Mar 3, 2017
If you’re looking for beautiful coasts and the freshest seafood, I recommend Hachinohe City in Aomori Prefecture. My go-to place to savor in these gastronomical delights: Hachinohe Miroku Yokochō.
It’s an 80-meter-long narrow street with about 26 food stalls, each with a maximum capacity of about 10 customers. You can find almost any cuisine here, from sushi to western specialties, food roasted on skewers to oden, Korean dishes, and more.
The stalls start operating from five in the evening. By eight, they are full of customers – locals and travelers alike. Hence, I recommend you come early if you want a seat! Because each stall has such a tight space, customers naturally strike up a conversation with one another. Often, you’ll find many locals happily sharing information and stories with travelers! “That restaurant serves delicious food!” or “You have to try this dish!” are some of the commonly heard phrases. And trust me, locals are the best guides around! I really enjoy the friendly atmosphere.
Here’s a fun fact: Locals love comparing last year’s snowfall to the current. It’s just something we do!
It is also at Miroku Yokochō where you can taste the best of local ingredients. For example, most of the fish come from the sea near Hachinoke, a port city. Basashi, or horsemeat sashimi, comes from Gonehe, a nearby town. Lastly, you have to try the local specialty, Hachinohe sembei soup. Almost all the shops serve them, and its taste varies from one to the other. It’s a vegetable-base soup that has just the right amount of saltiness, with crunchy sembei biscuits (traditional rice crackers) that add a rich texture to it.
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