Fall! Turning Leaves! Harako-Meshi! Ushinoya, Watari
Hey there! It’s your pal Heisei no Sendai-Shirō!
It’s that season again, and I’m heading down to Watari on Miyagi’s south coast for some of their super-delicious harako-meshi!
I stopped in at Ushinoya, a little restaurant in the Furusato Recovery Shops in Watari’s Higashigo area.
This town’s coast, devastated by the tsunami, is still in bad condition with little improvement. Still, here there’s great food and hard working, positive people.
Ushinoya has creatively come up with a new specialty for Watari, too: Watari yaki-soba!
A light yet flavorful oyster sauce flavors noodles heaped with seafood—particularly big scallops!
They don’t skimp on the volume either, making sure diners leave satisfied. A gourmet boom here could help recovery, and Ushinoya does its part.
This restaurant used to be located on the coast.
Their longtime speciality was then grilled meat, and also serving up tasty seasonal fare.
The tsunami wiped all that out, however, and now the restaurant has been reborn in this temporary storefront.
As is the case with everybody in the region, all their seafood is diligently tested for any possible contamination, and some varieties are sourced from further away.
Both the sight of the sea, and being unable to freely use all the bountiful fish they had enjoyed for countless generations, leave bitter feelings, they tell me.
Even still, they put their hearts into their harako-meshi and serve it with a smile.
Watari has lots of great food like this, so do stop by and give it a try!
Like last year, until December 1 the town is hosting a harako-meshi stamp rally, where you can enjoy tasty meals and win prizes for doing so!
-video from last year-