The Best Kaisendon Seafood Bowls Around Toyama Bay
Toyama has some of the richest fishing grounds in Japan and is famed for its seafood. Around 800 species of fish and shellfish are identified as inhabiting the Sea of Japan, and roughly 500 of these can be caught in Toyama Bay. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood through all four seasons around the bay and throughout much of the prefecture. Read on to discover five of the best bay-area seafood bowl spots, each just a short trip from either Toyama City or Takaoka City.
* This article was adapted from work by a local reporter living in Toyama Prefecture.
Himi Fish Market Shokudo (Himi City)
Himi Fish Market Shokudo’s location on the second floor of Himi Fishing Port’s wholesale market means you can enjoy the freshest seafood straight from the auction floor. The restaurant (shokudo) opens at 6:30 a.m., serving hearty seafood meals for fishermen and foodies alike.
The kaisendon seafood bowl is topped with freshly caught seafood straight from the wholesale market. Try something special with the Himi hamadon, a specialty dish served in small, medium, or large portions, depending on the amount of seafood you want. Popular dishes such as kaisendon and Himi hamadon are served year-round, but the menu also features seasonal seafood bowls. Himi kanburidon is a seafood bowl lavishly topped with yellowtail, while Himi kaisenzukedon is layered with sashimi marinated with soy sauce. The fisherman's broth comes with set meals and includes tsumire, balls of minced fish.
Uozumaru Shokudo (Uozu)
Operated by a fishing co-op near the Uozu Fishing Port, Uozumaru Shokudo serves a sumptuous seasonal seafood bowl topped generously with red snow crab meat. Mix the crab meat with a paste made from crab innards (provided with the seafood bowl) to bring out even more of its natural umami flavor. You can also choose from a sweet shrimp bowl, the Uozu special (rice bowl with marinated yellowtail), which won top prize in the JF Uozu’s mini rice bowl contest, and other seafood bowls, as well as the set meal which features rice cooked with sea snail, a local Uozu specialty.
Uozumaru Shokudo is only open for lunch, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Kitokito Shokudo (Imizu City)
Located in Shinminato Fishing Port, seafood diner Kitokito Shokudo is a mainstay for fishermen and much loved by the general public as well.
The marinated rice bowls known as zukedon are a top specialty here. The extra-large zukedon is a bowl of rice topped with tuna, salmon roe, and whitebait, and served with miso soup, a soft-boiled egg, and pickles on the side.
At only 500 yen, the reasonably priced fishmonger’s zukedon is an ideal breakfast or lunch. It is a single bowl of rice topped with marinated tuna.
Kitokito also serves standard kaisendon seafood bowls, as well as red snow crab bowls, red and white bowls (glass shrimp, red and white snow crab, and salmon roe), and glass shrimp tempura bowls.
Kitokito Shokudo is open from 5:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Sakanaya Kobo Kaisen Kura (Tonami City)
The weekday lunch at Kaisen Kura is so popular that you’ll always find a line there before the restaurant opens. Serving fish that the owner catches himself every morning, as well as other freshly landed catch from the market, this restaurant offers an array of hearty seafood bowls and other dishes at amazing prices.
This weekday-only kaisendon lunch includes a wide variety and a large quantity of sashimi. For an extra 200 yen, you can get a portion so large that you’ll have a hard time getting to the vinegared rice beneath.
Kaisen Kura’s weekday lunches are all served with saw-edged perch simmered in sweetened soy sauce.
Another popular weekday-only lunch is the sashimi set meal. As with the kaisendon, you can request a large portion for an additional 200 yen; for an additional 50 yen, you can top your rice with tuna and green onion.
With low prices and generous portions, Kaisen Kura’s weekday lunches are extremely popular.
Marujin (Himi City)
Marujin’s motto is to cook quickly to ensure freshness and deliciousness. With ingredients procured from the fish market every morning, the meals served at this izakaya are guaranteed fresh and full of flavor.
Kaisendon with more than ten kinds of seasonal seafood
The size of Marujin’s kaisendon makes it a crowd-pleaser. It is piled so high that the sashimi and other toppings practically topple right out of the bowl. The dish comes with a spare plate to help deconstruct this sashimi mountain.
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