Food Culture in Iwate and Kamaishi

Food Culture in Iwate and Kamaishi

If you are visiting the Iwate Prefecture to see the Rugby World Cup 2019, you should know that no trip to here is complete without tasting the local food! Authentic local cuisine is an integral part of any culture. Thanks to the Iwate’s enormous land area (the second largest prefecture in Japan after Hokkaido) and its rich natural environment, the prefecture is home to a wide selection of great, fresh foods. Some of Iwate Prefecture’s produce includes the A-ranked rice “Gin no Shizuku”, and famous Wagyu beef called “Maesawa beef”. There is also a great variety of traditional noodles and mochi (rice cake) dishes on offer. We hope we can help visitors better understand Iwate Prefectures’s food culture, so you can try some of the local culinary delights, and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Wanko Soba Noodles

Wanko Soba Noodles are a famous local dish available only in Iwate. Born out of a tradition of hospitality, Wanko Soba involves servers who keep giving you bite-sized portions of noodles until you’ve had your fill. The quicker you gulp down your soba noodles, the quicker you get a refill!

Iwate Wanko soba

Mochi Cuisine

Mochi is a sweet dessert made of pounded rice, and is available throughout Japan. However, in Ichinoseki City of Iwate Prefecture, they serve a special full-course mochi menu. Guests are served mochi in lacquerware bowls, topped with things like kinako (toasted soy flour), azuki (red bean paste), sesame, small shrimp, and zunda (mashed soy beans). Mochi shops and restaurants in Ichinoseki and Hiraizumi have joined to form the “Ichinoseki-Hiraizumi Mochi Road” to promote the local mochi culture, and they offer traditional meals as well as new recipes. This unique “mochi culture” is only available in southern Iwate Prefecture.

Mocha Cuisine, local cuisine in Iwate prefecture, Japan.

While you are in Kamaishi City for the Rugby World Cup game, you also won’t want to miss the opportunity to try the cities local food as well. Kamaishi City is known for its Kamaishi-style of ramen noodles, and its fishing industries and proximity to the ocean means there’s a large variety of fresh seafood on offer too. Kamaishi City is a wonderful place to try sushi or rice topped with freshly-caught fish and shellfish. What trip to Japan would be complete without some fresh sushi!

Kamaishi Ramen Noodles

Kamaishi Ramen is known for its extra thin noodles, and a light, soy sauce-based soup. Each restaurant offers its own unique take on the dish.

Iwate Kamaishi Ramen

Sushi and Other Seafood

The Sanriku Coast is known as one of the world’s best fishing areas, which means that Kamaishi is full of restaurants serving top quality, fresh seafood. It is particularly renowned for its sizable oysters (kaki, ) Japanese scallops (hotate,) sea urchin (uni,) and sea pineapple (hoya.)

Fresh sushi cuisine from The Sanriku Coast, Japan.