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Four Select Izakaya in Kumamoto with Great Local Cuisine

Kumamoto Prefecture, which is surrounded by mountains to the east and the ocean to the west, is one of Japan's top agricultural prefectures. This time, we introduce four popular izakaya restaurants in Kumamoto to enjoy the prefecture's wonderful regional cuisine.

1. HERO Umi Tetori Honcho branch

This is a popular restaurant with a selection of standard local dishes such as sweet, melt-in-your-mouth Basashi (raw horse meat) and Karashi Renkon (*1). There are also rare items such as Bakudan (*2), which is served at celebrations in the Amakusa Ushibuka region in the southwest of the prefecture.

Sample menu item: Premium Basashi Plate for One (980 JPY (excl. tax))

(*1) Barley miso mixed with Japanese mustard stuffed in lotus root and deep-fried in a yellow batter colored with natural coloring.
(*2) A deep-fried boiled egg wrapped in minced fish.

1. HERO Umi Tetori Honcho branch

Taigeki Kaikan B1, 4-1 Tetori-honcho, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto

2. Umazakura Shimotori Branch

This is a restaurant that specializes in horse meat. It serves Basashi of various parts, including premium sirloin, lean meat, and heart, as well as a variety of creative dishes including juicy steak and piping hot grilled meat. Regional dishes such as Hitomoji Guruguru (*) are also available.

Sample menu item: Premium Basashi (2,900 JPY (excl. tax)).

(*) Boiled Welsh onion dipped in ice water and served with the leaf wrapped around the root.

2. Umazakura Shimotori Branch

Koen Bldg. 2F, 1-12-1, Shomotori, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto

3. KAN

This is a popular izakaya in the center of a commercial district. It serves regional dishes such as Basashi, Karashi Renkon, and Hitomoji Guruguru, as well as a variety of creative dishes such as pizza with minced horse meat and yakisoba fried noodles with Aso Takana mustard greens. There is also more than 300 labels of shochu, a spirit that Kumamoto is known for.

Sample menu item: Karashi Renkon (750 JPY (excl. tax))

3. KAN

Chohan Bldg. 1F, 1-11-20 Shomotori, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto

4. An

This is a restaurant with an old wooden interior, creating a natural warmth that fills the restaurant, where you can enjoy fantastic Japanese cuisine. The menu centers around regional dishes such as Basashi and Karashi Renkon and includes creative items such as horse meat sushi and horse meat shabu shabu served in a spicy dashi broth.

Sample menu item: Golden Horse Meat Shabu Shabu for One (2,600 JPY)

4. An

Daiichi Moai Bldg. 1F, 1-6-17 Shomotori, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto

Kumamoto is just an hour and a half from Tokyo and an hour on the airplane from Osaka, so be sure to visit.

*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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