Town of Cats: Onomichi, Hiroshima’s 3 Must-Visit Restaurants (Ramen, Sweets)
There are many gourmet spots in Onomichi in Hiroshima prefecture. Not only the Hiroshima local specialty, okonomiyaki (a thin flat cake of unsweetened batter fried with various ingredients) but also the Onomichi-ramen as well as the sweets are awash in the town. Some sightseers in Onomichi visit one Onomichi-ramen shop after another and others enjoy coffee at hideaway atmospheric cafés on the narrow quiet alley, taking their time. They seem to spend their time in their own way.
Amongst a large number of shops, now, I would like to introduce the 3 shops which are my special recommendations.
1. Tea-House Komon for Waffles
This shop is situated very close to the Senkojiyama ropeway station. When you happen to pass by this shop on the way to the ropeway station, a nice, sweet fragrance drifts out. It is a cozy little shop with a small number of seats, but the interior is fashionable and pretty.
The waffles are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside with moderately sweet custard-cream and fruity jam with lots of blueberry flavor. They have the standard flavors such as chocolate and strawberry waffles, as well as the seasonally limited menu such as apple and cinnamon flavor. Those flavors will tempt you to make them hard to resist.
Next to this shop, you can find a shop which is takeout only. On a fine day, it would be nice to eat waffles, viewing the vast scenery from Mt. Senkoji.
2. The Onomichi-Ramen, “Tonchinkan”
Onomichi is renowned for its ramen, therefore there are many ramen shops. Tonchinkan is one of the recommended shops.
The soup is soy sauce based using flavors extracted from pork-bones, chicken-bones, kelp and vegetables. The secret of why the soup is so delicious is that they use the Onomichi local spring water. It looks as if it is heavy and rich, due to the pork-bones and chicken-bones, but it is actually a light tasting soup.
You can enjoy the authentic Onomichi-ramen as well as the unique ramens such as the Tofu-ramen, Hamburger-ramen and Pork-Cutlet-ramen. You will want to try each one of them, I bet.
Access: a 5-minute-walk from the Shinonomichi station
Official HP: http://www.tonchinkan.co.jp/
3. “Oyatsu & Yamaneko” for Pudding
This is the shop’s proud pudding made with the local milk and eggs. It has a soft and pleasant taste on the palate and the moderate sweetness and the flavor of eggs is vivid.
You may be addicted by the richness just like cream-cheese.
They have variety of puddings such as “Onomichi pudding”, “Maccha pudding” and 2 different kinds of “Fruit pudding” which is a seasonally limited one. The Maccha pudding comes with a specially made lemon-sauce. You can enjoy it as it is at first and then enjoy the different taste from pouring the lemon sauce on it. The limited seasonal fruit pudding comes with the seasonal fruit sauce on it. In winter they have orange or kiwi sauce, in the fall, fig or grape. They are all very fruity.
In front of the shop, there is always a queue, so you can come across it as soon as you get near there. Please be aware that the pudding will often be sold out by dusk.
Access: a 3-minute-walk from the Onomichi station
Official HP: http://ittoku-go.com
Onomichi in the Hiroshima prefecture is a distinctive town which has the Japanese beauty of the good old days and the worldly outlook just like the Mediterranean. There are so many gourmet dishes that you would be better to sweat it out by cycling after eating a lot and then you can come in touch with the literature or arts. You will have a healthy sightseeing, I’m sure.
Access to Onomichi
Highway Express Bus: The buses operate from the main big cities such as Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto and Osaka.
Bullet-train / Train: Get on the Bullet-train from the Tokyo or the Osaka stations and get off at the Shinonomichi station. Between Shinonomichi and Onomichi stations, a bus operates. (It operates every 10-30 minutes. It takes 15 minutes.)
Get off the local train on the JR Sanyo-line at the Onomichi station.
Airplane: You can fly from Sapporo, Sendai and Tokyo (Haneda) Airports to the Hiroshima Airport. (There are international airlines between Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and Hiroshima.)
From Hiroshima Airport, you can take the Airport-bus (the Onomichi-Hiroshima Airport-line) directly to Onomichi. (They have 2 services per day. It takes about 50 minutes.)