Try unique sushi wrapped in wasabi-leaf at Akadama in Wakayama

Mayo Harry | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Sushi usually has a raw fish slice on top of sushi rice, or it is rolled into a tube by Nori seaweed, with raw fish or vegetables in the middle. Here at Akadama in Wakayama, you can taste totally unique sushi wrapped in wasabi leaf. If you have tasted sushi before, you have an idea what wasabi is. It usually comes with sushi and spices up the dipping soy sauce. Freshly grated raw wasabi is very rare, and its scent is so much more appetizing compared with the ones that are commonly sold in a tube or a powder form.

©Rieko NIshibayasho

A small country town, Aridagawa-town in Wakayama, where Akadama is located, has been producing an exclusive kind of wasabi plants called ‘Mazuma-wasabi’. This small town has a beautiful clear river and gorgeous forest, as well as onsen. Akadama is the local restaurant that has been famous for its seasonal cuisines, using local fresh ingredients. It has been locally loved for three generations, and visitors come from all over Japan to eat their amazing cuisine, including their famous sushi wrapped in wasabi leaf.

©Rieko Nishibayashi

Akadama values local and seasonal

©Rieko Nishibayashi

Akadama was opened in 1949 by a grandfather of the current owner. Through the three generations, Akadama has been valuing the fresh local and seasonal ingredients, for example, hand-picked mountain vegetables and conger eel for spring, trout for summer, Mozuku crabs for autumn, wild boar meats for winter. Akadama’s menu is set, but the seasonal dishes are very popular, so it is recommended to make a reservation and mention the seasonal dishes before the visit. Throughout the year, the famous wasabi leaf-wrapped sushi is available.

@Rieko Nishibayashi

The interior of the restaurant is atmospheric and quite spacious with a counter table, western-style tables, as well as a traditional Japanese style zashiki sitting room with tatami mats. Gorgeous nature surrounding can be viewed from the restaurant, which makes your time at Akadama even more enjoyable.

©Rieko Nishibayashi
©Rieko Nishibayashi

Unique Japanese pepper in Aridagawa-town

©Rieko Nishibayashi

The town of Aridagawa is home to the unique Japanese pepper called Budou Sansho (Grape Japanese pepper). This pepper is a kind of citrus, and it is known as “the green diamond of Japanese peppers”. Akadama offers ramen using Budou Sansho. Its broth with this special Japanese pepper you cannot taste anywhere else. Even if you are an experienced ramen eater, you will find that Akadama’s Sansho Ramen is the next level!  

Akadama’s terrace rice field

©Rieko Nishibayashi

As you might know, terrace rice field is a rice paddy field created in a staircase form on the slopes of a mountain or in a valley. It is not known exactly when the rice terraces began to appear, but it is thought to have appeared in the Kofun period between the mid-6th century to the first half of the 7th century. Akadama has its own terrace rice field, and the restaurant uses its home-grown rice made from this rice terrace. It is located in a walking distance from the restaurant, and the view of the terrace is breathtakingly beautiful throughout the year. Akadama’s terrace rice field was included in the list of the best 100 terrace rice fields in Japan.

Yes, everyone knows what sushi is, but here at Akadama in Wakayama, you can discover the new type of sushi that changes your idea of this typical Japanese dish. Also, you might believe that wasabi is only a spicy paste that comes with dipping sauce for sushi…well, that is not always true! If you taste Akadama’s Wasabi sushi, which is wrapped in exclusive wasabi leaf, you will become a real sushi connoisseur.

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