Experience Nikko’s Rich Cuisine Heritage

Explore Japan’s culinary traditions in Nikko, ranging from the vegetable-based Buddhist cuisine known as shojin ryori to the seasonal ingredients emphasized in lavish kaiseki meals. Every meal and cooking experience is an opportunity to savor Nikko’s cultural history while appreciating the bounty of the land.


A balanced breakfast

Start the day with a delicious breakfast at INKYO UWASAWA, a family-run restaurant with more than four hundred years of history. Specializing in pickles, the breakfast sets feature a healthy, balanced mix of flavors and textures to match the freshly cooked rice. Breakfast includes soup made with locally-produced miso and vegetables, and a side dish of Tamarizuke pickles. Vegetables are pickled in the soy sauce-like byproduct of miso manufacturing and these pickles are a specialty of Uwasawa. Rounding out breakfast is a warming cup of roasted green tea or matcha. Additional sides and beverages are available to order. After experiencing the Uwasawa family’s dedication to and passion for nutritious breakfast, you can buy pickles to take home.


Make and pick your own

Hands-on food experiences are another way to explore Nikko’s gourmet culture. Try making delicious Asazuke pickles and scoop housemade miso paste at Nikko Robatazuke Kinugawa under the guidance of the staff. At Iwasaki Soba Producers' Association, you can learn how to mill buckwheat flour and make handmade soba (buckwheat) noodles. These experiences are offered in Japanese.
Nikko is famous for juicy Tochi-Otome strawberries, and at Nikko Strawberry Park you can pick and eat organic stawberries straight from the greenhouse, a family-friendly activity suitable for all ages. The farm is a certified Global G.A.P. farm, recognized for its "Good Agricultural Practices," in food safety, labor conditions, and reducing environmental impact. Reservations are recommended, as entry may be restricted due to the number of visitors or inclement weather. Every visitor will have 30 minutes to sample the abundance of strawberries grown here, which include four different varieties. At the park gift shop, you can purchase strawberry products to take home, including jam, gelato, cider, and more.


Sweets and sake

The Japanese confection yokan is a must-try on your visit to Nikko. This sweet with a firm, jelly-like texture is made with adzuki red bean paste and agar. It is said that yokan from Nikko was once given to pilgrims visiting local shrines and temples. Nowadays, boutiques throughout the city sell these treats to take home. The smooth, sweet taste is an ideal match for green tea.
Another piece of Nikko’s culinary heritage is maintained by its celebrated sake breweries. Watanabe Sahei Shoten, dating to 1842, offers tours to learn about traditional brewing methods. The family-run Katayama Shuzo brewery was founded in 1880, and offers free tours of its brewery (reserve a tour in advance), during which you can see the techniques of sake production up close. You can try the products of both establishments such as Junmai Ginjo Nikkoji and Kimoto Junmaishu Sontoku.

Areas of Nikko