Akita, Akita City, Food, Hinaiya Chicken Restaurant

Oyakodon – the iconic chicken and egg rice dish of Japan

Akita, Akita City, Food, Hinaiya Chicken Restaurant

Kiritanpo hot pot nabe

Akita, Akita City, Food, Hinaiya Chicken Restaurant

Oyako donburi set

Sometimes we come across products that are more popular overseas than at home. For example, Bossa Nova, one of the most beautiful music genres, is wildly popular around the world, and highly respected in the music community, but not in its home country, Brazil.

In the same way, you might think Chicken Teriyaki is one of the most popular dishes in Japanese cuisine. However, most Japanese would rather dine out on Teriyaki fish than chicken. If this is the case, then how do Japanese people like their chicken? What is the most popular chicken dish in Japan? It is Oyako donburi, or “parent and child chicken rice”, to take the literal meaning in Japanese. Like its namesake, it has both the parent (chicken) and child (super soft scrambled egg) elements. Such a literal name though, does not do the dish justice, but this is country cooking with no flourishes.

Now I want to introduce Hinaiya, the most popular restaurant for Oyako donburi, and named after its most famous ingredient, a delicacy so luxurious that it was only served to the lords from the Seventeenth to Nineteenth century. They use only female chickens for its texture. Thankfully these days, even commoners like me can partake of this royal fare.

Akita’s Hinaijidori is, along with Nagoya Cochin and Satsuma Shamo, the top chicken varieties in Japan. Hinai Chicken is so good; it was certified as a protected breed more than half a century ago, like Kobe beef. Some people say it tastes like Copper Pheasant. As the delicate nature of Hinai chicken isn’t quite compatible with modern farming (kind of like trying to hand make millions of gallons of craft beer), its roosters have been bred with the Rhodes Red hens to produce the Hinai Jidori. It has all the taste of the Hinai chicken, but with greater availability.

The whipped egg is super silky smooth as cream. From the first bite, you will be moved by its texture and rich taste, something that you won’t forget for a long time. Of course, there are absolutely no preservatives. It is chemical free, a hundred percent organic dish. I was amazed that really delightful cuisine does not require any flourishes to make it extraordinary.

Another great dish to try is the Hinai-Jidori kiritanpo-nabe, possibly Akita’s most celebrated dish. A nabe is a hot pot, where all the ingredients and juices of the Hinai-Jidori chicken is cooked together, making it a great winter meal. Add to this seasonal vegetables like green onions and Japanese mushrooms, it is healthy as well as a delicious communal dish. Complementing the chicken is Kiritanpo, new Akita rice that's boiled, then rolled around a cedar like stick and slowly roasted in a charcoal hibachi fire. The rice is then simmered in a pot with the amazing broth of chicken and vegetables, and all delivered for your culinary pleasure for ¥1,800.

If you prefer seafood instead, try the fresh fish swimming in the tank. Pick the one you like, and it will be cooked to order.

Hinaiya is located just west of the city in the Kawabata entertainment district. Just 15 minutes walk west of JR Akita Station, it is where salary men and tourists alike come out to play, and the friendly service has them coming for more.



Akita Airport to Akita City

Sparkling blue water for diving or swimming in the Oga Peninsula, with a door to door service from Akita Airport on the Airport Taxi Van service Wash all your worries away at the Kuroyu Onsen. The Airport Taxi Van provides door to door access to the Onsens in the Nyuto area…

Read more: Akita Airport to Akita City

Akita City by Bus and Foot

The all-day unlimited rides bus pass may be more convenient and cheaper for multiple (>4) long distance trips to places like Port Selion Tower/ Cruise Ship Terminal and the Lady of Akita Church. Waiting for the Totoro I mean City Bus at JR Akita West Exit Bus Terminal The Youthpal…

Read more: Akita City by Bus and Foot

Akita Dining at Kamakura-ya

Japanese chicken hot pot cuisine Entrance to the izakaya Restaurant Entrance by Night Chicken yakitori skewer dressed in sweet soy sauce private dining room facilities in the "kamakura" Great view of chef at work from the counter It is amazing how closely food and folklore is intertwined in Akita culture.…

Read more: Akita Dining at Kamakura-ya

Akita Mountain Honey

Mountains of honey all for sale. Welcome to the Mountain Honey Shop! The Mountain Honey Shop. Of course the Silly Old Bear has his own section of the shop! Bees and a flower decorate the entrance. A real beehive. Mountains of honey all for sale. Japanese sweets, I have found,…

Read more: Akita Mountain Honey

Akita to Aomori by Resort Shirakami

The train pulls into Akita Station on winter's day. Extra large viewing windows line the sides of the train. Even the regular class seats feature great views and spacious walkways with plenty of leg room. Separate booths are also available for those who desire more privacy. Rural village scenery. Great…

Read more: Akita to Aomori by Resort Shirakami

Farmers & Fishmongers Market Akita

The fish markets are abuzz with activity even at mid morning Fishmonger at the Akita Citizen Market one of the largest north of Tsukiji There are several aisles of fishmonger stalls at the Akita Citizen Market one of the largest north of Tsukiji Vegetable Stalls with staff Fish by the…

Read more: Farmers & Fishmongers Market Akita

Goshono's Aeon

Don’t forget your Japanese character goodies, like Rilakuma! The central court area hosts festivities and balloon art throughout the seasons. Pet City is great for a quick cheer up to your day. Look what I found at Village Vanguard!! Keep an eye out for buy one get one free scoops…

Read more: Goshono's Aeon

Kagura Restaurant at Hotel Richmond

Grilled Saury is an autumn staple from Akita to Tokyo Akita is famous for Chicken hot pot cuisine, such as the kiritanpo nabe with Hinai jidori chicken Modern interior with clean lines. How do I eat this fish? All those tiny bones, I need to make sure that I don’t…

Read more: Kagura Restaurant at Hotel Richmond

Inaniwa Udon & Factory Tour

Izakaya Kuidoraku

JR Kakunodate Station Akita

JR Omagari Station, Akita

Akita's Kawabata Dori

Kawabata Street

Kiritanpoya Restaurant

Mugendo Omachi Honten