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Made by Japan’s Leading Sake Makers, Nambu Toji! Four Select Izakaya Restaurants in Morioka to Enjoy Local Iwate Sake

Iwate is an area where there is a group of highly skilled "toji" sake makers called Nambu Toji. Here are some izakaya (gastropubs) in Iwate's center, Morioka, that has a wide selection of sake made by Nambu Toji.

1. Sara

True to its motto of being "more than an izakaya but less than a traditional kappo restaurant," this is a restaurant with a chic modern-Japanese interior with a relaxing atmosphere. The wide selection of dishes from seafood to meats are all made with carefully selected local ingredients. In particular, the Sara Plate of Seven Sashimi (serves two; 980 JPY (excl. tax)) mostly made with fish from the Sanriku region and A-5 Ranked Morioka Beef Grilled with Noda Salt (1,080 JPY (excl. tax)) are recommended as great dishes for their price. The restaurant's selection of sake includes not just local sake from Iwate, but a wide variety of unusual brands from across the country. There are some that are not on the menu, so if you want to try a sake that is not on the menu, be sure to check with the staff.

1. Sara

Palan Bldg. 1F, 1-11-2 Odori, Morioka-shi, Iwate

2. Ooishi

This restaurant is recommended for those who want to enjoy sake with fresh sashimi. You can have fresh seafood that was caught in the morning and delivered from ports across the country as well as items procured by the owner at the market. The wonderful seafood dishes can be ordered a la carte, but the Course Dishes (3,000 JPY (excl. tax) and up) (all-you-can-drink can be added for an extra 2,000 JPY (excl. tax)) and Large Plates Course (4,000 JPY (excl. tax)) including all-you-can-drink are good deals. Both these courses offer an abundance of fresh seafood at reasonable prices. The restaurant has 17 labels of local sake as well as a variety of sake from across the country, so see if you can discover your favorite one.

2. Ooishi

Saien Village 1F, 2-4-11 Saien, Morioka-shi, Iwate

3. Amaneya Morioka Branch

This is the place to go if you want to enjoy a wide variety of sake. It offers more than 100 different types of drinks, including a monthly selection of sake from around the country, as well as shochu, cocktails, and soft drinks that are included in the bottomless drinks courses. There are six course menus that come with bottomless drinks. The Daisen Chicken Course (5,000 JPY (incl. tax)) is a popular course that includes 10 items such as the Seiro Pot of Daisen Chicken and Seasonal Vegetables and Charcoal Flame Grilled Chicken. There is also a Banquet Course that is only offered to three parties a day and includes eight items such as Charcoal Roasted Chicken and Crab and Salmon Roe Rice at the reasonable price of 3,980 JPY (incl. tax).

3. Amaneya Morioka Branch

Plaza Vent Vert Bldg. 7F, 2-3-22 Saien, Morioka-shi, Iwate

4. Nambuhan Nagaya Sakaba Odori Iwate Ginko-tonari Branch

This is a restaurant that is popular as a restaurant where you can "enjoy Iwate Prefecture in one place". It has local sake from all 22 sake makers in Iwate Prefecture and serves a wide selection of Iwate food. In addition to the three great meats of Iwate, Maezawa beef, Platinum pork and Nambu free range chicken, it serves a variety of pot dishes from southern Iwate including Senbei-nabe. At the end of the meal, you can enjoy the three great noodles of Morioka: Morioka Specialty Cold Noodles (890 JPY (excl. tax)), Morioka Specialty Jaja Noodles (890 JPY (excl. tax)) and Wanko Soba (ten bowls; 1,000 JPY (excl. tax)). The restaurant offers many more Iwate specialties. The interior is in the style of an old house where you can experience the feel of being in the Tohoku region. It also has a stage on which the traditional Iwate dance, Sansa Odori, is performed every night from 8:00 pm.

4. Nambuhan Nagaya Sakaba Odori Iwate Ginko-tonari Branch

2-6-4 Odori, Morioka-shi, Iwate

Iwate also has many tourist destinations including the World Heritage Site, Hiraizumi. Please consider these places to eat when visiting Iwate.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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