6 minutes reading time Japan
Whenever the name comes up, Hiroshima! The first thing most of us think about is the place where the first atomic bomb fell. This City has taken that memory and packed it in the center of the City and left it there. The only memory of that awful day, found in the middle of the city, the only surviving building of that day, the Genbaku Dome, known now as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. This dome building has been preserved through all of these years, so that people may see with their own eyes what destruction a bomb such as that can cause and why it so important to preserve the peace among us.
The Genbaku Dome is surrounded by, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Further down the park, you will see an area that holds the names of all the people who lost their lives on that day. It is a place of sadness, but don’t let that get you down. Hiroshima has built itself back up and the entire city is blazing with culture. Around every corner, you can find the bright colors of the Japanese Culture.
The Japanese pride themselves in their culture and their cuisine. On every corner, you will find a local restaurant. Some might serve genuine American Hamburgers and Fries, and others omakase sushi. The most famous food in Hiroshima is Hiroshima style okonomiyaki. The way this dish is characterized by the locals, only a thin layer of batter with cabbage on top of yakisoba noodles. This style is different from other styles around Japan. You will also find that restaurants in other parts of Japan may offer up various styles of making okonomiyaki, and this style will be called the Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki. Popular toppings for this dish include oysters, squid, and cheese but are not limited to it. The dish is completed with bonito flakes, green laver, and okonomiyaki sauce.
The cuisine is an important part of the Japanese culture, and to be able to eat authentic cuisine prepared and served by local Japanese should be a highlight of your tour through Hiroshima, Japan. Because of the vast majority of restaurants in Hiroshima and the fact that we are all on a time budget, I have marked the top restaurants in Hiroshima with the best quality for my standards. Until you have sat down in a Japanese restaurant and ate the delicious food with all the excellent flavoring, you cannot say that you have experienced the Japanese Culture.
Mitchan Sohonten Hatchobori
Micchan, known to his family as Mitsuo Ise, was the central figure in the story that shaped the “Okonomiyaki” in the city of Hiroshima. As a creator of the famous, Hiroshima Okonomiyaki, he has passed down the history for more than half a century and continues to protect the okonomiyaki culture of Hiroshima.
The 1950s brought with it many new ideas and the creation of the various forms of the famous okonomiyaki with the sauce as we know it today. Hiroshima prides itself in its okonomiyaki and therefore has started a frozen section of this dish, each one handmade and packed by individuals. Micchan has a dream for every single Japanese to try the Hiroshima Okonomiyaki.
Various restaurants around the Hiroshima area uses the same unique combination of products to form this unique tasting dish. In the Naka Ward, you can find a couple of these restaurants, Fukuya Hatchobori in Ebisucho Street. There is also the main restaurant, Hatchobori and it is located on Hatchobori Street. Both of these restaurants can seat up to 50 people and can get quite full over lunchtime and late dinner. Locals find it best to call ahead for a reservation.
Fumichan Nagarekawa is not as well known as its predecessor but equally delicious and also located in the Naka Ward around Ebisucho. The prices are extremely affordable and the dish is filled with toppings of your choice. The staff is very friendly and they do their best to assist you and making sure your visit is unforgettable. There is a menu in English where they have combined the most sort after dishes.
I found the place to be a little bit tucked away but that is a good thing, as the restaurant has a steady flow of customers and can get full very quickly. This authentic Japanese Restaurant is frequented mostly by locals but has exceeded its reputation with tourists wanting to get a taste of the renewed Hiroshima’s cuisine.
The restaurant does not have a website but you can find them easily on websites such as TripAdvisor or even just drop the name into a search engine. Be sure to add some waiting time to your meal as it can get busy at rush hours.
Sukiyaki and Shabu-Shabu Restaurant
Moving away from ordinary towards, some might say, extraordinary. Shabu-Shabu is a local dish that consists of a hotpot (boiling water in a pot) with thinly sliced meat and vegetables. You cook your meat by dipping it in boiled water and dipping in homemade sauces. The food is cooked piece by piece by the diner at the table. You can choose from various in-season vegetables and beef tongues of various meat grades.
Japanese believe that the tongue part of the beef is the healthiest with the lowest calories and cooking it in water and adding vegetables is the healthiest way of eating. This dish was only invented in the late 1950s and is somewhat similar to the Chinese Hot Pot. In Japan, you cook your thinly sliced meat one by one in the boiling water and afterward combine the sauce in the pot with the remaining vegetables or rice. In China, you have all of your food items together with the boiling water in one pot.
Although Shabu-Shabu hasn’t been around for that long, the locals perceive it as a local dish and are very proud of the flavors that they combine. They take pride in selecting only the freshest vegetables and the highest grade of meats. The Japanese Culture is formed around the cuisine and every chef you might come across will carry that pride with them and you will taste it in every dish they prepare. Always make sure to take only as much as you can eat, some find it very rude to leave food on your plate when you are done.
This authentic Shabu-Shabu Restaurant is located only a couple of blocks from the Ebisucho Tram Station and it has clear signs on the front. You won’t miss it but if you do, google maps, knows this place very well…
Here are only three restaurants in less than a two block radius that is absolutely divine. Their atmosphere combined with the deliciously flavored food and excellent service has brought them to the top of my list. You might find many other restaurants tucked away on your tour through Hiroshima, be sure to stop and try their menu. If you find yourself in a place with no English menu or server, just say omakase!