May 29, 2019
This is the Specialty of Ibaraki! The 10 Must-visit Local Gourmet restaurants in Ibaraki!
Ibaraki prefecture produces the second most agricultural production in Japan, where you can enjoy foods both from the sea and mountains. Rich soils growing crops and rich sea bring beautiful ingredients to the local government in Ibaraki. Let’s walk through the 10 must-have local gourmet from 5 divided areas of Ibaraki prefecture.
Taste Outstanding Soba in its Producing area at “Nishikanasa Yukemuri Village Kanasa-an”
Hitachiota city in the north of Ibaraki is a producing area of Soba (buckwheat). There are many restaurants serving “Hitachi Aki Soba” made from the first Soba flour on the year, in Hitachiota city. Especially Kanasago area has many handmade Soba restaurants. Among the area, the must-visit Soba restaurant is “Nishikanasa Yukemuri Village Kanasa-an”, where you can also enjoy the hot spring family “Kanasa no Yu”.
The restaurant offers handmade Soba noodles with grinded Soba flour with natural water by a stone mill. You can enjoy Towari Soba (made with 100% buckwheat flour), Soba with Tempura, and Soba with hot daikon radish giving special seasoning. Why don’t you enjoy Hitachi Aki Soba at Kanasa-an, after having relaxing bath at the hot spring facility which uses natural water of Nishikanasa taken up from 50 meter underground?
Name: Nishikanasa Yukemuri Village Kanasa-an
Address: 321-1 Kamimiyakawauchi cho, Hitachiota city, Ibaraki
Access: 9 minutes drive from Yamagatajuku station
Map: map to Nishikanasa Yukemuri Village Kanasa-an
The Popular restaurant for Dobu jiru, the Ibaraki Specialty, “Ohamamaru Uoriki”!
Kitaibaraki city has many hotels and restaurants serving fish freshly caught in the local ports like Otsu Port and Hiragata Port, facing the Pacific. One of the popular specialties in this area is monkfish especially in winter. Some restaurants serve it all year around.
Better to note that monkfish is not available at the restaurant on the poor catch. It has a variety of dishes with other seafoods. Worth visiting to enjoy rich seafoods.
Name: Ohamamaru Uoriki
Address: 1-131 Otsucho Azaizura, Kitaibaraki city, Ibaraki
Map: map to Ohamamaru Uoriki
Enjoy the Outstanding Oyako-don with Okukuji Shamo in Daigo, Ibaraki at “Tonsuzu”.
Tonsuzu is a popular restaurant in Daigo serving Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) with locally produced Rose Pork. It has a hidden popular dish, which is Oyako-don (chicken bowl) cooked with Okukuji Shamo chickens, locally produced.
Oyakodon with chunky textured Shamo chicken and thick Shamo eggs is served in a stone pot. The flame is perfectly controlled in a stone pot, which produces “Okoge (browned rice)” in the pot, which adds extra flavors. Better to ring up to check if it opens before you visit.
Address: 825-1 Daigo, Daigo, Kuji district, Ibaraki
Time: 11:00～14:00 / 17:00～23:00
Access: 2 minutes walk from Daigo station
Map: map to Tonsuzu
Enjoy the Local Gourmet in Mito at “Mito Komon Chaya”!
Kairakuen is one of Japan’s Three Great Gardens. “Mito Komon Chaya” serves beautiful gourmet with plums, located in front of the East gate of Kairakuen. One of the recommended is “Plum Ice cream”, which is refreshing. Plums are good for relieving fatigue, so best to have it after walking around Kairakuen!
With one bite, the flavor of plums spread into a mouth, which must amuse you! It also has Japanese sweets, as you can tell from its name “Chaya” meaning a tea house. You can have Pickled Plum Daifuku (soft rice cake stuffed with sweet beans paste) sold at “Kashidokoro Gojo” in the city, which is very popular. You cannot miss it!
Name: Mito Komon Chaya
Address: 1-3 Tokiwa cho, Mito city, Ibaraki
Access: 6 minutes walk from Kairakuen station
Map: map to Mito Komon Chaya
Not only the Town of Pottery! Locally Popular restaurant, “Tofu-chaya Mt. Sashiro Tofu”.
Tofu-chaya Mt. Sashiro Tofu offers Tofu made from the selected soybeans and water. All products are made from finely cultivated soybeans by directly contracted farmers. Among many different Tofu, “Tofu chaya Mt. Sashiro Zaru-Tofu” is definitely recommended, which is made from Tanokuro beans locally harvested.
You can also enjoy Tofu ice cream, Donuts made from Okara (Tofu refuse), to taste “soybeans” on site. Go taste it!
