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Tanegashima Restaurants

Considering the small size of the island, Tanegashima has a surprising number of restaurants consisting of a wide variety of cuisine.

Picture - Menu on the outside of the restaurant at Hamada Beach.

Like any other place, the food ranges from fair to excellent and the prices range from reasonable to fairly expensive. The restaurants on the island tend to come and go with only the most popular actually hanging around for more than a few years. We used to go to a small, family owned restaurant (which closed), along with a fantastic okonomiyaki restaurant, and occasionally a few others, all located in Minamitane. Due to our busy schedule and the ongoing COVID pandemic, we no longer frequent restaurants. The best thing to do when visiting the island is to simply take your chances or talk to the locals (especially the younger crowd) when deciding on where to eat and drink.

The following pages contain long lists of restaurants in the three communities of Tanegashima. This restaurant information was collected from 2014-2015. That said, much of it is either out of date or some of the restaurants might actually be closed. Be sure to call or visit the websites (when listed) before heading out to these places.

Nishinoomote Restaurants
Nakatane Restaurants
Minamitane Restaurants

Note: Many of the restaurants listed are actually on the neighbor island of Yakushima and will be removed once my wife can find the time to go through the lists....really sucks not being able to read kanji, lol.
Types of Restaurants in Tanegashima

I thought it might be nice to include a brief explanation of the types of restaurants you might find in Tanegashima for those of you traveling to the island or even to Japan for the first time.

I tried to note where you might find each type of restaurant. Hopefully you find some useful information in all of this.
 
Family Restaurant

Location: Nishinoomote.
Price: For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, prices can range from 500 to 2,500 yen.
Food: Usually Japanese, Chinese and Western style cuisine. Joyful is a chain restaurant and the only family restaurant I know about on the island.

Izakaya

Location: Nishinoomote, Nakatane, Minamitane.
Price: 1,000 to upwards of 5,000 yen depending on the place and how much you eat and drink.
Food: Informal restaurants serving basically grilled finger foods and other side dishes. Yakitori and salads are also popular. Most people order alcohol while eating at an izakaya.

Shokudo

Location: Nishinoomote, Nakatane, Minamitane.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yen.
Food: Small informal restaurants serving Japanese food such as curry and various noodle dishes.

Teishoku

Location: Nishinoomote, Nakatane, Minamitane.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yen.
Food: Small informal restaurants serving Japanese food as set menus. A typical set includes a main dish such as chicken or fish, a bowl of steamed rice, miso soup, and pickles.

Kaiseki

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 3,000 to upwards of 20,000 yen.
Food: These are upscale multi course restaurants which cater to patrons with very specific tastes.

Teppanyaki

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 4,000 to upwards of 20,000 yen.
Food: These are restaurants where the chef prepares the meals directly in front of the customers on a huge hot plate. The food basically consists of some kind of meat or seafood served with grilled vegetables.

Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 2,500 to upwards of 10,000 yen.
Food: Sukiyaki and shabu shabu consist of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs.

Sushi

Location: Minamitane.
Price: Anywhere from 800 to upwards of 20,000 yen.
Food: These restaurants focus mainly on sushi of course and be pretty pricey depending on the type and quality of the fish.

Kaiten zushi

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yen.
Food: These restaurants are really nice for sushi lovers on a limited budget. Customers will typically sit in a booth or at a counter and wait for sushi dishes to pass on a conveyor belt from which they can pick what they like. The plates are different colors denoting the various prices for each type of sushi. At the end of the meal you press a button and someone will come to add up the cost of your choices which usually run from 100 to 500 yen per plate. Some restaurants will give kids a chance to win a prize for each five plates purchased.

Udon and Soba

Location: Nishinoomote, Nakatane.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yen.
Food: These restaurants serve basically noodle dishes which can be served either hot or cold and usually come with a choice of toppings.

Ramen

Location: Nishinoomote, Nakatane, Minamitane.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yen.
Food: These restaurants also serve noodle dishes with a choice of toppings but use Chinese style noodles.

Yakitori and Yakiniku

Location: Nakatane.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yen.
Food: These restaurants serve a variety of chicken and beef strips cooked on skewers over charcoal.

Kare

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yen.
Food: These restaurants offer a variety of curry dishes served with rice and pickles.

Okonomiyaki

Location: Minamitane.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yen.
Food: Okonomiyaki is best described as a meat or fish and vegetable pancake. Usually served with many toppings including seaweed sprinkles and mayonnaise. The food is prepared and then brought to a hot plate at the table where customers serve themselves. This food is really good with beer and particularly tasting on a warm Summer night.

Gyoza

Location: Minamitane.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yen.
Food: Gyoza are dumplings filled with different kinds of meat and vegetables. They are usually dipped in a sauce when eaten. Gyoza can often be found at ramen restaurants.

Tempura

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,500 yen.
Food: Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried.

Tonkatsu

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,500 yen.
Food: Tonkatsu are deep fried breaded pork cutlets. You can usually find Korokke and other deep fried foods at this type of restaurant.

Unagi

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 yen.
Food: Unagi is served as part of unadon, a donburi dish with sliced eel served on a bed of rice.

Gyudon

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 300 to 1,500 yen.
Food: Gyudon, literally beef bowl, is a Japanese dish consisting of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion simmered in a mildly sweet sauce flavored with dashi (fish and seaweed stock), soy sauce and mirin (sweet rice wine). These restaurants are among the cheapest in Japan.

Barbeque

Location: Nishinoomote, Minamitane.
Price: Anywhere from 500 to 2,500 yen.
Food: Restaurants of this type can include foods from many of the restaurants listed above. Typically the food is cooked over charcoal similar to a western style barbeque.

Pizza

Location: Still trying to find this type of restaurant on the island.
Price: Anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 yen.
Food: Usually much smaller and more expensive, pizza in Japan is a bit different than the western style varieties. Japanese pizza often includes such items as mayonnaise and corn.

Yatai

Location: Nishinoomote, Nakatane, Minamitane.
Price: Anywhere from 300 to 2,000 yen.
Food: Yatai are temporary small food stands which usually only offer one type of food. They are typically found at festivals. Foods include any of the following: fried chicken (karaage), okonomiyaki, takoyaki, corn on the cob, French fries, yakisoba, oden, ramen.

Kissaten

Location: Nishinoomote, Nakatane, Minamitane.
Price: Anywhere from 300 to 2,000 yen.
Food: This is basically a coffee shop or cafe. Many kissatens serve a variety of food including sandwiches and salads along with cake and other desserts.
 
Additional Information
  • Restaurants
  • Japan Guide - Restaurants. A brief description of the types of restaurants you might find in Japan.
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