Ginzan Onsen is a small hot spring town by the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture, Tohoku region. The area originally developed for a silver mine, but after it ended the role, it became Japan’s prettiest onsen towns with historic ryokan lined up along the river.
As Yamagata has lots of delicious products, Ginzan Onsen is not only onsen but also many delicious foods! Here is some must-try food in Ginzan Onsen.
1. Haikarasan’s Currybread
“Haikarasan’s Currybread” is a place with a small souvenir store and a cafe space, located at the back of town.
This curry bread is so popular at Ginzan Onsen they occasionally be sold out at late afternoon. This spicy but fluffy bread uses flour produced in Yamagata prefecture.
The inside of the shop is very pretty with the bright red wall, reminds us the scenes in the famous film “Spirited Away”. (It is said Ginzan Onsen was one of the models of “Spirited Away”) On the 2nd floor, there are private rooms with tatami.
Other than curry bread, they have some light meals such as soba, ramen and Japanese sweets such as anmitsu, and mochi, plus drinks.
2. Ginzan Onsen Tofu
Their tofu is freshly made every day, and taste is passed down from the beginning of Ginzan Onsen. This place is located just next to the foot onsen, so you can enjoy eating the tofu as dipping your toes into the onsen.
Their menu is limited to three kinds; cold tofu, warm tofu, and fried tofu.
3. Japanese sake
At a souvenir + liquor shop at the back of town called “Yagibashi Shoten”, they sell Japanese sake and Japanese crafts. They offer 3 to 5 kinds of sake for tasting. The tasting cup is from ¥500~. If you like the sake, you can buy the whole bottle.
4. Soba soft serve
Do you like soba? Then how about trying a “soba soft serve”! You can try this at “Izu no Hana”, which is located near the entrance of the town. I tasted this soft serve, it was pretty good. I actually could not feel the strong taste of soba, but the ice cream itself was very delicious. They had fried soba on the top of the soft serve.
This restaurant is a soba restaurant during lunch time, a cafe in the afternoon, and cozy local food Izakaya at night.
Examples of interesting menus are; watermelon pickles (Ohanazawa City where Ginzan Onsen is located is the famous producer of watermelon), soba sashimi, cheese from Zao, and fried soba. You can have great sake from Tohoku and Yamagata Prefecture here too.
5. Kaiseki cuisine
At last, you cannot miss Kaiseki cuisine at ryokans. If you have a chance to visit Ginzan Onsen, I strongly recommend staying overnight. You will get to enjoy gorgeous dinner and relaxing onsen.
The menu will differ depending on the ryokan and season, and what plan you choose. They usually come with 10 – 15 dishes, including appetizer, sashimi, beef, fish, and Japanese dessert or fruits.