RUSTIC CHARM

Arida / Yuasa / Hidaka

Where the rural side of Wakayama gave birth to a culinary heritage resonating far beyond its borders.

Yuasa Soy Sauce / Kinzanji Miso

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Rustic Charm

It is hard to imagine Japanese food without soy sauce (shoyu). Located 40 mins by train from Wakayama City is the birthplace in Japan of this salty tamari-based condiment. The town of Yuasa is known for its well-preserved townscape, and for its tradition of craftsmanship. Step out of the modern world to enjoy the taste of soy sauce unchanged from feudal times.

Yuasa Soy Sauce / Kinzanji Miso

Rustic Charm

It is hard to imagine Japanese food without soy sauce (shoyu). Located 40 mins by train from Wakayama City is the birthplace in Japan of this salty tamari-based condiment. The town of Yuasa is known for its well-preserved townscape, and for its tradition of craftsmanship. Step out of the modern world to enjoy the taste of soy sauce unchanged from feudal times.

Local Cuisine

Throughout Wakayama, preserved foods are a vital part of the traditional local culinary repertoire, one highlight of which is the regional specialty Saba-no-narezushi made from salted, fermented chub mackerel. The Arida, Yuasa, and Hidaka areas are also known for grouper (kue) and spiny lobster (ise-ebi), both seasonally at their best in Autumn. Another highlight is the surprisingly light-flavored yet fatty white-fleshed fish, cutlass (tachiuo).

Local Cuisine

Throughout Wakayama, preserved foods are a vital part of the traditional local culinary repertoire, one highlight of which is the regional specialty Saba-no-narezushi made from salted, fermented chub mackerel. The Arida, Yuasa, and Hidaka areas are also known for grouper (kue) and spiny lobster (ise-ebi), both seasonally at their best in Autumn. Another highlight is the surprisingly light-flavored yet fatty white-fleshed fish, cutlass (tachiuo).

Local Crafts

In addition to the shoyu made in Yuasa, this area is also famous for Kishu Binchotan, which is a fine, white charcoal. Its slow-burning properties when delicately grilling items such as freshwater eel (unagi) brings out the umami (savory flavor). The Ubamegashi Tree from which Kishu Binchotan (white charcoal) is made, is the approved symbol tree of Wakayama prefecture.

Local Crafts

In addition to the shoyu made in Yuasa, this area is also famous for Kishu Binchotan, which is a fine, white charcoal. Its slow-burning properties when delicately grilling items such as freshwater eel (unagi) brings out the umami (savory flavor). The Ubamegashi Tree from which Kishu Binchotan (white charcoal) is made, is the approved symbol tree of Wakayama prefecture.

Flower Power

Wakayama’s prefectural flower is the ume plum blossom; Minabe Town is the best place to view them. Ume orchards filled with tens of thousands of ume trees line both sides of the river. In late Winter and early February, when the flowers bloom, the sweet fragrance wafts as far as 40 km away. The salted-ume pickles (umeboshi) that hail from this region are the most acclaimed in Japan. Umeboshi is a serious affair in Wakayama; there is even a museum dedicated to the humble apricot-like ume fruit in Hidaka City.

Kishu Ishigami Tanabe Bairin Ume Orchard (Ume Blossom) 

Flower Power

Wakayama’s prefectural flower is the ume plum blossom; Minabe Town is the best place to view them. Ume orchards filled with tens of thousands of ume trees line both sides of the river. In late Winter and early February, when the flowers bloom, the sweet fragrance wafts as far as 40 km away. The salted-ume pickles (umeboshi) that hail from this region are the most acclaimed in Japan. Umeboshi is a serious affair in Wakayama; there is even a museum dedicated to the humble apricot-like ume fruit in Hidaka City.

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