Updated： July 17, 2019
Where to Eat in Imari City, Saga (Kyushu)
Imari is a small port city in Saga prefecture, Kyushu. The scenic area is known for its pottery, but also has some tasty restaurants! Here is a list of 5 of the best places to get a meal.
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From the outside, 'Drive-in Tori' looks like a car wash or truck stop, with a huge yellow sign featuring a cartoon chicken wagging its finger. Don't be fooled by the tacky design, though! Drive-in Tori is actually one of the most highly rated restaurants by locals. This is because of the quality of the chicken that is used, which makes for some of the tastiest yakitori you'll find anywhere. The interior of the restaurant has outdated styling, and features long tables stretching the length of the restaurant. It's this old-school vibe that makes the restaurant so charming. The specialty is delicious yakitori that you can grill yourself, yakiniku style, but there are also other meats and side dishes on offer. The restaurant is a little bit out of town, but it's worth venturing to!
This restaurant is a local favorite. The place specializes in "Champon", a famous regional type of ramen. Every dish is pretty affordable here. Prices are about ¥1,000. You should definitely try the house's recommendation: the tokusei Champon pictured below. It's huge. The soup is made from pig bones and is slightly sweet. It comes topped with loads of vegetables and seafood (squid, scallop, shrimp). Every piece is fresh and tasty but the best part in is the shiitake mushrooms boiled in mirin.
Steak Restaurant Sho
Imari is known for its beef (imarigyu), and there are many steak restaurants throughout the area. Sho is one of the best. The large sign outside of this popular steak restaurant reads 'It's a SHOW time,' which should give you some idea of what's in store for restaurant customers. If you sit at the counter, you can watch the chef cook your steak on the teppan right in front of you! There are a few steaks to choose from on the menu, and diners could choose to spend anywhere from just ¥3,000 for a set meal with a 150g brisket steak to ¥ 6,700 for a set meal with an A5 sirloin steak.
Located a fairly short walk from Imari Staion, Tokisato is an old-fashioned Japanese restaurant with great prices. The interior is traditional, and there are both tatami and western dining rooms. The most popular item here is the katsudon, and a set that includes udon and katsudon is just ¥999. The pork katsu here is super thick and juicy, and shouldn't be missed. If you're looking for a restaurant that is reasonably priced with nice atmosphere and a varied menu, this is a fantastic option.
Forest Inn Imari
This restaurant is located in a beautiful resort hotel surrounded by the Imari Forest. The place is very peaceful and the design of the hotel is very Japanese. If you go there, you'll see a man-made pond and a traditional garden. The restaurant has a menu that changes with the seasons and is inspired both by European and Japanese cuisine. Prices are around ¥2,000 for lunch but can be quite expensive for an evening dinner (goes up to ¥20,000). On a side note, the hotel also has a very good onsen, so this could be a great place to stay during your visit!
Restaurants Mentioned in this Article
- I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.
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