A little hidden eatery by Hyuga Port

We were up early in Hyuga, there was a light drizzle, it was the rainy season, so a drizzle was not going to hold us back from getting to the Sea-Cross, a beautiful natural landscape. After two quick cups of coffee at the hotel we were ready to hit the road. We stayed at Hotel Melissa Hyuga which was right in front of Hyuga station. For a small port city, the station must be one of the more beautiful ones in Japan. We were told it was designed by a famous Tokyo University professor who designed the structure to have a light and transparent atmosphere, and to become a symbol of Hyuga.

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Hyuga train station

It took us twenty minutes to get to the Sea-Cross lookout. We drove up a winding road with lush green trees on both sides. Upon reaching the lookout we could see the endless horizon, grey hanging clouds overshadowing  the sea that was still calm. There is a bell, a monument to mark this beautiful spot. We rang it until the cows came home but no cows nor anyone in sight, it seemed the weather did keep visitors away. We had this amazing place to ourselves, there’s a well marked standing spot facing the Sea-Cross, the sight is spectacular and memorable.

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Hyuga Port

After absorbing the beautiful coast of Hyuga we headed back and began to feel hungry again. Just past Hyuga port we noticed a bright flashing blue light outside a normal looking house. As we got closer we realised it was a small eatery, called Kodama, our curiosity and appetite drove us straight into the place without hesitation. It felt as if I was walking into someone’s home. In a way this made me feel good, as a home cooked meal was about to be served. We get an instant Irasshaimase (welcome) call from owner Mrs Kodama.

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Kodama eatery

There were only two meals being served, and Mrs Kodama tells us she only ever serves two meals. Her regular customers are fisherman and workers from the port. We order both meals Tai Chazuke (Snapper with rice, dashi and green tea) and Sakana fry Teisyoku (fried fish meal) with Konguri (Tuna intestines).

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Tai Chazuke

Both meals were delicious, made with fresh local ingredients. I was in awe of the Konguri, it was the first time I had seen and tasted such an ingredient. It was tasty and the texture was more like a crunchy vegetable. Mrs Kodama showed us a frozen bag of tuna intestines, she told us it must be soaked over three days and the water changed regularly. She expressed how much she loves the ingredient, sadly it is often thrown out by local fisherman as it takes a long time to prepare.

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Sakana fry Teisyoku (Fried fish meal) with Konguri (Tuna intestines)

This very local eatery has been open for over three years, Mrs Kodama used to work at the local markets where she always aspired towards opening a local eatery. She now looks forward to sourcing local ingredients and making delicious meals for the locals. She often uses produce from her garden where she grows tomatoes, bitter melon, eggplant and okra.

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Konguri (Frozen tuna intestines)

We contemplated repeating our meals, but we were running late to our next destination, Mimitsu-Cho. This historical town is located just outside Hyuga city and was built at the end of the Edo period. It was built for a shipping agent business, and now the site displays merchant houses of the time. A nice stop when in Hyuga.

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Mimitsu-Cho

When in Mimitsu-Cho walk along the main street, if you are lucky you may hear a little dog named “El Bobo”, he loves a cuddle. Hyuga a bay city is so full of surprises, history and surrounded by natural beauty. A city that is often missed for the bigger ones. If you are close by make sure to stop, you will be captivated, I can guarantee that!

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Mimitsu-Cho main street

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El Bobo gets a cuddle!

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