Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa # 11: Naka Restaurant

I am sometimes asked by hungry tourists to recommend a suitable place to eat  an inexpensive lunch in Kurokawa . Ajidokoro Naka ( 味処なか) is a small Japanese restaurant centrally  located near the river on Shimokawabata dori that won’t break the bank ,and is frequented by locals and tourists alike.



Entrance to Naka Japanese restaurant


Set back  slightly from the street,it’s another of those unassuming restaurants that you could almost pass by,unsure as to whether it’s actually open for business or not!



Luckily it’s open today!


English menus are available for the food,but there is no drinks list in English,so pointing at a bottle on the shelf or gesturing will probably get you served with your alcoholic beverage of choice. Prices start from around  ¥650 for a bowl of udon noodles with beef ,and the owner explained that as the cost of most dishes is low ,payment is cash in only .  Seating is Japanese style on cushions inside separate booths ,or there are a few seats at the counter.



English menu at Naka Restaurant



Dining area ,one of several booths inside Naka restaurant.


This is one of the few  drinking and eating establishments open in the evening (until 9pm) in Kurokawa,as most visitors are enjoying the delights of dining and bathing at their respective Ryokan. I’m sure there would be a warm welcome at Naka to anyone taking an evening stroll around town, who finds they are in need of a ‘top up’  meal or a drink or two!



No frills Japanese dining and drinking

Open 10:30 to 21:00 most days ( but currently closed Tuesdays and Fridays owing to shortage of staff)

English menu. Very little English spoken ,but helpful staff.




Eating and Shopping in Kurokawa: Eating #2 Sobatatsu restaurant

It can be difficult to find a restaurant downtown in Kurokawa for a quick ,tasty yet not too expensive lunch, but `Sobatatsu`(蕎麦龍) is a recently-opened restaurant that fits the bill nicely. Located in the grounds of Wakaba Ryokan,in the building to the left of the main entrance,it`s a short walk from the Visitor Center.(Go down the stairs and slope immediately behind the Visitor Center,cross the bridge over the river,then walk up the fairly steep,narrow lane for the last bit and Wakaba Ryokan  (わかば旅館) is on the left not far from Ikoi Ryokan.



Entrance to Sobatatsu Restaurant


As the name suggests,the main dish on offer here is soba noodles,either hot or cold on their own,or as part of a set. It was a chilly day when I visited,so I warmed up nicely with a set of hot soba noodles with tempura (¥1200). To be honest I`m  not a soba noodle fan,but I really enjoyed these (freshly prepared on the premises by the owner earlier in the day),the soup was delicious and the tempura crisp and fresh. My son polished off a set of cold soba with tempura and was happy to then spend a few minutes using the free wifi connection here while I finished eating.



Hot soba tempura set…..


…or cold ….


Sobatatsu is a fairly new restaurant,seating 18 (western style)  and suitable both for families or solo travellers .Service is prompt,and while you are waiting there is free wifi anyway. An English menu is available,although daily specials are posted on the wall in Japanese. The restaurant also serves items such as chicken,onigiri rice balls ,various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.



English menu at Sobatatsu



OPEN DAILY: 12:00 to 15:00

ENGLISH MENU: Yes,a little English spoken (also by staff in neighbouring Ryokan)