Japanese Cuisine in Kochi
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What to Eat in Kochi
- Kochi is a culinary mecca filled with gems worth exploring. No matter whether you’re hunting the classic seafood fare, a sweet snack, or the perfect drinking accompaniment, there’s something to find here. So loosen those belts and dive straight in. Boshi Pan Boshi Pan Translating directly as ‘hat bread’, the boshi pan is a uniquely shaped sweet bread and a Kochi favorite. It’s said that this particular snack was created unintentionally, after a forgetful baker made a mistake while cooking the more commonly loved melon pan and the result was this: a delicious, fun to eat hat shaped bun. If you want to try it for yourself, head over to Rimberu near Horizume a popular café and bakery and boshi pan specialist located just down the road from Horizume Station. Visit between 7am and 6pm to get your hands on a bun or two. Kokera sushi Kokera sushi While there is no shortage of seafood in Kochi, the local specialty kokera sushi adds a new style to a classic. This vibrant and colorful type of multi-layered oshizushi (pressed sushi) features rice and is mixed with flaked grilled fish and yuzu citrus vinegar, and topped with shiitake mushrooms and carrots. Locals eat kokera sushi during celebrations and festivals because they say that the layers are like “piles of happiness” stacked on top of one another. For kokera sushi served with a smile, head to No-ne Kitchen on a Saturday morning between 7.30am and midday. This covered market stall is run by a friendly group of housewives that cook up the sushi from scratch using tools that have been used for kokera sushi making since its invention. Ko-Uchi Café Ko-Uchi Café Start off your day with a warm cup of coffee and a fluffy treat at Ko-Uchi Café along the Kyomachi Shotengai. Ko-Uchi Café is one of only two locations offering Portland Roasting Coffee and here you can drink their Nomo blend. Their coffee and morning treats will surely get you in the right mood to explore the city center and beyond. Sea House Sea House Sea House is a stylish two-storey cafe restaurant located along the coastThe store is covered with glass and it feels as if it were floating in the sea..Here, you ought to enjoy the extensive menu of seafood dishes among other mouthwatering options while taking in the calming 180-degree views of the down below. Katsuo no tataki Katsuo no tataki Arguably Kochi’s most famous dish is katsuo no tataki, a fresh, very softly broiled, sliced bonito tuna dish served on a bed of spring onions, ginger, garlic and topped with seasoning salt or soy sauce and vinegar or citrus. Traditionally, katsuo no tataki is meant to be broiled over a straw fire until the outer layer is ever so gently grilled. However, these days ambitious local chefs have reinvented the dish and Myojinmaru is one place where you can try a brand new interpretation of an old favorite. Focusing on bonito as their menu staple, this intimate and laid back local restaurant chain serves a special dish known as the katsuo tataki burger, a recreation of an old classic. Pera-yaki Pera-yaki If you love the Japanese classic okonomiyaki, then you have to try pera-yaki here in Kochi. Born in Nishimura in 1956, it’s a hearty and comforting mix of green onions, katsuobushi (dried bonito), minced tempura and eggs folded up in a thin baked okonomiyaki like dough and topped with sauce and mayonnaise. It looks almost like a burrito-omelet hybrid. Available year round, this snack is sold in a number of places throughout Nishimura City, so if you stumble across a hot pan frying up a little pera-yaki, be sure to grab one for the road. Gyoza from Yatai Yasube Gyoza from Yatai Yasube For fans of gyoza (Japanese dumplings) don’t miss the chance to visit Yatai Yasube on Kochi Yatai Road. Home to the area’s best gyoza, this little outdoor-indoor strip is populated by vendors slinging the easy to eat fried dumplings long into the evening. Feeling more like an outdoor event than a typical dining experience, it’s a great place to unwind, fill up, and sip sake as you meet the locals and watch Kochi life pass by. Gyoza from Yatai Yasube Gyoza from Yatai Yasube ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
Nightlife in Kochi
- Kochi, the birthplace of Sakamoto Ryoma, and the capital of the former Tosa Region, is not the place one would usually think of as a party city. But if you are fortunate enough to make it to this charming city while on a visit to Japan, we urge you to leave the comfort of your hotel room and head out into the night. The city will slowly reveal its party face and will show you a really fun night out. Suigei Tei 酔鯨亭 Foodie or not, a night out in Kochi City should start out with a local treat. In this coastal city that means treating yourself to Katsuo-no-tataki, a version of bonito or skipjack tuna grilled over flames and served seared on the outside but raw on the inside. One of the best local restaurants serving this delicacy is Suigei Tei. The vibe here is very traditional and cozy, and although you might be intimidated by the Japanese signs on the wall, there is an English menu available and some of the staff are more than happy to try out their English skills to help you order the right dish. Irish Pub Amontillado If you cannot get your night going without satisfying your beer cravings first, then head over to Irish Pub Amontillado. For serious beer drinkers, this is the go-to pub in Kochi City and if you happen to be in town during the St. Patrick’s Day’s festivities, this is the party hub. They offer a list of 11 different brews between foreign and domestic brands and a decent variety of western pub food. Hirome Market For those who prefer to hang out with a larger crowd while having a wider range of food and drink options to choose from, then we recommend making your way down the Hirome Market near Kochi Castle. More than a market, Hirome is a food court bustling with the energy of both locals and tourists looking to try out one many food stalls serving Katsuo-no-Tataki, chicken wings, gyoza, and even a small market selling appetizers and other treats for customers to sort of create their own “bento boxes”. Whatever you decide to try at Hirome Market, we’re certain you’ll have a lively time and, if you’re open to it, a good chance to connect with the locals. Francois When on the hunt for that tiny and unique jazz/whiskey bar, that you got to experience in Tokyo’s Golden Gai or the back streets of Kyoto, Kochi too has an ace up its sleeve. Bar Francois is an old-style bar in the Otesuji District where cocktail-making is taken seriously and good conversation can be enjoyed over a classic whiskey on the rocks or a more adventurous concoction. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time in this hidden gem. 55 Ryoma Dori and Gold by ParaっP When going deeper into the city’s nightlife is your thing, then 55 Ryoma Dori awaits nestled in the old buildings of the Otesuji District. You can say this is Kochi’s Yokocho alley although without the open-concept yakitori shops. Nevertheless, bars in this little strip like the unique and colorful Gold by ParaっP, which is filled with endless anime figurines and the lively character of its owner, are worthy of at least a stroll during your night out. If you make it past the big G at the front door, a 3,000 yen all-you-can-drink menu awaits, and mostly a very interesting time. En Tako えん蛸 By the sign on the front, it would seem as if you would be entering a takoyaki bar, but once you are greeted by the super friendly staff and settled at your table, you will realize you’re in for way more than advertised. En Tako is in our opinion one of the best bars in Kochi City, especially for those who love to round out their nights in Japan with good-old karaoke. The takoyaki is actually pretty tasty so the bar lives up to its name, but things get even better after a few songs on the mic and a few shots of Jagermeister downed. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
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The largest of Shikoku’s prefectures, Kochi is endowed with some of the island’s most exceptional sand beaches lining the Pacific Ocean, which narrows into the Shimanto-gawa, a huge river that stretches 196 kilometers into the prefecture, passing verdant mountains and hosting countless riverside activities. Whether you’re a pilgrim or not, Kochi’s 16 Buddhist temples that make up one leg of the Shikoku Pilgrimage are worth a visit, particularly Chikurin-ji for its five-tier pagoda.
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