Exploring Matsue's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Matsue's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Matsue's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Welcome to Matsue, a beautiful city located in the Shimane Prefecture of Japan. Known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, Matsue also offers a wide variety of authentic and delicious cuisine to delight your taste buds. In this guide, we will take you on a culinary journey through Matsue's local dishes, recommend some fantastic restaurants, and even share a few traditional recipes for you to try at home.

Local Dishes

When it comes to local dishes, Matsue has something for everyone. From mouthwatering seafood to hearty traditional Japanese fare, here are a few must-try dishes:

  • Seki-saba: A local specialty known as "Seki mackerel," this dish features fresh mackerel caught in the nearby Sea of Japan. It is typically served grilled or sashimi-style, enhancing the natural flavors of the fish.
  • Shijimi: Matsue is famous for its shijimi clams, which are a key ingredient in many local dishes. You can enjoy them in a comforting bowl of shijimi soup or in a variety of other dishes, like pasta or rice-based dishes.
  • Izumo soba: Izumo soba is a type of buckwheat noodle dish that originates from the neighboring city of Izumo. With its unique texture and flavor, it has become a beloved dish in Matsue as well. Don't forget to try it with some regional soba dipping sauce!
  • Matsuba crab: If you visit Matsue during the winter months, you can indulge in the famous Matsuba crab. Known for its succulent meat and sweet flavor, it is often enjoyed grilled, steamed, or in hot pots.


Now that you know what to eat, let's explore some of the best restaurants in Matsue to savor these local delicacies:

1. Matsue Gintarou Honten

This long-standing restaurant is known for its traditional Japanese cuisine and serene atmosphere. Their menu features a wide range of local dishes, including seki-saba, shijimi clam dishes, and other seasonal specialties. Don't miss their beautifully presented sushi and sashimi platters!

2. Sobakobo Matsuya

If you're a fan of Izumo soba, Sobakobo Matsuya is a must-visit. This charming restaurant specializes in handmade soba noodles, crafted with care using locally sourced buckwheat flour. Pair your soba with their flavorful dipping sauces, and you're in for a treat.

3. Kani Doraku Matsue

Crab lovers rejoice! Kani Doraku Matsue is the place to go for indulging in fresh Matsuba crab. This restaurant offers an extensive menu featuring various crab dishes, such as grilled crab legs, crab hot pots, and even crab sushi. Prepare for a crab feast like no other!

Traditional Recipes

For those who want to recreate the flavors of Matsue at home, here are a couple of traditional recipes to try:

Izumo Soba


  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Soba dipping sauce (tsuyu)
  • Green onions, thinly sliced (for garnish)


  1. Mix the buckwheat flour and all-purpose flour together in a large bowl.
  2. Add water gradually, kneading the dough until it becomes firm but not sticky.
  3. Divide the dough into smaller portions and roll each portion into a thin sheet.
  4. Cut the sheets into thin noodles using a sharp knife or a soba-cutting gadget.
  5. Cook the noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  6. Drain the noodles and rinse them briefly with cold water.
  7. Serve the soba with a side of soba dipping sauce (tsuyu) and garnish with thinly sliced green onions.