An Edo-Period Re-introduction
The region known as Oharaimachi extends from close to Uji Bridge at Ise Shrine’s Naikū (the Inner Shrine) in the town of Ise, Mie Prefecture. The heart of this area is Okage-yokochō, an activity of the Ise-ji street as it would have been during the Edo period (1603–1868) and the Meiji technology (1868–1912). This stretch of groups close to the original Akafuku mochi (rice cake) shop gives a flavor of the neighborhood flavor of the vicinity and the period, with memento stalls, restaurants, cafes, and different homes open to the general public.
Akafuku mochi, the Taste of Ise
The one factor that site visitors surely ought to strive at Okage-yokochō is Akafuku mochi. These rice desserts have delivered reputation not best to Ise, but the whole Tōkai location, in which Ise is placed. The original Akafuku keep, in which this mochi had been invented, stands just throughout Oharaimachi-dōri to the east from the main front to Okage-yokochō. This entrance area is marked with the aid of a stone statue of a Maneki Neko (beckoning cat). The modern-day storefront is a wood production constructed in 1877 the usage of a conventional Ise-region gabled roof architectural style and sports a special, wide-open avenue frontage.
Fresh-made Akafuku mochi is bought immediately at both the authentic keep and its direct income retailers and can be eaten within the eating place or taken and eaten someplace else. Visitors can also watch the craftspeople making the Akafuku mochi at the premises. A serving tray of Akafuku mochi with two cups of banchan (coarse Japanese tea) charges ¥210. Made with Ise-cha, a spread of tea native to the Ise area, bancha is brewed in pots at the premises with riverbed water drawn from the Isuzu River, which flows below the Uji Bridge. Another storefront across the road has other popular offerings for sale: Akafuku Shave Ice from mid-April to October, and Akafuku zenzai (thick bean soup with rice dumplings) from early October via early April.
Bonito served Ise-Style: Tekone-sushi
Tekone-sushi refers to a neighborhood dish said to originate with Ise-vicinity fishermen, who supposedly would have it as a meal after they had been out at the water. Sushi-kyū, the maximum popular eating place in Okage-yokochō, serves bonito pickled in soy sauce on rice made with a nearby logo of vinegar. The stylish constructing is made with substances recovered from Uji Bridge that were made to be had on the event of the rebuilding and rededication of the shrine in 1869.
Tekone-zushi combines the hearty mouthfeel of bonito with the clean flavor of the vinegared rice to good impact. Another famous dish is hitsumabushi, wherein regionally farmed eels are cut into strips, broiled, and served over rice.
Snacking While Strolling Okage-yokochō
Another attraction of Okage-yokochō is its considerable variety of “B-grade cuisine,” cheaper and pleasurable food that lends itself to snacking via pilgrims while they stroll around the grounds. There is likewise a place close to the taiko-yagura (drum turret) inside the middle, where eating and ingesting is permitted. It is usually recommended that visitors sit down there and savor the food that they have offered once they have walked sufficiently around the shrine region.
Yokochō-yaki is a baked snack patterned on a photograph of Ebisu Daikoku, a god of luck. The aromatic honey-flavored batter is full of tsubu-an (coarse candy pink bean paste) made with azuki beans from Hokkaidō’s Tokachi district. Another famous product is imo-an (candy potato paste), a seasonal forte.
The Original Denbei Cucumber-on-a-Stick
Ise-takuan is a kind of pickled radish long applied as a preserved food through pilgrims to Ise Shrine. Denbei is a pickled food shop that maintains the flavor and traditional preparation strategies of these meals. Lightly salted cucumber on ice just appears cool and fresh and has an easy, clear flavor.
Ise Soy Sauce Sticky Pudding
Located close to the north front of Okage-yokochō is the Ise Shōyu predominant store, which sells sticky pudding (¥390) made with care using its signature Ise soy sauce. The full-bodied sweetness bobbing up from the company’s soy sauce and amakōji (a candy aspergillus mildew) is a treat for every person with a sweet tooth.
Buta-site is a butcher’s keep based in 1909 as a beef professional. The call is said to derive from a person named Sutekichi who kept pigs, but a popular version of the tale is that clients advised him to drop the pork because the pork on provides become simply too tasty, and he should stay with that. Their forte croquettes are fried to a fairly mild crunch, and the wealthy meat flavor spreads thru the mouth with each bite.
Mitarashi-dango Rice Dumplings
This keep sells dango (rice dumplings) baked onsite, made with nice-exceptional rice powder from Japanese grain. The shop gives a variety of sorts of danger, of which the most encouraged is the staple mitarashi-dango and the kuromitsu-dango (darkish molasses dumplings) said to were eaten in Ise from long in the past. Fresh-baked mitarashi-dango has a springy mouthfeel and is lined in fragrant soy sauce.