What to Eat in Wakayama

While Wakayama and its cuisine is often seen to live in the shadow of its neighbour Osaka, referred to as “Japan’s Kitchen”, the prefecture has its own impressive bill of fare. As Japan’s biggest producer of mandarin oranges and Japanese plums as well as home to what some believe to be the best ramen shops in the country, a trip around the Kii Peninsula is sure to not disappoint the foodies among us.

Ramen

Ramen
Ramen

It goes without saying that there is no shortage of ramen shops around Japan. However, the noodle soup served up in Wakayama is said to be some of the tastiest you can get your hands on. On a trip to Wakayama City, even jumping in a taxi can help direct you towards a good bowl of noodles with the Wakayama Ramen Taxi drivers trained specially to share their knowledge about the best of the ramen the city has to offer. Many a ramen connoisseur is sure to recommend Kuku restaurant. Located in the north of the city towards the Kino River this Chinese restaurant serves various Chinese dishes but the tonkotsu ramen and hitokuchi gyoza (bite sized dumplings) are a must-try.

Japanese lunch set

Japanese lunch set
Japanese lunch set

While visiting Wakayama City, a half-day at Wakaura Bay should be on everyone’s itinerary. Brimming with inviting cafes and restaurants, there should be no difficult scheduling in lunch or dinner into your trip. Lunch deals are common and often come in at around 1,000 yen, although it’s also worth hanging around the bay into the night when you can get similar sets at a slightly higher price. Wakaya Tsuya, found alongside one of the rivers that flows into the bay, offers colourful and varied lunch sets and cosy, date-worthy seating. Originally the Wakayama Fishing Association building, Wakaya Tsuya has kept its traditional charm and some Japanese staples such as rice, soup, and pickles with the welcome addition of some modern fried favourites.

Shirasudon

Shirasudon
Shirasudon

With many of Wakayama Prefecture’s towns looking onto the Pacific Ocean, the choice of seafood is vast. The historical seaside town of Yuasa harvests the most whitebait, a small white fish known as shirasu, in the prefecture whose subtle flavour works perfectly over a bowl of rice and topped with sauce. Just one minute from Yuasa Station among the wooden houses sits Kadoya Shokudo, a family business opened in 1946. Now run by the grandchildren of the original owners, Kadoya is not only proud of its shirasudon - raw or cooked shirasu served over rice - but also its tare, a special sauce unique to the shop.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki
Takoyaki

Semi-cooked octopus may sound like a challenge but one bite into a takoyaki ball is sure to have you convinced. Made from the same pancake mix as okonomiyaki, takoyaki’s secret ingredient is the chunk of octopus that is inserted into its centre before they are fried into balls. Most commonly eaten as a snack, there are several spots around Wakayama Prefecture that serve takoyaki including at the Toretore Market in seaside town Shirahama. While the octopus in your standard takoyaki is well hidden away, the bite-sized snacks from Toretore Market are keeping no secrets with the octopus legs dangling freely from one side.

Umeboshi

Umeboshi
Umeboshi

Producing more Japanese plums than any other prefecture in the country, Wakayama is the place to try out umeboshi. Umeboshi are plums pickled in vinegar which are so sour and salty they are usually eaten with rice, most commonly in onigiri or as part of a bento box. Shirahama’s Toretore Market sells a plenitude of umeboshi flavours which can be bought as quirky gifts or to take home for your own rice balls.

Facility Name
Wakayama
Address
Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Misonochou 5 chome
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Wakaya tuya
Address
Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Wakaurahigashi 2-6-2
Phone
0734440525
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Yuasa
Address
Wakayama county town Yuasa
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Kadoya Shokudo
Address
Wakayama Pref. Aridagunyuasachou Yuasa 1109-1
Phone
0737622667
Hours
[Wednesday/Sunday] 11:00-14:00 (L.O. 14:00)
[Monday/Tuesday/Thursday-Saturday/Public holiday] 11:00-14:00/17:00-21:00 (L.O. 20:00)
Closed
Irregular holidays, New Year's Holiday
Parking Lot
Available(4spaces)
Credit Card
Not available
Smoking
Not available (daytime only)
Wi-Fi
Not available
Vegetarian Menu
Not available
English Menu
Available
Introduction
Kadoya Shokudo is a long running restaurant situated about one minute walk from Yuasa Station in Yuasa, Yuasa Town, Arida County. The restaurant is famous for its whitebait rice bowl and live whitebait rice bowl made with fresh whitebait from Yuasa topped with the restaurant’s own original sauce. It is also the original founder of whitebait rice bowl which has been selected as one of the top 30 local foods in Wakayama as a local specialty of Yuasa. As well as whitebait rice bowl served as a set meal with sashimi or udon, guests can have whitebait rice bowl included with any of the various set meals on offer by paying just a little extra.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Nanki Shirahama Toretore Market
Address
Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou Katata 2521
Phone
0120811378
Hours
8:30-18:30
Closed
Irregular holidays
Parking Lot
Available
Credit Card
Available (VISA, MasterCard, JCB, AMEX, Other
Not available at some stores)
Smoking
Not available
Wi-Fi
Available
Vegetarian Menu
Not available
English Menu
Not available
Introduction
Located in Shirahama Town, Nishimuro County, Wakayama Prefecture, Toretore Market is one of the largest seafood markets in western Japan and is operated by the local Katata Fishery Cooperative. Boasting grounds some 50 thousand square meters in size, the market is filled with fresh seafood not only from Wakayama but around the country. A diverse array of processed goods, meats, vegetables, and even Wakayama souvenirs are sold here, and the market bustles constantly with visitors. Market highlights include the giant tanks filled with fish swimming around while waiting to be sold and the popular tuna butchering shows. Visitors can eat sushi and seafood rice bowls at Toretore Yokocho; the market’s seafood barbecue is also popular.
Note
[Toll-free] 0120-81-1378
[From a mobile phone] 0739-42-1010
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

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PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Yuasa

    Transportation
    Wakayama county town Yuasa
  • dummy image

    Wakayama

    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Misonochou 5 chome
  • dummy image

    Wakaya tuya

    Eat out/Cafe/Bar/Pub
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Wakaurahigashi 2-6-2
  • Nanki Shirahama Toretore Market image

    Nanki Shirahama Toretore Market

    Shopping
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou Katata 2521
  • Kadoya Shokudo image

    Kadoya Shokudo

    Eat out/Cafe/Bar/Pub
    Wakayama Pref. Aridagunyuasachou Yuasa 1109-1
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