Zunda-mochi dumplings, hatto-jiru soup, hittsumi noodles: These are far from mainstream Japanese foods, and rarely found on restaurant menus. But they’re essential landmarks on the culinary landscape of the Tohoku region. They are also core items on the menu at Michinoku, one of the very few eateries in Tokyo that serves the specialties of Japan’s northeastern prefectures.

Too many restaurants that focus on the foods of far-flung regions tend to do so in a self-conscious way, as if embarrassed to be showing off their provincial flavors in the bright lights of the big city. But Michinoku, tucked away on the second floor of Ginza Inz, the building that runs below the expressway overpass in Yurakucho, has no such qualms.

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