Photo: Kitakata Ramen at Shokudo Namae – Jun Seita / CC BY 2.0
Photo: Kitakata Ramen at Shokudo Namae – Jun Seita / CC BY 2.0
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Fukushima: Food Guide

World-famous cuisine filled with history and culture

Fukushima is rich in history and culture, and it definitely does not lack in offering a wide range of world-famous cuisine. While Fukushima was the location of the 2011 nuclear accident that occurred due to a powerful earthquake, there is so much more to this prefecture’s history, people, and food. Don’t miss out on these extraordinary Fukushima original dishes.

Kitakata Ramen

Photo: Kitakata Ramen at Shokudo Namae – Jun Seita / CC BY 2.0

Fukushima Prefecture offers plenty of opportunities to taste local specialties. The ramen of Kitakata in the western part of the prefecture is the city’s specialty and is considered one of Japan's most famous noodles. The noodles are characterized by their flatness, and the aging process gives them the perfect texture to hold up to the hot broth. The dish is often served with sliced pork, simmered bamboo shoots and spring onions. If you’re a ramen lover, Kitakata City is the place to go!

Enban Gyoza (dumplings)

Enban Gyoza dumplings served in traditional disc-shape
Enban Gyoza dumplings served in traditional disc-shape (Photo: Tom Roseveare / JT)

Gyoza are one of Japan’s most cherished dishes, and no one does them like Fukushima City. Noted for its enban gyoza, Fukushima City is home to over a dozen eateries that serve the crescent-shaped dumplings. The dumplings are filled with a variety of vegetables and other ingredients, fried and served in the form of a disk. This method is the traditional style of cooking gyoza in Fukushima, and the many gyoza restaurants in the city all have their own unique flavors and history for visitors to enjoy.

Fukushima Peaches

Peaches on the fruit line
Peaches on the fruit line (Photo: Tom Roseveare / JT)

Fukushima is known as “fruit paradise,” and for good reason. Masters of agriculture and crop production, the prefecture is famous for producing what the locals call the Fukushima Eleven: rice, cucumbers, asparagus, tomatoes, peaches, Japanese pear, gentian flowers, Fukushima beef, Fukushima chicken, nameko mushrooms, and flatfish. The most notable item on this list is Fukushima's peaches, which are noted for their sweetness. In fact, 20% of Japan’s peaches are grown in Fukushima, making them the prefecture’s pride. Whether you enjoy eating them on their own or in the form of jam or jelly, don’t miss out on trying some of Japan’s sweetest peaches!

Kozuyu

A local dish of Fukushima Prefecture. Shot at Ouchi-juku, Fukushima
A local dish of Fukushima Prefecture. Shot at Ouchi-juku, Fukushima (Photo: Kozuyu – Opqr / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Known as Fukushima’s soul food, Kozuyu is a traditional soup that is primarily served on holidays and during celebrations, but you can still find the dish in local restaurants. The recipe has been passed down by families in central Aizu for generations. The dish is characterized by its clear broth that is cooked with dried scallops and vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, konjac noodles and bamboo shoots. If you order this ceremonial soup, you’ll find that the dish is served in unique lacquerware bowls that are locally produced in the area.

Shirakawa Daruma Burger

Shirakawa Durama are traditional Japanese dolls that are considered lucky charms linked to prayer. The design of the Shirakawa Durama Burger is based on the dolls, which are a local and traditional craft in Shirakawa City. It is believed that those who eat the burger will have good luck and have their wishes fulfilled. The burger is also made with curry flavoring that is supposed to increase fortune and other lucky ingredients, like tomatoes. If these prosperous elements weren’t enough, the burger is also made with carefully selected, safe and high-quality local ingredients. The burger buns are heart-shaped and branded with the words "I LOVE 白河 (Shirakawa)" and are made of rice flour. You can find these unique burgers and other local dishes in the restaurant, Ninomaru Chaya, located in Shirakawa park.

Iwaki Jumbo-Sized Foods

Iwaki City, located in Hamadori in eastern Fukushima, is famous for its jumbo-sized foods, which were started by local governments to revitalize the town. The area has become a “big gourmet” place with all sorts of jumbo-sized dishes, like pastries, sandwiches, rice bowls, meat cutlets, and varieties of both Western and Japanese dishes. Some of the most famous places in the area are Shiratsuchiya Confectionery Store, known for their “Super Large Jumbo Cream Puffs,” and Yakikatsutaro, known for their “Jumbo Yakikatsu,” which weighs 450 grams! Try these gigantic portions in Iwaki with your travel buddies for a wonderfully strange, challenging, and extraordinary food experience.

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