Here is best 6 food I would like you to try if you come to Morioka in Iwate Prefecture, Tohoku. There are many unique local food in Morioka such as the famous The Three Great Noodles of Morioka.
1.Morioka Jajamen: Pairon
Morioka is a city famous for noodles, “The Three Great Noodles of Morioka”. Jajamen is counted as one of them. The food is something like udon noodles, but it is served with special meat-miso sauce on top. Add some grated ginger, garlic, vinegar, and/or hot pepper oil if you like. Jajamen has different taste comparing to the similar noodle with meat-miso sauce, Ja-Ja-men. You will not be able to eat Jajamen easily in Tokyo.
After finishing the noodles, order “Chi-Tan-Tan”. It is a soup with the meat-miso sauce, the hot water in which the noodles were boiled, and beaten egg made in the bowl you have just finished.
This restauranta “Pairon” is said to be the origin of Jajamen. There are many people visiting Pairon from all over Japan.
Ask the staff for “Chi-Tan-Tan”.
Chi-Tan-Tan costs only additional 50 yen.
Name: Pairon Honten
5-15 Uchimaru Morioka-shi, Iwate Prefecture
Mon-Sat 9:00AM-9:00PM (L.O. 8:40 PM)
Closed during Obon Holidays in August and New Year Holidays
2. Wanko Soba: Azumaya
Wanko soba is another noodle of The Three Great Noodles of Morioka. Wanko soba is so famous that many people think of Wanko soba when they think about Morioka. The servers keep serving you bite-sized cups of noodles until you close the lid of your cup. This is an all-you-can-eat soba, so finish the cups rhythemically. Challenge how many cups you can eat!
Azumaya is a historical soba restaurant that was established in 1907. Their taste of soba is amazing. Except Wanko soba, there are normal soba menus, too.
At Azumaya, you will get a small present if you could eat more than 100 cups. Why don’t you try to remember your trip to Morioka!
I (32 years old Japanese man) ate 140 cups. The man sitting next tome ate 250 cups… I could not win him. I heard that there was once a person who ate 500 cups.
HONTEN 1-8-3, Nakanohashidori, Morioka-shi, Iwate
BEKKAN 1-8-4, Nakanohashidori, Morioka-shi, Iwate
11:00AM-8:00PM *Often 3:00PM-5:00PM is closed
3. Morioka Reimen: Pyonpyonsha Morioka Station
The last of “The Three Great Noodles of Morioka” is Reimen, cold noodles. It was originally imported from Korea. As the origin, someone brought back Reimen from a Korean restaurant in Tokyo in 1950’s. From then, it became established in Morioka and now loved by locals as it is included to “The Three Great Noodles of Morioka”.
At Pyonpyonsha, you can have Yakiniku (Korean BBQ) and Jajamen, too.
Name: Pyonpyonsha Morioka Station
9 Moriokaekimaedori Morioka-shi, Iwate
4. The famous shop for Koppepan: Fukudapan
This is an unique food of Morioka. Fukudapan is a bakery that has been popular among local people in Morioka. You pick the ingredients you like, and staff will put those into bread rolls.
Recentlly it was introduced in Japanese television, so there are long lines waiting, both local people and travellers. Often the bread are sold out before the closing so I would recommend to visit early.
There are so many kinds and make you unable to choose. The standard is “An-Butter (red bean azuki paste and butter), “Peanut Butter” and “Original Vegetables”. You will have to order at the counter so it maybe hard if you do not speak Japanese at all. Picking what you would like to try and making a note would be easier. I strongly recommend this place even if there are language barriers!
The standard menu was very tasty as well but I personally was amazed by “Cornbeef”!
12-11 Nagatacho Morioka-shi, Iwate
7:00AM-5:00PM (close early if the bread are sold out)
Closed during Obon holidays and New Year Holidays
5. Local cuisine of Morioka: Sawauchi Jinku
The famous restaurant that offers Morioka local food. They are so rare because they especially focus on the food from Sawauchi village, which do not exist anymore due to a consolidation.
The picture is biscuit Tempura! It is said to be eaten daily in Sawauchi village.
I was surprised when I had a bite. The sweetness of biscuit stands out by being heated. It melted on my mouth and actualy was very delicious.
Name: Sawauchi Jinku
5-4 Kaiunbashidori Morioka-shi, Iwate
Closed on Sundays
6. Hittsumi Jiru at Morioka Mikoda Morning Market
At the last, I would like to introduce street food at a morning market in Morioka. It has been a market to local people for a long time, but travelers visiting here are increasing.
This Hittsumi Jiru (Hittsumi soup) can be tasted at one of the markets. This soup will really warms you up on a freezing morning. Hitssumi Jiru is a soup flavored with dashi and soy sauce, with “Hittsumi” put in as the main ingredients. Hittsumi is a dumpling made from flour, casually cut into portions by hand and put into the pot, together with some vegetables such as carrots and burdocks. Enjoy this Japanese dish at morning market!
The husband and wife serving Hittsumi were so nice. Add some Shichimi peppers on the table if you like.
Name: Morioka Mikoda Morning Market
20-3 Mikodacho Morioka-shi, Iwate
10mins by taxi from Morioka Station
5:00AM-8:30AM (operated 315 days / year)
Closed on Mondays