The tasty treats of Kanagawa Prefecture
Kanagawa prefecture – Tokyo’s southern neighbour – is overflowing with natures blessings. It is known for its cosmopolitan port city Yokohama, the vibrant seaside culture of the Shonan coast, and the delicious local produce from both the prefecture’s land and sea. Kanagawa’s most prominent areas each have their own unique signature dishes, making it a destination not to be missed for any food lovers!
Kawasaki – Candy that brings luck
Kawasaki Daishi Heikenji Temple is famous among locals for its power of warding off evil. The road to the temple is lined with restaurants and shops selling all kinds of souvenirs and snacks, one of them being ‘Matsuya So Honten’, a confectionery specialist. One of their most popular products is their ‘Tontoko’ candy – which you can see made daily in the store. The candy is said to help ward off bad omens as the rhythmical sound ‘ton-ton-ton’ when cutting the candy is said to ‘cut’ away the misfortune in people’s lives and in turn bring them good luck.
Yokohama – The kingdom of Noodles
Yokohama could be considered the noodle kingdom of Kanagawa, perhaps thanks to Yohokama chinatown has had on the city’s food culture, with two whole museums dedicated to noodles and their history in Japanese cuisine. The CupNoodles Museum showcases the history of instant and cup noodles, While the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is a food emporium devoted to Japanese ramen. Yokohama itself also has their own ramen style, known as Ieke Ramen – aka ‘homestyle’ ramen. This ramen’s rich and thick soup is a mixture of pork bone broth and soy sauce, making it the perfect hearty pick-me-up meal.
Misaki – Tuna at its freshest
Misaki is a fishing town on the southern tip of Kanagawa’s Miura peninsula, and is the second largest tuna fishing port in all of Japan. In the town you can see the tuna auctions at the Misaki Seafood wholesale market, or visit the Fisherina Wharf Urari market in the morning to start your day with a Japanese fisherman’s breakfast! There are also many restaurants throughout the city where you can enjoy delicious tuna dished fresh as sashimi or grilled.
Enoshima – The taste of the ocean
Enoshima is a small island located off the Shonan Coast that is loved for its beautiful beaches and its view of Mount Fuji in the distance. Once on the island, visitors will be surrounded by restaurants and stalls selling delicious local produce and souvenirs. Here you can try one of Enoshima’s specialities – whitebait! You can enjoy the little fishes on a ‘kaisen-don’ (sashimi rice bowl), or try them in potato croquettes, or the popular freshly baked whitebait cheese bread! There is a large selection of eateries on the island to choose from!
Oyama – Tofu in Sophisticated Buddhist Cuisine
On the edge of the Tanzawa-Oyama Quasi-National Park in the middle of Kanagawa prefecture, you can find the small city of Isehara. They are famed for the production of tofu that pivots upon the fresh spring water that flows from the mountains. Many of the local restaurants use tofu from the area in a variety of ways, one of the most popular being ‘shojin ryori’, the traditional cuisine of Buddhist monks. The dishes consist of a variation tofu, seasonal vegetables and wild mountain plants – and as they are free of any animal products, the cuisine can be enjoyed by all!
Odawara – Historical fishcakes
Odawara is a beautiful port city located on the shore of Sagami Bay and known for its fresh seafood and the historic Odawara Castle. The bay opens into the Pacific Ocean allowing its bounties to freely swim in, providing the area with a wonderful seafood selection. The city is famous for the production of ‘Kamaboko’, a Japanese Fish Cake which has been made as early as the 12th century. Walk the Kamaboko Street to try all of the different types of fish cakes from over 30 small Kamaboko stores, or even partake in Kamaboko making classes at the Suzuhiro Kamaboko Museum.
Hakone – Gold worthy pilsners
The spring water from the Hakone mountains is of high quality and full of natural minerals, the perfect conditions for making good beer. With the combined usage of the finest quality hops and barley Hakone Beer was created to harmonize with the flavours of Japanese food that are subtle yet complex. The Suzuhiro Hakone Beer brewery has been open for over 20 years has been awarded as one of the best beers in Japan multiple times, with their pilsner winning in the 2016 Japan Brewer’s Cup and their Odawara Ale winning in the Asia Beer Cup.
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