Kabayaki: ‘柏屋四郎衛門 -Kashiwaya Shirouemon- ‘ Fujioka City, Gunma Prefecture

River Cusine

Let’s talk about a special eel shop in Fujioka City, Gunma Prefecture, worth visiting. Their kabayaki eel is so fluffy that it’s hard to find anything like it elsewhere.The kabayaki eel here is exceptionally fluffy, a rarity to find elsewhere. Live eels are quite elastic and firm, something that those who have touched an eel would understand. It’s a wonder how they are prepared to become like this. The taste is definitely exquisite, ranking among the top eel dishes I have ever eaten.

This shop operates in a historic building constructed 150 years ago. Fujioka City in Gunma Prefecture is located at the boundary of mountains and plains, and sericulture was once thriving here. 150 years ago in Japan, sericulture for silk thread was prevalent in the mountains, with people coming from the plains to buy it. This building was once used as a place for trading these silk materials. Nowadays, with such trades no longer happening, it operates as an eel shop. The owner sometimes shows visitors the upper floor where these trades used to take place.

The room where business negotiations were once conducted

To visit from Tokyo, it takes about an hour and a half with one transfer. You transfer to a local train called the Hachiko Line at Takasaki Station. The Hachiko Line has a very local feel with a retro atmosphere. Traveling in this unique atmosphere to taste exquisite eel makes for a wonderfully different experience.


Unaju (Kabayaki rice bowl): 3,300 yen

Unaju with coffee: 3,500 yen