Tsuruga/Wakasa Gourmet Column

7 popular gourmet restaurants in Obama City! Introducing recommended gourmet spots where you can taste specialties!

Obama City in Fukui Prefecture, which prospered as a "miketsukuni" (country of food) by offering rich local produce to the capital, is home to a variety of local gourmet foods. This month's article will introduce some of the most famous restaurants in Obama City, which are famous for their pickled sea bream, grilled mackerel sushi, and dechi yokan. Eat-in and take-out options are available, so please choose the one that best suits your occasion.

What are the must-try popular gourmet foods in Obama City?

In Obama City, where a variety of gourmet specialties are produced, the most long-loved are sasazuke (pickled sea bream), grilled mackerel sushi, and dechi yokan. Let's check out the characteristics of each to fully enjoy them.


Sasazuke (pickled sea bream) is a processed marine product representative of the Wakasa-Obama area. It is made by grating a 7 to 8 cm long red sea bream from the Sea of Japan into three pieces, marinating it in salt and vinegar, garnishing it with sasa leaves, and placing it in a small barrel for a few days.
In an age when there were no refrigerators, the "sasazuke" (pickled sea bream) was invented to prevent the fish from spoiling before it was presented to the capital. It is enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as raw without any sauce, as sashimi with wasabi and soy sauce, or as sushi.

Yaki Saba-Zushi

Yaki saba-zushi (grilled mackerel sushi) is a gourmet dish that originated in the process of delivering mackerel and other marine products from Obama City, which once faced Wakasa Bay, to Kyoto, a city without an ocean. In the Wakasa region, processing techniques such as salting mackerel to prevent it from spoiling during transportation were developed. The sushi topped with thick, flavorful grilled mackerel is a must-try.


Dechi Yokan is a popular winter sweet in Obama City. Compared to mizu-yokan, which is considered a summer confectionary throughout Japan, dechi yokan is characterized by its moderate sweetness and the amount of agar, making it easy to eat.
"Dechi" is a word meaning "little boy. It is said that the name comes from the fact that it is sweeter than mizu-yokan and is "half a man" as a yokan.

Obama City's Recommended Gourmet Spots "Sasazuke (pickled sea bream)"

Here are three stores where you can buy souvenirs of small sea bream sasazuke (pickled sea bream). Be sure to stop by and taste Obama's gourmet food at home.

The "Wakasa Obama Marukai Obama Main Store" is known for its sasazuke (pickled sea bream).

Wakasa Obama Marukai pickled small sea bream

Wakasa Obama Marukai pickled small sea bream

Citation meta. Wakasa Obama Marukai Obama Main Store

At the "Wakasa Obama Marukai Obama Main Store," carefully selected seafood and processed products from Obama, Wakasa can be purchased as souvenirs. Especially famous is the "Sasazuke (sea bream). Thickly cut, plump and tender sea bream is seasoned with rice vinegar made by "Tobaya," a local vinegar maker that has been in business for 300 years.
It is delicious eaten as is, but its flavor is further enhanced by adding a little wasabi soy sauce or ginger soy sauce.
Address 9-21 Otemachi, Obama City, Fukui 917-0078
(〒917-0078 福井県小浜市大手町9-21)
Phone number 0120-52-3744
Business hours 8:00-18:00
Closed December 31-January 1
*Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Obama Seafoods Co. (小浜海産物株式会社)

The red box is eye-catching "Tsudamagobei"

Tsudamagobei's sparrowhawk bream (Nemipterus tsudaensis)

Tsudamagobei's sparrowhawk bream (Nemipterus tsudaensis)

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Founded in 1688, "Tsudamagobei" is a long-established seafood store in Obama that has been in business since the Edo period. It delivers many seafood caught in the local Wakasa Bay to all over Japan as souvenirs.
The signature product is "Suzume Kotai," a sasazuke (pickled sea bream). The red box is a landmark, and it has long been popular among the locals. After sprinkling the flesh of the sea bream with special salt and dipping it in honjozo vinegar and hon mirin (sweet sake), it is packed in a cedar wooden box with kombu (kelp). The transparent flesh and delicate, elegant aftertaste are the characteristics of this dish.
Address 69-6, Obama Tamamae, Obama City, Fukui 917-0061, Japan
Telephone number 0770-52-3200
Business hours 9:30-15:00
Closed No regular holidays
Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site
Tsudamagobei (津田孫兵衛)

"Uesugi Shoten", known to many locals

Uesugi Shoten's small pickled sea bream barrel

Uesugi Shoten's small pickled sea bream barrel

Citation meta. Uesugi Shoten

"Uesugi Shoten" is a locally owned sasazuke shop that has been in business for 60 years. Lenko sea bream caught in the Sea of Japan is carefully prepared by hand by skilled craftsmen.
Unjosui, an underground water selected as one of the 100 best waters, rice vinegar from a local Obama brewery, and domestically produced salt are used, and the fish is additive-free with no preservatives, coloring, or artificial sweeteners. The store is located right next to the ruins of Obama Castle, so you can stop by on your way to see the sights.
Address 1-3-14 Jonai, Obama City, Fukui Prefecture 917-0095
Telephone number 0770-52-0667
Business hours 8:00-17:00
Closed Wednesdays, Sundays
Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site
Uesugi Shoten (上杉商店)

Obama City's Recommended Gourmet Spots “Yaki Saba Sushi”

Here are some restaurants famous for their grilled mackerel sushi. Eat in for a taste of fresh seafood, or take out to get as a souvenir or a lunch box on the go.

