A topic just came up with my friend from Sakai, Osaka… I’m going to share it with you guys =^.^=
Probably you know of Osaka or at least heard of it somewhere, but I bet Sakai is not known widely to the world. It’s a much smaller city than Osaka by the population (Osaka大阪: 2,665,314 Sakai堺: 841,966) neighboring south of Osaka, yet Sakai is famous as a town of merchants and a hometown for Sen-no-rikyu千利休 who has been renowned and respected as the master of Chanoyu茶の湯. I wrote articles about Chanoyu and Sen-no-rikyu years back and will write more about that area of my culture later on…
So what about Sakai? There are two food venues you would live to stop by; a soba diner called “Chikuma”ちく満and a mochi parlor called “Kanbukuro”かん袋. Those places are old-fashioned and preserving the pure traditional tastes. Chikuma serves seiro-sobaせいろ蕎麦 (seiro: bamboo steamer, soba: buckwheat noodles) since its opening in 1695 (the year when the eighth Tokugawa Shogun Yoshimune was born). They are specialized in seiro-soba and do not have anything else, but don’t worry, you can order sake! After the healthier classic noodle meal, just take a five-minute walk to fulfill your heart with sweet kurumi-mochiくるみ餅 (kurumi: to cover, mochi: rice cakes). Kanbukuro opened in 1329 (Kamakura Era) and their unique style presents the pieces of one-bite-size mochi covered in green anko餡子 sauce made of green soy beans.
For Sakaikko (Sakai locals), Chikuma + Kanbukuro is the standard course of having a little fun in the town. If you have a chance to visit Sakai, walk like the Sakaikko!