Stretching across the coastline of the Seto Inland Sea, Akashi, located in southern Hyogo Prefecture is a small port city packed full of gorgeous seaside views, a mild climate, and all of the fresh seafood you could want. There’s really nothing quite like enjoying the catch of the day while sitting on Okura beach and staring out at the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge over the sea. Though many cities throughout Japan feature incredible seafood dishes, Akashi offers some unforgettable options that are unique to the city and shouldn’t be missed.
A majority of the fishing done on the coast is for octopus and sea bream, so any dish including either fish is sure to be amazing. One such dish is Akashi’s version of takoyaki, ‘Akashiyaki’. These battered octopus dumplings are a bit softer and more egg-like than the nation’s more standard dough versions, but just as octopus-filled and delicious! Stands selling the treat can be found just about everywhere in the city, making the dish impossible not to try.
Another local favorite, Ikanago no kugini, is available in the springtime and widely popular. Ikanago are small fish, and for the dish they are simmered in a blend of soy sauce, mirin, ginger, etc. until they turn brown. Actually, ‘kugini’ translated means ‘simmered nails,’ in reference to how the fish resemble rusted nails after being cooked. Despite the misleading name, these little fish are quite tasty and can be purchased in many places throughout the city.
Some other seafood dishes you must try in Akashi include their tasty dried laver seaweed, Akashi nori, roasted or grilled sea eels, and their dried octopus. While all of the seafood restaurants around will serve delicious meals, the best place to try everything is the Uonotana Fish Market. Smaller than some of the big city markets in Japan, this fish-lover’s paradise makes up for its size in quantity and quality of seafood. Around 100 stalls line the shopping street, selling whatever was caught most recently. You can find a good price for a large amount of fish, or simply peruse the shops and sample the many flavorful varieties of seafood dishes.
If you’re more interested in a restaurant-style seafood dining experience, Akashi has a range of options that won’t disappoint. Walking along the streets lining the coast will leave you with endless options for grabbing a seafood meal. But don’t worry, deciding where to dine is easy if you grab a hot plate of Akashiyaki from a nearby vendor to tide you over until you find the perfect restaurant. If you’re still unsure, check out some of these seafood hot spots that are sure to delight:
Cuisine: A Kaiseki style seafood restaurant
Recommended: Taimeshi (seasoned rice with fresh cooked sea bream)
Price: Lunch – ￥2,000～￥3,000 Dinner – ￥5,000～￥6,000
Where: 275 meters from Sanyo Akashi Station, 13-6 Sakuracho, Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture
Recommended: Octopus plate
Price: Lunch – ￥1,000 ～￥2,000 Dinner – ￥4,000～￥5,000
Where: 198 meters from Sanyo Akashi Station, 1-2-4 Honmachi, Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture
Recommended: Octopus sashimi
Price: Lunch – ￥2,000～￥2,999 Dinner – ￥5,000～￥5,999
Where: 208 meters from Sanyo Akashi Station, 1-2-7 Honmachi, Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture
Website (Japanese): www.uonotana.or.jp/shop-102.htm