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Four Tasty Treats in Fukuoka

February 6, 2013

In August 2012 I returned to Fukuoka for the first time. In 2009-2010 I studied at Kyushu University as an exchange student, where I studied Japanese culture and linguistics and learned Japanese.

My return was part of a five-week trip from Tokyo to Shanghai via Nagasaki by boat. I spent about five days in Fukuoka meeting old friends, teachers, and my host family. (I also wrote a post about the temple of the Great Buddha.)

Today I want to share four of the most delicious things I ate in Fukuoka. Can you guess what they are?

4. Fugu bibimba

The Fukuoka Fuku Festival was all about showing off the versatility of fugu, a delicious poisonous pufferfish. I didn’t find fugu sashimi very flavorful, but I once bought a bit and fried it with excellent results. At the festival was a very popular stall selling fugu bibimba (a Korean rice bowl) for 500 yen (~$6).

3. Tonkatsu, or pork cutlet

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My friends recommended this place that serves tonkatsu, Japanese pork cutlet, among many other washoku, or Japanese-style, foods.

2. Tofu hamburger

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A tofu specialty restaurant was a favorite and a recommendation of my host mother’s. She took a friend and me to eat there. The decor was very “Japanese” to our eyes, and the many variations on tofu were amusing and creative, like tofu croquette and tofu hamburger. I went for the latter, with no regrets. It came with steamed vegetables in a wooden box.

Now anyone familiar with me or Fukuoka will certainly guess what tops my list. The historic neighborhood in downtown Fukuoka known as Hakata is practically synonymous with Hakata ramen, a tasty noodle soup made a broth brewed from pork bones. Japan is home to many good ramens, and tonkotsu is king and queen of them all. (Am I biased?) I was overjoyed when Ippudō, Fukuoka’s best known chain, with branches in Hong Kong, New York, etc., opened a branch in Shanghai. Feast your eyes on Hakata ramen!

1. Hakata ramen at Ippudō

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Have you eaten any of these foods? Please comment on your favorite Japanese foods!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2013 2:16 pm

    I noticed the manga, Hinotori (火の鳥) in your reading list. Did you read it in Japanese? Or is it available in English? That manga was published when I was in high school (in 1970s) and I got completely hooked to it as a lot of my friends. I am happy young people are reading it now.

    • kieranmaynard permalink*
      February 9, 2013 2:26 pm

      I am reading 火の鳥No.9 宇宙編 in Japanese. It was a gift from my host mom she gave me in Fukuoka last year. I really enjoy it. I’ve just got to the part where the Hi no tori appears in the flashback!

      • February 9, 2013 5:41 pm

        You are reading it in Japanese! Awesome. Have fun. I think Osamu Tezuka was a genius.

      • kieranmaynard permalink*
        February 10, 2013 12:06 am

        Thanks! What works by Tezuka Osamu would you recommend?

      • February 10, 2013 9:37 pm

        I would recommend ブラックジャック(Black Jack) – it’s about a physician who does not have a MD license but he is an incredible doctor. That was a big hit in late 1970s-1980s. And 鉄腕アトム (Astro Boy) – this was the first one ever in the TV anime history, I believe. It was a hit on TV in the early 1960s. You can sense the space era reflected on it.

      • kieranmaynard permalink*
        February 10, 2013 10:37 pm

        Thank you! I didn’t know Black Jack and Astro Boy were by Tezuka Osamu. I have a lot to learn about manga. After reading Hinotori I’m intrigued. I will look for those series online.

      • February 11, 2013 2:52 pm

        Now I am not totally sure if Astro Boy was the first TV anime…I remember the American cartoons such as Popeye and Tom and Jerry. I am not sure which is the oldest in the anime history. Probably you know better than me.

  2. ektm permalink
    February 6, 2013 11:28 pm

    Love ramen! And I’d like to try the other dishes. Yum!

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