16 local cuisines that you must eat in Shikoku area
In Shikoku, which consists of Tokushima prefecture, Kagawa prefecture, Ehime prefecture and Kochi prefecture, there are numerous local cuisines, beginning from Sanuki Udon and Katsuo no Tataki (seared bonito) that boasts nationwide fame, to cuisines not yet widely known. ANA carried out a project in collaboration with “Tastes of JAPAN by ANA,” which works to discover the most charming locations all over the country, and Trip Advisor to introduce local cuisines from each of Shikoku’s four prefectures, along with popular shops in each location based on word of mouth reviews.
Tastes of Japan by ANA is a regional revitalization project by ANA with local regions to spread the word about Japanese treasures still unknown to Japan and beyond. Chugoku and Shikoku regions are featured from December 2018 to May 2019. Click here for details.
Gourmet Popular in Tokushima Prefecture
This is a local ramen that can be divided into 3 types, the “white type” tonkotsu (pork bone) soup, the “yellow type” that adds light soy sauce to chicken bone broth, etc., and the “brown type” which adds soy sauce, etc. to pork bone broth. It is often eaten as a dinner side dish and is characterized by its slightly smaller quantity and rich flavor.
Inotani（Tokushima） Having opened up a stall in the “Ramen Museum” in Shin-Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, this is an old-established store that acted as the catalyst for Tokushima Ramen to become known nationwide. It is brown-type Tokushima ramen and raw egg topping is the standard.
This is a premium locally raised chicken in Tokushima that boasts the highest production volume of any locally raised chicken in the country. The somewhat reddened meat is low fat and has a springy texture. Analyses have found that the meat contains many umami components. Simple charcoal grill is recommended for extracting unique flavors out of this special Tokushima product.
Ikko Tokushima Honten（Tokushima）The “Bone chicken”, thigh meat with bones attached seasoned with seventeen kinds of spices and seasoning, aged, then baked in a specially made pot, is a specialty. The spicy seasoning matches the rich and delicious flavor of the Awaodori, and also works well with sake.
I ordered the main awaodori with bone attached unsliced and I was impressed by the fragrant, large meat crisped to perfection. Slicing the meat with scissors, you are able to experience the flavor spreading throughout your mouth to your heart’s content.Reviewed by babumanabu
This is a local cuisine that is said to have originated with female shell divers, fishermen, and so on making a fire on the beach and grilling seafood in order to warm their cold bodies. Currently, dishes are cooked using appliances such as a table top stove, and is popular as a heartily mesh-grilled cuisine of freshly caught shrimp, abalone etc.
Shishikui（Tokushima） This is a popular restaurant where you can taste fresh Ise shrimp and seafood directly from Shishikuicho, in the southern part of Tokushima Prefecture at a reasonable price. A professional griller will grill live fish and shellfish at your table.
At the foothill of Tokushima Prefecture’s highest mountain, Mt. Tsurugi, this countryside soba was passed down through the Iya region, once said to be a “hidden location”. The soba made with Iya’s clean water and local flour is thicker and shorter than regular soba and because there is little connection, you can enjoy the original flavor of soba.
Iya Bijin（Miyoshi） This is a soba restaurant attached to an inn located near Iya’s symbolic “Kazura Bridge”. There you can taste handmade Iya soba arranged into smooth flat noodles.
Gourmet Popular in Kagawa Prefecture
Sanuki udon, characterized by the thickness of its noodles, is representative of Shikoku cuisine. Due to increased recognition and popularity, there is an increasing number of stores offering Sanuki udon in various locations around the country anymore. Along with the texture, the secret to its popularity is the numerous variations in how you can eat it, such as “zaru udon”, “kama-age Udon,” “bukkake udon” and so on.
Yamagoeudon（Ayagawa-cho）This restaurant is the origin of “Kamata udon,” which mixes eggs into kama-age udon and is eaten with soup stock or soy sauce. It is popular for the atmosphere you experience in the garden while taking in the seasons.
