Akita, Akita City, Food, Kiritanpoya Restaurant

The warm lamps inside create a great atmosphere

Akita, Akita City, Food, Kiritanpoya Restaurant

The front of the restaurant

Akita, Akita City, Food, Kiritanpoya Restaurant

The atrium, note the fake fireflies in the rice

Akita, Akita City, Food, Kiritanpoya Restaurant

The kiritanpo cooking on the hot embers

Akita, Akita City, Food, Kiritanpoya Restaurant

Explaining the history of Kiritanpo

Akita, Akita City, Food, Kiritanpoya Restaurant

Preparing the first bowl of nabekko

Akita is home of high quality rice and water. Local cuisine that utilise these ingredients include Kayaki hot pot or Omagari miso soup but the dish that truly brings out the best in these ingredients is kiritanpo. You can find kiritanpo in a lot of restaurants in the city but the best is at Kiritanpoya. As the name clearly suggests, their menu focuses on this local speciality.

While kiritanpo's origin is not exactly known, the most reliable version said local hunters in northern Akita used leftover rice to avoid any waste. They were then grilling it with miso when cooking the game collected during the day. The word “tanpo” actually comes from the cotton cloth wrapped around the spears by the soldiers when training, as it resembles a similar shape. The first half, “kiri”, means “cut down” as it is usually sliced in smaller pieces in order to eat it.

The preparation of this basic but delicious food is very simple. The cooked rice gets smashed till it becomes a paste and then rolled over a cedar stick to get it grilled. The most known ways to eat it are roasted with miso or boiled in a hot pot with vegetables and chicken. Known as nabekko, this hot pot version it's probably one of the best ways to savor this traditional dish.

Kiritanpoya restaurant offers you a great experience. As soon as you will enter the front door you'll find yourself in a small atrium surrounded by old farmer tools, typical sounds from the countryside and even a fake rice field with blinking fireflies. Right inside there is the traditional fireplace (Irori 囲炉裏) with kiritanpo sticks cooking on the hot embers. The interiors are mainly made of dark wood and lit up with warm light lamps. The place is intimate and there is room for just few booths and four sittings around the counter. If it will be the first time you try this dish I personally suggest to go for the traditional nabekko. Once you will have ordered, the waiter will show you the round metal pot filled with all the ingredients and leave it on the heater.

Dressed with traditional clothes they will then present you the history of this popular food. Using a series of drawings to support the telling, it's a great way to introduce you to this famous plate. The traditional music in the background, the boiling pot in front of you and the delightful smell in the air will create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy your first kiritanpo.

When you will first open the lid of your pot the flavor will make your mouth water. The fresh vegetables and the soft meat are very tasty and the slices of kiritanpo are deeply infused with the taste of the rich chicken broth. Start with each different ingredient individually to enjoy its unique taste; then try them in any combination. Let the taste fill up your mouth and enjoy this speciality at its best.

Tip: if possible try to book at least one day in advance.

The restaurant is located right outside the Akita JR train station on the west exit, just past the bus terminal.


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

Hinaiya Chicken Restaurant

Oyakodon – the iconic chicken and egg rice dish of Japan Kiritanpo hot pot nabe 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…

Read more: Hinaiya Chicken Restaurant

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

Mugendo Omachi Honten