Tsumago Magome is a great tourist spot but it is quite touristic with all the good and bad sides, and the foodies may be disappointed. Ena with the nice climbing spot or the Enakyo scenery – where you can also do some canoe or kayak with Mr. Ito – is more convenient but the main trouble is to find info about the city in English or any other foreign languages, especially about “where to eat”.
At the Guesthouse we had a lot of guests that asked us where to eat. So here some good places for different budgets.
High price High quality : Gosechie
I know the chef, Tomoharu Fujii, he is a nice guy passionated – once a promising athlete before breaking his Achilleus tendon – about sport and Japanese cuisine. His cuisine is quite traditional – Kyoto style ? – but he brings his own touch and do not hesitate to change menus according to the fresh ingredients new arrivals. It is hard to eat twice the same meal with him!
Typical Japanese atmosphere at Gosechie
Gosechie focuses on the seasonal products and the real flavors of the ingredients – that are sourced in Japan for 90% of them. For lunch prices start from 5000 Yens and go up to 15000 Yens for the menus – if you ask fugu or other rare and precious ingredients, it can be far more. For dinner, courses start from 10000 Yens. It really worth the price in my opinion – as I was once treated to a famous Kyoto restaurant and I cannot tell the difference. Maybe only the experienced gourmets are able to tell it !
From the Guesthouse, take the train form Iibama Station to Ena Station. Walk about 15 min to Gin No Mori.
Open hours: 11 to 18 : 00 (6 pm)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservation for dinner: 0800-200-5095
Address: 2711-2 Yokohira, Oicho, Ena 509-7201, Gifu Prefecture
In Iwamura we trust : Mitsuba
You have a small budget but you want to enjoy a good and simple lunch ? Maybe you should head to Iwamura’s best restaurant – for me ! – Mitsuba. Udon specialist, nice place to have few drinks, you can have a lunch for less than 1000 Yens and a dinner for 1100 Yens. Easy to go by walk from the Guesthouse (around 15-20 min).
Open hours: 11 to 14 : 00 (2 pm) for lunch, from 17:30 (5 pm) for dinner
Closed on Thursdays
Reservation : 0573-43-5038
Address : 264 Iwamuracho, Ena, 509-7403, Gifu Prefecture
Fed-up with Japanese food? Give a try to Nanhouse, Ena good Indian Restaurant
Maybe not the most sophisticated Indian restaurant but I love their nans – and you get some for free with some menus ! They also include free soft drinks – with a local version of lassi. Nepalese staff is really friendly even if a little bit shy at first glance.
The access is not convenient if you do not have a car however… but if you have a tight budget and some will, then you will be able to enjoy a meal for around 1000 Yens.
Open hours: 11:00 to 15:00 (3 pm) for lunch time, 17:00 (5 pm) to 22:00 (10 pm) for dinner
Open all year around.
Address: 25-1 Higashino, Ena, 509-7202, Gifu Prefecture
Hungry after the ride in the train ? Go for Swing in front of Ena station !
I like the retro atmosphere here. The couple who manages Swing is also very kindly and open minded. The husband loves music and play in a local folk band. The coffee, where you can eat lunch and maybe dinner – I never try this later – is really close to the Ena railway station. Lunch is 780 Yens with a coffee and is quite good even it is really simple. Very convenient once you arrive there on an hungry state ! The coffee served here is also quite good. They however do not have espresso…
Open Hours : from 11 : 30 (am) to 14 : 00 (2 pm) for lunch time
Closed each third Wednesdays of the month
Address: 293−31 Oicho, Ena 509-7201, Gifu Prefecture
Other things to eat or drink in Iwamura
Have a drink at night in Iwamura? Go for Karin and its nice obachan – just do not forget to pay as it is not so cheap ! There is karaoke with a lot foreign songs.
Want to eat some nice sweets? I recommend personally Kankaraya and its delicious kankara mochi. The 3 main flavors are kinako = soja bean powder , anko = fresh red bean paste, goma sato = sesame and sugar, my favorite. It is great with a green tea. Other sweet specialties are goheimochi (like in Mihara) and castella (several shops). You can also try a local smoked cheese, hebo (vespae larva seasoned with sugar and soy sauce), or the local sake (rice wine) of Onna Joshuu (Lady of the Castle) up to the main street.
One special dish of Ena is “keichan”, chicken cooked with cabbage (very good). Not too far Ena station you can eat keichan and other chicken specialties at Chicken House (map). There is a second store in Nakatsugawa, easy to reach from Nakatsugawa railway station.