All About Matsuyama | Episode 6: Feast Your Eyes Upon the City’s Food

28.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

 

One of the biggest attractions to anyone travelling abroad, or even domestically, is the food. In Episode 6 of All About Matsuyama, we give you a mouth-watering tour of Matsuyama’s food scene. Every area of the city is bursting with flavours to be savoured, so here’s our list of places we can’t recommend enough, all located around Okaido Shopping Street, Matsuyama Gintengai, and Matsuchika Town.

 

Higiriyaki

Higiriyaki is a sweet local treat from Matsuyama with chewy skin and filled with hot adzuki bean paste

The first delectable treat MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON recommends begins at a shop in Okaido Shopping Street. The ‘higariyaki’ is a local food that was first created during the Taisho period in Japan and is also the name of the shop that sells them. It’s said that the first higariyaki was made at Zenshoji Temple which is located in front of Matsuyama Station. The temple is nicknamed “Ohigiri-san,” and the dessert’s name derives from the Higiri Jizo god that is worshiped there. Its dough is made with high quality wheat flour and eggs and is stuffed with an azuki bean paste recipe that has been preserved and passed down since it was first created. You get to see the higiriyaki being made fresh before you when ordering one.

 

Noma Kajuen noma-noma

Every cup of their refreshing juice is freshly squeezed

Noma Kajuen noma-noma is a juice and gift shop managed by Noma Kajuen, a fruit grower in Ehime which ships tasty mikan oranges around Japan. noma-noma not only serves fresh juice but ice creams, parfaits, drinkable jelly, and other takeout items too – all made with mikan. They have plenty of fruity gifts too, so don’t pass up the opportunity to try some sweet Ehime mikan.

 

Roken Manto

The only place left making steamed bread with koubokin yeast fungus

Next on the menu is Roken Manto which is famous in Matsuyama for its steamed bread. This bread is made with koubokin yeast fungus and has been since 1931. No preservatives or other additives are used so they don’t have a shelf life – you can only buy and eat them from here. The bread was adapted in Kurashiki from the Chinese steamed bun to cater to Japanese palettes. Fillings include pinto beans, raisins, cheese, cocoa, and more. None are overly sweet so make for a nice easy bite. They are particularly popular with male customers who you often see in droves buying them in the evenings and late into the night.

 

Nabeyaki Udon Asahi

A bowl of their sweet udon will leave you feeling happy

We’re moving locations now – towards Matsuyama Gintengai. Nabeyaki Udon Asahi is a famous udon bar in Matsuyama known for its sweet tasting nabeyuki udon, something of a soul food to the locals. The restaurant opened in 1947 and has been frequented by locals since. Their udon is simple but delicious, made with a sweet broth, chewy noodles, kamaboko fish paste, chikjuwa fish paste, and boiled egg. The restaurant itself has a retro vibe to it which serves as the perfect setting for your bowl of udon. It will definitely have you wanting a second visit. One thing to note is that the restaurant closes once all noodles have been served, so we recommend visiting in the early afternoon.

 

Usuzumi Yokan

The quality of the adzuki beans elevate this dessert to sublime new heights

The usuzumi yokan is a famous sweet of Matsuyama which was first made over 1,000 years ago when Empress Jito visited Dogo. Its surface has a sheen to it, and inside are white beans made to look like cherry blossom petals, giving it an extravagant appearance. It’s a sweet famous across Japan having won awards at national confection competitions. You can order them to have-in at this cafe if you like – and their gorgeous Tobe ware plates are available to buy too. Both would be great as souvenirs bought together.

 

Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi

The crunchy, mouth-watering tonkatsu is nice and light and not fatty at all

Last up on our list takes out to Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi in Matsuchika Town. They serve up some seriously succulent and juicy meat covered in a crunchy layer and served with an in-house sauce. Their menu is long, and all set meals come with a bowl of grated Japanese yam soup. Matsuchika Town is full of popular eateries with lots of takeout items to enjoy, so we recommend visiting there before moving away from the station area.

 

Matsuyama is loaded with restaurants so you’ll never go hungry. The places on this list, and many others, are waiting for your arrival.

