Hungry? Journey Along Hidaka’s “Omurice Path” to Discover Eleven Variations of the Popular Dish
October 28, 2016
Japan is a food-lover's dream and Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku is especially known for serving delicious dishes made from local food. From the famous katsuo no tataki (grilled bonito), to yuzu or eggplant-flavored gelato, to a rainbow of fresh vegetables, Kochi has a lot to bring to the dinner table. One seemingly unremarkable street in the small town of Hidaka is actually home to eleven restaurants each serving its own delicious version of the modern Japanese dish "omurice" – thus earning it the name “Omurice Path.”
Hidaka’s "Omurice Path"
Hidaka is just west of Kochi city and is famous for its omurice. Omurice ("omelette rice") is a modern Japanese dish that consists of ketchup rice, often with chicken and vegetables, wrapped in a fluffy blanket of egg.
Each restaurant on Omurice Path has its own unique spin on the standard dish, but all are made using locally grown sugar tomatoes (sweeter than normal tomatoes) and other ingredients cultivated within the prefecture.
Set meal including soup, salad, dessert, and coffee (830 yen). Also available with demi-glaze sauce and breaded pork cutlet (1280 yen).
This cosy mom-and-pop shop, run by the Fujiharas for close to twenty-four years, is typically filled with locals who seem like they've probably been stopping by on a regular basis since the restaurant opened for a quiet lunch with friends or a quick cup of coffee. Their omurice is simple and delicious – the sort of dish you can imagine them whipping up for their grandchildren at home.
A simple omelette filled with ketchup-rice that includes peas, chicken, onion, and topped with a dollop of ketchup.
The omurice set comes with soup, salad, coffee and dessert. On my visit the dessert was a tart buntan (Kochi citrus fruit) sherbet that was the perfect finish to the rich and ketchupy omelette.
Buntan sherbet and coffee.
Restaurant Kochi (レストラン高知)
Restaurant Kochi's Nankoku Tosa omurice won second place in the nationwide Kagome Omelet Stadium in 2015. This omurice includes tomato, bonito, ginger and yuzu from Kochi. A rich tomato puree is used instead of the typical ketchup and adds to the more complex flavour of this dish.
Nankoku Tosa Omurice set including soup and salad (￥1380). Only omurice is ￥980.
An unusual variation – shrimp and mayo omurice (1280 yen) – is also available.
Spacious but warm wood interior
What Else to Check Out in Hidaka
Supermarket and Restaurant-Café Muro-no-Eki
Those interested in exploring Hidaka further and discovering what other culinary treats it has to offer should consider stopping by Mura-no Eki on their journey down Omurice Path. Tomatoes, other fresh produce, sweets, and even some small handicrafts are available.
Bustling with shoppers and full of local produce
Fresh Hidaka tomatoes and tomato products
Fresh tomato juice, tomato icecream and sweet tomato jelly
Attached to the supermarket, Mura Café Hidaka serves omurice and siphon coffee.
A Taste of Kochi
Hidaka Mura is one of those quiet, countryside towns that is an integral part of Kochi's strong agricultural tradition. Foodies, or any hungry visitors to Kochi, should consider visiting Omurice Path to get a taste for everything the prefecture has to offer.
The God of Omurice Path – He makes an appearance at each of the eleven restaurants.
Access and Info
From Kochi Station take the Dosan Line toward Susaki and get off at Omurajinjya-Mae Station. Walk down route 33 for about five minutes and the restaurant will be on your left. Cost ￥260.
Hours: 7:30-6:30 (6pm on holidays) Closed Sundays.
Address: 1706-1 Shimobun, Hidaka, Takaoka District, Kochi Prefecture 781-2151
From Kochi Station take the Dosan Line to Okabana Station. Walk down Route 33 for about 15 minutes. Cost ￥360.
Hours: 9am-10pm everyday. Closed New Year's.
Address: 713 Iwameji, Hidaka, Takaoka District, Kochi Prefecture 781-2154
From Kochi Station take the Dosan Line to Okabana Station. Walk down Route 33 through Omurice Path. Walk down route 33 for about five minutes. Cost ￥360.
Hours: 8am-6pm everyday. Closed December 31 – January 2
Address: 1478−9, Hongo, Hidaka, Takaoka District, Kochi Prefecture 781-2154
Currently working as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in Kochi City, Sarah is a Canadian expat who spends her free time exploring Kochi Prefecture and trying to devise a better way to keep the tanukis out of her garden. She enjoys going to local festivals and eating too much mochi.