7 Superb Gourmet Dishes to Try in Shikoku

Shikoku is an island in Japan made up by Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime and Kochi Prefectures. With the Pacific Ocean to the south, and the Seto Inland Sea to the north, this area is surrounded by an abundance of fresh seafood, vegetables, and meat. The vast nature has a big impact on the eating habits of those who live there. If you're interested to see what delicious foods have emerged as a result of their surroundings, keep reading!


Food & Drinks

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1. "Honetsuki-dori" - Ikkaku Dokigawa Branch [Marugame City, Kagawa]

One of the famous specialties of Kagawa is "Honetsuki-dori" (bone in chicken). Although this delicacy can be eaten at various locations, this is one of the most popular places to get it. This particular branch has a completely separate area for smokers, as well as a completely non-smoking tatami room in the basement. Customers should first order either the firm Oya-dori (1,008 yen) or the tender Hina-dori (894 yen). Both are fragrantly grilled meats that are ever so slightly spicy. 

Eating the seasoned rice and chicken dish Torimeshi (462 yen) alongside some meat is also highly recommended for those who wish to fully enjoy the delicious flavors of the chicken.

2. "Sanuki Udon" - Yamashita Udon [Zentsuji City, Kagawa]

Kagawa is so famous for Sanuki udon that it is often affectionately called the "Udon Prefecture". There are a number of Sanuki specialty restaurants dotted all over the prefecture, each displaying their very own flavor. Yamashita Udon is one of these specialty restaurants which are highly recommended. It is a self-service restaurant where customers first have to choose whether they want hot or cold udon. Kake-Udon (Small: 230 yen, Large: 280 yen) consists of firm noodles in a soup of dried sardine broth. It tastes amazing with basic toppings such as spring onions and tenkasu (crispy deep-fried tempura batter).

There is also an abundant side menu, including the likes of kakiage (120 yen), rice balls (2 for 120 yen), tempura (from 90 yen), and oden (100 yen). 

3. "Iya Soba" - Iya Soba Momiji-tei [Miyoshi City, Tokushima]

Iya soba is a particularly recommended dish among traditional local Tokushima cuisine. This dish only costs 930 yen at Momiji-tei, a lovely Japanese-style soba restaurant located inside an old Japanese house. The magnificent view of Yoshino River can be seen from the window.

All ingredients used are grown locally for local consumption. This restaurant takes pride in providing customers with a seasonal menu by only using in-season ingredients. Everything is also handmade – from the dashi (broth) and miso sauce, to the iwa-dofu. Of course, all of the soba is also carefully made by hand. The soba at this restaurant is quite thick and firm. The refreshing Iya Soba Sudachi (1,240 yen) comes with sudachi (a Japanese citrus fruit).

4. "Uwajima Tai-meshi" - Oshokuji-dokoro Hozumi-tei [Uwajima City, Ehime]

The specialty of Uwajima, Ehime has to be taimeshi (sea bream rice). In this dish, sea bream is thoroughly soaked in mirin (sweet cooking sake), soy sauce and dashi before being served on top of hot rice. This style of taimeshi is unique to this area and is a must-try. In other parts of Japan, the sea bream is mixed with the rice alongside various seasonings and then steamed.

Sea bream used in the Uwajima Taimeshi (950 yen) are as fresh as they can get as they are caught the very day they're served. Throwing in a raw egg gives this dish a tamago-kakegohan (raw egg mixed in hot rice with soy sauce) element to it.

5. "Yakibuta Tamago-meshi" - Hakuraten Imabari Main Branch [Imabari City, Ehime]

"Hakuraten, Imabari Main Branch" is a Chinese restaurant in Imabari City famous for their Yakibuta Tamago-Meshi (traditional roasted pork and egg rice) dish. This dish was originally made by a past owner for the staff at a different establishment, but it became so popular among the staff that it was incorporated into the menu when one of them opened his own restaurant. It is now the restaurant's signature dish. The dish consists of an egg cooked sunny side up and roasted pork placed on top of hot rice and covered with a salty-sweet sauce. Why not add some pepper for added enjoyment? The portions of rice are also very generous here.

The simple yet hearty Tokusho (special fried rice) (850 yen) is a highly recommended dish that is packed with vegetables and meat.

6. "Muroto Kinme-don" - Ryotei Kagetsu [Muroto City, Kochi]

Muroto Kinme-don, a specialty of Muroto, consists of a bowl of rice topped with seafood. Muroto City is the number one area to catch red snapper in the whole of Japan, and it is freshly used in abundance in this dish. Not only will the exterior of Ryotei Kagetsu get customers excited, but the interior also has the feel of a lovely old Japanese restaurant.

The Muroto Kinme-don (1,600 yen) is a dish where fish such as teriyaki red snapper and sashimi are placed over rice. Although tasty eaten just as it is, customers can also enjoy eating delicious ochazuke (rice mixed into red snapper dashi) afterwards.

7. "Tosa Katsuo-don" - Nabura Tosa Saga [Hata County, Kochi]

Nabura Tosa Saga is a food court that anyone can feel free to eat at. Seared bonito is what really sells this place, along with a wide variety of bonito cuisine that is also available on the menu such as Tataki-don (800 yen), Tare Tataki Teishoku (980 yen for 7 slices, or 1,200 yen for 10 slices), and Kuroshio Katsuo-don (850 yen). It isn’t an exaggeration to say that customers can easily enjoy all the specialties of Kuroshio here!

The Tosa Katsuo-Don (900 yen) consists of thickly seared bonito, fried bonito cutlets and minced bonito seasoned with salty-sweet soy sauce on rice. This restaurant really does have a very attractive menu full of bonito cuisine!

So, what do you think of the exquisite gourmet food of Shikoku? Although Shikoku is made up of 4 prefectures, customers can enjoy an abundance of local cuisine by visiting just one of them. Please drop by Shikoku and enjoy all the tasty exquisite delicacies that it has to offer!


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Shikoku Feature

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

About the author

I live in Hokkaido, but I used to live in Tokyo, and would often travel around the Kanto region. I enjoy interesting townscapes and ancient culture. I love natural scenery as well!

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