Wakayama's Local Cuisine: Explore Typical Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Wakayama's Local Cuisine: Explore Typical Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Wakayama's Local Cuisine: Explore Typical Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Wakayama, a prefecture located on the Kii Peninsula in Japan, offers a rich culinary experience that showcases the region's local flavors and traditions. With its proximity to the ocean and mountains, Wakayama boasts an abundance of fresh ingredients that are used to create delicious and unique dishes. Let's dive into the world of Wakayama's local cuisine.

Wakayama Ramen

One of the most popular dishes in Wakayama is Wakayama Ramen. Made with thick noodles, a soy-based soup, and topped with various ingredients such as tender chashu (braised pork), green onions, and menma (fermented bamboo shoots), this dish is a must-try for any ramen lover. The rich flavors of the soup and the perfect texture of the noodles make Wakayama Ramen a true delight.

Wakayama Mackerel Sushi

With its coastal location, it's no surprise that Wakayama is known for its fresh seafood. One of the standout seafood dishes in Wakayama is Mackerel Sushi. The mackerel used in this dish is caught directly from the Pacific Ocean, and its rich flavor and oily texture make it a favorite among locals. The mackerel is served on a bed of vinegared rice, creating a perfect harmony of flavors.

Kishu Plum

Wakayama is famous for its Kishu Plum, a type of plum grown in the region. The plums are sweet and tart, and they are used in a variety of dishes and beverages. You can find Kishu Plum in traditional Japanese sweets, plum wine, and even as a condiment for savory dishes. It's a versatile ingredient that adds a unique flavor to any dish.


Kue is a traditional dish from Wakayama that is made with pounded rice and various fillings. The fillings can range from sweet bean paste to savory ingredients such as vegetables or fish. Kue is shaped into small balls or cylinders, and it can be steamed, boiled, or grilled. This dish is often enjoyed during special occasions and festivals in Wakayama.

Restaurants to Try

  • Wakayama Ramen Ichiraku - Located in the heart of Wakayama City, this ramen shop is known for its flavorful broth and generous toppings. Don't miss out on their signature Wakayama Ramen!
  • Sushiya Wakayama - If you're craving fresh seafood, head to Sushiya Wakayama. They serve a variety of sushi and sashimi using the finest ingredients sourced locally.
  • Umekoujiya - For a taste of traditional Kishu Plum dishes, Umekoujiya is the place to go. From plum-infused desserts to plum liqueur, you'll find it all here.
  • Kakae - Kakae is a cozy restaurant that specializes in Kue. Their menu offers a variety of fillings, allowing you to experience the different flavors of this traditional dish.

Try These Recipes at Home

Wakayama Ramen Recipe


  • Thick ramen noodles
  • Pork belly (chashu)
  • Green onions
  • Menma (fermented bamboo shoots)
  • Seaweed
  • Chicken or pork broth
  • Soy sauce


  1. Cook the ramen noodles according to the package instructions.
  2. In a separate pot, heat the chicken or pork broth and add soy sauce to taste.
  3. Divide the cooked noodles into bowls and pour the hot broth over them.
  4. Add the chashu, green onions, menma, and seaweed as desired.
  5. Enjoy your homemade Wakayama Ramen!

Mackerel Sushi Recipe


  • Fresh mackerel fillets
  • Sushi rice (vinegared rice)
  • Wasabi
  • Soy sauce


  1. Cook the sushi rice according to package instructions and let it cool.
  2. Slice the mackerel fillets into thin pieces.
  3. Take a handful of sushi rice and shape it into small oval-shaped portions.
  4. Place a slice of mackerel on top of each rice portion.
  5. Serve the mackerel sushi with a side of soy sauce and wasabi.
  6. Enjoy the fresh and flavorful Mackerel Sushi!

Explore Wakayama's Local Cuisine