Micchan Sōhonten

micchan sohonten

Micchan is Hiroshima’s most famous okonomiyaki chain that originally started selling the signature dish in 1950 at this location near the YMCA called “Micchan Sō-hon-ten”. Originally, a very simple crepe made with vegetables, this dish has developed into quite a culinary delight. You can choose from special ingredients like oysters, cheese, mochi rice cake or seafood to go with the traditional crepe, noodles, cabbage and bacon layer version.

Micchan has its own unique sauce and style of cooking okonomiyaki which they are famous for: crispy noodles, cabbage that melts in your mouth and a soft crepe layer. You will be spoilt for choice of condiments to add to your dishes: micchan okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, salt, white pepper, spicy red crushed pepper and shoyu. Unlike many other okonomiyaki shops, they do not also do teppan-yaki various grilled dishes here, but concentrate on the art of making great okonomiyaki instead.

This Micchan claims to be the original and has 3 shops in Hiroshima under the same management (in Fukuya and in the Hiroshima Shinkansen station building). You will find other okonomiyaki shops around the city with the same “Micchan” name which are not necessarily a part of this same famous chain. There are rumors that they are all run by the same family- but this is apparently a rather heated topic of disagreement.

To make sure you find the original, and some argue the best, find your way to this Hatchobori location not far from the YMCA. If you are coming up the road North following the Hakushima tram line, turn left when you see the realtor with a whale or the Honda motorbikes and you will find it on the first floor of the same office building as the “Carp baseball gallery” [english sign].

Micchan’s Special okonomiyaki is ¥1200 and comes with noodles (soba or udon), ika-ten squid cracker, fresh squid, mochi, bacon and the other normal additions. Take out the mochi and ika-ten to get the dish for an even ¥1,000. Add extra meat for the DX special for ¥1,500. Plates of the basic okonomiyaki cost around ¥700 and you can add your choice of special toppings for a few hundred yen: cheese, kim-che, green negi onions, mochi, squid, shrimp and more.

A featured toppings are Hiroshima’s famous oysters (in season) for ¥500. You can also add ¥150 to any meal to get miso soup, rice and a side dish (cold tofu when I visited), or order an extra large portion of okonomiyaki (extra vegetables) for an additional ¥150. A kids okonomiyaki set is ¥450.

Daytime dining is all smoke-free. Everyone eats together along long tables down the middle or at smaller tables along the windows- usually kept for larger groups. Service is quick and there is a friendly, welcoming atmosphere- they seem happy to have you as a customer even if it’s your first time there.

The early dinner hours from 5-7pm are packed and people are eating fairly quickly before heading home, but from around 7:30pm, you may notice that diners will idle over their food and enjoy a few drinks with friends or colleagues. The food and drinks on the menu are very reasonably priced and available  all day.

Drinks are very reasonable: soft drinks ¥200, non-alcoholic beer ¥350, bottles of Asahi or Kirin beer ¥450, chu-hai fruit flavored sho-chu, sakeume-shu plum liquor, and the most popular are the jyoki cold mugs of beer small ¥300, regular and super big “Mega Jyoki” 800ml for ¥760. There are also other cocktails available for under ¥400.

Seating for 30 people at a time along shared tables, no credit cards or parking discounts at this location. There is an English menu available upon request, reservations are accepted for later in the afternoon (after 2pm) or evening (after 8pm) when it is less busy. You can buy souvenir box sets of their famous recipe, signature sauce or other key ingredients from the shop on your way out.

The other Micchan locations in town have different policies concerning parking discounts or credit cards, but all three Micchan locations of this chain are open every day of the year.

They use disposable waribashi rather than re-usable chopsticks, so don’t forget to take your own and save a tree.

Opening Hours: 11:00-15:00 (LO) / 17:00-22:30 (LO) Sundays 17:00-20:30 (LO)