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Hoba-Sushi Making Experience

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Hoba-Sushi Making Experience


Learn how to prepare local sushi in a traditional teahouse along the Nakasendo

Nakatsugawa City


One of Japan's traditional dishes, sushi comes in a wide variety of forms, including the popular nigiri-zushi, which is topped with raw fish. Gifu Prefecture in central Japan is famous for the hoba-sushi, a type of sushi wrapped in the leaves of magnolia tree (ho-no-ki in Japanese). It is said that hoba-sushi was originally prepared as a packed lunch for famers, who would eat it with one hand. People in this area still make colorful hoba-sushi topped with seven to eight ingredients during the early summer season.

Learn the secrets of hoba-sushi making from local women at Echizenya. Located between the post towns of Nakatsugawa-juku and Ochiai-juku, during the Edo Period (1603-1868) Echizenya was a popular teahouse along the Nakasendo, an ancient road that connected Kyoto and Tokyo. At that time, it served popular sweets called sanmon-mochi, boiled rice cakes covered in brown sugar syrup. The teahouse closed 150 years ago, but it was recently renovated and reopened in 2019.



Put vinegared rice on a hoba leaf, then add your favorite ingredients. Toppings include salmon, shiitake mushroom, egg, red pickled ginger, and more. Vegan options are also available if you request in advance. For dessert, enjoy Echizenya’s signature sweets sanmon-mochi, whose long-lost recipe was brought back to life thanks to the efforts of the owner.

The experience lasts approximately one hour and includes a tour of the premises. Enjoy a taste of authentic local life as you discover the three post towns of Nakatsugawa-juku, Ochiai-juku and Magome-juku! Reservation is required.




How to get there


From JR Nagoya Station, take a limited express to JR Nakatsugawa Station (50 minutes), then walk 5 minutes to Nakatsugawa-juku. Echizenya is located on the Nakasendo between Nakatsugawa-juku (5-minute walk from JR Nakatsugawa Station) and Ochiai-juku. 


1070 Ochiai, Nakatsugawa-shi, Gifu-ken



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