5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Kanagawa
Volcanic eggs, massive pork buns, and fish ice cream.
Kanagawa is only an hour south of Tokyo, making it an easy day trip from Japan’s glitzy capital. Famous sites like the Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha) and hot spring getaway Hakone are the prefecture’s star attractions. Add in some local flavor and you’ve got yourself a plan.
1. Yokohama iekei ramen
If you find yourself itching for laid back vibes, check out Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest city. After exploring the Cup Noodle Museum and Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, add even more noodles to your trip with the city’s regional bowl—iekei ramen.
5 Shops to Try Iekei Ramen
2. Yokosuka naval curry
Yokosuka City in Kanagawa is mostly known for being an American naval base, but has a more interesting reputation as a “curry town.” When in Yokosuka, you’ll want to try kaigun curry which is made with a thick hearty sauce. This heavy comfort food uses potatoes, carrots, onions, beef and a dash of flour. Best eaten with a side salad and a glass of milk.
Kick it old school and head to Wood Island Curry, a staple in the neighborhood that’s been around since the ‘80s. Get there easily on foot in nine minutes from Yokosuka Chuo Station.
3. Kuro tamago (black egg)
An abundant supply of ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) and insta-worthy landmarks like Hakone Shrine, make Hakone a great weekend escape from Tokyo. One of Hakone’s highlights is Owakudani, a sulfurous valley formed by volcanic eruptions a thousand years ago. The most infamous food here is kuro tamago, black eggs that get their color by being boiled in hot spring water. #Science.
Supposedly, eating one of these eggs will extend your life by seven years. Whether you choose to believe that or not, we have to be honest, they taste just like any other eggs. This one is more about the experience.
Riding the ropeway up the billowing gorge and getting one of the famed eggs is a fun excursion that makes for a cool photo, for sure! The eggs are available in packs of five at the tourist center near the Owakudani Ropeway station.
4. Nikuman (pork bun)
Yokohama is home to the biggest Chinatown in Japan and the main reason to come here is the food, specifically nikuman (pork buns).
Nikuman have a soft, fluffy texture with an extremely satisfying burst of flavor on your first bite. Pork buns in Chinatown up the ante, with some decorated like a panda face, and others stuffed with anko (red bean paste), shrimp, and beyond!
Our personal favorite is the sukiyaki man, which mimics the classic Japanese dish with simmered beef and a gooey egg inside. Get this bad boy of buns at Edosei (江戸清) which has a few branches sprinkled throughout Chinatown. Most buns cost around ¥500 each and are fairly large, so you’re sure to be stuffed after eating one or two. Don’t let us stop you from (over)indulging, though.
5. Shirasu (whitebait)
Shirasu donburi (whitebait rice bowl) is a specialty on the island of Enoshima. The island is only a handful of stations away from Kamakura on the gorgeous sea-facing Enoden train line. Boiled and lightly salted or served raw on a bed of rice, the shirasu bowl attracts tourists from far and wide.
If you run out of time and can’t get to Enoshima, don’t sweat it. Around the Kamakura area (where the big Buddha is) you’ll see vendors incorporating the tiny white fish into almost everything. Think shirasu ice cream and jakkoyaki, which is the same as takoyaki, but stuffed with shirasu instead of octopus. Now you can say you’ve tasted everything.
Find more local delicacies across Japan with our 5 Famous Foods series.