Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Top Places to Enjoy Ichinoseki’s Mochi Culture

While rice cakes can easily be found across Japan, the mochi in Ichinoseki really stands out! When you visit the city, you will have your first mochi cuisine. The rice cake there isn’t just eaten as a dessert, but as a main dish too! So, if you ever visit Ichinoseki, check out the restaurants that we mention below. Eating mochi is the must-do in this part of Japan!

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Ichinoseki’s Mochi Culture

This custom started with an order given by the Date Domain (伊達藩) that ruled Ichinoseki. The locals were asked to offer rice cakes to the gods to pray for peace and safety in the province. However, people from Ichinoseki were very poor and couldn’t make rice cakes by using only sticky rice. Grains were thus added to the rice flour. To make the rice cake more delicious, various seasonings were developed. As a result, Ichinoseki has now introduced more than 300 ways to eat plain mochi!

Fujisei (三彩館ふじせい)

Just a 3-minute walk from Ichinoseki Station west exit, Fujisei is a popular restaurant offering Mochi Rice Cake Cuisine. Even the street lights close to the station has Fujisei’s directory signs (the last photo in the IG post below)!

The restaurant’s rice cakes are made from the most premium glutinous rice, Koganemochi (こがねもち), making the handmade rice cake served here much nicer! The staff there are friendly too.

© 一般社団法人東北観光推進機構

The signatory dish is the Genso Hitoguchi Mochizen (元祖ひと口もち膳). The box is divided into 9 sections. Aside from the space in the middle filled with grated radish, each includes a bite-sized rice cake topped with a different flavor, allowing you to enjoy the rice cake in different ways. Although rice cakes are usually used in dessert dishes, the Genso Hitoguchi Mochizen has more savory flavors, such as ginger and nattō.

The set menu also comes with a bowl of Ozōni (お雑煮), which is a traditional soup dish with vegetables and mochi rice cake.

Apparently, the set menu was eaten during ceremonial occasions and events in Ichinoseki. It was customary to moisten your mouth/throat with grated radish. You then start with the red bean-flavored rice cake and finish off with the Ozōni.

Another dish that you can enjoy is the Oroshi Agemochi (おろし揚げ餅). The deep-fried rice cake is topped with grated radish, dried bonito flakes, and shallot. If you can’t eat seafood and shallot, ask the staff to exclude them when preparing your order. The rice cake is still nice with grated radish!

Important: Hitoguchi Mochi Zen has non-vegetarian flavored mochi. The chicken broth is used to cook the Ozōni. You can use the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article to assist with communication.

Fujisei’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Fujisei is open from 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
    • The last order is taken at 8 pm.
  • The restaurant is a 2-minute walk from JR Fujisei Station (一ノ関駅).

Kuramoto Restaurant Sekinoichi (蔵元レストランせきのいち)

© 一般社団法人東北観光推進機構

Sake Brewery Sekinoichi isn’t an ordinary alcoholic facility. It is also a place to discover Ichionoseki‘s culture. Besides Japanese sake and beer, the sake brewer also has a restaurant called Kuramoto Restaurant Sekinoichi. It offers mouthwatering traditional and modern cuisines.

The best thing is, Kuramoto Restaurant Sekinoichi can cater to the vegan diet!

So refer to our Sekinoichi article for more information!

Roadside Station Genbikei (道の駅 厳美渓) and Restaurant Pettankun (ペッタンくん)

Located just a 5 to 10-minute walk from Genbikei Gorge, the Roadside Station Genbikei is the perfect resting spot after exploring the gorge. It has a restaurant serving mochi cuisine and a museum filled with amazing exhibits.

For more information, refer to our Roadside Station Genbikei article!

© 一般社団法人東北観光推進機構

Discover Other Attractions in Ichinoseki

Click the photo for more information about Ichinoseki’s attractions!

Ichinoseki is a city with a wealth of beautiful natural landscapes perfect for a weekend getaway from the big city’s hustle and bustle. So, let’s travel around the city for a couple of spectacular spots await your discovery. You will also be amazed by the city’s unique mochi culture!

So refer to our article on Ichinoseki discover what more the city can offer!

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