What do you enjoy about traveling? Many people enjoy the tourist spots, food and meeting the local people. But another great part about traveling is bringing home souvenirs for your family, friends, or just for yourself! We visited the Roadside Station “Michi no-Eki Namie” which opened in 2020 as a symbol of reconstruction in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture, which was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident.
Michi no-Eki Namie is a roadside station that has a shop where you can get fresh vegetables and seafood, as well as a bakery where one of the local favorites is “Namie Yakisoba Bread” that has Namie’s local Namie Yakisoba (stir-fried noodles) in it. It is a nice little social space where you can have a light meal. Here is our list of some of the best souvenirs you can buy at Michi no-Eki Namie so you know exactly what to get when you visit Namie Town!
- 1. “Hama-no-Kagayaki” Onion Soup
- 2. Namie Produced Cayenne Pepper Powder “NAMIE KARAO”
- 3. Namiemachi Potato
- 4. Sake (Suzuki Sake Brewery)
- 5. Sake Lees (Suzuki Sake Brewery)
- 6. Chirimen (boiled and dried baby sardines)
- [Momoiro Clover Z Collaboration Products]
- 7. Tsunagari Pen
- 8. Guinomi（Sake Cups）
- 9. Momo Kuro One Cup
- 10. Pokémon Products
- Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Tour
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1. “Hama-no-Kagayaki” Onion Soup
This powdered soup is made from “Hama-no-Kagayaki” onions, a type of onion that is grown right in Namie Town.
Namie Town recommended onion farming to the people of Namie after the resumption of farming following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. As a result, “Hama-no-Kagayaki” onions were developed as a new local type of onion. They are characterized by their sweetness even when eaten raw.
Price: 648 yen per pack(12 servings)
2. Namie Produced Cayenne Pepper Powder “NAMIE KARAO”
This cayenne pepper powder is made from chili peppers grown in Namie Town. These chili peppers were created through the “Namie Cayenne Pepper Project”, an effort to help produce the cayenne pepper powder used for Namie Yakisoba in the town. They are grown by town residents and farmers in their own vegetable gardens and fields, making them 100% local to Namie. This Namie Cayenne Pepper Powder goes really well with Namie Yakisoba!
Price: 500 yen per jar (tax included)
3. Namiemachi Potato
This is another snack made with chili peppers that are grown in Namie Town. Namiemachi Potato are essentially potato chips in the shape of French fries. This product is limited to Namie Town, but is also available on the Michi-no-Eki Namie online store. If you like spicy food, this may be a great snack for you!
Price: 540 yen each (tax included)
4. Sake (Suzuki Sake Brewery)
Suzuki Sake Brewery is a brewery in Namie that takes pride in preserving the tradition of brewing “Umi No Otokozake”, which roughly translates to “man of the sea sake”. The brewery has a long history of sake brewing, which dates back about 200 years. The brewery used to be located near the sea until it collapsed during the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. However, in 2021, the sake brewery reopened in Michi-no-Eki Namie, and they started brewing sake in their hometown again for the first time in 10 years.
In addition to the delicious sake you can purchase by the bottle, you don’t want to miss the sake tasting corner, where you can sample five cups of different sake for only 500 yen! Visitors can also observe the sake brewing process through a glass window.
5. Sake Lees (Suzuki Sake Brewery)
Not only does the Suzuki Sake Brewery brew sake, but they also make and sell their own brand of sake lee called “Iwaki Kotobuki,”. Sake lee is a white paste-like cooking ingredient and is the leftover lees from the sake production process. The taste is fruity and resembles that of sake fairly closely. Sake lee can be used in various recipes such as amazake, cuisine, and sweets to name a few. It is a popular product that you can buy in big amounts for a reasonable price.
Price: 108yen per 300g(tax included),1080 yen per 3kg (tax included)
6. Chirimen (boiled and dried baby sardines)
Gyoshou Suzuei is a chirimen shop that has been in Namie Town for over 100 years. Suzuei’s products are characterized by soft and easy to eat fish. Their creative tsukudani, which you can’t find anywhere else, will make you want to try everything they have.
Gyoshou Suzuei’s kama-age: 734 yen each (tax included)
Gyoshou Suzuei’s tsukudani: 734 yen each (tax included)
[Momoiro Clover Z Collaboration Products]
Momoiro Clover Z is a popular Japanese idol girl group and is one of the biggest music groups in all of Japan. One of their three major live shows, “Momoiro Spring Event” will be held in Fukushima Prefecture for the first time this year. It will be held in Naraha, Hirono, and Namie. The event was originally scheduled to take place in 2020, but after two consecutive years of postponement, it will finally be held this year. At Michi-no-Eki Namie, you can buy a variety of Momoiro Clover Z goods that have been made in collaboration with the host towns.
7. Tsunagari Pen
This product is a collaboration between Momoiro Clover Z and Coffee Time, an NPO that supports the employment of people with difficulties. A single grip is wound with a gradation of four different colored threads. The threads on this grip are carefully wound one by one by a person with disabilities in Fukushima. They are available in four of the member’s colors: pink, red, yellow, and purple.
Price: 330 yen each (tax included)
8. Guinomi（Sake Cups）
These sake cups are a collaboration product between Momoiro Clover Z and Obori Soma-yaki, which is a traditional Japanese craft that has been a part of Namie town for 300 years now. The back of the cup has one of the features of Obori Soma-yaki, the “running horse”, along with Momotan, the mascot character of Momoiro Clover Z. This product comes in the four colors that each member wears(pink, red, yellow, and purple), and black for a total of five colors you can choose from.
Price: 1980 yen each (tax included)
9. Momo Kuro One Cup
This product is a collaboration between Momoiro Clover Z and Suzuki Sake Brewery’s brand “Iwaki Kotobuki”. This junmai ginjo is made with Koshihikari rice produced in Namie Town, and the cup design differs between the set and the single items.
Prices: 2750 yen for a 4, 180ml bottle set(tax included) / 687 yen each (tax included)
10. Pokémon Products
In December 2021, Japan’s first Pokemon park “Chansey Park in Namie Town” opened at Michi-no-Eki Namie. Chansey, a Pokémon said to bring(Fuku), or happiness, has been appointed as a “Fukushima Support Pokémon”. Since the park’s opening, original Pokemon Center goods, including Chansey and other original items, have been sold at Michi-no-Eki Namie. Chansey goods are especially popular here so please be sure to get there early before they sell out!
What do you think? Do you want to visit Michi no-Eki Namie? Some of the products that we mentioned in this article are exclusive to Michi no-Eki Namie. They also have restaurants, pottery classes, and MUJI, which opened its first store in a roadside station. Please make a stop at Michi no-Eki Namie and check out everything it has to offer if you are ever up in the Fukushima area!
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Tour
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Asahi Eda is from Naka‐dori, Fukushima Prefecture. Her favorite foods from Fukushima are braised pork noodles from Tora Shokudo and Shimiten from Konohata.
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