Not far from Tokyo, there is a seaside prefecture named Kanagawa. As the second largest population in Japan, Kanagawa Prefecture has a vibrant area known for its cosmopolitan capital Yokohama, its surfer culture along the Shonan coast, as well as delicious local produce and seafood.
The prefecture is located just south of Tokyo, so many tourists travel here to enjoy a good day trip. The prefecture’s capital, Yokohama, has a very international feel. Kamakura and Hakone are interesting choices to escape the crowds.
Before you go there, it will be fun to know what are the best foods we can try there. Let’s discover their delightful dishes:
1. Cabbage and Sprout Ramen (Sanma-men)
Originating in the Yokohama Chinatown area, we can try sanma-men. This kind of ramen is highly influenced by the Chinese workers who cooked themselves using whatever leftover ingredients they had. The dish in result is a stir-fried pork and vegetables, usually cabbage and bean sprouts, served in a thick salt or soy sauce-based soup to accompany the noodles.
2. Kaigun Kare
Named after the Japanese Imperial Navy (kaigun) which was once stationed in Yokosuka City. This curry dish is usually eaten by the Japanese navy. Inspired by the British beef stew, they ate spiced beef curry thickened with flour but eaten with rice rather than bread. The meal became popular throughout the local area.
3. Yokohama Beef
A brand of Japanese black wagyu beef from Kanagawa prefecture. The beef always received an A4/B4 or A5/B5 grade in the Japanese wagyu ranking system. We can try some dishes made of Yokohama beef, such as Japanese Black Wagyu Sirloin Steak and Beef Hot Pot.
Japanese beef hot pot (gyu-nabe) is a popular food choice in Yokohama.
4. Raw Whitebait Rice Bowl (Namashirasu Don)
In Kamakura and Shonan, Kanagawa’s coastal areas, there are bountiful fishing grounds for shirasu or anchovies, young sardines, and herring fish. These kinds of fishes can be caught during spring and autumn. Shirasu is also known as “whitebait”, a popular topping served raw over a donburi bowl of hot rice with a splash of soy sauce and ginger.
No need to worry to enjoy whitebait served raw, as the fish are caught fresh in the morning and served almost immediately throughout the day at local restaurants.
5. Tuna ramen
Known as “Misaki Maguro Ramen”, the dish is originally from a fishing town in Kanagawa’s Miura district named Misaki. Misaki is the second largest tuna fishing port in all of Japan. Since they have plenty of tuna, the locals decided to use tuna into a ramen. The soup base is made of the head of tuna, and the topping is made using the meat of the fish.
6. Fish cakes
Kanagawa’s fish cakes are also famous in Japan, named Odawara Kamaboko. The fish cake is made from finely minced and steamed fish paste. This is a traditional New Year’s dish in Japan, so people from all over Japan order it. Some of it has simple pink and white colours, others are more colourful mixed with a variety of herbs to add more taste.
Reading all the mouthwatering foods above, which one do you want to try first whenever you have the chance?