Kanazawa is a beautiful city located in Ishikawa prefecture, not only for its historical landscape, but also for its famous local cuisine. Kanazawa is well known for products made from rice and fresh seafood. Here are my recommendations for your food experience in Kanazawa and I’m sure you are going to have a great food experience there!
1. Various types of seafood
Due to nature of the fresh water from Japan Sea, people in Kanazawa and Ishikawa Prefecture is blessed with wide ranges of fish and others seafood. Since that, they have developed their cuisine with high-quality ingredients with these meals below:
Snow crab and Koubako crab
In Japanese traditional inns (ryokan), dishes from crab are very famous in Kanazawa and winter is the best season to enjoy it.
Snow crab is known as ‘King crab’ or ‘male crab’ while Koubako crab is known as ‘female crab’ which is smaller and less meat than snow crab, but its miso (crab butter) is very delicious and worth trying.
Moreover, you can treat yourself many other dishes from crab: steamed, grilled, not to mention crab sashimi, etc.
As I mentioned above, dishes from crab are served in any ryokan, but you can also try them in seafood restaurants too.
Known as one of the gifts from the sea is the small pink deep-sea prawn. The best time to enjoy it is from autumn through winter (similar to the crab). It’s famous for its delicacy, sweet meat and beautiful texture of the light green eggs.
There’re many dishes made from this local delicacy, from fried, simmered in their shells, sashimi to even croquettes.
You can enjoy these in any restaurant, or sushi shops around Kanagawa/ Ishikawa areas.
Delicacy yellowtail after harvested, is boiled with daikon radish, called Buri daikon, is especially delicious.
There’s also salted yellowtail fillets are made into sandwiches, with pickled turnip slices, and a mixture of rice and rice malt.
You can easily ask for this dish in any restaurant in Kanagawa as well as in Japanese traditional ryokan.
Thanks to the delicious shellfish and fish, sushi in Kanazawa is known as the most delicious sushi in Japan. As there are normal sushi restaurants, there are other local specialities as well;
Different from normal sushi that we use to know, Kabura-zushi is totally local food of Kanazawa and Ishikawa region, made by put yellowtail, carrots and seaweed between turnip (which is cut into round slices that are pickled in salt). It doesn’t really look good look more gross (!) but Kabura-zushi shows its most richness and delicious when serve with sake, and it’s also very famous dish in New Year.
You can look for them in seafood market as they also sell them as souvenirs in packages so you can take these delicacy home!
Conveyor belt sushi (Kaiten-zushi)
Different from other fancy sushi restaurants with relatively high price, kaiten-zushi (sushi-go-round) is a good choice and I bet you wouldn’t be disappointed since this is a very interesting experience you don’t want to miss during your Japan trip.
n a sushi-go-round bars, depends on the layout of the shop that customers will seat around the sushi bars watching the chef making sushi right in front of them, or sitting in tables, waiting the sushi that they ordered to come out in a chain.
Actually Conveyor belt sushi restaurants can be found anywhere in Japan, there are many restaurants in Tokyo as well, but it is said that Kanazawa is the district which has the largest numbers of conveyor belt sushi restaurants! You will be amazing because of the sushi’s freshness as well as its high-quality.
Kaisen-don is a bowl of rice with fresh sashimi on top. You can enjoy a variety of seafood at once. Especially, it’s the best to have Kaisen-don at fish markets as most of the owners will offer you their shop’s dish of the day (Osusume). Ohmicho Ichiba is the most famous market in Kanazawa. Perfect opportunity to experience the taste of perfectly fresh seafood, so why not?
2. Various kind of vegetables “Kaga yasai”
“Kaga yasai” are 15 kinds of special vegetables that are admitted by Kanazawa City Agricultural Association. The brand name of Kaga yasai represents its high quality of vegetables, and kind varies from raddish, lotus roots, bamboo shoots, purple eggplant, to sweet potato.
3. Japanese Sweets in Kanazawa
Japanese sweet Wagashi in Kanazawa become famous and there are lots of famous wagashi shops in the city. Some of the girls main objective for traveling Kanazawa is to eat wagashi!
Especially, Fuku-ume is a special sweet only for the New Year and wedding ceremonies in Kanazawa.
Fuku-ume has thin skin of rice pastry and sweetness of red bean-paste. Since it’s very popular in Kanazawa, I’m sure you can find them in any souvenir shops or ryokan!
4. Traditional food “Jibuni”
Jibuni is traditional Kanagawa dish, which is a stewed dish with boiled and seasoned thin sliced duck (or chicken), vegetables such as shiitake mushroom, Japanese parsley and fu (Japanese wheat-gluten bread), the sauce of the stew is soy sauce base and it has the thickness which this thick soup keeps the sweetness of the stew. Perfect dish in winter!
5. Kanazawa Sake with over 100 years history
If you like drinking or experience alcohol taste, you’d absolutely love Kanazawa Sake. Kanazawa has long been known for its famous high-quality products made from rice, and sake is one of the leading kind of rice products, for its varieties, flavors, it’s also has been popular among local people in Kanazawa for a long time. There are four brewing companies in Kanazawa, all of which have been in operation for more than 100 years, you there’s no doubt about its high-quality and richness in flavors.
On the underground floor of Kanazawa station, there is shop called “Kanazawa Jizake Kura (金沢地酒蔵)” where you can shop various brands of sake produced in Kanazawa. There are also tasting corner, you can buy 100 yen ticket and try many kinds of sake from Kanazawa!
There’s no such thing greater than to enjoy all the delicacy and unique local taste of a Prefecture in one meal, including main dish, side dish, beverage to dessert like in Kanazawa.