Tsuwano is a must-see on any vacation in the Iwami region in Japan. This 'little Kyoto' of Shimane is bursting with shrines, and temples, traditional houses, museums, art galleries, and plenty of nice cafes and inns
“Nono” (能濃) is located about 2 minutes on foot from Tsuwano station. It is a restaurant, which is actually an old Japanese building. It serves good traditional food and sweets. This is the kind of food ordinary Japanese people eat so it’s a nice chance to try the kind of everyday place that local residents eat.
One of the traditional dishes in Tsuwano is uzume-meshi. ( Look for うずめ飯 on the menu or ask for it by name.) It is kind of ochazuke, a rice dish served with tea and a few simple toppings. But it differs from ochazuke in that uzume-meshi has many kinds of ingredients in the rice, for example, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, wasabi and so on. It was made for warriors a long time ago. You cannot eat it with a spoon. You can only use chopsticks. Nono serves uzume-meshi teishoku. (Look forうずめ飯定食 on the menu.) It is a combo, which consists of uzume-meshi, konyaku (a kind of vegetarian savoury jelly), a simmered veggie dish. and Japanese pickles. It is a bit big if you are a light eater. So it is good if you are really hungry, or greedy.
Uzume-meshi teishoku (うずめ飯定食) 1,000yen
I had teishoku (定食), a set-meal. You may be surprised at the size because the menu doesn’t tell you what is in it. Just wait till you see it! When I went to there, teishoku consisted of rice, Japanese soup, a simmered dish of eggplants, plus fried squid, and Japanese pickles.
Nono has many kinds of wheat noodles and rice bowl dishes. You can also have dessert and coffee after lunch. A lot of people like coffee zenzai. (Look for コーヒーぜんざい on the menu. If you order it, remember to pronounce coffee as ‘kohi’.) It contains coffee instead of the more traditional anko, Japanese sweet bean paste. This recipe is special to Nono.
When you choose food, you can always choose from the fake plastic food in front of the restaurant. In that case, you can point and say ‘Kore o kudsai’ or ‘This please,’ and hope they don’t ask you any questions! The menu has Japanese words, no pictures, so it might be a bit tricky if you don’t read any Japanese.
teishoku (定食) 850yen
TEL: 0856-72-0238 (Japanese only)
Address: 55-2 Usiroda-I Tsuwano, Kanoashi, Shimane
Parking: diagonally in front of the restaurant (space for three cars)
Average budget: LUNCH 800~1,000yen
(written by Hitomi)