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Food Treasure Trove in Tohoku, Ninohe City!

Ninohe City in Iwate Prefecture is located at the northern end of the Prefecture and is blessed with a rich natural environment such as Oritsumebasenkyo Prefectural Natural Park, the Kitakami Mountains, the mountains consisting of the Ou Mountains, and Kindaichi Onsen. The city is formed on the banks of the Mabechi River, which runs north and south.

Besides beautiful nature and abundant blessings, the area is filled with extremely sweet vegetables (which come over the harsh winter!), millet culture that has taken root for a long time, and famous sake that is distributed in more than 50 countries around the world. These reasons make Ninohe city become one of the popular travel destinations for tourists who are looking for delicious foods, in addition to its access which takes less than 3 hours Shinkansen ride from Tokyo.

Restaurants we review in this article are using local foods that we are excited to introduce!

1. Sushi Takeda (Sushi)

Vegan sushi

Sushi Takeda is a place to have vegan sushi topped with vegetables and mushrooms grown in the fertile land of Ninohe and fresh seaweed from the coast off Sanriku, professionally served by the skillful chef. You can enjoy the excellent combination of fresh yet sweet vegetables and the sushi rice that the craftsmen are particular about, especially the mekabu gunkan sushi!

*Mekabu is a type of seaweed with a chewy texture

Restaurant name Sushi Takeda
Address 46-4 Horino Baba, Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture〒028-6105
TEL 0195-22-3988
Opening hour Lunch 11:30~14:00
Dinner 17:00~22:00
Close on Sunday
Happy Cow

2. Rontanshuka (Chinese cuisine)

From upper left to bottom right: Vegan Mapo Tofu, Vegan Szechuan Tantanmen, Vegan Takana Fried Rice, Stir-Fried Vegetable With Garlic

The restaurant has a chic atmosphere where you can have Chinese classics such as Szechuan tantanmen and vegan mapo tofu. The skill of the owner who trained at a famous store in Tokyo is just real, as you can enjoy various authentic Chinese food in vegan using the best local ingredients and careful work. The taste is just top-notch, and there aren’t many places in Japan where you can eat vegan Chinese foods at this level.

Restaurant name Rontanshuka
Address 10-3 Fukuoka-Hashiba, Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture 〒028-6101
TEL 0195-43-3338
Opening Hour Lunch 11:30~15:00
Dinner 18:00~22:30
Close on Saturday and Sunday
Happy Cow

3. Shiki no Sato (Soba)

Vegan Tempura Soba

Shiki no Sato makes soba from zero starts from peeling the shell to make it into a dough and serving it to customers. The restaurant only offers soba that is made on the day, so it is fragrant and has a chewy texture that is freshly served to your table. If the common soba soup is made from bonito soup stock, the soup on the vegan soba meal comes with vegan soup stock. In addition, you can purchase the vegan-certified Nanbu Senbei (rice cracker)!

Restaurant name Shiki no Sato
Address 49-1 Arase Ishikiridokoro, Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture 〒028-6103
TEL 0195-23-7148
Opening Hour 11:00~15:30
Close on Monday
Happy Cow

4. Teppanyaki Rai (Teppanyaki)

Vegan Teppan Steak

Speaking of Ninohe, this teppanyaki restaurant will pop up in our minds! In Teppanyaki Rai, you can enjoy not only delicious dishes but also amazing performances by the chef right in front of you!

Ninohe city has a culture of eating tofu steak for a long time, so this is definitely the place to go!

Restaurant name Teppanyaki Rai
Address 92-7 Horino Okawarage, Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture 〒028-6105
TEL 0195-23-4303
Opening Hour 17:30~21:30
Close on Sunday
Happy Cow

Bonus: The World’s First Vegan-Certified Japanese Sake, The Nanbu Bijin!

Vegan Japanese Sake Nanbu Bijin

In 2019, Nanbu Bijin obtained the world’s first vegan-certified product for Japanese sake which led to all of their products becoming vegan certified. Currently, the product is exported to more than 50 countries overseas and it is no exaggeration to say that it is representative of Japanese sake to the world. There are many products that can only be purchased at Nanbu Bijin’s brewery, and you can also have a tour (and tasting the sake!) in the brewery for 1,000 yen (currently suspended due to COVID-19 outbreak).

Restaurant name Nanbu Bijin (sake brewery)
Address 13 Fukuoka Kamimachi, Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture 〒028-6101
TEL 0195-23-3133
Opening Hour 8:00~16:00
Close on Saturday, Sunday, and national holiday
Happy Cow


See Also

Tohoku’s Local Foods Transformed Into Vegan Meals!
Happy Cow Announces Best Vegan Restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto
Vegan Meals Tasting at The Westin Sendai’s “Symphony Restaurant”