Exploring Matsumoto's Local Cuisine: Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Exploring Matsumoto's Local Cuisine: Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Exploring Matsumoto's Local Cuisine: Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Matsumoto, a vibrant city in Nagano Prefecture Japan, is not only known for its captivating historical sites but also for its delicious local cuisine. With a rich culinary heritage, Matsumoto offers a wide array of traditional dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From savory noodles to unique local delicacies, here's a guide to help you explore Matsumoto's delightful world of cuisine.

1. Soba Noodles

Soba noodles, made from buckwheat, are a hallmark of Japanese cuisine, and Matsumoto is no exception. The city boasts several renowned soba restaurants, where you can indulge in a steaming bowl of these flavorful noodles. One popular local specialty is "Zaru Soba," which is served cold and enjoyed by dipping the noodles into a tangy soy-based sauce. Some recommended soba restaurants in Matsumoto include:

  • Sobadokoro Yamagataya
  • Sobashidokoro Sanjin
  • Sobayu

2. Shinshu Beef

Matsumoto is located in Nagano Prefecture, which is renowned for its high-quality beef. Shinshu beef, native to the region, is known for its tenderness and rich flavor. The beef is often served as succulent steak or thinly sliced for shabu-shabu (hot pot) dishes. Try a mouthwatering Shinshu beef dish at one of Matsumoto's top-notch steak houses:

  • Steakhouse Satono
  • Kurashikiya
  • Yakiniku Revenga

3. Basashi

A unique local delicacy of Matsumoto is Basashi, which is horse sashimi. Although it may sound unconventional to some, Basashi is a beloved dish in the region. The horse meat is thinly sliced and served raw, often accompanied by soy sauce and grated ginger. If you're feeling adventurous, head to one of Matsumoto's specialty Basashi restaurants to give it a try:

  • Basashi Yokocho
  • Basashi Sennin
  • Basashiya Hachiman

4. Oyaki

Oyaki is a popular snack in Matsumoto and the Nagano region as a whole. These steamed or grilled dumplings are usually filled with various ingredients such as pickles, vegetables, or sweet red beans. Get a taste of this local specialty at Matsumoto's quaint street food stalls or visit these recommended oyaki-focused establishments:

  • Oyaki Kobo Koka
  • Oyaki no Ie
  • Oyakiya Nishiya

5. Sake Tasting

No culinary exploration of Matsumoto would be complete without sampling some of the region's finest sake. Nagano Prefecture is known for its premium sake production, thanks to the clear mountain water and favorable rice cultivation conditions. Visit local sake breweries or traditional izakayas to experience the rich variety of sake flavors produced in the area. Here are some notable places to enjoy a sake tasting:

  • Chikumagawa Sake Brewery
  • Daimon Sake Brewery
  • Sake Bar Kirinoya


Zaru Soba

Ingredients: - 200g soba noodles - Soy-based dipping sauce - Toppings of your choice (spring onions, grated daikon, nori seaweed) Instructions: 1. Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions. 2. Drain and rinse the noodles under cold running water to remove any starch. 3. Arrange the soba noodles on a bamboo tray or a plate. 4. Serve with a small bowl of soy-based dipping sauce and your favorite toppings. 5. Dip the noodles in the sauce and enjoy!


Ingredients: - 200g horse meat (sashimi grade) - Soy sauce - Grated ginger Instructions: 1. Slice the horse meat into thin, bite-sized pieces. 2. Arrange the slices on a plate. 3. Serve with soy sauce and grated ginger on the side. 4. Dip the horse meat in the soy sauce, add some grated ginger, and savor the unique flavors!


Ingredients: - 200g flour - 100ml water - Filling of your choice (pickles, vegetables, sweet red beans) Instructions: 1. In a bowl, mix the flour and water to make a soft dough. 2. Knead the dough until smooth. 3. Divide the dough into small portions. 4. Flatten each portion and place a spoonful of your chosen filling in the center. 5. Fold the dough over the filling and seal the edges. 6. Steam or grill the oyaki until cooked through. 7. Serve hot and enjoy the delicious, savory or sweet dumplings! Now that you have an idea of Matsumoto's local cuisine, embark on a culinary adventure and savor the unique flavors this city has to offer. Indulge in the local specialties, visit the recommended restaurants, and experience the vibrant food culture that makes Matsumoto a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts.