Tsuruga/Wakasa Gourmet Column

What kind of fish is "Wakasa-Guji" that tastes good down to the scales? Introducing recommended restaurants.

Among the amadai caught in Wakasa Bay, only those that meet certain conditions are called Wakasa-guji. The crispy texture of the scales and the elegant sweetness of the melt-in-your-mouth meat will become addictive once you try it. Here we introduce the characteristics of Wakasa-guji, restaurants near Wakasa Bay where you can eat Wakasa-guji, and stores where you can buy it. Please check them out before you go out.

What is "Wakasa-Guji," a high-end fish representing Wakasa Bay?

Wakasa guji" refers to specially selected ama-dai caught in Wakasa Bay. First, we will introduce the characteristics and conditions of Wakasa guji, when it is in season, and how to enjoy its delicious taste.

The finest amadai caught in Wakasa Bay

Wakasa guji is a beautiful fish with a bright vermilion color, whose Japanese name is akamadai. It is caught in Wakasa Bay and is landed mainly at Tsuruga, Obama, and Takahama ports. It is characterized by its white, light flesh, but has a deep flavor.

The Wakasa region was once a miketsukuni (land of food) where people were allowed to offer food to the Imperial Court. Wakasa guji was considered one of the finest ingredients in the region.

Delicious all year round.

In Fukui Prefecture, Wakasa-guji is caught year-round by longlining and fishing, and also by gill nets in summer, so there are various theories as to when it is considered to be in season. As a general trend, larger fish are caught in winter, while smaller ones are more plentiful in summer. While everyone has his or her own taste preferences, the fat content, one of the indicators of deliciousness, does not change much depending on the season, so it can be enjoyed in any season.

Wakasa-yaki" is famous for the texture of its scales

The standard way to eat Wakasa-guji is to grill it whole without removing the scales. You can enjoy the texture of the crispy scales. The aroma of the fragrant grilled skin and the elegant sweetness of the meat that melts in the mouth are exquisite, and this cooking method is also used in Kyoto cuisine, which is considered the top of Japanese cuisine.

However, it is not suitable for sashimi because of its high water content and easy separation from the meat. When eating raw, konbu-shime (kombu-shime) is a good way to remove the water and enhance the flavor of the fish.

Local restaurants where you can eat "Wakasa-Guji"

The following is a list of recommended restaurants where you can eat Wakasa goji in the Reinan (Tsuruga/Wakasa) area of Fukui Prefecture.

Local production for local consumption restaurant with delicious set menus "Roadside Station Wakasa-Obama Wakuri no Gohanya Okudosan".


Wakasa Guji Gozen by Okudo-san

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Located adjacent to "Wakasa-Obama" Roadside Station, this restaurant offers casual dining of Wakasa's seafood and mountain delicacies. In addition to the standard set meal menu featuring local mackerel and vegetables, the restaurant also offers a full-course Wakasa-guji gozen (Wakasa-guji gozen), featuring a variety of ways to enjoy Wakasa-guji, including Matsugasa-Yaki (grilled Wakasa-guji weighing over 700g), Wakasa-guji Tatsuta-age (fried Wakasa-guji), Wakasa-guji Shio-tataki (salted Wakasa-guji), and more.

The restaurant also boasts of its shiny rice cooked in a large "kamado" using a hagama pot. Reservations are required, so those who are interested are recommended to make reservations as early as possible.
Address 24-45-2 Wakuri, Obama City, Fukui 917-0024
Telephone number 0770-64-5246
Business hours 11:00 - 16:00 (Lunch until 14:30)
Closed End of every month (or the following weekday if the end of the month falls on a national holiday)
*Please confirm details in advance.
Reference website Wakuri no Gohan-ya Okudosan (和久里のごはんや おくどさん)

"Ikesu-Kappou Miyabi" offers a wide variety of fresh seafood.


