A symbol of the Country of Fire, Aso, is house to the world's greatest caldera on its Mount Aso. It is a place where you can be satisfied by nature. With their numerous ingredients that are raised and grown by its clean air and water, there exists numerous restaurants which utilises these ingredients to the fullest.
Aso's Restaurants Which Offer Their Local Foods
In Aso, you have a variety of famous produces. AkaUshi is one of them. AkaUshi is a type of a beef with no excess fat and lets you taste the "beefiness". Next is "takanazuke" (pickled greens) and "dagojiru" (a local name for dumpling soup) which use plenty of root vegetables and dango in the making. This soup is a favourite among farmers during their busy work due to its nutritional content. Other than that, you can also taste the fresh milk and fresh mineral water, tofu that are made with that water, and also local sake (Japanese rice wine). If you visit Aso, we would recommend you to partake in a meal in the restaurants that utilises those ingredients.
Aso's famous produce: AkaUshi Don, served by Imakin Shokudo
Imakin Shokudo is a famous public eatery that has more than 100 years of history of operation. Its AkaUshi Don (rice bowl) is especially well known, to the point where people are coming from faraway places just to taste this dish. The dish consists of rice topped with plenty of medium-rare grilled beef and onsen tamago (hot spring eggs, a very soft boiled eggs).
Due to its immense popularity, they have a very long line, but worry not, just reserve beforehand to grab a spot, since you do not need to line up if you have reserved. That is why we suggest you to reserve beforehand and enjoy a stroll around the spot. This is a dish where you will want to eat regardless of how long you wait.
- Spot Name: Imakin Shokudo
- Address: 290, Uchinomaki, Aso City, Kumamoto Prefecture, Postal code 269-2301
- Access: From Uchinomaki Station in the Hohei Main Line, it takes approximately 8 minutes by bus and 1 minute walk from Uchinomaki stop. From Aso Station in Hohei Main Line, it takes approximately 17 minutes and 1 minute walk from Uchinomaki stop
Tasting the real Aso! Sanzoku Tabiji, a restaurant to taste Dagojiru and Takanazuke
Sanzoku Tabiji, the eatery where you can savour Aso's local dishes such as Takanameshi (rice cooked with pickled greens) and dagojiru (local dumpling soup). Takanameshi is a rice dish made by mixing rice with takanazuke (pickled greens) that are made with no additives. Both the organic rice and the takana was cultivated in-house. The barley and miso used in the dagojiru is also locally grown. Other than that, there are also various dishes that holds the taste of Aso. Using kurobuta (a variety of Japanese grown pork), its Nikomi Hormone (stewed offals) and Yaki Hormone (grilled offals) are also a delicacy.
- Spot Name: Sanzoku Tabiji
- Address: 2127, Kurokawa, Aso City, Kumamoto Prefecture, Postal Code 869-2225
- Access: 20 minutes walking from Aso Station
Nouka Restaurant "Tangoyama", which is run by the cultivators of Aso's Akagyu
Nouka Restaurant Tangoyama is a restaurant that is operated by the cow farmers who produces the famous Akagyu of Aso. It utilises an old house as its space. This place also uses self-cultivated rice and vegetables alongside its self-grown beef. This is the place to taste the ingredients raised in Aso.
The AkaUshi Yakiniku is their number one favourite. Because this restaurant is operated by the producer of the meat, you can tastes the high-quality taste of the lean meat and the sweetness of the fat. Hams and sausages made with the akagyu is also delish.
- Spot Name：Nouka Restaurant Tangoyama
- Address：285, Mikubo, Aso City, Kumamoto Prefecture, postal code 269-2302
- Access：From Uchinomaki Station, 7 minutes by bus, from Aso Station 15 minutes by bus, getting off at Dahara stop, then walk for 5 minutes
"Kanzarashi no Mise Yui", Famous for Japanese sweet made with the water from Mount Aso
Kanzarashi no Mise, Yui is a Japanese sweet shop located near Aso Shrine. The shop is located in a place where an old girl's school site was reused, and there are also cafes and general stores in addition to this shop on the site. There is also a spring that says to bring luck under the name of Ryumeisen and also the dumplings that are exposed to this water called "Kanzarashi".
The dango (rice dumplings) are not only white, but there are also green colored dumpling which has watercress incorporated into it. Top this with shiromitsu (white honey) or kuromitsu (black honey), you can taste a flavor that you will not savor anywhere else.
- Spot Name：Kanzarashi no Mise, Yui
- Address：3204, Ichinomiyamachi Miyaji, Aso City, Kumamoto Prefecture, postal code 869-2612)
- Access：5 minutes by car or taxi from Miyaji Station