Bone-chicken, a cuisine of Marugame city, is, as the name suggests, grilled chicken thigh meat. There are two kinds of tastes, the soft and juicy “hina” and the somewhat hard, but addictive “oya”. The rich salt, pepper and garlic flavor goes well with sake.
Ikkaku Takamatsu（Takamatsu）This restaurant, which opened in 1952, was the origin of bone-chicken. Inside the shop, people can be seen all over the place digging into the hot, juicy chicken.
Kagawa prefecture is famous not only for olives, but also for its “olive hamachi” (olive yellowtail), which are cultured through being fed leaf powder from Kagawa olives. The fleshy quality of the yellowtail is improved by the influence of the polyphenol ingredients abundantly contained in the olives, and it is said to be characterized by a refreshing and healthy taste.
Michi-no-Eki Genpei no Sato Mure（Takamatsu）In the self-service “Kaisen Shokudo Jakoya” (Seafood Eatery Jakoya) located in the facility, seafood dishes created by the hands of local mothers are lined up. Olive yellowtail tsukedon (raw fish dipped in soy sauce served on top of rice) are a popular menu item.
Wasanbon, a special product in eastern Shikoku in areas such as Kagawa prefecture and Tokushima prefecture, has been regarded as the finest quality sugar since the Edo period, and has become popular as a raw material for higashi (sweets). It is made from sugarcane called ” chikuto” (bamboo sugar), has a mellow and sweet taste, and it is still widely used as a material for luxury Japanese confectionery.
Baikodo Honten（Higashi Kagawa）This is a representative manufacturer of wasanbon in Kagawa Prefecture. Here you can not only buy wasanbon, but also sweets, nib sugar, seasonal sweets and so on.
It is a Japanese confectionary store operated by a wasanbon company. Traditional wasanbon and creative Japanese sweets are lined up in the shop. You can buy sweets, have tea, and eat in the shop.reviewed by takuching18
Gourmet Popular in Ehime Prefecture
This is a regional cuisine passed on by Ehime prefecture’s Nanyo region that boasts the largest quantity of cultured red seabream in Japan. It places red seabream sashimi freshly caught from the Uwa Sea on warm rice and then tops it with a special sauce containing ingredients such as eggs, laver, sesame, and chopped green onions.
Hozumitei（Uwajima）This is a popular shop located near Uwajima station. You can taste Uwajima sea bream, local dishes made with seafood caught in the Uwa Sea, along with local seasonal vegetables.
Unlike ordinary yakitori, which is pierced with a skewer, “Imabari yakitori” is grilled by pressing it onto a hot iron plate. This “fast food cuisine” was created more than 50 years ago in Imabari city, which has a strong shipbuilding industry, and characterized by the fact that you can eat it cheaply and quickly. The “grilled skin” has a crispy texture and is a favorite on the menu.
Toribayashi（Imabari）This long-established store was founded 50 years ago. The famous “grilled skin” grilled on an iron plate in front of the counter uses plump, fleshy chicken seasoned with a spicy sauce.
This is a noodle dish that arranges “Nagasaki Champon” in Yawatahama style. Chinese noodles are put in a golden soup extracted chicken eggs, bonito, kelp etc., and topped with kneaded ingredients such as Kamaboko (cured surimi) and Jakoten (fried fish paste), which are local special products. You can enjoy the tastes particular to a port city.
Maruyama Champon（Yawatahama）This shop, which was founded in 1948, is the birthplace of Yawatahama Champon. Enjoy your fill of this outstanding dish consisting of soy sauce soup with concentrated seafood flavors and wrapped around medium thick noodles.
The soy sauce flavored soup was amazing. I drank every last drop.reviewed by igawa2015
“Imotaki” is a type of social gathering where each farmer brings out their sato-imo (taro), cook it in soup stock made with ayu (sweetfish) caught in the local Hijikawa river, and taste it all together while having a chat. It is a traditional culture that has lasted 300 years in Ozu City, and the riverbed with pots is still an autumn tradition.
