Did you know that chicken sashimi is a delicacy in Nagoya? And that these chickens may have had Mozart blasted out into their pens so they would naturally become more delicious? I don’t think we know just how lucky we are to be living in the best foodie city in Japan. Nagoya food (Nagoya Meshi) is far removed from its neighboring districts, and our city’s distinct style of what could be called comfort food is transforming it into a destination – not just a Shinkansen stop on the way to Tokyo.
The best way to explore this city’s local food is the annual Nagoya Meshi Expo! Throughout October, Nagoya turns into a veritable smorgasbord as over 300 restaurants celebrate the unique cuisine of this city. Think pub crawl, but replace it with local Nagoya food (though you can probably still include the booze).
Each participating restaurant will have a special local food menu for the month, and you buy tickets in exchange for the food (after all it is Japan!). Books of tickets come in two (¥1,240) or five tickets (¥3,000). And here is just one example of what you can get for a single ticket: Yamachan is offering a Nagohaku Set (Nagoya Expo Set), which will get you three tebasaki (chicken wings), two miso kushikatsu (fried pork kebabs with red miso sauce) and a jug of Highball. Some restaurants will also be offering a discount on their Nagoya specialty dish, for example, you can try a Cochin Kebab Set at Hanba Honten for one ticket (¥600), when it usually costs ¥760. Yamamotoyahonten Nagoyaekimae store is offering Misonikomi Udon with tempura prawn for only two tickets (¥1,200), giving you ¥420 off! Count me in.
This festival encourages everyone living in Nagoya to try different, local foods. As a temporary resident here, I believe it is my duty to try everything once (we are talking food here). How many on this list have you tried? This is currently my Nagoya bucket list.
(deep-fried chicken wings)
• Miso katsu
(pork cutlets with red miso sauce)
• Nagoya Cochin
(chicken so good you can eat it raw)
• Taiwan ramen
(very spicy noodles from Nagoya
– don’t be fooled by the name!)
• Ankake pasta
(spaghetti with a spicy, sticky sauce)
• Miso nikomi
(noodles in red miso soup)
• Curry udon
(no delicious explanation needed)
(eel dish eaten in four parts)
(flat noodle soup)
(rice ball with fried prawn in it)
(stewed pork offal with red miso)
(a steamed cake made of rice flour and sugar)
And of the hundreds of participating restaurants where you can explore these foods, there are 31 that are competing for the Nagoya Meshi of the year! If you try one and like it you can vote online and support your love for local food.
For tickets and more information:
You can find out what’s happening during the Nagoya Meshi Expo, which restaurants are participating and also buy tickets at tourist information centers around the city (Kanayama and Sakae Stations) and from major hotels around the city.
Witness the expo’s huge opening event at the Nagoya TV Tower. Join boy idol group BOYS AND MEN, Nagoya’s popular historical warlords, Nagoya Omotenashi Bushotai, and Nagoya City Mayor, Mr. Kawamura.
Nagoya Matsuri (Nagoya Festival)
This is a huge day for the city and the Nagoya Meshi Expo will have a stage set up for the event, where Nagoya Omotenashi Bushotai will be having a meet and greet!
Nagoya Meshi Expo
October 1 to November 15 at participating restaurants