What dishes are
Show me the local delicacies!
I want to try something original
when I’m in Kanazawa.
Kanazawa is located on the Sea of Japan. Winter provides the freshest seafood you’ve ever seen! Winter yellowtail, or “Kan-Buri,” is most delicious right before the spawning season. It packs full, satisfying flavor and is available at affordable prices from December to the beginning of Spring.
Winter is also famous for Zuwai-Gani (snow crabs). The delectable, meaty male crab is readily available in the Hokuriku region, but is rather expensive. We’ll let you in on a secret: The female version, “Kohbako-Gani,” is cheaper and just as tasty. Buying crabs is a seasonal event in Kanazawa. Dozens of Zuwai-Gani crabs are on display at Omicho-Ichiba market. The female crab is tiny, with beautiful eggs and tender meat. We eat it dipped in sweet vinegar sauce.
Don’t forget about the indigenous vegetables (Kaga-Yasai) which include Kaga-Renkon lotus root, Gensuke-Daikon radish, Goro-Jima-Kintoki sweet potato, and more. The local veggie dishes can’t be beat!
Excellent Seafood in the Hokuriku region
Alaskan pink shrimp.
Delectable, meaty male snow crab .
Where can I eat
traditional local dishes?
Tell me about
traditional local dishes.
Where can I try them?
First up is our traditional local delicacies. “Jibu-Ni,” “Hasu-Mushi,” and “Gori no Kara-Age (deep fried Gori fish)” are local legends. These refined dishes are often served on lovely Kutani-Yaki porcelain or lacquerware made in Ishikawa. The origins of Jibu-Ni are unclear. Some say our first lord, Toshiie Maeda, had it prepared by his chef after he was served a similar duck dish by Mitsunari Ishida, who was one of the five commissioners during 16th century Azuchi–Momoyama period. At the time, Mitsunari worked for the “Jibu-Sho” division, so Jibu-Ni was named after his court title.
You can eat indigenous dishes at locally run Ryotei and Izakaya. However, they may not be available at large chain restaurants. Casual Izakaya offer cheap eats, while Ryotei offer high class for high prices. The type of restaurant will decide your budget.
Does Kanazawa brew
I’m curious, what kinds of
alcohol do the locals love?
Tell me about the local Sake!
We love all kinds of alcohol, including beer, Shochu (distilled alcohol), Sake (Japanese rice wine), fruit liqueur, cocktails, and wine. The cheap price of Chu-Hai, a mixture of Shochu with soda, ice, and flavoring, makes it popular with students. Experienced drinkers prefer Sake or Shochu, and everyone has their favorite brand. Most Izakaya stock a variety of Shochu or Sake. Shochu is big in Southern Japan, where Kyushu is home to many famous brands.Conversely, traditional Sake is from the north. This includes Kanazawa, and we have our own Ji-Zake (local Sake) brews. When ordering Sake, be aware of the three different types. “Jun-Mai-Shu” literally means pure rice Sake and is made from only rice. “Gin-Jo-Shu” is made from rice polished to 60% or less of its weight, and “Hon-Jozo-Shu” uses rice polished to 70% or less with a tiny amount of brewed alcohol. Try them all to find your favorite!
Imagine sipping warm Sake (Atsu-Kan) at the Izakaya counter as the freezing Kanazawa wind howls outside. It doesn’t get more picturesque than that!
to use at a restaurant"
[J] Sumimasen, Toriaezu Biru Kudasai.
[E] Excuse me, give me a beer to start.
[J] Kyo-no Osusume Wa Nan-desuka?
[E] What’s today’s recommendation?
[J] Are-to Onaji-Mono Morae-Masuka?
[E] Can I have what they’re having?
[J] Sumimasen, Okanjo Onegai-Shimasu.
[E] Excuse me, check please!
[J] Arigato, Totemo Oishikatta-Desu.
[E] Thank you. The meal was very good!
Why are Izakaya-style
restaurants so popular?
Is that true Izakaya are
very popular there?
What’s so good about them?
Izakaya is a casual Japanese restaurant where you can try a variety of dishes. It literally means, “Staying at the liquor store,” as they were originally stores that sold alcohol. During the Edo period these small shops began to serve cups of Sake with small appetizers. Modern Izakaya serve great food and have become a Japanese mainstay. But what makes Kanazawa’s Izakaya special, you ask? The answer lies in the seafood brought in fresh everyday from the Sea of Japan. This has bred a competitive atmosphere, and each shop it trying to out-do the other with their food, interior decorating, and atmosphere.
People normally order many small dishes to share. You can taste a huge variety all at once! If you find something you like, order another! The typical way to greet the waiter is, “Toriaezu Biru ne,” meaning, “Give me a beer to start.” Beer is hugely popular in Japan and we commonly toast witha frothy mug. Get your fill of Japanese beers while you’re here!
Teach me basic Japanese table manners!
1. Tsuki-Bashi [突き箸］
Don’t stab your food with the chopsticks!
Try your best to pick it up.
2. Sashi-Bashi ［指し箸］
Don’t use your chopsticks to point at food,
people, or anything for that matter!
3. Mayoi-Bashi ［迷い箸］
Don’t hover your chopsticks over the food
when you’re deciding what to pick.
Hold the plate close to your face, but
don’t put your face close to the table!
Long ago dinner tables didn’t have legs. People sat with their legs folded and had to raise their plate from the low table up to their face. This custom remains today. And just so you know, eating everything on your plate is good manners in Japan, though considered rude in other Asian countries.