3 carefully selected gourmet foods in Gunma Prefecture (specialties/local dishes that you must try)

🕓 2023/3/23



About gourmet food in Gunma Prefecture

Gunma Prefecture is known for its beautiful nature and rich agricultural products throughout the four seasons, and is a region where you can enjoy different cuisines depending on the season. Gunma Prefecture has a unique food culture: preserved foods that take advantage of the harsh cold of winter, wild vegetables in spring and fresh vegetables in early summer, juicy tomatoes and cucumbers in summer, and chestnuts and sweet potatoes in autumn.

It is also known as a production area for high-quality wheat, and you can enjoy noodles such as bread, udon, and soba made with locally produced wheat. Furthermore, Gunma Prefecture is also famous as a hot spring area, and when you visit a hot spring area, you can sample local specialties such as hot spring eggs and hot spring manju. In addition, ``Okkirikomi'' is a representative local dish of Gunma Prefecture. This dish is a local dish that reflects Gunma Prefecture's rich nature and history, and has been loved by locals for many years. It is said that it was invented to overcome the harsh winters, and is especially useful during the cold season.


3 carefully selected gourmet foods in Gunma Prefecture

1. Okkirikomi


● The charm of Okkirikomi

Okkirikomi from Gunma Prefecture is a local dish that is loved by the locals, and its appeal lies in its simple yet profound flavor. Okkirikomi is a dish made by simmering wide noodles and seasonal vegetables, and the ingredients often include chicken, radish, carrots, burdock, maitake, dried shiitake, and Chinese cabbage. It is particularly distinctive in that the flour on the raw noodles dissolves into the soup, making it thicker.

The seasoning is basically soy sauce and mirin, and in some cases miso, but various arrangements are possible depending on the home or restaurant. For example, you can add soy milk to give it a mellow taste, or you can enjoy a Western-style arrangement based on tomatoes and bouillon.

There are many restaurants in Gunma Prefecture that serve Okkiri Komi, and the ``My Home's Okkiri Komi Contest'' is held, so you can feel the love and passion of the local residents. In these contests, various arrangements of okkirikomi are presented, and you can enjoy an even more unique taste by adding konjac and fried tofu, a specialty of Gunma prefecture, or topping with green onions.

● History of Okkirikomi

This dish, made with handmade wide noodles and stewed local vegetables, has long been popular in the northern Kanto region, where it can be easily eaten during breaks from farm work. This simple yet nutritious dish can be enjoyed year-round by using seasonal vegetables.

Okkirikomi is a dish that is eaten not only throughout Gunma Prefecture, but also in Tochigi Prefecture, the northern part of Saitama Prefecture, and the Chichibu region, and is also called ``Okirikomi'' or ``Nibotou'' depending on the region. Although it is difficult to say exactly about its origin as there are no detailed records, it is considered to be a home-cooked dish that has been passed down by local people since ancient times. It has also been selected as one of the ``Top 100 Local Cuisines of Rural, Mountain and Fishing Villages'' by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and its cultural value is highly praised.

Specifically, it is characterized by a simple cooking method in which wide noodles like kishimen are simmered raw with vegetables, which allows the flour on the noodles to dissolve into the soup, creating a unique thickness.

● If you want to eat Okkikomi, this is the place! !

  • Store name: Okkikomi no Furusato
  • charm:
    ``Okkiri Komi no Furusato'' is a specialty Okkikomi store that is loved by locals and stands on a quiet street corner in Gunma Prefecture. It boasts a 46-year history since its establishment, and its traditional taste is enough to impress even many foodies. If you are looking for delicious Okkikomi, you should visit this restaurant.

    The interior of the store has a calm atmosphere reminiscent of an old folk house, and it is a space that makes you feel at ease every time you visit. During the winter season, a wood-burning stove is lit, and its gentle sounds and aromas make mealtimes special. We provide visitors with a sense of warmth that makes them feel as if they have come home.

    At this restaurant, you can enjoy three different types of okkiri komi, from the classic soy sauce-based okkiri komi to the addictive miso-based okkiri komi with green chili peppers, to a version packed with chicken. can. 
  • Address: 3366 Uenoda, Yoshioka-cho, Kita-Gunma-gun, Gunma Prefecture
  • google map:https://maps.app.goo.gl/RVyZZX6iFkYhEegv7




2. Kama-meshi at the mountain pass


● The charm of Kamameshi at the mountain pass

Touge no Kamameshi is an ekiben produced and sold by Oginoya in Annaka City, Gunma Prefecture, and is unique in that it is served in a Mashiko-yaki clay pot. This ekiben is said to be ``Japan's most popular ekiben'' and is a huge hit, with cumulative sales exceeding 180 million units. Its birth dates back to 1958, and it has been loved by members of the imperial family for many years, including His Majesty the Emperor Showa and the Emeritus Emeritus Emeritus.