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    Cafe Amayadori Menu

    Cafe Amayadori Tote Bag

     

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    [Day] Shiun Garden

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    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Bamboo Suite Bathroom

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    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Standard Bathroom

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    In March 2020, a second location opened. The Junei Hotel Kyoto is surrounded by bamboo, and in fact, the theme of the hotel itself is bamboo and the moon. Each of the guest rooms is decorated with traditional and local bamboo crafts, and every detail is pulled from the natural beauty of Higashiyama, Kyoto. 

     

    The restaurant attached to the hotel, Futago, is the perfect place for adults to unwind and recharge. The kappo-style course menu features Kyoto vegetables and seasonal ingredients, blending the delicious with the nutritious. Chefs will cook each dish using a variety of methods, and guests will be amazed by how the flavor of the meat changes from course to course. The menu changes each month, so be sure to come back throughout the year!

     

    Guests can also rent out Arashiyama Yusaitei, a gorgeous building deep in the forests of Kyoto perfect for wedding receptions, photoshoots, tea ceremonies, and more. The rooftop garden offers a stunning view of Kiyomizu-dera and is also perfect for moon viewing. Those wanting to get even closer to nature can enjoy a boat ride down the Hozucho river, and for those craving desserts, a Japanese sweets-making class is also available!

     

    Who would you take with you on a private stay at the Junei Hotel Kyoto? 

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    Comment from Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto

    “I am very happy to be able to make the world of Donkey Kong a reality following the world of Mario. I am looking forward to creating a thrilling Donkey Kong experience with the amazing team at Universal. It will take some time until it is completed, but it will be a unique area for not only people who are familiar with Donkey Kong games but for all guests.”

     

    WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21)
    Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment. TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved. © Nintendo

  • Three Unique Japanese Cafes You’ll Want to Visit Again and Again

    05.October.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Most of us have been spending more and more time at home over the past year. It’s time to get out for a change of scenery, and what better activity than cafe hopping! Check out these unique cafes around Japan, each offering a safe and relaxing space to enjoy a day out. 

     

     

    [Saitama] Bath Cafe BIVOUAC

    This cafe located in Kumagaya City offers a full range of bath and sauna facilities, as well as a restaurant featuring healthy dishes filled with local, freshly-picked veggies. 

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/497213

     

     

     

    [Gifu] Activity Cafe Takayama Zenko-ji

    Set inside a Buddhist temple, this cafe invites anyone, regardless of faith or nationality, to enjoy a cup of tea while experiencing traditional culture. It’s also a great space to work remotely, with free Wi-fi!

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/484296

     

     

     

    [Tokyo] NANARIDA

    Filled with plants and light, NANARIDA has been dubbed a digital detox cafe, not allowing smartphones or laptops each Sunday. Leaving your phone with the staff will grant you a free beverage, so come enjoy some tea and conversation. 

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/493631

     

    TEXT: Natalie(MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

  • Editor’s Choice! 3 Best Exhibitions to Visit Before Time Runs Out

    04.October.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Autumn has shaped up to be a great time for art lovers to explore Japan, with a number of inspiring exhibitions of all different genres popping up around the country. The editorial team at Moshi Moshi Nippon has taken special notice of three must-visit events still open now, so be sure to check these out while you still can!

     

     

     

    [Tokyo] ‘Shonen, Shou’ 

    Yasunari Ikenaga, a leading figure in the world of contemporary beauty painting, is currently holding an exhibition featuring portraits of the up-and-coming actor and model Shou. Pay special attention to the delicate techniques the artist utilizes to capture the subject’s expressions. 

     

    Running: Until October 15, 2021

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/497728

     

     

     

    [Fukuoka] teamLab Forest

    Art collective teamLab has opened a permanent museum in Fukuoka City! Those wanting to see the interactive exhibits transformed for autumn, however, better hurry before the event ends.

     

    Now Open

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/500506

     

     

     

    [Saitama] Machi Tawara: #JustOneLike – From Salad Anniversary to Size of the Future

    Japanese poet Machi Tawara, the winner of the Kadokawa Tanka Award in 1986, is a powerhouse in the world of prose. Her 1987 book Salad Anniversary sold over three million copies, and 35 years later, the writer is still at the forefront of her field. This exhibition depicts her life in words and is sure to inspire. 

     

    Running: Until December 5, 2021

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/500300

     

     

     

    Text: Natalie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

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