The reason I often talk a lot about Nagaya in my blog because I had live in Nagoya for over 10 years and often go back there to see my fams.
And I love Nagoya.
Nagoya is the largest city in the central region, 4th largest city in Japan, but it’s not so popular as an attractive sightseeing spot.
However, I believe Nagoya is the hidden gem city for foodies, in fact, the city is famous for “Nagoya Meshi”(名古屋めし)-the unique local cuisines, among Japanese people.
I stayed in “Fushimi” area, which is the office district in Nagoya city means there are many Izakayas where Japanese office workers aka “salaryman” and “OL” make stops to have drinks on the way home after work.
My husband and I found the local small Yakitori place that we experienced the comfort atmosphere of “Taisyusakaba”(大衆酒場), great food and drinks.
Even though you are not going to Nagoya, I can give you some hints on what the local small Yakitori izakaya is like and may help your Japan trip.
“Fushicho”(フシチョウ) is a “Yakitori” izakaya restaurant in Nagoya city.
The restaurant is close to our hotel, so we tried “Fushicho”.
I thought it was a chain Izakaya restaurant so I didn’t put on my list, but
It isn’t showing on google map, which made us excited…
Actually, there is my husband’s favorite local tiny private-owned yakitori place in Nagoya where we have been frequently while we lived in Nagoya, but I don’t want to go anymore because the old lady who works there is absolutely unfriendly. However, the taste is really good!
We arrived a little earlier when Izakaya is opened, but a friendly guy let us in.
According to him, the guy usually works for the dart’s bar owned by the same owner of “Fushicho”, and he takes care of here on the day the manager is off.
There is the counter table with 8 stools only, it was a cool nostalgic atmosphere which our type.
Mainly they serves yakitori and kushikatsu, tempura, and some other nibbles.
Today’s Recommendation Menu
- Skewered Duck & Cherry tomatoes/ ¥180 (per stick)
- Fresh Tuna Sashimi from Wakayama/ ¥480
- Spring “Sansai” Tempura/ ¥450
- Fresh caught Shrimp Tempura/ ¥350 (2 pieces)
- Fluffy and runny Omelette/ ¥580
“Sansai”(山菜) is literally “mountain vegetables” in “Kanji” Japanese, it is the staple food eaten for the limited Springtime.
Technically, “Sansai” is the several kinds of wild mountain vegetable shoots or sprouts such as
- Udo/ ウド… Japanese Spikenard, mountain asparagus
- Taranome/ たらの芽…New sprouts of the Japanese angelica tree
- Warabi/ わらび…Bracken fern shoots
- Fuki/ ふき…butterbur
- Fukinotou/ ふきのとう…Butterbur scape
- Seri/ せり…water celery
Japanese people enjoy (sometimes compete) harvesting these in mountain.
“Sansai” usually is eaten with just boiled, or deep-fried as Tempura.
Especially, Taranome Tempura is called the king of “Sansai” tempura which I really like very much.
Most of “Sansai” taste bitter (weirdly), when Japanese people explain the taste, they would say,
“It will be tasty once you grow up.”
“Fushicho” has a special set menu called “Yorimichi Set” (寄り道セット) or “Kushikatsu set” (串カツセット) between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“Yorimichi” means “making a stopover” in Japanese, for example, you can say “yorimichi” when you stop by Izakaya for a quick drink on the way back home.
3 kinds of Yakitori and 2 kinds of appetizer comes with “Yorimichi set”
and 5 Kushikatsu and 2 kinds appetizer comes with “Kushikatsu set”,
plus one drink cost ¥1,000.
We were going to go our friend’s bar after this, so we didn’t order food much here.
As an appetizer, we ordered fresh tuna sashimi.
When you visit Japan, you can’t miss fresh tuna sashimi!
By the way, do you know the difference between “sashimi” and “sushi”???
“Sashimi” is just fresh slices of seafood without rice,
“Sushi” is rice and fresh seafood.
We ordered 3 Kinds of Yakitori, Gizzers, thighs, and hearts.
“Nanami” Chilli pepper powder is really good with Yakitori if you like.
Generally, the main lineups for alcohol menu are beer(draught or bottle), sour aka chuhai, Japanese sake, shochu, highball, hoppie.
Unless you go to concept Izakaya like international bars or wine specialty, local small izakayas likely don’t have cocktails and wine.
Except for the wine concept izakayas, it’s cheap wine mass-merchandised for Izakayas.
Top 5 major beer brands that you can see at Izakaya in Japan are Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo, Suntory, and Yebisu.
It depends on Izakayas, some of them have options to choose the brand, or others don’t.
However, you can’t miss Asahi and Kirin at Izakayas throughout Japan.
Japanese draught beer must be icy cold and also must have a form on the top.
By the way, a draught beer in Japanese is “Nama Bi(e)ru” pronounced “Nama Beeru”.
Don’t forget to order drink as first at Izakaya in Japan.
Japanese High Ball
“HighBall”(ハイボール) IN JAPAN is a popular mixed drink based on whiskey and strong carbonated (sparkling) water.
Highball in Japan is as popular as a draught beer and is reasonable to drink.
My preferred drink is always a highball in Japan especially with lemon slices in it.
If it’s available, I always ask to add more whiskey even though I have to pay for extra.
Japanese Highball should be mixed with strong fizz carbonated water, it’s so refreshing and good with Yakitori too.
Go to Local, Make Friends
The local small Izakaya like “Fushichou”, the atmosphere is generally very comfy and friendly. (NOT Friendly at my husband’s favorite Yakitori place though.)
The guy working there at the day was really friendly, and constantly take care of customers.
Also, He made a friendly atmosphere with talking about the same conversation with other patrons, so we could make friends easily.
We laughed a lot about the difference of skinship culture between American and Japanese.
If you have chance to visit Nagoya, Japan, visit Fushicho and make local friends there.
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