Long ago, Atsuta was a temple town centered on Atsuta shrine.
It was not just the only point on the Tokaido where land and sea met, but also a place where traffic and culture gathered from many regions via the Minoji and the Saya roads.
During the Edo period, as it was a place with headquarters that was the 41st rest town of the 53 stations of the Tokaido, many people gathered there, making it the most bustling spot on the Tokaido.
In the 6th year of Meiji, Atsuta Houraiken was founded as a restaurant in this town known as Miyajuku.
Just as in Yaji and Kita Tokaido Hizakurige, the famous foods of that period were kabayaki and kashiwa, and these foods were eaten in Houraiken.
Delivery was very common, and when the delivery boy went to clear empty bowls he would often break them.
This caused great problems for the second generation restaurant owner Jinzaburo, and after a discussion with head maid Miss Oume, he designed a container made of wood that would not break and put eel and rice bowls for many customers in a large hitsu (wooden container) for delivery.
People would always eat the eel first, so rice would be left over.
This troubled second generation owner Jinzaburo, and after a discussion with Miss Oume, the eel was cut small and mixed with the rice.
Due to the great popularity of this dish it also became a banquet dish.
Mixing eel and and rice in a large hitsu is the origin of the name hitsumabushi.
Eating this Ochadsuke (mixing the rice with tea), was a popular flavour that remains today.
Nowadays there are hitsu that are made for one person, which greatly delights everyone.
Through their food and service, all of our staff want to support us in making a restaurant that our customers can appreciate.
Building in the Taisho era.
(The road out from is the old Tokaido).
Houraiken main restaurant early Showa era
(May 12th, 1945 destroyed by fire in the war)
The present way of eating hitsumabushi was established in the Meiji era, and hitsumabushi is so well recognised that people line up to enjoy it.
The skill of a chef frying fresh eel using Binchotan charcoal
A sauce that has continued since our foundation 140 years ago, a secret passed down through the founding family.
Hitsumabushi, spread generously over warm, freshly cooked rice.
We offer each person’s food in a hitsu carefully crafted from Japanese horse chestnut.