Takehara city in Hiroshima prefecture is well known as the setting for ‘Massan’, an NHK drama series that was screened from September 2014 to March 2015.
In search of delicious local foods, we stopped by bustling roadside station Takehara – It’s alive with ‘Massan fever’!
At the moment, the most popular products on offer are those related to “Massan”. At the tourist information corner on the second floor, you can see cans of highball cocktails named after the series among other products.
However, from among the myriad of products on offer, yours truly chose roadside station Takehara’s Best Number 1 delicacy:
Made with Takehara-grown Taoshita beef, it’s the Taoshita beef lunchbox! Taoshita beef is a rarity in Japan in that it’s from Taoshita farm, which breeds only cows (no bulls).
The meat is characterized by its softness and rich savory flavor – it really is veeery soft, and delicious even after it cools!! The lunchbox is eaten together with the salty-sweet sauce with which it comes ♡
Best Number 2? The “Take no ko chaya no anago maki” (‘Take no ko tearoom’s conger eel roll) with a slice of conger eel riding boldly on top!
The roll is apparently so popular that even locals come back repeatedly for it. The conger eel grown in the Setouchi Inland Sea area is soft and sweet, a refined flavor. Combined with a fried egg and great burdock it’s perfect!
For Best Number 3 I chose a dessert characteristic of Takehara. On the right you can see a gelato made using sake lees from Taketsuru brewery, the birthplace of Masataka Taketsuru who is the model behind Massan. If you like amazake, you’ll definitely love this!
On the left is, believe it or not, an ice cream wafer made with Takehara-grown potatoes! The surprisingly warm and soft potato fragrance works well with the wafer ♡
Well then, to enjoy my ice cream before it melts I head towards the resting area within the roadside station.
Oh, there is a raised tatami-mat seating area! As I visited with my child, this was a happy surprise. Next to the area there is also a room for breast-feeding, a thing that makes you truly grateful ♪
Right in front of the roadside station, there is a district preserving the original townscape. The area called “Aki’s little Kyoto”is filled with emotion as if you’d made a time slip to the Edo period. Dear reader, how about meeting up with some delicious specialties and lovely scenery at Takehara?
Roadside station Takehara
Address: 1-1-1 Honmachi, Takehara city, Hiroshima prefecture
Open: Shop & tourist information corner 9.00-18.00 (Restaurant business hours are different, check the details on the webpage below)
Closed: Third Wednesday of every month
Homepage: http://michinoekitakehara.com/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Yoshikawa
Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!
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