Hyogo is the place where all kinds of “delicious” foods are. That’s why even foodies are impressed in Hyogo. The fun part of a trip is to eat delicious foods. In this article, we will suggest 1 day & 2 nights travel itinerary going around the “Hyogo Golden Route (an itinerary to visit 3 areas in Hyogo including Himeji, Kinosaki and Kobe) and savor the most-famous gourmet foods. Read this article and you won’t miss out on good food!
① Kinosaki Onsen 15:30-
〈Access: Take a train from Kansai International Airport〉
The first destination of the trip is “Kinaki Onsen” in the Tajima area of Northern Hyogo Prefecture. It is an onsen town with over 1,300 years of history.
Each inn offers a variety of creative dishes, but in this article we will give you selected 3 local delicacies that you should try in Kinosaki Onsen.
Exclusive delicacies in Kinosaki!
【Matsuba crab (snow crab) 】
Matsuba crab is “the” gourmet food in Hyogo in winter! The fishing season of the crab is set only between November 6th and March 20th the following year, so this is limited-time delicacy that you can only eat during this period. Boiled, steamed or grilled. No matter how they are cooked, you can enjoy genuine flavor of the ingredient. Given that Kinosaki is close to the ocean, there are many inns that offer fresh Matsuba crab dishes.
However, though, Matsuba crab is not the only delicious seafood in Kinosaki Onsen given its short distance to the ocean. Please do try other seafood dishes made with ingredients freshly delivered from a fishing port directly!
Tajima Cattle refers to black hair Japanese cattle from Hyogo Prefecture and they are raised in the surrounding areas of Kinosaki Onsen. The meat is known for its fine quality and elegant sweetness. It is actually the top quality beef that became popular as an original cattle (they get shipped at 6 months after birth) of the famous “Matsuzaka Beef” and “Omi meat” known across the country. World-famous “Kobe Beef” are also older cattle of Tajima species.
On the first day, let’s enjoy foods and onsen in Kinosaki Onsen and relax.
② Himeji 13:00-
＜Access from ①: Get on a train at 9:00＞
After fully enjoyed food and onsen in Kinosaki, let’s get headed to Himeji City that lies in the Southwest part of Hyogo Prefecture. We will give you a list of 3 exclusive local specialties you should try in Himeji. Also, as extra information, we will talk about gourmet foods in Ieshima Island; a remote island off of Himeji.
Three exclusive gourmetfoods in Himeji!
“Oden” is a simple home dish of simmered fish nerimono (processed fish paste). In Himeji, there is “Himeji Oden” that sets its own specific way to eat it. That is, different from mustard that’s often used for oden elsewhere, Himeji oden is eaten with ginger soy-sauce. The distinctive flavor of the sauce is delicious.
Himeji Anago (sea eel)
Do you know anago? Anago is fish that has a similar shape with unagi (fresh water eel), and its texture is actually similar to unagi too. In terms of its flavor, it tastes lighter than unagi that’s usually fatty. The ocean surrounding Himeji is a famous producing center of anago. Anago-don (over rice), baked dish with salty-sweet sauce and sashimi; there are various ways to enjoy anago, so please try out this traditional flavor.
【Momoiro Toiki Pork】
Momoiro Toiki refers to original pork brand in Himeji. It is “sangenton”meaning that it was born out of breeding of 3 kinds of species. The pigs are nurtured longer than other species, and they are shipped when their meat is mature and at its prime. The meat is soft and it has genuine umami and sweetness of pork making it one-of-a-kind. In many areas of Himeji, dishes made with Momoiro Toiki pork such as pork cutlet are served.
＜Access from ②:get on a train at 15:00＞
From Himeji, let’s head East on a train now. We are going to the central part of Hyogo; Sannomiya in Kobe. There is so much to see in Kobe and it is a great place to stroll around. Walk towards North (mountain side) a little bit, and you will arrive at sophisticated Kitano area.
A house with a weathercock and a houses with scales (slates used on walls resemble fish scales). You can enjoy mixed culture of Japan and overseas.
If you get hungry after walking around and having fun, let’s try something yummy.
3 exclusive standard gourmet foods in Kobe!
If you visit Kobe, you cannot miss the world-famous “Kobe Beef”. The marbled meat with fatty parts has such low melting point and they melt even with a human finger. That fat blended into superfine and elegant red meat with exquisite balance is absolutely stunning.
In Kobe, there are many Yoshoku (western dishes) restaurants. One big reason for that is because of the Kobe Port that celebrated its 150 anniversary in 2017. It is said that Western food became popular in the area because cooks who worked in boat kitchens then opened their own restaurants in the city. As a result, dishes from overseas and dishes from Japan got blended and then developed into Japanese Western dishes unique in Japan. These dishes include beef cutlet, hash and rice, omelet and rice etc.
Just like Western food, Chinese food is very popular in Kobe. Nankinmachi; China town in Kobe, started out when 10 plus Chinese from Nagasaki got settled around the Northern border of the residential area. They were looking into starting a trading business. The standard dishes of daily Kobe Chinese are Cantonese. Please go visit restaurants in Nankinmachi and also those on backstreets.
So, that’s all for the gourmet foods you cannot miss in Hyogo. Now you know why it is one of the areas in Japan with the richest culture of foods.
If you get on a train from Sannomiya station around 18:30 after dinner, you will arrive at Kansai International Airport by around 20:00.