Around lunchtime in Shin-Nagata…
People out to get lunch are cycling into Nishi-Kobe Center Gai (pronounced ‘guy’) Street to the background sound of a harmonica being played by a shop owner on the street.
Heading east through Center Gai Street, you see a sign for “Niku no meimon Maruyone (Butcher Maruyone)”. “The Real Deal”, “Made by the Master”, the first thing you notice in the shop is Buta-man (Pork filled dumplings). They look so good… and are great with mustard !!
In the Marugo Ichiba Market area where Maruyone is located, there are many unusual establishments like the Asian food store and a Burmese restaurant. From June to October, the “Marugo Asia Yokochō Night Market” is held every 3rd Friday (2nd Friday in August) in disused stores. The bustling atmosphere of stands selling food from all over the world brings a feeling of nostalgia. Marugo Market is like a maze; walking around I came back to Maruyone again. Hmm…, well, why don’t I try one of Maruyone’s famous “Bokkake Croquettes”?
One of Shin-Nagata’s specialties, “Bokkake” is a kind of sweet, salty stew made with Achilles tendons (beef) and Konnyaku (yam cake). Until the croquette is done, I enjoy chatting with shop staff…
When I broke off a piece of fresh-out-of-the-fryer croquette and popped it in my mouth, a woman with a mischievous smile stretched out her hand and said, “Gimme some!” She said I was eating it with relish…
Shin-Nagata is an arcane town of mouth-watering Shitamachi cuisine like Soba-meshi, Naengnyeon (Korean cold noodles), Bokkake Udon, etc. Most stores are very proud of their foods, which have been passed down through the generations since the day the store opened. When you get really hungry, it’s fun to go to one store after another! That’s good. Or, visit the town repeatedly. That’s also good.
In the open space in front of Shin-Nagata station, a boy with his father screams, “Look! Te’chu’ji—-n!!” and runs up to the Tetsujin 28-go statue. A tribute to Mr. Mitsuteru Yokoyama who was a comic artist from Kobe, a 15.3 m high steel monument was built 5 years ago in his honor. Shin-Nagata, known as “the town where you can meet Tetsujin (28-go)”, welcomes visitors with Tetsujin face shaped street lamps and a gallery.
With wishes for a speedy recovery from the Great Hanshin earthquake and the early rejuvenation of the town, Tetsujin 28-go always watches passersby.
Butcher Maruyone (Japanese) : http://www.ichiba-kobe.gr.jp/ichiba22/shop/ichiba22-maruyone.html
Tetsujin 28-go statue (Wakamatsu park near Shin-Nagata station) (Japanese) : http://www.kobe-tetsujin.com/
Ganso Heijō Reimen ya Honten (Japanese) : http://loco.yahoo.co.jp/place/g-2IYcOqHy88Y/
This trip started from the east end of Nishi Kobe Center Gai (google map) : https://goo.gl/maps/WvgvE
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Madoka Hori
Madoka Hori / Photo-writer Entrepreneurial translator/writer living in Hyogo. As a licensed English tour guide, she occasionally takes tourists to beautiful destinations such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Kyoto, and Osaka and her clients have never got lost so far. On Setouchi Finder, as one of the original team members, she enjoys taking photos and sharing her favorite hidden gems. Private Photo Blog http://riderv328.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/Riderv328
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