Izumiya（Ozu）This old-fashioned Japanese style restaurant offers offers the local cuisine of Ozu that uses seasonal ingredients, with choice of courses such as “ozen” and “kaizen”. You can light heartedly enjoy Imotaki as a one person serving in a private pot.
I ate the ‘Imotaki set meal’, and there was plenty of soft sato-imo in the hot pot giving it a hearty texture.reviewed by Venture803217
Gourmet Popular in Kochi Prefecture
Being a local fish to Kochi prefecture, the most popular way to eat katsuo (bonito) is tataki. It is said that its name comes from the process pouring nihaizu, containing salt (shio) and vinegar (su) on the fish and hitting (tataki) it with a knife to make it absorb the flavor. It is common to grill the surface, leaving the inside rare, then top it with chirizu, garlic slices, shiso etc. before eating.
Warayakitataki Myojimmaru（Kochi）Shio-tataki, which involved grilling the katsuo with a strong straw fire at a high temperature, and eating it with sun-dried salt is a specialty. The scent of straw and smoke complement the flavor of the bonito.
Local cuisines of Kochi are called “Tosa ryori”. Beginning with luxurious gourmet dishes, such as “Sawachi Ryori”, which serves up delicacies from the mountains and the ocean on a large plate, there is also the rare “shuko” foods such as utsubo (moray eel) and whale dishes, along with rustic tastes representative of mountain country food.
Tsukasa Kochi Honten（Kochi）Said to be the progenitor of the name “Tosa ryori”, this long-established store has a 101 year history. You can enjoy a wide variety of Tosa ryori, including Sawachi Ryori (a large dish heaped with local delicacies such as sashimi, katsuo tataki, sushi, fried food, stewed food, and pickles) called “the art of cooking”.
After World War II, the local ramen originated in Susaki City, and came about through the delivery of ramen in enamel pots so that it would not get cold. The chicken bone-based soy sauce broth, matches the firm noodles, and ingredients such as chikuwa, leeks and eggs are quite simple. These days it is offered in a pot and stays hot until the last morsel.
Hashimoto Shokudo（Susaki）This is truly a specialty restaurant that specializes in nabe yaki ramen as the only items on the menu are nabe yaki ramen and rice. You can enjoy the taste of the commitment of this store that was established in 1975.
This is a chicken bone broth with soy sauce. It is a delicious soup. The medium thin noodles are boiled al dente. Noodles that will not stretch are used for pot-baking. The ingredients are chicken meat, chikuwa, raw egg, leek and so on. You could probably liken it to nabe yaki udon noodles. The person next to me added rice at the end, and ate it like zosui (seasoned rice-porridge).reviewed by OhenrosanKK
Imo kempi is a regional, rustic sweet of Kochi prefecture that consists of thinly cut sweet potatoes, fried to a crisp and coated in sugar syrup. It has been loved as a home cooked snack for many years. They are easy to obtain, rich in variety and cheap, so it is also ideal as a souvenirs, and in recent years a variety of imo kempin flavors have also emerged.
Imoya Kinjiro Oroshidanchi（Kochi）Established in 1951, this is a long-established store of imo kempi. Today, in addition to imo kempi, they also deal with a variety of other sweets using potatoes.
They have taste testing samples of freshly made kempi, along with salted kempi, potato chips in various containers from sachets to cans. I bought a variety of souvenirs. There were plenty of baked confectionery and I was also drawn to the fresh cake, but I purchased the sweet potato that was being sold next to the cash register.reviewed by azuki1009
Surrounded by the sea on every side, with mild weather, Shikoku is blessed with clear streams originating from the Shikoku mountain range, and every prefecture is blessed with fresh produce from the sea and mountains. For this reason it is brimming with innumerable famous cuisines. By all means, why not enjoy the gourmet version of the Shikoku pilgrimage.