14 December, 2011

Himeji Oden

For this latest issue, let me introduce Himeji-Oden, a taste of Himeji City which embraces Himeji Castle. Oden is one of Japan’s most popular winter dishes. It is a kind of stew which contains delicately cooked eggs, vegetables and meat boiled a soy sauce-based broth. Oden is so popular that you can easily buy it near the cashier of any convenience store in Japan. Soy sauce and grated ginger is set out with the dish. Oden gained a lot of popularity at the annual big gourmet competition, “B-1 Grand Prix,” in Japan!

I took the JR train from Sannomiya to Himeji for 40 minutes to enjoy the local Himeji flavour!
Near the station there are bustling shops and restaurants where Himeji Oden is available as it is the very taste of Himeji. I made a special choice of restaurant: “Nada-Giku” which has served Oden for 52 years.

The restaurant is located on the corner of a shopping arcade with many shops…


Nada-Giku looks like a typical Japanese-style pub, or Izakaya; shelves on the wall are lined with sake bottles and Japanese folk songs (Enka) are playing in the background. The pub has counter seats, so it is pretty convenient for solo diners. 

Inside the pub

One of the unique sales points of this pub is that real Japanese drums are used for the customers’ seats. Awesome, aren’t they?

Drum stools

Here the Himeji Oden comes! The fibrous meat, an egg, deep-fried tofu, konnyaku and Gobo-Ten (burdock packed in minced fish cake and fried) are skewered with a long stick. Steaming rice, miso soup and pickles also delight the palate.

Himeji Oden special

The harmony of grated raw ginger and the subtle flavor of soy sauce left me feeling refreshed. Add Japanese mustard as you like.

Fibrous meat, egg and deep-fried tofu

Nada-Giku offers two versions: “Black”(as above) and “White.” The “White” version uses a broth of sake lees as soup stock. Sounds mouth-watering!

Don’t miss the Himeji Oden on the way from the great Himeji Castle.

Shark (Hyogo Tourism Association)