UMAMI LIBRARY

Japan Guide: 6 Best Street Foods in Kamakura

By Umami Recipe
Japan Guide: 6 Best Street Foods in Kamakura

Kamakura is a well known tourist destination that can be reached in about an hour from Tokyo. Kamakura is famous for its Giant Buddha and temples, but it is also known for its abundance of seasonal flora and fauna such as hydrangeas. The Enoden line that runs through Kamakura crosses the city and is popular among Japanese people as a photo spot as well as the location of a fashionable cafe and lunch spot. As Kamakura is close to Tokyo, a quick trip from the metropolitan area is something to consider. In this article, we introduce the street food in Kamakura, a city full of charm and history.

Deep-fried Fish Cake (Kamakura-age)

Kamakura-age is a tasty fried food where the primary ingredient is dumplings made from fish paste, or "nerimono" in Japanese. Nerimono appears as a side to many types of Japanese cuisine, especially in the form of kamaboko and chikuwa. Small, white-fleshed fish, such as cod or sardines, are used for the dumplings. When the dumplings are made with high fish content, the result is a very tasty snack, full of the flavor of the fish. In the case of Kamakura-age, you can enjoy many flavor variations of these dumplings with squid, octopus, burdock root and curry widely popular. Kamakura-age with shiso leaves, ginger and corn are also available.

Little is it known that burdock is a vegetable native to China, and it is said that Japan is the only country in the world where burdock is eaten as a food today. The primary feature of this vegetable is that it is the roots that are harvested and eaten. It was mainly used as a medicinal herb in China, but was bred for food in Japan. It has an earthy smell, but it is a delicious vegetable with a unique flavor. The combination of the root and fish dumplings may not be familiar to non-Japanese, all the more reason to try it.

Oba, a member of the shiso family, has a distinct and refreshing aroma and is a versatile ingredient used in a dish called sashimi, which is made by arranging raw fish; as well as in yakitori, which is made by roasting the different parts of chicken. Shiso, which goes perfectly with fish, is also paired successfully with Kamakura-age. There are numerous ingredients used in Kamakura-age, making it a dish with a variety of flavors among the nerimono family.

Kamakura Beer

Kamakura is a city with a very long history, and there was a time when the shogun of the time resided there as the capital from around the 12th century. Kamakura Beer, a delicious craft beer, was established as a single brand out of the desire to "make and serve delicious beer" in the city of Kamakura. Kamakura Beer is characterized by its fruity flavor and live yeast from high temperature fermentation. Most mainstream canned beer in Japan is fermented at low temperatures for a long time. Beers produced using this type of fermentation method are refreshing and easy to drink, with no significant difference in taste quality even when produced on a large scale. On the other hand, Kamakura beer, which is produced using high temperature and short fermentation time, has a lot of live yeast in the beer and has a strong flavor with a fruity bitterness. There are four ingredients common to all beers: water, malt, hops, and yeast. Beers made in large factories may have additives such as cornstarch or rice added to these. Kamakura beer has a unique fruity flavor created by the addition of three types of malt as well as hops to the clean and mineral rich water of Kamakura. If you visit Kamakura, don't forget to toast with Kamakura beer at least once.

Dango

In Kamakura, there are Japanese sweets shops everywhere, and the colorful and seasonally rich dango dumplings are easily spotted. These sweets are perfect for eating on the go, as they are easy to take out and inexpensive at around 200 yen. As for flavor variations, there are mitarashi dango with sakura-flavored sauce, dango with peach bean paste, and dango with apricot bean paste. Although dango are easy to take-away, eating them outside is prohibited in the central area of Kamakura, known as Komachi-dori, so be sure to eat them in places where eating them is allowed. In addition to stores selling dango, there are also cafes. Why not enjoy some slightly sweet dango while enjoying a cup of authentic Japanese tea? This set is the perfect 3 o'clock snack to soothe your tired body after a day of sightseeing in Kamakura.

Croquette

A Kamakura street food classic is the croquette. A typical croquette made from potatoes, onions and minced meat that is battered and deep fried. Small and ready to eat, croquettes are a very popular street food in Japanese shopping streets. Also, every home has a croquette recipe they call their own. So much so that the dish is considered a representative taste of the Japanese family. The hot croquettes are eaten with sauce. Supermarkets and convenience stores also sell croquettes, sometimes between two slices of bread to make a croquette sandwich. Kamakura's croquettes are characterized by the generous use of minced meat. The snack is juicier and more satisfying than regular croquettes. The paper bag that holds the croquettes also has a colorful design with characters on it, perfect for taking pictures. There is a croquette shop called Surugaya Honpo, which is quite famous in Kamakura, and their photo-worthy display in the store is very popular.

Crepe

There are many famous sweets shops in Kamakura, but among them, one of the most historic sweets is the crepe. A crepe shop called "Crêpe Shop Coquelicot" is long-established and frequented by both travelers and locals alike. The crepes here are simple cream-based crepes with a chunky dough with sugar. Some people feel that the crepes are served too hot because they are handed to them fresh off the griddle in a thin paper wrapping. They also say that the size of the batter is so large that it is difficult for first-timers to eat. There are many other crepe shops in Kamakura. Some are filled with fruit, some have special cream and all variations in between. Find your favorite crepe flavor combination and enjoy while in the historic Kamakura.

Matcha Sweets

Matcha is a type of green tea that is made from tea leaves that have been made into a powder. The tea has a strong bitter taste that goes well with Japanese sweets. There are many matcha-flavored sweets in Japan, and Kamakura is no exception. With a long history and a strong culture of traditional cuisine and sweets, the city becomes the perfect spot for a historically loved ingredient like matcha. Matcha is used in all kinds of western and Japanese sweets such as ice cream, macaroons, shaved ice and anmitsu. In particular, matcha used in ice cream is popular for its moderate sweetness. Matcha as a syrup for shaved ice is also delicious, and balances the sweetness with its characteristic bitterness. Its moderate sweetness makes it easy to eat, even for the elderly. Matcha can also be made very creamy by whisking it with special equipment. If you are looking for something sweet to eat in Kamakura, we recommend trying some matcha sweets.

Let's Conquer the Street Food of Kamakura!

In this article, we took a look at several street foods of Kamakura. In Japan's historic cities, food culture is also well developed, so there are many local and traditional dishes that are unique to the area. When you visit Kamakura, which is only about an hour away from Tokyo, make the most of your visit by enjoying the street foods as well.

Umami Recipe Team

Bringing what's new on Japanese food and culture, from traditional to current trends to your home.

)