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Eating out / Bar promotes local food of Kochi mountains

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Potato salad with smoked egg and corned beef at Imobaru Tosayama Danshaku

By Yukiko Fukuda / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterKOCHI — Hirome Market, located in the heart of Kochi, is a popular spot where visitors can casually enjoy food produced in Kochi Prefecture. Imobaru Tosayama Danshaku is one such place at the market.

The izakaya bar is a specialty shop in what used to be the village of Tosayama but has now been merged into Kochi city. It offers food and drink made of potatoes, ginger and other ingredients produced in the area around the Kagamigawa river’s headstream, which is located about 15 kilometers north of the market.

The bar’s most popular potato dish is potato salad with smoked egg and corned beef (¥500), which is served in the shape of a 15-centimeter-high cone. Savory egg and crispy fried onion turn a familiar dish into something more flavorful. Another dish, baked gratin of potatoes with skins and three kinds of cheese, is priced at ¥700.

Ginger ale (¥450) made from organic ginger is another of the bar’s signature items. The pungency of the ginger takes center stage, followed closely by the refreshing sourness of yuzu citrus. The bar serves two types of ginger ale, sweet and dry, with the latter also used in a cocktail.

The bar is run by Yuichi Osaki, 68, an executive member of a general incorporated foundation that works with local farmers to promote an agricultural method that is meticulous about the soils they use. Osaki himself was born in and grew up in the Tosayama district.

Located amid rugged mountains, the district finds it difficult to secure enough land for cultivation. “Even though we have disadvantageous [agricultural] conditions, we’re blessed with special foods that take advantage of the environment and the soils that can only be found in our district,” Osaki said.

He opened the izakaya in December 2016 to promote Tosayama’s specialties such as shihochiku bamboo shoots, which are in season in autumn.

“If diners appreciate seasonal foods from our mountains it will help people [in Tosayama] gain confidence,” Osaki said. “I hope to continue promoting their efforts and vitality.”

Imobaru Tosayama Danshaku

Open: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Closed: Same days as when the market is closed

Address: Hirome Market, 2-3-1 Obiyamachi, Kochi

Phone: (080) 1993-1168

Credit cards not accepted

To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&d

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