Where to Eat Tomonoura
Tomonoura is small, but has a plethora of charming restaurants and other establishments offering delicious things to eat and drink. Here are our top recommendations.
The signature drink of Tomonoura is this sweet liquor made from Mochi rice and a bunch of different herbs, precisely 16 of them to be exact. It has a long history, first being produced in Osaka back in the 1650s. Later on, production moved to Tomonoura where it has since remained. Houmeishu is usually consumed cold, from small shot glasses. Some restaurants will even offer you a glass or two for free, when you order lunch or dinner. Houmeishu is supposed to be good for your health, but we won’t guarantee that that holds true if you consume it in large amounts. It’s quite strong, after all…
Fresh seafood, anywhere
Since Tomonoura is a fishing town, there’s plenty of good seafood to be had. The sashimi served at most restaurants in town seemed to be top notch, in particular, the sashimi set meal at the charming old restaurant New Tomosen comes highly recommended. Another favorite was the assorted fried fish served at Otebi, located on the main street in the old town. Most ryokans in Tomonoura also serve high quality fish dishes.
Our favorite café in Tomonoura is Tourodou, located on the pier next to the lighthouse. This place opened in 2005, and is full of charm and personality. The inside is packed with what looks like the owners own personal decorations, with everything from goldfish bowls on the floor (with living fish in them) to poetry and local memorabilia hanging on the walls. There are also a few tables located outside if you’d rather look at the beautiful harbor of Tomonoura while sipping on your coffee.
Hayashi Rice at Tabuchiya
One of the most charming restaurants we came across in Tomonoura was Tabuchiya, located in the middle of the old city centre, in a building that according to the owner was built back in the Meiji period. Although it has been tastefully renovated since then, many of the original details are retained. Their food menu consists of Hashed beef, or Hayashi rice only. Fortunately they have polished this dish to perfection. They also serve coffee, tea and shaved ice. Tabuchiya is open from noon until 5pm, and closed on Wednesday.
Anything at one of the charming beachside bars and restaurants on Sensui-jima
The island of Sensui-jima is located just a few minutes by boat from the ferry terminal, but the atmosphere here is vastly different from that of central Tomonoura. The perfect sandy beaches, together with the clear blue water of the Seto Inland Sea makes this place feel like an idyllic summer vacation spot. We really enjoyed grabbing a cold beer or a Setouchi flavored ice cream, and kicking back while gazing at the peaceful ocean in front of us.