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1.Nurukan Sato

Roppongi, Tokyo

Japanese / Crab,Japanese / Kaiseki (traditional multi-course meal),Alcohol / Sake

From Editor

Savor the flavors of Japanese sake at different temperatures with a little help from Nurukan Sato's manager, who helps you decide your favorites through blind taste tests.

2. Kyoto Gion Tempura Yasaka Endo

Gion/Higashiyama, Kyoto

Japanese / General,Japanese / Tempura (battered, fried seafood and vegies),Japanese / Kyoto cuisine

We prepare a variety of tempura (deep fried foods) from season to season, with young sweetfish or bamboo shoots in the spring, to goby, matsutake mushrooms, and ginkgo nuts in the fall. Experience the freshness that Kyoto's f

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3.Otaru Masazushi Ginza

Ginza, Tokyo

Japanese / Sashimi (raw fish)/Seafood,Japanese / Sushi,Alcohol / Sake

From Editor

Otarumasazushi Ginza serves fine sushi and sashimi, fresh from Hokkaido, as well as other delicious seafood that is always seasonally prepared by their skillful master chef.

4.Teppan-yaki Kokoro

Kobe/Harborland, Hyogo

Japanese / Teppanyaki (grilled foods),Western / Steak,Western / Teppanyaki (grilled foods)

From Editor

Indulge in Teppanyaki featuring renowned Kobe beef from the Tajima and Awaji cattle strains - all the while enjoying a spectacular view of Kobe Port from the counter.

5.Teppanyaki Steak Kisentei

Roppongi, Tokyo

Japanese / Teppanyaki (grilled foods),Japanese / General

From Editor

Right at your table, the expert staff at Kisentei sukiyaki/shabushabu restaurant (sister of long-established Ningyocho Imahan) will energetically grill your beef, abalone or lobster.

Browsing history

Dining in Kanazawa.
Little Kyoto on
Japan's west coast.

Kanazawa, on the northwestern shore of Japan's main island, Honshu, has become a hot travel destination since the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) extended there in 2015. Where can one best experience the delicious local fare and sake? Here are 5 local restaurants Savor Japan heartily recommends.

Koufuku Yokoyama口福 よこ山

Phone: 076-224-1888

Address:
1F, Ooi Building, 2-30-9 Katamachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
18:00 – 23:00
Closed:
Sundays (if a holiday falls on Monday, the shop opens on Sunday and closes on Monday)
Learn more

Owner chef Akihiko Yokoyama learned to embrace the essence of local produce while training at ryotei restaurants in Kanazawa and Kyoto. His washoku style subtly defies traditional boundaries.

Kyoto Kujo leeks and Yuriage blood clams from Miyagi Prefecture dressed with nuta (vinegared miso) and Tosazu jelly.

Shio tomato from Mizushima, Kumamoto Prefecture with a cherry leaf garnish expressing early summer.

Seats are available at Yokoyama's counter, as well as at tables and in private rooms. The atmosphere is warm and harmonious.

The sake list includes rare brands, such as Kokuryu from Fukui Prefecture, that pair exceptionally well with seafood.

Washoku and beyond

In the center of Kanazawa, with a noren (split curtain) hanging from its entrance, stands Koufuku Yokoyama, a restaurant that artfully demonstrates the sophisticated intricacy of Kanazawa cuisine. The spring appetizer, for example, is comprised of Kyoto Kujo leeks and Yuriage (Miyagi Prefecture) blood clams dressed in Tosazu (seasoned vinegar) jelly and nuta (vinegared miso) sauce. The rice vinegar in the jelly is aged for three months, and the nuta sauce is made by grinding white miso from Kyoto for two hours before seasoning it with domestic lemon, Japanese mustard and rich sesame paste. Every detail of preparation has been mastered to reveal the full character of the blood clams and other ingredients in multiple layers.
This philosophy of perfecting every detail is apparent in all dishes served at Koufuku Yokoyama. Shio tomato (from Mizushima, Kumamoto Prefecture), one of the owner's hallmark dishes, is parboiled and peeled before being dressed with an original sauce combining rice, milk, butter and white wine, then topped with caviar and sprinkled with gold foil.
"I adhere to the principles of washoku and use dashi to bring out the natural taste of ingredients," says owner chef Akihiko Yokoyama. "But I also give recipes my own personal touch." This subtle addition is what makes the dishes at Koufuku Yokoyama so special.

Phone: 076-224-1888

Address:
1F, Ooi Building, 2-30-9 Katamachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
18:00 – 23:00
Closed:
Sundays (if a holiday falls on Monday, the shop opens on Sunday and closes on Monday)
Learn more

Hibi Sakanazuki Toboku日々魚数寄 東木

Phone: 076-224-4266

Address:
1-6 Konohanamachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
Lunch 11:30 - last order 13:30
Dinner 18:00 - last order 22:00
Closed:
Wednesdays
Learn more

Sea bream milt, filefish dressed with liver, salt-cured squid and whelk dressed in liver soy sauce. Dishes can be adjusted to suit each guest.

