If there’s something like a signature dish for Onomichi, it has to be Onomichi ramen. What makes it different from the rest is the use of fish paste in the broth, as well as the fact that there are also chunks of pork lard floating in it. If this is in fact a stroke of genius, or if there’s actually a reason why this particular kind of ramen hasn’t made it to the rest of the country, is something we’d rather let you figure out for yourself. There are an abundance of shops serving it, but one of the most highly regarded ones is Shuka-en, located on a side street towards the ocean from the main shopping street.
This guest house is located in a renovated villa near the end of the long flight of stairs that leads up the mountainside. We think their lovely bar/café, where you can sip on an ice cold beer while resting your legs and admiring the spectacular view, is worth the somewhat exhausting walk it takes to get here. We highly recommend that you come here in the evening, as the night view of the Onomichi bridge and the rest of this charming town spreading out around it, is quite amazing.
The Seto Inland Sea is famous for it’s lemons, mandarins and a plethora of other citrus fruits. Since Onomichi is one of the cities that connects many of the islands with the mainland, there are plenty of products available that has the flavor of “Setouchi lemon”. Everything from ice cream and sweet drinks, to lemon flavored beer can be found in most shops around Onomichi, so just take your pick and enjoy!
Despite the small size of Onomichi, this town has a surprisingly developed coffee culture. One of the more recent additions is Yamaneko Mill, a charming little take-out only coffee shop located near the waterfront, just a few minutes walk from JR Onomichi station. We highly recommend the custard pudding sold in old-fashioned glass bottles. They also have a small corner in the shop where they sell different locally-themed souvenirs and photobooks.
Inside the impressive ONOMICHI U2 complex you’ll find a café, bakery and a high-end restaurant, most of which offer several dishes and drinks made from locally produced ingredients, be it lemons from Setouchi or the morning catch from the many fishermen located in the nearby area. The stylish interior in combination with the great attention they put into their foods makes it a good place to go for everything from a coffee break or an evening drink, to a fancy multi-course dinner.