Matsushima is a group of islands in central Miyagi prefecture (which is in Tohoku area, the northern region of Japan) with beautiful sceneries where the famous Japanese poet Basho Matsuo loved. As they get more than 3 million annual visitors, lots of delicious restaurants have developed from a long time ago. You can spend a whole day in Matsushima, there are lots to see, so you will have to grab some food somewhere. There are many good restaurants, but of all of them, seafood restaurant “Takaraya Shokudo” is my best.

What is Takaraya Shokudo?

Takaraya Shokudo opened in 1933. It’s been running the business in Matsushima for more than 80 years! Takaraya Shokudo provided Anago Don (conger eel rice bowl) first in the area, and now it has become one of the famous speciality of Matsushima itself. They aim customers to enjoy the fresh seafood of the season. Be careful if you want to try Anago Don, they often are sold out in the morning.

They survived the earthquake and re-started the restaurant after 2 years of reconstruction.

They survived the earthquake and re-started the restaurant after 2 years of reconstruction.

The Shuji painting on the wall which says how Takaraya Shokudo cares about the good quality of food and customer’s smiles.

The Shuji painting on the wall which says how Takaraya Shokudo cares about the good quality of food and customer’s smiles.

Where is Takaraya Shokudo?

Takaraya Shokudo is located on the main street by Matsushima bay. If you get off at Matsushima Kaigan station, it’s just a 1-minute walk from the station.

The restaurant exterior looks like this.

The exterior of Takaraya Shokudo

The exterior of Takaraya Shokudo

What should I try at Takaraya Shokudo?

They have varieties of single and set menus.

They have menus outside too

They have menus outside too

Such as,

  • “Oyster Course” ¥1,800
  • oyster don, oyster soup, fried oysters, small dish, pickles, rice
  • “Yokubari Set Menu A” ¥2,500 (only 20 sets available)
  • Kaisen Don, fried oysters, 4 pieces of grilled oysters, miso soup, small dish, pickles, rice
  • “Yokubari Set Menu B” ¥2,500 (only 20 sets available)
  • Kaisen Don, fried oysters, 4 pieces of raw oysters, miso soup, small dish, pickles, rice
  • “Kaisen Don” seasonal sashimi rice bowl ¥1,680
  • “Sea Oyako Rice Bowl” salmon and ikura rice bowl ¥1,580
  • “Grilled oyster set menu” ¥1,580
  • “Fried oyster set menu” ¥1,200
  • “Fried tuna set menu” ¥1,200
  • “Small Anago Don” ¥1,300
  • “Owner’s choice of set menu” ¥1,680
  • The content of the day; fried seafood and 4 pieces of grilled oysters

* The menu is of 2016 March.

Of what they have, here are what I think is a must try.

1. Anago Don

Fluffy and sweet Anago don

Fluffy and sweet Anago don

First of all, definitely Anago Don. Unfortunately, they were already sold out of large Anago Don (it was only 11:00 a.m.!) on the day I was there, so I had small Anago Don, but I could still feel how fluffy and sweet that Anago was.

2. Kaisen Don

Kaisen Don with various kinds of seafood

Kaisen Don with various kinds of seafood

Look at this huge Kaisen Don! Each piece was so huge and sashimi didn’t fit in the bowl! All of the sashimi pieces were so fresh and yummy. The ingredients will depend on the season, but when I when there on March, it had huge shrimp, buri (yellow tail), salmon, shirasu, mekabu, and squid. Especally yellow tail and squid was so tasty.

See how thick is a sashimi piece?

See how thick is a sashimi piece?

 

 

3. Oysters

 

Raw and grilled oysters

Raw and grilled oysters

As Matsushima is the most famous as a production of oysters alongside Hiroshima. The season of oysters are at their best is October to March, thus, if you are planning to enjoy oysters in Matsushima, plan your trip in winter.

They have fried oysters as well, but I tried raw and grilled oysters (4 pieces each). Oysters from Takaraya Shokudo was just so amazing! It was tasty and so fresh, you would not need any sauce to add the taste. It was also cheap as well!

Can you notice how fresh it is?

Can you notice how fresh it is?

For more information

5 Must Try Food in Matsushima Miyagi Prefecture

8 Attractions of Matsushima Bay in Miyagi to Spend a Day