Long established shops of “Kakinoha-Zushi” traditional delicacy in Nara – Best 5

Kakinoha-Zushi is a-bite-size hand shaped vinegar rice with slice of fish of mackerel or salmon on it and wrapped in a persimmon leaf (Kakinoha) weighted down in square pressed shape.

Kakinoha-Zushi is one of the local cuisines in Nara and descended from the fermented traditional sushi dish.

People in the village used to eat Kakinoha-Zushi as the feast of Summer festival. The persimmon leaves are suitable for preservation of foods for several days. Wrapping with the leaves enhances sterilization and deodorization.

In addition, the fragrance of the leaves moving to Sushi can impart a rich flavor. About ingredients of Kakinoha-Zushi, although mackerel have simply been used as for a long time, currently, salmon, shrimp, sea bream, Anago(conger), Shiitake mushroom, Japanese radish, etc have been used for it. So we often see various kinds of colorful “Kakinoha-Zushi” inside the box like below picture. “Kakinoha-Zushi” is a mouth-size original cuisine in Nara.

Kakinoha-Zushi Hompo Tanaka

They have their stores the most in Nara, having been doing their business and popular among the locals for a long times.

My choice for you is “assorted three kinds of popularity” which is suitable for a quick bite when you are a bit hungry. The contents are the mackerel, that’s the typical one, the sea bream with refreshing taste, and the salmon, which is popular among female and children.

As it a bite size, good for walking around in Nara, and we enjoy the different tastes.

“Nara Hon-ten” which is near from Kintetu-Nara Station, has the restaurant ”Kakinoha Chaya” at the site in addition to the selling store.

Their’s Kakinoha-Zushi has good reputations that it’s well matched dry-type-Japanese Sake.

At the store, they are carrying various kinds of local sake of each place in Nara, you can enjoy looking for several local souvenirs together with the Sushi.

Store NameKakinoha-Zushi-hompo Tanaka Nara Head store
Address5-2, Higashimukinakamachi, Nara-City, Nara
Business Hours9:30am – 7:00pm

Kakinoha-Zushi Souhonke Hiraso

The characteristics of Hiraso’s one is its vinegar rice. The rice is 100% of Hinohikari (a brand-rice of Nara), and the vinegar Marukan-Vinegar is also special one which has 350-year-history and selected one of the purveyors to the Imperial Household Agency.

It’s popular as a dish or a souvenir among the visitors to Nara.

And they provide trial lectures that you can try making it ourselves at the five branch stores .

We can learn the history and traditions of the Hiraso company. And following all the processes; forming vinegar rice, putting the ingredients on the rice, wrapping each shaped one with a persimmon leaf, putting the Sushi in boxes.

Other Pressed-Sushi, for example Ayu-Zushi in which special secret sauce used, and Bou-Zushi are selling, too.

Store NameKakinoha-Zushi Sohonke Hiraso Nara store
Address30-1, Imamikado-cho, Nara-City, Nara
Business Hours-Main building-
[Sales] 10:00am – 8:30pm
[Food and drink] 11:30am – 8:00pm (L/O) 8:30pm (close)
ー New Building ー
[Sales] 11:30am – 3:00pm
[Food and drink] Lunch 11:30am – 3:30pm (L/O) 4:00pm (close)
Dinner 5:30pm – 8:00pm (L/O) 8:30pm (close) *Reservation required only on weekdays
ClosedMon. ※Tuesday in case of a Monday falls on National holiday.

Kakinoha-Zushi Yamato

This has its main office in Gojo-City of Nara where is famous for the largest number of persimmons’ output.

They have several branch-Stores, but they are almost in Nara. That’s why Yamato’s Kakinoha-Zushi is valuable, we have only a chance to try when we come to Nara. (Few branches are in Wakayama-neighboring prefecture.)

Gojo-City is called the birth place of Kakinoha-Zushi. The City is located near the source of Yoshino River which is connecting Nara and Wakayama Prefectures.

The characteristics are its original vinegar rice and carefully selected mackerel and salmon.

The vinegar contains no preservative and sweetener. The colorful salmon especially stimulates our appetite. At most of their stores in Nara, the restaurants are located in each site. Customers can also order and try “Edomae Nigiri”- one of kinds of sushi.

Store NameYamato-Zushi Musouan Gojo Head store
Address3-2-2, Gojo, Gojo-City, Nara
Business Hours(Store)8:00am – 9:00pm
(Musouan)11:00am – 9:30pm *L.O. 8:30pm)

Kakinoha-Zushi IZASA Nakatani-Hompo

The characteristics of it are domestic blended rice for Sushi, special blended vinegar, and a vinegar rice made with Dashi (Japanese soup).

It was a rice dealer shop named “Nakatani-Shoten”. They select the rice with their expert eyes.

The taste is natural sweet that typical western of Japan. Mackerel and salmon flavors are popular as standard items, 4 assorted items in box: mackerel, salmon, horse mackerel, and sea-bream have a good reputation, too.

Tōdaiji Monzen Yumekazehiroba Br. has a restaurant in the site. Not only the IZASA’s special sushi, but also Miwa-Somen, local delicacy in Nara, Tempura, etc are popular menus.

They provide menus in English and Chinese for that foreign visitors don’t have to worry about the language problems.

Store NameKakinoha-Zushi IZASA Nakaya-hompo Sanjo Store
AddressKamisanjyomachi intersection 17-1, Hayashikojicho, Nara-City, Nara
Business Hours10:00am – 6:00pm
ClosedIrregular holidays
Store NameKakinoha-Zushi IZASA Nakatani-Hompo Tōdaiji-Monzen Yumekaze-hiroba Store
AddressTōdaiji Monzen inside ”Yumekaze-hiroba” 16, Kasuganocyo, Nara-City, Nara
Business HoursStore 10:00am ~ 5:00pm
Dining 11:00am – 5:00pm (L.O. 4:00pm)
ClosedIrregular holidays

Traditional sushi dish “Kakinoha-Zushi“ is suitable for between-meals refreshments. It’s a bite-size, and conveniences for your tea break during sightseeing.

Enjoy its original harmony of NETA (fish) and SYARI (rice), which the pressed sushi “Kakinoha-Zushi“ has its own. It’s sure to be different from hand-rolled sushi.

It’s suitable for as souvenirs for families and friends, or good for your midnight snack at the hotel because you can carry that without refrigerant if it’s not in warm season.

*The information herein is as of January 2020.