"Wakahiro" is popular nationwide as an empty box lunch

Wakahiro's grilled mackerel sushi

Wakahiro's grilled mackerel sushi

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"Wakahiro" is famous for its air bento for airplane rides, and its factory has a direct sales outlet in Obama. The secret to the popularity of its standard "Yaki Saba Sushi" is its thick and hearty grilled mackerel. There are many varieties to choose from, such as the "Soy Sauce Covered Grilled Mackerel Sushi" with the flavor of Wakasa's traditional soy sauce pickles, and the "Grilled Mackerel Sushi [Goku]" using only large, fatty Japanese mackerel.
Only take-out is available at the factory's direct sales office. It is also available at roadside stations in Fukui Prefecture and at Haneda Airport.
Address 1-3-5 Kawasaki, Obama City, Fukui Prefecture 917-0081
Phone number 0120-89-3844
Business hours 9:00-15:00
*Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site
Wakahiro (若廣)

"Sushimasa" is the best place to enjoy Yaki Saba Sushi.

Sushimasa's “Yaki Saba Sushi”

Sushimasa's “Yaki Saba Sushi”

Established in 1960, Sushimasa is a sushi restaurant that focuses on fresh seafood from Wakasa Bay. The grilled mackerel sushi can be enjoyed in the standard nigiri and the rare chirashi. The sushi rice is made with Koshihikari rice produced in Fukui Prefecture and rice vinegar from the local restaurant "Tobaya," and the condition of each mackerel is adjusted according to its condition and the season to bring out the best flavor.
There is counter seating and table seating, and a set meal menu is also available for lunch.
Address 5-13 Otemachi, Obama City, Fukui 917-0078, Japan
Phone number 0770-52-0875
Business hours Friday and Saturday 11:30〜15:00/17:30〜20:00
Sundays & Holidays 11:30〜17:00
*Please confirm details in advance.
regular closing day Monday - Thursday
Reference site Sushimasa (すし政)

Obama City's Recommended Gourmet Spots "Dechi Yokan"

We introduce two long-established Japanese confectionery shops in Obama City that sell Dechi Yokan. Obama's Dechi Yokan, which are moderately sweet and easy to eat, will be appreciated as a souvenir.

Taste the taste of a long-established restaurant, "Ise-ya"


Iseya's sticky rice crackers

Citation meta. Iseya (department store)

Iseya is a long-established Japanese confectionery in Obama, established over 190 years ago. The company is particular about water, which is the starting point for making sweets, and uses "Unjosui," underground water from Obama, Wakasa, selected as one of the 100 best waters in Japan, for its wagashi.
Dechi Yokan is a traditional Japanese confectionery that has been passed down from generation to generation among the many varieties of Japanese confectioneries. It is characterized by its mild and gentle texture and subtle azuki bean flavor.
Dechi Yokan is only available in winter and only for take-out, so be sure to stop by if you visit Obama in winter. It is also a good place to look for souvenirs for family and friends.
Address 1-1-6, Obama-shi, Fukui 917-0071
Telephone number 0770-52-0766
Business hours 8:30-17:30
Closed Wednesdays
Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Ise-ya (伊勢屋)

Inoue Koyoan, original yokan made with carefully selected local ingredients

Wakasa Kuzu Yokan at Inoue Koyoan

Wakasa Kuzu Yokan at Inoue Koyoan

Citation meta. Inoue Koyoan

Inoue Koyoan, a Japanese confectionery established over 70 years ago, uses carefully selected local ingredients to make its sweets. Obama has seasonal sweets called "Dechi Yokan" in winter and "Kuzu Manju" in summer, but "Wakasa Kuzu Yokan" was created to be eaten throughout the year.
It is characterized by a moderate but firm sweetness and a refreshing slurping sensation. Compared to regular Dechi Yokan, it is very soft and is eaten by scooping it with the attached bamboo spatula. There is a coffee shop inside the store, where you can eat your snacks on the spot.
Address 9-17 Minamikawa-cho, Obama City, Fukui 917-0075
Telephone number 0770-52-0199
Business hours 8:00-18:00
Closed Tuesdays
Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Inoue Koyoan (井上耕養庵)

A treasure trove of local delicacies, Obama City will surely make you want to come back again and again!

Obama City is a treasure trove of local delicacies, from seafood caught in the local Wakasa Bay to sweets uniquely created throughout history. It is not unusual for visitors to come back again and again for the gourmet food, either because they can't get enough in one visit or because they are captivated by the special flavors. There are many national treasures and cultural assets to see in the city, so please take your time and enjoy Obama.
The information is current as of February 2024. Information is subject to change without notice.