The more I learn about cooking and food culture, the more I’ve become fascinated with cultural concepts of portable foods. As I’ve written before, Japan’s main example is onigiri, rice balls, but in the Shinshû/Nagano region, it’s oyaki, the steamed buns often made with savory fillings and soba-flour dough. Combine oyaki with another one of my favorite foods, kabocha, and you have a delicious, healthy addition to your bento that is easy to make and transport.
On our last day in Nagano, we went to see Matsumoto Castle and drove through Hakuba and Miasa on the way back to Kanazawa.
In September, a friend and I traveled to Takayama, about 3 hours from Kanazawa. Located in Gifu near the border of Nagano, the old towns of Hida (飛騨） and Takayama (高山）are a food tourist’s paradise. Since the town is quite small, most of these foods can be found in stands or restaurants near Takayama Station and nearby morning markets.
Hôba Miso Yaki （朴葉味噌焼き）