Tokyo Notebook

-・- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -・- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.

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30 2010

Long-sought Nagoya-meshi

I returned from Gifu (岐阜) by way of Nagoya (名古屋: Japan's third largest metropolitan region).
I didn’t have a chance to enjoy local specialties when I was there early this month. So this time, I decided to have “hitsumabushi (ひつまぶし)”, one of popular “Nagoya-meshi (名古屋めし: Nagoya cuisine)”.

It was so delicious!

Grilled eel coated with a sweet sauce (鰻の蒲焼) and eel bowl (鰻丼) are very common in Japan, but hitsumabushi has a distinctive style. First, eel is sliced. Second, it’s served in a wooden container called ohitsu (お櫃). Third, there’re 3 ways of eating.

1st serving: Simple eel & rice
2nd serving: Eel & rice with seasoning (green horseradish paste, dried laver seaweed and green onion)
3rd serving: 2nd one with soup stock poured over it (no picture)
4th serving: One of above you liked most (my favorite was 2nd one)

hitsumabushi2 hitsumabushi3

It’s a good idea to give variety to one eel dish. This is because, sometimes, I get tired of an eel bowl’s taste until I finish it if it’s delicious.

Hitsumabushi is available anywhere in Nagoya city, but I wanted to have it at a traditional restaurant, “Hourai-ken (蓬莱軒)” founded in 1873. Among three Hourai-ken restaurants in the city, I chose main one that is solitary house with a pretty garden in Atsuta ward.


If you visit there, be careful because it’s so popular that you have to wait at least half an hour in lunchtime. I recommend you to take a walk to Atsuta Shrine nearby during the waiting time. There are some reserved tables after 16:30.


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