3 Must-Try Foods When You Visit Ginzan Onsen In Yamagata Prefecture | CoolJapan

Ginzan Onsen, whose name translates to silver mountain hot spring because of its history as a silver mine, is one of the most popular onsen towns in Japan and can be found in Tohoku, Yamagata Prefecture.

Ginzan Onsen Yamagata Japan

Ginzan Onsen has a charming old-school appeal that laidback travellers will surely love. (Photo from: ©JNTO)

Ginzan Onsen’s old-world atmosphere

The town’s main architecture reflects the aesthetic of the Taisho period (1912 - 1926) to the early Showa period (1926 - 1989); its traditional feel is perfect for those looking for a more immersive, away-from-the-city experience. Its wooden buildings — some over a hundred years old — are lined beside the Ginzan river, creating a picturesque view.

As soon as the sun sets, the gas-lit street lamps make the town glow with warmth and lend the place a romantic, charming appeal.

Ginzan Onsen at night.

Ginzan Onsen at night. (Photo from: ©JNTO)

But aside from its mesmerising old-world atmosphere, Ginzan Onsen is also home to several must-try food items that hungry onsen-goers simply have to take a bite of. Read on to find out more.

1. Ginzan onsen tofu

Ginzan Onsen tofu.

Ginzan Onsen tofu. (Photo from: ©JNTO)

Ginzan Onsen tofu made by a shop called Nogawa Tofuya is special because the recipe is said to be as old as the many establishments found in the onsen town. It’s fairly cheap at less than JPY220 (~SGD2.20) and is meant to be enjoyed in an eat-while-standing setup.

The tofu is freshly made daily and has a light and soft texture and a rich flavour. The shop that sells the tofu opens at 7:30AM, but make sure you line up early because the shop closes as soon as its supply for the day runs out.

2. Soba ice cream

Soba ice cream

Soba ice cream. (Photo from: ©JNTO)

A day of sightseeing and sweating in the onsen will definitely have you craving something good. Found at the entrance of Ginzan Onsen is a shop called Izu No Hana, which not only offers a wide variety of traditional Japanese dishes including soba but also soba soft serve ice cream.

Soba as a dessert is not the first thing to come to mind when you think of the noodle dish, which is all the more reason to try this treat. The soba powder mixed with the ice cream enhances the creaminess of the soft serve and adds a unique nuttiness that comes from the soba noodles. The soft and creamy texture of the ice cream also pairs well with the texture of the crunchy soba flakes.

3. Curry bread

Curry bread

Curry bread. (Photo from: Photo-AC)

While curry bread or kare-pan isn’t exactly unique to Ginzan Onsen, this version of the snack from Taisho Romankan is still a must-try for onsen-goers here. The bread is made from nebarigoshi or wheat produced in Yamagata Prefecture which gives it a fresh and chewy texture. It is filled with spicy and savoury curry and then fried to perfection. This snack is also freshly made and is only sold until supplies last for the day. If you’re in the area to try it, make sure to line up early since it’s sold at a popular souvenir spot!

Which Ginzan Onsen food are you most excited to try?