Japanese Food Spots in Nagano Area

  • Meijitei Komagane Main Store
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Komaganeshi Akaho 898-6
    This is a particularly famous eatery serving Komagane specialty Sauce Katsudon (pork cutlet rice bowl with sauce) in Akaho, Komagane City, Nagano Prefecture. It is a satisfyingly voluminous rice bowl topped with sliced cabbage, juicy pork meat with a crispy coating, and an original fruity sauce in perfect harmony. It is a shop specialty that draws a large number of fans from far and wide. The menu is full of other options including set meals and seasonal fish dishes. The Donman pork cutlet & sauce sandwich is a popular takeout choice.
  • Rakuza Koyoken
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Ina-shi Takatomachi Obara 305-1
    A restaurant established in 1924 which serves local Nagano cuisine such as Takato soba noodles and dishes made with horsemeat. The restaurant is situated along Prefectural Route 209 Sawando Takato line, which passes through Takato-machi in Ina City. Nagano Prefecture has produced horses since ancient times and horsemeat hotpot, horsemeat sashimi, and other horsemeat dishes are still rooted in local culture. Here in this restaurant customers can enjoy this traditional horsemeat cuisine via combo meals, steaks, and more. Particularly popular is the oukadon, a rice bowl topped with horsemeat sashimi and shredded perilla. Horsemeat is healthy and low in calories, making it easy to recommend to women, as well.
  • Natsuzawa Kosen
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Toyohira Higashidake National Forest
    This bathing facility is in Chino City, Nagano Prefecture. It's located at a 2,600-meter year-round mountain hut at a central trailhead in the Mt. Yatsugatake. When the snow is deep, you can't access it without a snowcat. It's an off-the-beaten-track hot spring with an abundance of metasilicic acid. The hut has plenty of amenities, and you can even borrow a hot water bottle at bed time.
  • Chikufudo Obuse Main Store
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    973 Obuse-cho, Kamakitai-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    This famous Japanese confection shop uses Japanese chestnuts, a local Obuse specialty, in place of the more common sweet red bean paste. The shop on the first floor sells delicious sweets such as kuri yokan (chestnut jelly blocks), kuri dorayaki (sponge cake with chestnut paste), and kuri kanoko (chestnut paste with molasses). In the second floor restaurant, diners can enjoy fresh-made sweets, rice with chestnuts, and traditional Shinshu (Nagano) cuisine. The restaurant’s parking lot is free for customers for the first two hours.
  • Ogawa no Shou Oyakimura
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Kamiminochigunogawamura Takafu 6937
    An oyaki dumpling shop and restaurant located in Takafu, Ogawa Village, Kamiminochi County. The establishment serves oyaki, handmade soba noodles, and seasonal dishes. The establishment also has a Jomon period-style pit dugout dwelling where you can make an oyaki and cook it on the irori sunken hearth, then eat them.
  • Kanko-so (Okaya Main Shop)
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Okayashi Kawagishihigashi 5-18-14
    This long-established eel restaurant is near the Tenryu River in Okaya City, Nagano Prefecture. They serve jiyaki kabayaki style eel from Kansai, charcoal grilled without steaming. Their namabushi-don rice bowl with a sauce mixed with wasabi and leek is popular. The shop can seat 120 guests, and has a large parking lot, too. Lots of people travel from afar to eat here, and there can be a line to get in, especially on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Marusei
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano prefecture Nagano-shi Motomachi 486
    This is a restaurant in the center of the path leading to the Zenkoji Temple. The restaurant’s sauce katsudon, topped with fried pork cutlets smothered in a homemade sauce and fried eggs, are made according to the same recipe as when Marusei opened after the end of the Second World War, providing Zenkoji Temple worshippers with a familiar flavor. Marusei also offers a set including its famous katsudon with stone ground soba (buckwheat) noodles.
  • Monzensaryo Yayoiza
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano prefecture Nagano-shi Daimon cho 503
    This restaurant is housed inside a tatami wholesaler's built in the Edo period. Here diners can enjoy carefully prepared local cuisine which incorporates Shinshu (Nagano) and seasonal ingredients. Popular menu items include the steamed Shinshu beef and country-style usuyaki crepes made with 100% buckwheat flour and dressed with sweet miso and green onions. Located right next to the entrance to the road leading to the Zenkoji Temple.
