Tsuruoka's Specialties

Updated: Nov 9




No trip would be complete without bringing

back memories in the form of souvenirs!



Being the first Creative City of Gastronomy in Japan, Tsuruoka not only offer great food but also tasty souvenirs for visitors to bring back to share with their loved ones. These foods were carefully curated and awarded by citizens and experts in the city for their uniqueness and deliciousness.



Scroll down to find out more!



1. Zao Sake Lees Pickled Cream Cheese



Have you had pickled cheese before? This cream cheese is pickled using sake lees (a by-product from brewing sake) and does not have the funky cheese smell and has a slight winey taste. It goes extremely with wine as well as sake. Spread it on some saltine crackers to enjoy its creamy texture and savoury unique taste!


This was awarded the Gold award under the processed food category during Tsuruoka's first specialty contest held in 2019.


Note: Honma Sake Lees Pickled Cream Cheese is a dairy product so remember to keep the cheese chilled! If you visit the main shop in Oyama, the shop will provide chiller bags for purchase if required.








✖️Halal-friendly ✖️Vegan-friendly ◎Dairy-product ◎Gluten-free


You can get them here!

  • Honchou Co., Ltd [Main Shop] (株式会社本長) 1 Chome-7-7 Oyama, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-1124

  • Shonai Bus Terminal and Shopping Center (庄内観光物産館) Nakadori-80-1 Nunome, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0851

  • Maruhon Plus S-Mall (マルホンプラス エスモール店) 2-21 Nishikimachi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0031

2. Dadachamame Okowa (Dadacha Soybean Glutinous Rice)



Okowa is a type of steamed rice dish made with glutinous rice mixed with meat or vegetables. This delicious rice dish is made using Tsuruoka's famous produce, dadacha soybean, as well as "dewa no mochi" glutinous rice. Just take it out from the packaging and nuke it in the microwave for a quick and delicious meal!





◎Halal-friendly ◎Vegan-friendly ✖️Dairy-product ◎Gluten-free


You can get them here!

  • Satoku Co., Ltd [Main Shop] (佐徳) 2 Chome-9-79 Takarada, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0011

  • Shonai Bus Terminal and Shopping Center (庄内観光物産館) Nakadori-80-1 Nunome, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0851

3. Goma tofu (Sesame tofu)



Goma tofu, or sesame tofu is not what you would associate with traditional tofu made from coagulated soy milk. The ingredients used to make sesame tofu are finely grounded sesame paste, water and kuzu root powder. It doesn't contain any alcohol or animal-derivatives, making it halal-friendly and vegan-friendly! This is a popular souvenir from Saikan on Mt. Haguro as it is one of the staple dishes in shojin ryori, a traditional Japanese Buddhist cuisine. Have fun eating the jiggly tofu and taste the rich sesame flavour while enjoying it together with the gooey, thick sweet and savoury sauce!


◎Halal-friendly ◎Vegan-friendly ✖️Dairy-product ◎Gluten-free


You can get them here!

  • Saikan [Main Shop] (羽黒山参籠所 斎館) Haguroyama-33 Haguromachi Touge, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0211

  • Shonai Bus Terminal and Shopping Center (庄内観光物産館) Nakadori-80-1 Nunome, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0851

4. Tonosama Dadachamame 100% Kimchi



Are you ready to try a new way of eating the famous dadacha soybean of Tsuruoka city? The pairing between the subtle sweetness of dadacha soybean and the heat from kimchi is delicious and goes very well paired with white rice and beer.






◎Halal-friendly ◎Vegan-friendly ✖️Dairy-product ◎Gluten-free


Where to buy:

  • Shonai Bus Terminal and Shopping Center (庄内観光物産館) Nakadori-80-1 Nunome, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0851

5. Dadachamame Financier



A local favourite to gift as a souvenir! This financier is 80% made up of dadacha soybeans utilising a new dehydration technique discovered by the Yamagata University. It is light, fluffy and moist and you can definitely taste the distinct flavour and subtle sweetness of dadacha soybean!


This was awarded the Gold award under the sweets category during Tsuruoka's first specialty contest held in 2019.


◎Halal-friendly ✖️Vegan-friendly ◎Dairy-product ◎Gluten-free


You can get them here!

  • Kimuraya [Main shop] (木村屋 本店) 9-25 Sannomachi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0028

  • Kimuraya [S-Mall branch] (木村屋 S-MALL店) 2-21 Nishikimachi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0031

  • Shonai Bus Terminal and Shopping Center (庄内観光物産館) Nakadori-80-1 Nunome, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0851

6. Tsuruhime Red Melon Ice Cream



Tsuruoka red melon ice cream is made from local Tsuruhime red melon and the rich flavourful milk from the Anbi highlands. Taste the fruity melon & savour the smooth creaminess of the ice cream!


This is the absolute treat during the sweltering summer heat!


◎Halal-friendly ✖️Vegan-friendly ◎Dairy-product ◎Gluten-free


You can get them here!

  • Shonai Bus Terminal and Shopping Center (庄内観光物産館) Nakadori-80-1 Nunome, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0851

7. Tsuruoka Silk Macaron



Ever wondered how silk would taste like? Tsuruoka silk macaron is a brand new delicious souvenir created by Chef Okuda and his team of Al Ché-cciano in 2018 to appeal to both the locals and visitors. Real silk is whipped into the meringue cookie, giving it a smooth crispy shell like silk. The buttercream is made with fermented butter sourced from Agano (Niigata), giving it a robust taste as though you are eating cheese. Sea salt from the Sea of Japan is speckled through the buttercream, cutting through the sweetness and giving the macaron a nice accent of flavour.


◎Halal-friendly ✖️Vegan-friendly ◎Dairy-product ◎Gluten-free


You can get them here!

  • Farinamore Italian Cafe and Restaurant [Main Shop] (ファリナモーレ) 〒997-0015 Yamagata, Tsuruoka, Suehiromachi, 3−1 マリカ 東館 * 2 mins walk from JR Tsuruoka station


8. Tsurun mochi



Are you a fan of chewy jiggly mochi? The Tsurun mochi is a local favourite that is filled with dadacha soybean sweet bean paste and is made of Tsuyahime rice flour. You can't get enough of the QQ texture and the gentle mellow taste of dadacha soybean!






◎Halal-friendly ✖️Vegan-friendly ◎Dairy-product ◎Gluten-free


You can get them here!

  • Jyuuichiya [Main Shop] (十一屋) 1 Chome-83-1 Fujinami, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 999-7604



Happy tasting and don't forget to share this list with your friends who love Japanese food as much as you do!

TSURUOKA CITY

The one and only UCCN City of Gastronomy in Japan. Nestled between the Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa and the Sea of Japan, Tsuruoka City is home to 3 Japan Heritage Sites and is the largest municipality in the Tohoku region.

Come and experience the hidden side of Japan and traditional cuisine!

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