Nestled within the central-eastern part of Hyogo Prefecture, Tamba-Sasayama is a tranquil town steeped in samurai history. This article showcases four outstanding restaurants, where visitors can savor the region’s distinctive produce, from Tamba-Sasayama’s coveted rice and vegetables to local specialties like Kuromame sweets and Botan-Nabe.

Easily accessible within a 70-minute train ride from Osaka, this mountain-framed town presents a culinary exploration amidst preserved samurai-era scenery.

Tamba-Sasayama’s Local Specialties

Spring and summer offer their respective seasonal vegetables, while autumn is known for its black beans, chestnuts, and mountain potatoes. And in winter, people enjoy botan-nabe, a type of hotpot dish.

And now, we will introduce a selection of recommended Tamba Sasayama delicacies that you can enjoy all throughout the year.

Kuromame and Kuro-edamame

Kuro-edamame (black edamame)

Nestled in a basin surrounded by mountains, Tamba-Sasayama has the perfect climate for growing abundant crops, characterized by extreme temperature differences between day and night. The region is known for its specialty, Kuro-edamame, or black edamame.

‘Edamame’ typically refers to young soybeans harvested before ripe. Fully ripe edamame becomes soybeans. Kuro-edamame, however, is a different variety of soybean that becomes black when fully mature. Kuro-edamame is notably larger than traditional edamame, with a more intense flavor.

October marks the beginning of kuro-edamame season in Tamba-Sasayama, in which stalls are set up throughout town for a two-week period for people to sell their edamame harvests, still attached to the branches. As one of Tamba-Sasayama’s beloved autumn traditions, this period attracts countless visitors to the area on sightseeing buses. The black edamame berries are large in size, and boast an amazingly sweet and savory flavor when boiled and lightly salted.

Black soybeans (Image for illustrative purposes only) Image: PIXTA

Dried kuro-edamame is a staple of Japanese New Year’s dishes. They come from black soybeans left to dry in the fields without being harvested. You’ll find sweet, boiled kuromame sold in jars and vacuum-packed containers, making them excellent souvenir choices.

Kuromame bread is another local treat, kneaded with sweetened black beans and sold year-round in bakeries. If you happen to find any of these treats during your outings, be sure to pick a few up for a snack!

Tamba Chestnuts

Image: PIXTA (Image is for illustrative purposes only)

Tanba chestnuts are renowned for being the most expensive chestnuts in Japan. These large, robust chestnuts are harvested in autumn, which families eagerly enjoy togethe…

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