These Roadside Stations in Japan Offer You a Taste of Local Specialties

It also has shops that sell souvenirs that you can only find there!


In Japan, roadside stations are called
Michi no Eki. They function like pit stops where travelers can buy instant meals, casually dine at a restaurant, and buy souvenirs unique to that roadside station or prefecture. These stations are typically just one building with numerous establishments housed inside. 


The Gifu Prefecture, by far, has the most number of roadside stations in the country. In this article, we round up the must-try gourmet dishes that you can find at various roadside stations in the prefecture. 


Roadside Station Seiryu-no-Sato Shirotori


There's a lot of specialties and experiences you shouldn't miss out on at Gujo! 


Roadside Station Seiryu-no-Sato Shirotori
is a roadside station where you can experience the art of making food samples. A variety of local products can also be purchased here such as Gujo Miso, Keichan (Gifu Prefecture's specialty chicken dish), local sake, and woodwork products. Aside from this, the station also has a handmade soba, sweets, and outdoor goods shop. 


Among the dishes that you should try at the station is the
Ennen Gozen (¥1,250). It is a set meal that lets you enjoy Shirotori's (a town in Gujo) freshly-kneaded, pulled, and boiled soba noodles, along with Hida City's famous Houba-zushi


Enjoy soba and Houba-zushi (sushi wrapped in a leaf) in the set meal called Ennen Gozen. 


You can also try participating in a soba-making activity (¥2,000, reservations necessary) at a soba shop called
Gensuke-san


Roadside Station Seiryu-no-Sato Shirotori is located at 693-2 Mukaikodaira, Shirotori-cho, Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. except on Tuesdays. You may contact them at +81-575-82-2000.


Hida Mino Seseragi-Kaido Highway


Admire the seasonal scenery and beautiful Yoshida River from this station. 


At the
Hida Mino Seseragi-Kaido Highway, located along the Yoshida River, is an oasis-like roadside station called Meiho. At Surusumi no Sato Park Bussankan, you can find many shops including the direct store for Meiho Ham. There are also various rest spaces, like the Surusumi An, where you can relax. 


If you’re feeling a little famished, you should consider trying the
Meiho Keichan Set Meal (¥970), which consists of pan-fried chicken seasoned with miso, soy sauce, and garlic. This dish varies depending on the shop that prepares it and has many secret ingredients, quite like the adobo in the Philippines. You can enjoy this dish and its flavors at Café Meiho


The mixture of miso, soy sauce, and garlic is exquisite and appetizing in the Meiho Kei-chan Set.

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Meiho is located at 1015 Meiho-otani, Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. You may contact them at +81-575-87-2395. 


Seiryu Shirakawa Cuore no Sato


This roadside station has an outdoor facility where you can play all day amidst nature. 


At the
Seiryu Shirakawa Cuore no Sato, there is an outdoor area where you can enjoy camping, cooking barbeque, and trout fishing. It also has an exciting park area where you can find many restaurants and shops. 


Surrounded by lush forest and clear waters, you can enjoy set meals made with local ingredients here. The breakfast items, with its large servings, are also popular among tourists visiting the station. 


We recommend you try the
Pork Miso Bowl (¥800), a specialty pork dish that has Anshin pork bred from Shikawa-cho and seasoned with miso sauce with tomatoes. The sourness of the tomatoes whets your appetite, making it the perfect meal for hot days. This dish was conceptualized from the ideas of local high school students. 


You can taste the savory sourness of the tomatoes in the Pork Miso Bowl.


Seiryu Shirakawa Cuore no Sato is located at 181-1 Izumi, Shirakawa-cho, Kamo-gun, Gifu Prefecture for the outdoor area and 97-1 Izumi, Shirakawa-cho, Kamo-gun, Gifu Prefecture for the Wakuwaku Park Area. The outdoor area is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, while the park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Wednesdays. You may call them at +81-574-72-2462 (outdoor) or +81-574-74-0050 (Wakuwaku). 


Kokindenju no Sato Yamato


The Yamato Onsen Yasuragikan has an outdoor bath equipped with a slide that is perfect for children (¥700 yen for adults).


The
Kokindenju no Sato Yamato doesn’t only function as a roadside station that offers tourist information and products for sale. It is also filled with various facilities such as free footbaths, morning markets, local restaurants, and establishments that hold ice cream and yogurt workshops. It is next to Yamato Onsen Yasuragikan, which is a hot spring that offers day trips. 


It is also at this station that you can taste the
Ayu no Shioyaki (¥500). The ayu sweetfish in this dish is carefully skewered one by one and baked on charcoal until you can eat its bones. The saltiness of the dish brings out the sweetness of the ayu meat and its fragrance makes it simply irresistible! 


Naturally-sourced and parent sweetfish is used in the Ayu no Shioyaki (Salt-grilled) dish. It will be available for a limited time only. 

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Kokindenju no Sato Yamato is located at 164 Tsurugi, Yamato-cho, Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture. They are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (until 5 p.m. from the months of December to March and depending on the facility) except on Tuesdays. If a Japanese holiday falls on a Tuesday, the following day is closed. The onsen is open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (last entry at 9 p.m.). You may contact them at +81-575-88-2525. 


Ikeda Onsen


The Ikeda Onsen boasts of high-quality natural hot springs. Its lodgings are being renovated and will open during Autumn 2019. 


The
Ikeda Onsen is a roadside station at the center of Ikeda Hot Spring, a resort famous for having alkaline waters that give you smoother and softer skin. There are free footbaths available here as well, along with a variety of local specialty products like Mino Ibicha tea, Kei-chan chicken, and local sake.


The
Kokyu Mune Shokupan (¥1,000 for a whole loaf) is also being served at the Ikeda Onsen Pan Tachikawa. The fresh bread is made with carefully-selected ingredients and has a slightly sweet taste and soft, fluffy texture. Its production process is one of the trade secrets of the company. Since the shop only serves 200 loaves a day, make sure you visit early.


Don’t miss the chance to try the fluffy Kokyu Mune Shokupan!


Ikeda Onsen is located at 1953-1 Katayama, Ikeda-cho, Ibi-gun, Gifu Prefecture. They are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., while their hot springs are open until 10 p.m. (last entry is at 9:30 p.m.) except on Wednesdays. If the Wednesday falls under a Japanese holiday, then it will be closed the next day. You may contact them at +81-585-45-0037. 


Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokai Walker™ (7 August 2019) 


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