Nagoya Soul

Nagoya Soul

Experience the relaxed and authentic atmosphere of Ichii, an izakaya in the heart of Nagoya, serving a variety of homey Japanese dishes including simmered new potatoes, eggplant, tofu and green beans in dashi, mottsu stew, braised fish, and Nagoya's signature tebasaki. Learn about the owner's dedication to the business and the local community, creating a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.

Gimme this down-home joint any day over some fancified restaurant. When I arrived in Nagoya last week, my fried Yuko reserved a couple of seats at Ichii, an izakaya (eating pub) set along a narrow alley in the center of the city. I knew it was my kind of place the minute we walked in the door. Coolers held dozens of kinds of sake. Cooks worked in an open kitchen. Large ceramic bowls filled with one homey food after the other beckoned on the dining counter. Groups of salarymen and couples packed the place, eating, drinking, laughing. As we sat down, Yuko told me that the taisho (owner) wanted to retire a couple of years ago, but hundreds of people signed a petition begging him to stay in business. I quickly understood why. The food was the kind of honest Japanese grub that I love, love, love: simmered new potatoes, simmered eggplant, tofu and green beans in dashi, mottsu (intestine) stew, braised fish, and tebasaki -- Nagoya's signature deep-fried chicken wings. Wow. As we ate, the taisho stopped by, happy to see us enjoying ourselves. How could we not? Here are some pictures from this fantastic joint. (Ichii in Nagoya: (052) 201-6222)