This sashimi plate includes locally caught marbled sole, young yellowtail, flamed young Spanish mackerel and gasuebi shrimp.

Grilled blackthroat sea perch and bamboo shoot roll. The fish is marinated in soy sauce, sake and mirin (sweet rice wine). Dishes are seasonal.

"I change the menu every day depending on the fresh seafood available," explains owner Hironori Touboku.

The wine list centers on local Noto brands, which are selected based on how they pair with washoku dishes.

Drink and appetizer heaven

Hibi Sakanazuki Toboku is highly recommended for those who love drinking as much as they love dining. The owner is a sommelier as well as a licensed sake taster, ensuring a splendid selection of wines and sakes. The dining menu is also sure to impress true connoisseurs. Naturally, guests at this small restaurant can request sake and wine recommendations from the owner for every dish. His choices and serving style are impeccable.
"Rather than tuna or salmon roe, which you can find anywhere in Japan," chuckles owner Hironori Touboku, "I recommend frigate mackerel, the seven-band grouper caught this morning, or the locally caught sardines or horse mackerel." After training in other cities, Touboku returned to Kanazawa to realize just how magnificent the fish is. His restaurant, Hibi Sakanazuki Toboku, is conveniently located where he can shop every day for fresh seafood caught locally in Kanazawa and Noto Peninsula. He prefers simple preparation in an appetizer style that brings out the strength of the ingredients while complementing drinks. Everything strikes a consummate balance, from the amount of seasoning to the use of dashi and vegetable garnishes.
Touboku polished his skills at a restaurant inn in Kyoto, a kaiseki restaurant in Kagurazaka, Tokyo and the famed Uchiyama in Ginza. He absorbed the essence of fine cooking from various perspectives and brings them together superbly at renowned Hibi Sakanazuki Toboku.
Dishes are finely adjusted to complement guests' preferences and drinking styles. The more a guest drinks, the more the dishes are adjusted to pair with the ordered drinks. Whether you come alone or with a friend, this cozy restaurant in Kanazawa will have you raising toasts to life's pleasures.

Phone: 076-224-4266

Address:
1-6 Konohanamachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
Lunch 11:30 - last order 13:30
Dinner 18:00 - last order 22:00
Closed:
Wednesdays
Learn more

Ajiraku Yumeri味楽 ゆめり

Phone: 076-255-3999

Address:
1-3-33 Honmachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
18:00 – last order 22:30
Closed:
Sundays (if a holiday falls on Sunday, the shop opens on Sunday and closes on Monday)
Learn more

Fresh hairy crab, filefish, gasuebi shrimp, sweet shrimp, halfbeak, blackthroat sea perch, tilefish and whale all caught locally that very morning and delivered directly through special connections.

Owner Maeda, his wife and sister run the shop, sharing the joy of Noto Peninsula cuisine with all who enter.

Assorted sashimi, the restaurant's most popular dish, conveys the richness and variety of Noto Peninsula seafood.

Firefly squid and wild vegetable tempura highlights two local ingredients that peak in spring.

Sake is available from five local breweries in the standard grade that best demonstrates each brewery's uniqueness.

The local favorite

"Jacopever, flounder, whale, filefish, yellowtail, whelk and mackerel are today's local catch," restaurant owner Mamoru Maeda informs us. "Apart from sweet shrimp from Kanazawa and octopus flown in this morning from Hokkaido, all sashimi served today was caught off the Noto Peninsula coast. You are lucky today because whale is seldom caught here."
The assorted sashimi presented on a large plate shines temptingly. Maeda laughs in triumph and it's easy to see why. The exquisite seafood was auctioned at 7am that morning at the Ushitsu Fish Market on Noto Peninsula and delivered to his restaurant before business hours. He grew up near the market, knows seafood like the back of his hand, and acquires the finest local seafood through an original distribution channel he developed himself. Maeda confidently launched Ajiraku Yumeri with the goal of serving fresher, better seafood than anywhere else. His restaurant's reputation has spread far and wide, attracting not only demanding locals but tourists seeking Kanazawa's most delicious seafood.
The restaurant offers counter seats and private rooms on the first floor, where the kitchen is located, and tatami mat rooms on the second floor. All rooms are typically filled with local customers who relax in their customary way, enjoying their favorite local seafood. Their presence speaks volumes about the quality of the fare. Five brands of sake from local breweries on the northern end of the peninsula are served to match the great seafood. "Many are small breweries, but their sake produced from the same local water and rice pairs perfectly with our locally caught seafood," Maeda smiles with contentment. He loves his native surroundings and remains ever enchanted with the locally grown produce. His pride and sense of community, clearly shared with local customers, adds to the charm of this unrivaled seafood restaurant.

