Off the main street on the way from the train station to himeji castle, we turned left into a side street and found a tai yaki, a kind of pancake with red bean paste fillings that shapes like a fish, so we thought we should give it a try.
And it turned out that it was Soooooo much better than Tai yaki found in the basement of department stores.
I wish I had taken the picture before I bit off the fish head....
Make note that they only make 600 a day. And the business hour is from 11 AM to 7 PM.
I`ve been here a few times already & only for lunch. Their lunch set includes one of their dishes on their lunch menu, a choice of white rice or all you can eat bread/rolls, a choice of salad or soup (if you want both, its 200yen extra), & dessert. All for 1000yen!! I always choose a pasta but they have gratin, meat dishes, & pizza as well. My favorite pastas are eggplant & spinach with meat sauce, and octopus with fish eggs in a cream sauce. The rolls are delicious & they have a variety you can choose from: chocolate chip rolls, Japanese pumpkin, plain, buttered, swirled, cinnamon, etc.
Lunch is from 11:30am-4pm. Dinner 5:30pm-11pm.
If you like Japanese curry or would like to try it without spending a lot-this is the place. They have an English language menu. You choose the amount of rice (300g is usual), the type of sauce and toppings like fried garlic, corn or boiled egg. You can choose specials and can specify the hot-ness of your curry from 1 (mild) to 3 (pretty hot) to 5 (very hot). You can have 6-11 only if you've previously eaten an entire plate of 5. There are salads and a few other sides to choose from. I had spinach in a golden curry and topped with a croquette of potato and rape leaves. I'm not sure what rape leaves are but it was good.
There are several good vegetarian curries and lots of different combinations that include beef or pork.
This place is yummy and inexpensive and serves Sapporo-Style ramen in Himeji. It is located right next door to CoCo Curry across the street from Forus and Starbucks. You buy tickets for Ramen and toppings from a machine right inside the door. It's in Japanese so if you have a friend that reads Japanese that's easier but the Ramen master will help you too. Try the gyoza too. They are really little and delicious. Of course you should wash down your delicious ramen with a cold beer. Depending on the toppings and extras you order this can be a very inexpensive meal.
We went to this place in April of 2008 following HeyWink's tip. It was a great place! A huge party had just cleared out and within minutes the place was spotless. It has a very cute Japanese-Hippy vibe and the food was delicious. The menu was in English and Japanese. We had Dal, Turmeric Rice, Naan with glistening black sesame seeds, and Thai Red Curry with Shrimp. It was all delicious and there were lots of vegetarian options-hard to come by in Japan at times.
If you are looking for non-Japanese food in Himeji this place is worth a try.
BAOBAB is on the shopping street parallel to MIYUKIDORI near FORUS (about a 5 min walk from JR Himeji Station, central exit).
This restaurant has authentic Sapporo style ramen prepared by a master! It help to have someone with you who reads Japanese because you buy tickets from the machine at the front of the shop for the flavor of ramen and the toppings. Three basic types are Shoyu (Soy Sauce), Miso, and Shijo. There are lots of toppings to choose from including corn, buttered corn, onion, extra pork, meat, and more. You can more flavor to the savory broth with pepper, garlic and red pepper on the table. Remember to slurp the ramen as a compliment to the master (and to cool it).
The ramen master and his workers wear tall, white rubber boots and are very friendly. It's delicious and a great experience.
The tip that I am going to share with you is not on the food that I ordered and ate in one of the Japanese restaurants I have posted here. These restaurants are situated while walking on our way to Himeji Castle. The one thing different here is that when we order, we had the menu then we have to go to a machine right in front of the restaurant and just like a vending machine, we had to press a button whichever dish we want to order. This is cool. I found it interesting considering the fact that this is the first time I experience this.
Favorite Dish: Typical Japanese food.
Its a family restaurant, the owner of this shop has been making udon for the last 26 years.
There isn't a big variety on the menu menu, probably about 15-20 noodle type dishes and obiviously the speciality is udon. The prices here is reasonable from $Y450-850. places up the road, next to the castle is charging about $Y1,000 for a lunch.
Outside the shop, they have some pictures, but no pricing. But instead they have a english, french and i think even a chinese menu, no picture, description and pricing. The owners/staff speak very little english, but very friendly.
All I can say is that its something different, quality food and value for money.
Each time I go to Himeji, I go to this shop for lunch.
The food is very interesting & a bit eclectic. The menu is only in Japanese & when I was there only 1 person could speak English-slightly. The food was very good though & the service was wonderful (as in almost all Japanese eateries!!).
Favorite Dish: Try the "nankotsu" (chicken grittle) & the crispy salad.
Hosanna's has an awesome menu (English and Japanese) and scotch selection. There are daily specials and dishes can be made per request (the owner, with the beard speaks English).
I usually went for dinner, but they also seem to do a lunch set which is probably cheaper
Favorite Dish: I love the daily pizzas, the Tebisake (stuffed chicken wings) are amazing, as is Vijay's Meat Plate.
Nan Phu is another great okonomiyaki restaurant in Himeji. It is a chain restaurant & there are a few of them in Himeji. The best one that I`ve gone to is south of JR Himeji station, about a 20 -25 min walk. There is a new one that just opened up close to the north side of Himeji station (2 min walk).
Good atmosphere with traditional style seating (you have to take off your shoes at the south location).
Favorite Dish: Modern okonomiyaki (with noodles) with squid, pork, & shrimp!
Osho`s is a Chinese restaurant chain known for its gyoza (fried dumplings). It costs only 180yen! Other dishes there include fried rice, noodle dishes, ramen, fried chicken, & vegetarian dishes. Prices are very reasonable & portions adequate.
You`ll see alot of school kids here when school lets out for the afternoon.
Inside Hirome Market on the 2nd & 3rd floors is a food court. Hirome Market opened the end of April 2003 so it`s very new. There are many kinds of food to choose from: Japanese noodles (udon, soba, yakisoba...), Chinese (dumplings, ramen, veggie & meat dishes...), Indian (curry, nan, samosas..), Korean (bibimbap, Korean pancake, noodles...), & Japanese food (sushi, tempura, a la carte dishes...).
There are about 20 or so places to choose from so this is a great place to go if everyone wants to eat something different.
Alot of the restaurants have display models of the daily special & also pictures of some of the menu items. So if you can`t read Japanese, it`s ok.
This restaurant is frequented by people of all ages. During the weekdays in the afternoon, alot of school students go there. The reason? Delicious food for a great price & good portions.
Favorite Dish: Their noodle soups & dumplings are great!
Come here for a light Italian lunch. Located off Miyuki Dori shopping street, this chain restaurant offers salad, pasta, & pizza with a Japanese-Italian taste.
Their menu`s in Japanese but their lunch specials are in English as well.
Favorite Dish: Lunch specials are 980yen & include salad, garlic or butter toast, & coffee. Try the bacon & spinach cream sauce pasta. Or the eggplant bolognaise pasta.