  • Tofu Ryori Marui
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Asamaonsen 1-30-7
    Marui Tofu Restaurant is located at the Hot Plaza Asama bus stop, 30 minutes from the Matsumoto Interchange. It is under the direct ownership of a venerable tofu shop founded in 1930. In addition to small plates like Dengaku (roasted tofu glazed with miso) and Tokkuri Mushi (tofu steamed in a three-layer ceramic beaker), the restaurant also serves a Tofu Lunch, with ingredients changing from day to day. There are five-course dinner included Tokkuri Mushi. Dishes made from o-kara (soy pulp) and yuba (tofu skin) are also available, along with non-tofu dishes, such as Motsuni (tripe stew), Oden (fish cake and vegetable stew), salad, and others.
  • Vegetari-an Fuwari-ya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Komoroshi Hishidaira 533-1
    Fuwariya Mushroom Forest is a 15-minute drive from the Komoro Interchange or 20 minutes from Komoro Station. This unique restaurant, housed in what looks like a single-family home in the Mt. Asama area, offers up a menu focused on wild plants and mushrooms. In the spring, customers can enjoy bamboo shoots, and in the fall, they can enjoy dishes full of mushrooms. Since ingredients and cooking methods vary, depending on what shipments come in and what is available to harvest, customers like to come back again and again. Customers who want to order the Matsutake Mushroom Zukushi must make reservations and may choose either local or foreign mushrooms. The restaurant can respond to all kinds of customers' needs, with spaces ranging from single rooms to rooms accommodating up to 60 persons at once.
  • Aoito (Hige no Tonkatsu)
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Ina-shi Nishiminowa 7010-1
    "A long-established shop said to be the originator of ""Sauce Katsu-don,"" a deep fried pork cutlet rice bowl. They prepare this Nagano specialty by smothering the cutlet with their secret sauce and placing it on rice with heaps of cabbage. It's not cooked with egg like many kinds of pork cutlets, so you can really enjoy the pork's crispy texture and meatiness. Another popular item is their pork loin katsu-don, featuring a nice balance of flavor and fatty meat. The beautifully cooked cutlet is soft and juicy and bursts with flavor when you take a bite. They are also known for their soft and juicy pork fillet katsu-don as well as their deep fried shrimp and pork fillet katsu-don Japanese style meal sets."
  • Aokiya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Shimoina-gun Achimura Chisato 4224-1
    A restaurant located on the Nagano Prefecture side of the Mt. Ena tunnel on the Chuo Expressway. There you can dine on fish dishes made with amago trout and char raised in clear streams flowing from 2,191-meter Mt. Ena. Nothing beats eating the salt-grilled fish around the tables with built-in fire pits. You'll definitely want to order gohei-mochi rice cakes, an Ina Valley local favorite smothered in a secret sauce made with walnuts and Japanese pepper. They also have a fishing pond and you can grill or fry the fish you catch right at the shop. Of course, they'll clean them for you to take home, too.
  • Mine No Chaya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Kitasaku-gun Karuizawamachi Nagakura 2131-2
    A restaurant at the starting point of the Shiraito Highland Way connecting Kita-Karuizawa and Kyu-Karuizawa. A veteran shop with a 100-year-plus history, it was originally a lodge for climbers on Mt. Asama. Today it's still a break spot for travelers, serving soba and udon noodles, cake, drinks, and other light fare. Some trails and trailheads are close by, so many people stop in for a break while checking their maps. It's about 30 minutes by car from Karuizawa Station and is a great place to unwind with a high ceiling and a modern atmosphere.
  • Otokichi
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Kiso-gun Nagisomachi Azuma 1223-1
    This restaurant is on the Nakasendo Road in Tsumago-juku, which has been designated as Japan's first Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. They serve rustic yamaga-ryori cuisine as it's been made since the old days. You'll enjoy dining in this former post town while taking in the seasonal scenery. Their specialty is the Otokichi Teishoku meal set with Shinshu salmon sashimi, salt-grilled char, tempura, and side dishes. They also provide items like wild vegetable and matsutake mushroom dishes, as well as authentic soba noodles. You can visit their adjacent bonsai garden for free.
  • Shokusai Chubo Watabetei
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Azumino Hotaka 4361
    A kappo Japanese izakaya pub and restaurant which makes use of local Azumino ingredients. The restaurant is filled with bottles of shochu carefully selected by the proprietor. The restaurant's menu consists of highly original dishes such as fresh seafood ordered from Toyosu, whole chicken dishes, and kushiyaki and kushiage grilled and fried skewers. Open for lunch, as well, during this time the establishment serves a daily lunch specials and creative combo meals. The Shinshu salmon-don rice bowl, topped with hearty portions of Azumino's famous Shinshu salmon, is one of the most popular items on the menu.