Name: Tofu-chaya Sashirosan no Tofu-ya (Mt. Sashiro Tofu)
Address: 2810 Kasama, Kasama city, Ibaraki
Close: Mondays and the 2nd Tuesdays of every month
Access: 6 minutes drive from Kasama station
Map: map to Tofu-chaya Sashirosan no Tofu-ya (Mt. Sashiro Tofu)
Enjoy Tsukuba-san (Mt. Tsukuba) Local Specialty at “Kandaya”!
Tsukuba Udon is the popular local dish in Tsukuba city. The name came from each capital letter in Japanese; “Tsu” from Tsukubaakane Chicken, “Ku” from Kuro yasai (meaning black colored vegetables like burdocks locally produced), and “Ba” from Bara (meaning Rose) Pork. In short, Tsu-ku-ba Udon uses full of locally produced ingredients. In the season of plum trees on Mr. Tsukuba, a plenty of restaurants in Tsukuba city starts making original Tsukuba Udon.
Besides Tsukuba udon, Tengu Manju is also popular at this restaurant. Freshly steamed Manju goes perfectly with quick rest on climbing. Highly recommended!
Address: 722 Tsukuba, Tsukuba city, Ibaraki
Access: 30 minutes drive from Shimotsuma station
Map: map to Kandaya
100-year Hisory of Traditional taste at “Kaizuka Chuzaburo”
The traditional taste awarded by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, has been finely preserved in “Kaizuka Chuzaburo” in Kasumigaura city. It is a shop where produces and sells traditional tasted Tsukuda-ni (boiled foods in soy) on site with fresh seafoods.
Its Tsukuda-ni can be preserved in the chilled, “boiled Pond smelt in a syrup” for 20 days and “sweet-boiled Pond smelt” and “sweet-boiled shrimps” for 40 days, which may be picked up for souvenirs. You can enjoy sightseeing around the shop. Worth visiting!
Name: Kaizuka Chuzaburo
Address: 687 Saka, Kasumigaura city, Ibaraki
Access: about 20 minutes drive from Kandatsu station
Map: map to Kaizuka Chuzaburo
Taste the Traditional Eel in the Shukubamachi on the former Nikko Kaido Street, at “Musashiya”.
“Musashiya” is a restaurant with 100-year history, which is famous for the eel kabayaki seasoned with traditional sauce. Its sauce has been preserved for long, which creates the exceptional taste. Premium Unaju (broiled eel on rice with sauce) comes with dishes of eel liver. Worth trying it. The building of the restaurant has been nationally designated Tangible Cultural Properties, which delivers Showa-retro atmosphere.
Kyu-Nikko Kaido Street is paved with bricks, which creates historical atmosphere. Perfect location to enjoy walking around Koga station before a meal.
Address: 1-2-15 Yokoyama cho, Koga city, Ibaraki
Access: 9 minutes walk from Koga station
Map: map to Musashiya
Must be Surprised with the size of Tonkatsu and Fried Shrimp at “Katsutaro Sohonten”!
Bando Taro Group is the company running franchised restaurants in the Kanto region. The main restaurant of its group is Katsutaro Sohonten in Koga city, Ibaraki. It has been designated as Ibaraki prefecture agriculture and forestry marine products restaurant, which proves that it uses richly local ingredients. This is the very local restaurant from Ibaraki, the agriculture country.
It has table seats and a Japanese style floor seats with modern Japanese themed interior, which delivers comfortable atmosphere to customers at any ages.
Name: Katsutaro Sohonten
Address: 541-6 Koya, Koga city, Ibaraki
Access: 12 minutes drive from Minami-kurihashi station
Map: map to Katsutaro Sohonten
Enjoy the Popular dish, Hamburger Steak, at “Restaurant Yamabiko”
Kashima city in the Rokko area has various sightseeing spots such as Kashima-jingu Shrine, Kachima Soccer Stadium. There is a famous restaurant for serving the outstanding demi-glace sauce in the city. The restaurant has a direct sales store inside Kashima Soccer Stadium. It proudly presents a variety of dishes from Western to Japanese, even serving a full course of French cuisine. Above all, the Hamburger Steak has been popular among any-aged customers since the open. You will be addicted to the taste and the portion.
For those who would like to enjoy bits by bits, special Western box lunch is the one, which includes meat and seafood dishes. You can also enjoy tasting 15 different kinds of jizake, locally brewed sake, selected across Japan!
Name: Restaurant Yamabiko
Address: 5-10-14 Kyuchu, Kashima city, Ibaraki
Access: 5 minutes drive from Kashimajingu station
Map: map to Restaurant Yamabiko
Enjoy the Local Gourmet in the Restaurants appreciating Local production for Local consumption in Ibaraki prefecture.
Ibaraki prefecture has rich selections of foods because of the geological features. It can produce almost all kinds of vegetables locally as well as fruits. That is why many restaurants serve some fruits for dessert. There are more local gourmet not to be missed in Ibaraki. Explore Ibaraki to find the hidden gem!