The city of Kishiwada

is full of historical sites. Stroll around and enjoy some Senshu soul food.

Sample Soul Food in Charming Kishiwada City

Kishiwada City is brimming with unique historical points of interest in the old townscape along the Kishu Kaido Highway, a historic road used by lords and travelers built during the Edo period (1603-1868) that connected Osaka and Wakayama prefectures. A comfortable stroll around the city can throw visitors back in time, and highlights of the area include historical religious structures and Kishiwada Castle. Hungry visitors can also sample some of the local delicacies such as Kashiminyaki.

What is Kashiminyaki?

Stepping into Sogetsu is like going back in time.

A small restaurant called Sogetsu is tucked away in one of the local shopping streets, and is considered a neighborhood hotspot due to its specialty dish: Kashiminyaki. The exterior of the shop, a translucent red awning with the name of the restaurant adorned with white paint, may give the impression that it is stuck in a previous time. That assumption would be somewhat correct.


This restaurant started life in 1926 as a café serving the local community a wide variety of standard Japanese meals, from pork cutlet to fried noodles. Some of the original equipment is still in use today, including the working rotary phone and the antique cash register. It eventually started to specialize in okonomiyaki, a type of savory Japanese pancake for which Osaka is famous. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Kishiwada City, and has been managed by the same family since its inception. The current owner is the fourth generation to run the business, and her incredibly welcoming personality is the embodiment of Senshu hospitality.

A delicious Tokubetsu Sogetsuyaki being prepared.

Kashiminyaki is a riff on okonomiyaki with a few key differences. Beef fat is added to the recipe to give it an unctuous sweetness. Chicken is a key ingredient, and egg is watered down to make a thin batter. The result is a lighter version of okonomiyaki which may be considered by some as a healthier option. They also offer a dish unique to the restaurant called Tokubetsu Sogetsuyaki, in which the batter is made of three whole eggs and the final dish has a close appearance and texture to a quiche. Both dishes can be customized to have a base ingredient to your liking, whether it is a meat option such as beef or pork, or a seafood option such as shrimp, squid, or oyster. Flour is not used in the batter for either dish making them both good gluten-free options.


While okonomiyaki is often made by diners as a type of food experience, the two specialty dishes are complicated to cook, and the current owner is the only person in the restaurant trained to complete this task. The best way to sample these dishes is to book your order in advance to ensure that the owner is available. But don’t be shy about asking the staff to make one for you even if you stop by without a reservation!

Strolling Around Kishiwada

The townscape along the Kishu Kaido Highway in Kishiwada.

Once you’ve eaten your fill, why not take a stroll through an historic townscape? Visitors should start their walking tour of the old townscape from the Machizukuri no Yakata , a local community and tourist information center set up in 1997 on the Kishu Kaido Highway. Staff are on hand to provide some advice of what to see in the local area, as well as a walking map. From here, visitors can enjoy some of the old townhouses along the historic Kishu Kaido Highway—some of the buildings date back to the Edo period.

Tenshoji Temple is known for its tako-jizo statues.

Tenshoji Temple is a must-see for its unusual story. During the Tensho period (1573-1592), nearby Kishiwada Castle was surrounded by enemies and at risk of falling. Allegedly, a Buddhist monk riding a large octopus, accompanied by thousands of other octopi, appeared out of nowhere, knocking down enemy soldiers to save the castle. Several days after this event, a damaged jizo statue (a Buddhist guardian deity) was discovered in the castle moat, and was subsequently placed inside the castle for safekeeping. The same statue was then moved to Tenshoji Temple in the Bunroku period (1592-1596), where it remains to this day. As a result, the temple is nicknamed the “Tako-jizo” Temple, since tako means “octopus” in Japanese. Various depictions of octopi can be found around the temple complex, such as on the votive tablets visitors write their wishes on. It is also an unwritten rule that visitors to the temple should not eat any dishes containing octopus within a few days of their visit.


The Kishiwada Danjiri Festival is a famous festival in which wooden floats called danjiri are pulled through narrow city streets by participants from 80 neighborhoods. The festival is divided by district, and held twice a year—once in mid-September and again in early October. Why not pay a visit to the Kishiwada Danjiri Hall, a museum dedicated to the festival’s history and traditions?

A visit Kishiwada Castle offers visitors some stunning scenery.

A final highlight of the walking tour is Kishiwada Castle, believed to have been originally constructed in 1334. In 1585, Hidemasa Koide (1539-1604), the uncle of Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1537-1598)—a famous warlord, and one of the unifiers of Japan—was appointed lord of the castle, and constructed the keep into a five-story structure. Several changes in ownership followed, before a lighting strike in 1827 burned down the castle. The current structure is a three-story building constructed in 1954, with exhibition rooms and an observation deck offering views of the city.


For information on a tour of Kishiwada Castle and surrounding cultural sights, please contact the Senshu Japan Concierge Team.



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