takayama try the beef. You cant miss it anyway. There is a beef restaurant in the middle of town accross from one of the bridges with black walls and chalk dragons, serves beef bowl, grilled beef skewers, beef sushi, it is cheap as and brilliant.
Kanazawa - they say crab, I thought it was expensive and better in Oz. They also say the chicken stew which is served near Kenrokuen, that is pretty nice. the best feed I had there was at a french restaurant just across the river from the geisha district. Great food, good prices.
Nara - Nara is known for the sake soaked pickles, there are very nice. Personally though, next time I go (December!) I wont be missing the pizza restaurant just in the middle of town (main street, just at the entry to an arcade). Great food, great prices, also my wife and daughters wanted to drag the hottie waiters home with us. You can also eat the deer biscuits, they are actually pretty moreish though I think it isnt the done thing to snack on them.
by Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/4/30 14:57
Sorry, also in Miyajima try the grilled oysters (pretty good even if you arent a fan of oysters), eel (all of the fish at Miyajima is excellent), and the cakes that look like maple leaves.
by Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/5/1 09:13
Oh thank you! Some great suggestions to write in my travel notebook :)

@Jay Key I found a couple of interesting sounding places suggested on WikiTravel for okonomiyaki in Hiroshima - I'll definitely have to try it! And hopefully the noodles will be easy to find in Matsumoto!

@Pious - I had heard about the Hida beef but wasn't sure what kind of prices that would rack up, since Takayama doesn't seem like a budget place in general. If I can find the restaurant you suggest I'll certainly check it out - thank you so much for the suggestion!

Sounds like Kanazawa might be dependent on the season - I'll check when prime crab season is and be guided by that info.

Sake soaked pickles sound kind of amazing, no lie. Pizza place sounds good too - especially on the first night when I will be in a hurry. Though I think the deer might turn violent if I nom on their biscuits :)

And fish it is at Miyajima then - I don't mind oysters, and like pretty much all seafood provided it's not too fussy to eat (can't be bothered with lobster) so that sounds like a great place for me to eat.

Thanks again!

by UK Traveller (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/5/1 20:26
Kanazawa cuisine, which is known as Kaga-ryori, has a lot more going on than just crab - a lot is based on local seafood (including fish from local rivers), beautiful heirloom vegetables, and great local sake.

Mishoan, a little teahouse in Kanazawa's Kenrokuen park, might sound touristy but it's a very good place to sample local cuisine at lunchtime, with set lunches from around Y2000.

Daiba is a very good izakaya near Kanazawa's train station that has a counter where single diners will feel comfortable, although I can't remember if they have English menus or not. If not, they might have a set menu, which is less complicated to order than a la carte.

Also, a trip to Ohmicho Market is recommended.

by Umami Dearest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/5/2 04:18
@Umami_Dearest Thank you for the info on Kanazawa - I don't mind a lack of English menu - I do have a cheat sheet of kana for food on my iPhone so I can hopefully get a general gist of whether it's fish, meat or veg. And from there I will just live adventurously if required :)

Thank you for your recommendations - the teahouse sounds lovely and I may try that out the day I arrive since I will be getting there before lunchtime (and will likely be ready to eat).

I fear for my wallet if I spend too long in the market - I suspect I'll be ridiculously tempted by everything despite only having so much room in my stomach :)
by UK Traveller (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/5/2 05:11
Also, thank you for the link to tha Bento website - I had not come across that in my research and it's fantastic.
by UKTraveller (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/5/2 06:35
Actually I found the plum wine in Kanazawa spectacular. I was buying it where we stayed, at Hakuchoro (which has a very nice coffee shop in the lobby), I wish I'd bought a box full, also the dango we got inside Kenrokuen was probably the best we have had in several trips. I wasnt particularly fussed with the market, though I'd go beserk buying stuff there if I lived there.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/5/4 11:45
Kanazawa seafood is awesome - you should enjoy the seafood there.
Kanazawa has Sushi Shinnosuke one of the best sushi restaurants in Japan. Have someone book for you.
The variety, freshness and skill at preparation of Kanazawa seafood is second to none. Beats anything in Australia (although we have the produce in Oz -most of which is exported & locals don't see it, there's just a lack of preparation skill in Australia when dining out even at supposed top fine dining restaurants.) Maybe Pious had a bit of bad luck with the crab. I found the food market enjoyable seeing all the varieties and the stall holders were really friendly.
See gourmet-ishikawa website for local foods and places to eat, incl. maps. Also google 'eye on kanazawa'. You have to have the blue ebi eggs.

by Elly (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Local Cuisine and Places to Eat 2012/5/6 21:05
I already answered this but it looks as if the forum ate my post.... thanks @Elly for the fantastic website recommendation - I have bookmarked it for my travels.

I will definitely try some seafood in Kanazawa!
by UK Traveller (guest) rate this post as useful

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