  • Tsukinowa
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Komagane-shi Akaho 16616-1
    A pesticide-free, chemical fertilizer-free, organic kamameshi rice dish restaurant. In addition to a la carte dishes, here customers can enjoy 16 to 18 varieties of kamameshi, such as the mushroom kamameshi combo made with sesame-seasoned shimeji and maitake mushrooms; and the harasu and bacon kamameshi combo made with crisply sauteed fatty wild sockeye salmon belly and homemade, additive-free bacon. From fall to spring, meals come with the restaurant's signature kenchin jiru soup, while from early summer to fall, meals are served with a seasonal miso soup.
  • Nakakichi
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Komoro-shi Yoramachi 4-1-5
    A 10-minute drive from the Komoro Interchange and a 15-minute walk from Komoro Station. This creative cuisine and kushiyaki grilled skewer dish restaurant is situated a short distance north of the intersection between Prefectural Route 40 and the Jabori River. The restaurant is only open for lunch on Fridays through Sunday and for dinner on Thursday through Sunday. The restaurant operates out of a remodeled building which was used by a paper wholesaler from the Meiji to the early Showa periods. The interior combines the old fashioned with the modern and customers can enjoy entirely different dishes depending on whether they come for lunch or dinner. Focusing on using local ingredients, the restaurant's exquisite Shinshu Tateshina beef seiro meal is made with top quality Shinshu Tateshina beef and seasonal vegetables. Particularly recommended kushiyaki choices include the tsukune kushi with tare sauce, and the five skewer kushiyaki assortment.
  • Sakuraya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Matsumoto-shi Ote 4-9-1
    A two-minute walk from the Marunouchi bus stop and a five-minute walk from Matsumoto Castle. This long-standing eel restaurant was established in 1920 and can be reached by leaving from Matsumoto Castle's Kuromon gate, walking down Daimyocho-dori Street, and taking a left at the second intersection. The restaurant serves Kansai-style kabayaki charcoal grilled, un-steamed eel with a secret recipe sauce. The restaurant's eel meat is not fatty or greasy, enabling diners to enjoy the true flavor of the ingredients used. The restaurant is dedicated to giving customers the chance to enjoy the flavor of traditional kabayaki inexpensively and in a casual environment. The restaurant's signature dish is its eel sasa-mushi - kabayaki grilled eel served with rice rolled up in a bamboo grass leaf. The restaurant also offers eel donburi rice bowls and eel combo meals; some of the restaurant's menu is also available for takeout.
  • Japanese Restaurant Kurabu
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Kamitakai-gun Obusemachi Obuse 807
    A Japanese restaurant which serves local regional cuisine. The restaurant serves a variety of dishes made with local ingredients, including char and other river fish; Nagano meats; and fresh vegetables, mushrooms, and beans from local farms. Offering colorful lunch combos, char takikomi gohan rice made with a real kama stove, kama stove-cooked white rice, and more, is the reason why this establishment is so popular is because its food enables the diner to enjoy the innate flavors of the ingredients used. The restaurant takes particular pride in its Shinshu Daio Iwana char grown in the pure rivers of Sakuho Town; many people love its delicate flavor. The restaurant's wines and renowned Nagano liquors such as Masuichi sake are also exceptional.
  • Koinishi (Main Restaurant)
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Ueda-shi Tenjin 1-9-19
    A river fish cuisine restaurant located a five-minute walk from JR Ueda Station. The first floor is a shop which sells local specialty products and foods made primarily with fish caught in the Chikuma River. On the second floor, the restaurant serves river fish cuisine, and customers can enjoy the tastes of the Chikuma River, such as umani sweet-stewed carp and shioyaki salt broiled river fish, alongside kotsuzake - hot sake served over broiled fish bones and fins. The restaurant's signature dish is its sweetfish ramen; this salt ramen's vaunted broth is made by slowly simmering wild-caught sweetfish. The ramen is topped with a grelled sweetfish with salt and sweetfish dumplings modeled after the Rokumonsen crest of the Sanada clan.

Nagano Areas

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Nagano prefecture is an exciting mix of mountains, hot spring monkeys, and preserved Edo history. At the heart of the Japanese Alps, Nagano is one of the country’s most popular destinations, whether in winter for its snow sports and the much-loved Jigokudani Monkey Park or in the warmer months for discovering the undulating hills on foot. For fantastic Edo architecture, head to the Kiso Valley for a 60-kilometer stretch of quaint wooden buildings that marked the Nakasendo route 200 years ago.

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