Phone: 076-255-3999

Address:
1-3-33 Honmachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
18:00 – last order 22:30
Closed:
Sundays (if a holiday falls on Sunday, the shop opens on Sunday and closes on Monday)
Learn more

Takasaki高崎

Phone: 076-231-0116

Address:
1-2-22 Nagamachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
17:00 - 22:00
Closed:
Sundays (if a holiday falls on Monday, the shop opens on Sunday and closes on Monday)

Stone grilled firefly squid, an extremely popular appetizer in spring, has a wonderful aroma and flavor that pair well with sake.

Traditional duck jibuni (stew) containing Kaga vegetables and wheat gluten is served with wasabi (Japanese horseradish).

Seasonal seafood includes the freshest, carefully selected abalone, gasuebi shrimp, sweet shrimp and yellowtail.

"When using fine ingredients, it's best to cook simply," says head chef Daimon while intently preparing a dish.

The counter is highly recommended for small groups because guests can directly ask the chef for recommendations.

Seasonal flavor fullness

Takasaki, one of Kanazawa's best-established kappo restaurants, has been serving fresh local ingredients for 45 years. Popular seasonal dishes besides the firefly squid and gasuebi shrimp served in spring include iwagaki oysters and Kaga vegetables in summer, sweet shrimp, hairy crab and matsutake mushrooms in autumn, and Kano crab and yellowtail in winter.
Current head chef Akihisa Daimon has been perfecting his skills at Takasaki for 18 years, since the age of 18. His scrupulous techniques learned from the previous head chef bring out the full flavor of the natural ingredients. Among other dishes, he recommends duck jibuni (stew), blending the rich flavors of duck and vegetables, and salt-grilled blackthroat seaperch with delicious oil-rich meat. Whenever you visit Takasaki, you'll enjoy the finest seasonal local cuisine, served with tradition.

Phone: 076-231-0116

Address:
1-2-22 Nagamachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
17:00 - 22:00
Closed:
Sundays (if a holiday falls on Monday, the shop opens on Sunday and closes on Monday)

Oryori Kifune御料理 貴船

Phone: 076-220-6131

Address:
1-9-69 Hikosomachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
Lunch 11:30 - last order 13:30
Dinner 17:30 - last order 20:30
Breakfast (Sunday only) 7:00 - last order 9:00
Closed:
Wednesdays and first Tuesdays of the month
Learn more

"Assortments" presents various seasonal tastes and garnishes that vary by the day. Today's spring assortment includes bamboo shoot sushi, vinegared halfbeak with warabi (bracken fronds), and mink whale meat rolled in cherry leaves.

Born and raised in Kanazawa, chef Nakagawa learned his trade at a hotel kitchen, sosaku washoku restaurant and kappo restaurant.

Abalone dressed in Himi noodles, abalone paste and butter. The abalone is gently steamed for 3 hours.

Built in the Taisho Era with a Kanazawa ambience and river view, the restaurant was previously a private residence.

Gorin and Tengumai Nakasaburo are local Ishikawa Prefecture sake brands served at Kifune.

Ever evolving cuisine

"My dishes are perhaps best characterized by their lack of predictability. When I feel inspired, it influences my cuisine," proclaims Seiichi Nakagawa, owner chef of Oryori Kifune. His restaurant is located within a walking distance of Higashi Chayagai, a district loved for its authentic Kanazawan ambience. While surrounded by established washoku restaurants, chef Nakagawa feels no pressure to conform to tradition.
His restaurant is housed in an old converted private residence facing the Asano River. Many people thought the location was unsuitable for a restaurant given its poor accessibility. In fact, other types of businesses had set up shop there and failed. But owner chef Nakagawa never wavered. "I felt wonderful the moment I entered," he says "and my instincts told me to try."
His hobbies are eating and traveling. When he hears of a great restaurant, he travels to any part of Japan to experience it for himself. What he encounters during these trips inspires him to modify his cuisine. Customers who return months later to dine on the same dish discover it has morphed into something else that is just as delicious. Dishes clearly reflect whatever currently inspires the owner. "When regular guests remark 'the food tastes more Chinese today' or teasingly ask if this is really the same restaurant, I feel complimented," he says. "I don't want to specialize. I want to keep evolving." Chef Nakagawa keeps moving forward with washoku always in transition, presenting alternative Kanazawa cuisine.

Phone: 076-220-6131

Address:
1-9-69 Hikosomachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Open:
Lunch 11:30 - last order 13:30
Dinner 17:30 - last order 20:30
Breakfast (Sunday only) 7:00 - last order 9:00
Closed:
Wednesdays and first Tuesdays of the month
Learn more

*Articles are written based on information available at the time of publication.

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