Masa no wakasa guji

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This kappo restaurant specializes in fresh seafood caught in Obama, Wakasa. The restaurant has a large kettle in which you can enjoy the freshest seafood at any time of the day. In addition to the standard Wakasa-guji grilled fish, aburi-zushi is also available. This is a notable restaurant where you can enjoy a wide variety of seafood, including crab and puffer fish, at relatively reasonable prices.
Address 107 Katori, Obama City, Fukui 917-0058
Telephone number 0120-63-1678
Business hours Weekdays 11:30-15:00/17:30-22:00
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 11:30-22:00
Closed Tuesdays (open if Tuesday is a national holiday)
*Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site
Ikesu-Kappou Miyabi (いけす割烹 雅)

Fans from inside and outside of the prefecture visit "Osyokujidokoro Hamagawa"

Appearance of Hamagawa

Appearance of Hamagawa

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Since its establishment in the early Taisho era (1912-1926), this restaurant has been loved by the locals. The menu includes reasonably-priced dishes such as kaisen-don, a bowl of rice topped with seasonal seafood landed at Obama Port, and wakasa-yaki, a set meal of Wakasa goji fish that is carefully grilled after it has been caught in the first tide. The restaurant is so popular that it has fans even from outside of the prefecture.
Address 7-3 Ekimae-cho, Obama City, Fukui 917-0077, Japan
Telephone number 0770-52-0074
Business hours 11:30-14:30
Closed Wednesdays
Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site
Osyokujidokoro Hamagawa (お食事処 はまがわ)

Yamamoto Fresh Fish Restaurant, a ryotei restaurant run by a fresh fish restaurant


Yamamoto Fresh Fish Restaurant's Dishes on Plates

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This ryotei restaurant is run by a chef who trained at a Michelin-listed restaurant in Osaka. The restaurant offers a menu that uses seasonal ingredients, with a focus on fish dishes. The grilled Wakasa guji is especially popular for its fluffy and delicious meat. A wide selection of sake and locally brewed sake from all over Japan is also available, which goes well with Wakasa guji. Reservations are required for a minimum of two people when ordering a course.
Address 68-10 Sawa, Tsuruga City, Fukui 914-0143, Japan
Telephone number 0770-22-1435
Business hours 10:00-19:00
Closed No regular holidays
Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Yamamoto Fresh Fish Restaurant (山本鮮魚店)

Stores where you can buy Wakasa-Guji souvenirs

We will introduce stores where you can purchase fresh Wakasa guji as a souvenir. We hope you will enjoy tasty Wakasa guji at home as well.

Wakasa Obama Fish Center, a local wholesale market where you can get seasonal fish.

This wholesale market is open to the public for purchases. There are 12 stores selling fresh fish purchased at the market. The fish lined up at the stores change with the seasons, and of course, the famous Wakasa guji is sometimes on display. The contents vary from freshly caught fish to dried fish, so please inquire at each store if there is something you are looking for.
Address 2-5-1 Kawasaki, Obama City, Fukui 917-0081, Japan
Telephone number 0770-53-1530
Business hours 7:00 - (closing hours vary by store)
Closed Unscheduled holidays, Wednesdays and New Year's holidays
*Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Wakasa Obama Fish Center (若狭小浜お魚センター)

Roadside Station with a view of the sea "Roadside Station Uminpia Ooi


Sashimi sold at Uminpia Ooi

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This roadside station is located in Ooi Town. It sells freshly harvested vegetables from Ooi Town, products from Wakasa Bay, processed goods, etc. Fresh fish such as dried Wakasa guji, nodoguro, and sea eel are also available. Located overlooking Wakasa Bay, it is crowded with people who stop by on their way to enjoy the natural scenery.
Address 1-1-2 Narumi, Ooi-machi, Oi-gun, Fukui 919-2107, Japan
Phone number 0770-77-4600
Business hours 9:00-18:00
Closed 1st and 3rd Mondays (or the following Tuesday if the Monday is a national holiday)
*Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Roadside Station Uminpia Ooi (道の駅 うみんぴあ大飯)

If you want to eat fresh Wakasa goji, please visit the Reinan area of Fukui Prefecture.

Wakasa goji is one of the most expensive ingredients in Wakasa Bay, a treasure trove of marine products. In the Reinan area, the local area, there are many restaurants and stores that specialize in fresh fish, including Wakasa guji. If you want to enjoy Wakasa guji to the fullest, be sure to try it in your hometown, where the freshest fish is always available.

The information is current as of January 2024. Information is subject to change without notice.