This ekiben continues to fascinate many people, and continues to evolve in line with the times while maintaining its same high-quality taste. It was a revolutionary and warm ekiben at the time, and served as a catalyst for its subsequent success.

In addition, Toge no Kamameshi has come to support the entire Mashiko ware industry, and is now a huge hit with sales of 3 million pieces a year. All of Toge no Kamameshi's clay pots are made in its own factory, and 10,000 clay pots are made one day after another.

● History of Toge no Kama-meshi

The history of Touge no Kamameshi dates back to 1958, when sales began at Yokokawa Station in Gunma Prefecture. This ekiben broke the common sense at the time that ``ekiben should be folded,'' and was revolutionary as a warm ekiben. Due to its unique sales method and delicious taste, it gradually became a popular product as it was featured in a column in Bungeishunju, and later became the model for the TV drama ``Kamameshi Couple'', leading to its subsequent success. ​.

Before starting the ekiben business in Yokogawa, Oginoya, the founder of Toge no Kamameshi, sold two rice balls and pickles wrapped in bamboo skin. However, while sales as an ekiben were struggling, Mineji (the founder's wife) came up with an innovative idea: Toge no Kamameshi. By taking advantage of the station's long stop times and offering warm ekiben, they differentiated themselves from other stations and grew into a huge hit.​​

● If you want to eat Kamameshi from Touge, this is the place! !

  • Store name: Touge no Kamameshi Honpo Oginoya Main Store
  • charm:
    The appeal of this restaurant is not just the food it offers, but the history, culture, and heart-warming stories behind it.

    Oginoya's signature product, ``Toge no Kamameshi,'' began sales in 1958 and has since become so popular that approximately 170 million pieces have been sold. In order to meet the needs of travelers tired from long train journeys, this kamameshi began to be served in Mashiko-yaki pottery, which retains heat well and does not transfer odors. As a result, we are able to provide a warm and enjoyable dining experience.
  • Address: 399 Yokokawa, Matsuida-cho, Annaka City, Gunma Prefecture
  • Access: Short walk from Yokogawa Station on the JR Shinetsu Main Line
  • google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/VB1TjMFvv7a6Rexq7




3.  Takasaki Pasta


● The charm of Takasaki pasta

Takasaki pasta is a dish that symbolizes the gourmet culture unique to Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. The region's unique pasta dishes combine traditional Italian cooking techniques with local ingredients to create a unique flavor and charm.

The biggest feature is that they use plenty of fresh ingredients from local Gunma prefecture. For example, Gunma Prefecture is one of Japan's leading wheat producing regions, and homemade pasta made with high-quality wheat provides an exceptional taste. In addition, the vegetables and meat used are freshly grown locally, allowing you to enjoy the local flavor.

It is characterized by a unique arrangement that incorporates Japanese elements while respecting Italian tradition. For example, pasta seasoned with sauces based on miso or soy sauce offers new flavors that go beyond the boundaries of Italian cuisine.

● History of Takasaki Pasta

The history of Takasaki Pasta begins with the combination of classic Italian techniques and the abundant agricultural products of local Gunma Prefecture. This encounter inspired the creation of new dishes that make use of local ingredients. Takasaki City is known for its rich agricultural products, such as fresh vegetables and high-quality wheat, and pasta dishes that make full use of these local bounties have gradually begun to attract attention among the people.

Initially, Takasaki pasta was positioned as a uniquely local dish that was enjoyed at local restaurants and at home. However, as its unique taste and high quality spread through word of mouth and the media, people outside of Takasaki City began to recognize its appeal. In particular, Takasaki pasta has become widely known for its homemade pasta made with local wheat and original sauces that make use of ingredients unique to the region.

● If you want to eat Takasaki pasta, this is the place! !

  • Address: Shango
  • charm:
    "Shango" is an Italian restaurant that continues to be loved by the locals, mainly in the Takasaki, Maebashi, and Isesaki areas of Gunma Prefecture. Since its establishment in 1968, it has continued to attract many people with its cuisine that combines tradition and innovation. In particular, his wins at the 2nd (2010) and 4th (2012) King of Pasta competitions are proof of his ability.

    The restaurant's signature dish, ``Shango-style pasta,'' is a special dish devised by the founder, Shoichiro Sekizaki. This pasta is a hearty dish topped with freshly fried Joshu barley pork cutlets, and the special meat sauce goes perfectly with it. The combination of Joshu barley pork cutlet and pasta has a somewhat nostalgic taste that attracts many repeat customers.
  • Address: 1-10-24 Toiyacho, Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture
  • Access: 15 minutes walk from JR Joetsu Line “Takasaki Toiyacho” station (west exit)
  • google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/XoT4JGnxaXUsaRgs9