Regional Foods in Japan: Chubu & Kansai

Jan 16th, 2009 | By | Category: Regional Foods of Japan

The Chubu & Kansai regions of Japan each have their own unique food specialties.  The Regional Foods Series by Etsuko of Tokyofoodcast started earlier this month with will continue on Friday’s throughout the month of January at The Nihon Sun.

Today we’ll cover the regional foods of Chubu & Kansai…


Miso-katsu – As an ex-Nagoya resident, this is my favorite dish from Nagoya. Deep fried pork cutlet is served with sweet, salty, thick red miso sauce, sometimes sprinkled with sesame. In a way, it is a bit like Mexican Mole Rojo.

Hoba miso – In this special cooking style from Takayama, miso is combined with vegetables, mushrooms, and sometimes beef and cooked on a Magnolia leaf.

Fugu-no-ko Nukazuke – Only a few areas in Ishikawa make this traditional food so it may be hard to find. Blowfish roe are pickled in nukazuke mix made from with rice bran and salt for two to three years. Somehow, the most poisonous part of this deadly fish becomes harmless with this preservation process. While this may not be on your must try list, sliced paper thin, this is one of the best foods to enjoy with sake.  Learn more about the preparation of Fugu-no-ko Nukazuke at Ishikawa’s Tradition of Fermentation Food.

Miso-katsu Japanese Food

Hoba miso Japanese Food

Image Credit:  Miso-katsu, Hoba miso with beef, Fugu-no-ko nukazuke (pictured on right)


 Yatsuhashi Japanese Food Funazushi – This dish from Shiga that smells like blue cheese or used socks is believed to be the very original form of sushi. Today the extreme scarcity of fresh water fish like funa from Lake Biwa is causing a great concern for not only locals but all foodies in love with this stinky dish.

Yatsuhashi – People from Kyoto may disagree, but Yatsuhashi, is a synonym for Kyoto sweets to visitors like me. It’s the thing to get from Kyoto to bring back as gifts for your family or co-workers.  It’s either a dry sweet cinnamon flavored fortune cookie or a soft ravioli type (pictured) with sweet fillings wrapped with rice flour parcel. Cinnamon flavor is de facto, but you may also find new flavors such as mango, blueberry and strawberry.

Tako-yaki – Famous octopus balls you find throughout Japan today is believed to be originally from Osaka. There’s even a takoyaki museum in the city!

Funazushi Japanese Food

Tako Yaki Japanese Food

Image Credit: Shiga Cuisine; Funazushi, Green tea and yatsuhashi (pictured on right) & tako yaki time

If you are planning a trip to Chubu be sure to taste these regional specialties and learn about more things to do and see in the region by reading Japan: A Closer Look at Chubu Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3 and keep reading The Nihon Sun to see our closer look at Kansai coming soon.

Check back next Friday when I will tell you about the regional foods of Chugoku & Shikoku.  In the meantime please visit me at Tokyofoodcast to follow my foodie adventures in Japan and learn more about Japanese food and food culture .

Other Regional Foods of Japan


Tohoku & Kanto

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  1. All this food sounds delicious, enough so for me to want to hop on a plane. :)
    I look forward to seeing more!

  2. Austin, I hope you do hop on a plane and visit us here to try some great foods!

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