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Encounter the taste of mother's cooking of the festival-limited local cuisine of Fukushima Nihonmatsu!

Encounter the taste of mother's cooking of the festival-limited local cuisine of Fukushima Nihonmatsu!

October 28, 2019
In early autumn of 2019, I went to Fukushima Nihonmatsu to participate in the Lantern Festival, the first and most representative of the annual Northeast Autumn Festival.

In addition to being shocked by the ceremony atmosphere, celebrating with the local people, chasing the seven Taiko cars on a tour in the city and town, I also had the privilege of enjoying the festival-limited dishes in the famous local restaurant "Secret Coffee Thousands of Flowers," a place where travelers could enjoy the taste of a mother's cooking.

This article will take everyone to this must-visit local cuisine restaurant in Fukushima Nihonmatsu. Remember your visited places during the journey with tastes!

Gourmet representative of local cuisine in Fukushima Nihonmatsu

Gourmet representative of local cuisine in Fukushima Nihonmatsu
Gourmet representative of local cuisine in Fukushima Nihonmatsu
I have traveled to many places. I have realized one thing deeply. That is, it's better to taste the local cuisine and to communicate with the local people through tastes if one wants to have a deep understanding of a place. When we eat the same things as local people do in their daily lives, we will have similar feelings with them.

It is the most direct way to remember a place— with taste, and often when we think about the place later, the local cuisine will bring out many collections of memories. "Secret Coffee Thousands of Flowers" is such a place where you can eat the local cuisine of Nihonmatsu.
 

The famous local miso & soy sauce factory

The famous local miso & soy sauce factory
The famous local miso & soy sauce factory
In addition to providing local delicacies, "Secret Coffee Thousands of Flowers" is an old-established shop making miso and soy sauce. You can find their own brewery house "Kunitaya Yonezo" in the next door of the restaurant, with an appearacance of beautiful and elegant wooden lattice column.

Starting in 1777, they brewed miso and soy sauce—an indispensable part of daily life—using the excellent environment and resources of the Japanese famous mountain, Mt. Adatara. You can see that the shop's products are displayed proudly in a line in the sales area on the first floor. It's recommended that you take some home and enjoy the native taste which is sung about in Takamura Koutarou's poetry "Chieko-sho."
 

A warehouse rich in the sense of tempered time

A warehouse rich in the sense of tempered time
A warehouse rich in the sense of tempered time
Because of the need to preserve and store the products, there is a warehouse in the restaurant that is rich in the sense of tempered time. Not many such perfect classical storerooms are left.


On that day, the store set up this meaningful spot as a private dining space so that people could enjoy food that is only served for three days after the opening of the Lantern ceremony in a historical atmosphere. This kind of warehouse is usually warm in winter and cool in summer. It was really something eating there. How lucky we were!
 

The limited royal meal for the Lantern Festival

The limited royal meal for the Lantern Festival
The limited royal meal for the Lantern Festival
Although this time we ate the royal meals limited for three days, the store always serve traditional homemade and rural food. The dishes of daily life of the local residents laid out in front of you, rich in the taste of a mother's cooking, and each has its own characteristics and meaning.

The squid marinated in their wine dregs and BBQ trout are very good with the rice. In this season, the most delicious green soybeans, deliciously cooked food, the fresh and sweet little cucumber, and the marinated eggplant and chrysanthemum, are soon eaten up. There is also shredded squid fried with carrot, which is like a TV snack to the local people. It is said that it's as important as potato chips. What a healthy delicious snack!

The food here is simple and natural. There are no complicated procedures or styles, just the beauty and the pure taste of the food itself, so it comforts the stomach and heart of the travelers. Actually, family dishes are still the most deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.
 

The representative of the classical soup is Mom's home cooking love

The representative of the classical soup is Mom's home cooking love
The representative of the classical soup is Mom's home cooking love
Adding a bowl of celebrating red rice made of glutinous rice and ancient rice, and a bowl of traditional soup "ざくざく" that used to be seen as only for weddings or mourning occasions, a delicious and meaningful ritual meal is presented before us.

When I took a sip of "ざくざく," I was shocked that it was like the Japanese-style vegetable and tofu soup. In Japan, almost all generations teach the next generation how to make it. Although the cooking methods and ingredients are not the same, it is always the taste of mother's cooking. It was only after having it today that I knew it has different names and meanings throughout Japan. The word "ざくざく" here means cutting into small pieces

The store owner said that this bowl of warm-hearted "ざくざく" is also available in the store on average days. It is full of vegetables and refreshing and elegant Japanese soup, which warms people from the bottom of their hearts, just like mother's love to us!
 

A list of authentic dishes full of the taste of home

A list of authentic dishes full of the taste of home
A list of authentic dishes full of the taste of home
In times other than the Lantern Festival, you can also eat authentic dishes full of the taste of home. One of them is the representative of Japanese national gourmet—Onigiri (rice ball) Meal. There are three flavors of authentic little rice balls, matched with a variety of household dishes. Of course, the traditional soup "ざくざくく" mentioned above is a must.

In addition, there is also the hot spring egg meal. The combination of hot spring egg and white rice, together with various Japanese dishes and "ざくざくく" is also popular on the menu. Recently, the Japanese green curry meal created by the store is a new way of eating that combines the traditional and the present, and is widely embraced by the local people. Since the store makes miso and soy sauce, the fermented food provided is also a good choice. In addition, coffee, black tea, sweet wine, Matcha, and Japanese desserts are abundant.
 

How to get to "Kunitaya Yonezo Secret Coffee Thousands of Flowers"

How to get to "Kunitaya Yonezo Secret Coffee Thousands of Flowers"
How to get to "Kunitaya Yonezo Secret Coffee Thousands of Flowers"
It is very convenient to go to Fukushima Nihonmatsu from Tokyo. Take the Shinkansen for about one and a half hours to the Koriyama Station, and then take the local tram for 20 minutes to get to Nihonmatsu. The "Secret Coffee Thousand Flowers" is about a 20-minute walk from the Nihonmatsu Station towards Yanzawa Hot Springs.

There is the city of Nihonmatsue, one of Japan's top 100 famous cities. There are also Yasushi Hot Springs, which is located next to Mt. Adatara. In the early autumn of October, there is also the Nihonmatsu ceremony, one of the three biggest Lantern festivals in Japan. To plan a northeast self-guided trip, Nihonmatsu is perfect for a short-stay town adventure. It's all good, whether it's a one-day trip or spending another day for the hot springs.
 

Epilogue

After knowing the "Secret Coffee Thousands of Flowers" introduced in this article, do you think it is a good place to explore the gourmet culture in your travels? It is detailed here for your reference!

蔵カフェ 千の花(KURACAFE SENNOHANA)

蔵カフェ 千の花
Address福島県二本松市竹田2丁目30
Business Hours11:00-14:00, 15:00-18:00, Sun: 11:30-14:00, 15:00-17:00
Shop HolidaysMondays, holidays in summer and end of year
Phone Number0243-24-7018
Web Site URLhttp://kunitaya.jp/