Exploring Yamaguchi: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Yamaguchi: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Yamaguchi: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Yamaguchi, located in the southwestern part of Japan, is a region known for its rich culinary traditions and delicious local dishes. The cuisine of Yamaguchi is influenced by both the sea and the mountains, creating a unique blend of flavors that are sure to delight your taste buds. From fresh seafood to hearty stews, here are some of the must-try dishes and restaurants to visit when exploring Yamaguchi.

Local Dishes


Fugu, also known as pufferfish, is a delicacy in Yamaguchi. This poisonous fish is skillfully prepared by licensed chefs who remove the toxic parts to ensure a safe and delicious meal. Fugu can be enjoyed in various ways, including sashimi, hot pots, and even deep-fried. Make sure to try it at a reputable restaurant to experience this unique and adventurous dish.


Ankimo, or monkfish liver, is another specialty of Yamaguchi. Often referred to as the "foie gras of the sea," ankimo has a rich and creamy texture that melts in your mouth. It is usually served as a chilled appetizer, seasoned with soy sauce and garnished with grated daikon radish. The unique flavor of ankimo makes it a must-try delicacy when in Yamaguchi.


Iwakuni-zushi is a type of sushi that originated in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi. Unlike traditional sushi, Iwakuni-zushi is made with vinegar-seasoned rice wrapped in thinly sliced omelet instead of nori (seaweed). The omelet gives the sushi a slightly sweet taste and a soft texture. Some popular fillings for Iwakuni-zushi include grilled eel, shrimp, and pickled vegetables. Don't miss the chance to try this local twist on sushi.


If you're looking to experience the best of Yamaguchi's cuisine, make sure to visit these renowned restaurants:


Located in the heart of Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi-ya is a traditional Japanese restaurant that offers a wide range of local dishes. Their menu highlights fresh seafood, such as sashimi and grilled fish, as well as seasonal vegetables and exquisite tofu dishes. The cozy atmosphere and attentive service make Yamaguchi-ya a favorite among locals and tourists alike.


For those seeking a more upscale dining experience, Miyakowasure is the place to go. This renowned restaurant specializes in kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese meal that showcases the freshest ingredients of the season. Each dish at Miyakowasure is beautifully presented and carefully crafted to showcase the flavors and textures of Yamaguchi's local produce. With a serene ambiance and impeccable service, Miyakowasure offers a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Traditional Recipes

Saba Misoni

Saba Misoni is a classic Yamaguchi dish made with mackerel simmered in a flavorful miso sauce. The dish is characterized by its tender and succulent fish, paired with the rich umami flavors of the miso. To prepare Saba Misoni, you will need the following ingredients: - 2 fresh mackerel fillets - 2 tablespoons of miso paste - 1 tablespoon of sugar - 1 tablespoon of soy sauce - 1 cup of dashi (Japanese broth) - Green onions (for garnish) 1. Rinse the mackerel fillets and pat them dry with a paper towel. 2. In a small bowl, mix together the miso paste, sugar, soy sauce, and dashi to make the sauce. 3. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sauce mixture. 4. Place the mackerel fillets in the skillet and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. 5. Cook the mackerel for about 5 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked and tender. 6. Garnish with chopped green onions before serving. Serve Saba Misoni with steamed rice and a bowl of miso soup for a comforting and delicious meal.

Iwakuni Oden

Iwakuni Oden is a popular hot pot dish in Yamaguchi, perfect for warming up during the colder months. This hearty and flavorful dish is made with a variety of ingredients, including tofu, fish cakes, vegetables, and konnyaku (a jelly-like substance made from a type of potato). Here's how you can make Iwakuni Oden at home: - 1 package of oden soup mix - Assorted ingredients such as tofu, fish cakes, daikon radish, boiled eggs, and konnyaku, cut into bite-sized pieces 1. Following the instructions on the oden soup mix, prepare the soup in a large pot. 2. Bring the soup to a simmer and add the tofu, fish cakes, daikon radish, boiled eggs, and konnyaku. 3. Allow the ingredients to cook in the simmering soup for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender. 4. Serve the Iwakuni Oden hot, along with some of the soup, in individual bowls. Feel free to customize your Iwakuni Oden by adding other ingredients of your choice, such as mushrooms or seafood, for a personalized touch.