All About Japan

6 Foods You Must Try in Ise-Shima

| B-Class Gourmet , Ise

Located on the east coast of Mie Prefecture, Ise-Shima offers a wide variety of delicious food in addition to its famous Ise Grand Shrine. We've taken the most expensive stuff like Matsusaka beef off them menu, so what we have here is a list of six affordable things you’ll want to try when you visit the home of Shinto’s principal shrine.

1. Ise Miso Ramen

Sapporo may be Japan’s most famous miso ramen mecca, but Kura de Ramen’s take on the dish, made with locally produced miso and served in a converted miso warehouse, is seriously tasty stuff.

2. Ise Udon

If you’re craving even more Ise-style noodles, make your next bowl one of Ise udon—the cold, refreshing pasta that’s been revitalizing travelers and pilgrims for generations. Chitose’s udon is especially tasty, with a consistency that’s pleasingly soft and fluffy, but never mushy.

3. Beef Bowl ('Gyudon')

Butasute means “throw out the pigs,” which is a really odd name for a restaurant. Still, after eating one of the restaurant's mouthwatering beef bowls, filled with juicy, flavorful strips of beef, you might find you’ve acquired a similar disdain for pork.

4. Akafuku Kori

This dessert is perfect for indecisive types. Akafuku is famous for the confection of the same name, which is a small ball of mochi enveloped in smooth anko (sweet bean paste).

This is what plain old akafuku looks like.

The akafuku kori, though, takes an akafuku and tosses it into a heaping serving of matcha-flavored shaved ice, making it sweetly satisfying and soothingly cool.

5. Henba Mochi

While it’s not as famous as akafuku, henba mochi is also definitely worth trying. Composition-wise, it’s the exact opposite of akafuku, with mochi on the outside and anko inside. You can find this savory treat at Henbaya Shoten.

6. Ise Ebi Ice Cream

Next to Ise Grand Shrine you’ll find Oharai-machi, a neighborhood with souvenir shops and restaurants catering to the many travelers the shrine draws. Some of the stalls sell ice cream, and if you’re craving something more unique than chocolate or vanilla, you can try ice cream actually flavored with Ise ebi (shrimp).

That gourmet pedigree is hard to say no to, but this scoop of ice cream genuinely tastes, and smells, like a bunch of shellfish. So while it’s worth eating if you’re trying to one-up anyone who’s eaten instant ramen ice cream, this Ise ebi ice cream is definitely something you eat more for the experience than the flavor. As such, we recommend trying it before the other items on this list, because you’ll probably find yourself wanting a palate cleanser ASAP.

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