The MICHELIN Guide Fukuoka-Saga-Nagasaki 2019 Special Edition has just been released. This is the first MICHELIN Guide update for Fukuoka and Saga in five years since the MICHELIN Guide Fukuoka-Saga 2014 Special Edition was launched in 2014, and the first time Nagasaki Prefecture is included — making it the 23rd area in Japan to be featured in the guide.
This edition is a comprehensive relook and review of the area, featuring a total of 527 establishments including two three-MICHELIN-starred restaurants, 13 two-MICHELIN-starred restaurants, 66 one-MICHELIN-starred restaurants and 80 Bib Gourmand establishments.
“In 2014, we launched the first Kyushu guide to Fukuoka Prefecture and Saga Prefecture. This current edition includes a new addition — Nagasaki Prefecture, which is a highly popular tourist destination for both domestic and foreign tourists, and vastly different in social customs and culture from the other two prefectures,” says Paul Perriniaux, Managing & Representative Director of Nihon Michelin Tire Co., Ltd. “The MICHELIN Guide has been in place for more than 100 years, contributing to the movement of both people and goods with the vision of “more enjoyment, going further, and more comfort”. It would be an honour if this guide could be a helpful travel companion to everyone. We look forward to this new MICHELIN Guide contributing to a wonderful travel experience for both locals as well as foreign and domestic travellers.”
Both three-MICHELIN-starred restaurants are sushi restaurants located in the Chuo ward of Fukuoka City: Sushi Sakai has made the leap from one star to three while Sushi Gyoten has retained its three stars from 2014.
Of the 13 two-MICHELIN-starred restaurants in the selection, 10 are located in Fukuoka with traditional Japanese restaurants Imoto and Oryori Furukawa making the list for the first time. Sushi restaurant Sushidokoro Tsukuta in Karatsu City in the Saga Prefecture, which offers edomae-style sushi made with fish from the Genkai Sea and rice from Saga, has retained its two stars from 2014. Both the two-MICHELIN-starred establishments in Nagasaki Prefecture are located in Nagasaki City. They include tempura restaurant Agedashi Tempura Tenhiro, which offers quality local seafood, and Japanese restaurant Itamaeryori Doyama, which showcases an imaginative use of local ingredients.
66 establishments have received one-MICHELIN-star in this new edition, with 46 of them located in Fukuoka. Ten of the 22 newly-starred one-star restaurants offer French cuisine, bringing the total number of one-MICHELIN-starred French restaurants to 14, an exponential increase from just two in 2014. In a reflection of Nagasaki’s long history of interaction with foreign influences, 5 of the 11 one-MICHELIN-starred establishments there are French or Italian restaurants, a trend unique to the prefecture.
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A spotlight has also been shone on regional Japanese cuisines. In Fukuoka, a new motsuryori category has also been added to reflect the prefecture’s regional specialty of offal cuisine with four featured establishments; of the nine ramen shops featured, seven are newly-listed. Hakata Genki Ippai (Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City) and Ramen Muhomatsu Honten (Kokurakita Ward, Kitakyushu City) offer tonkotsu ramen, while other establishments offering dishes representative of Hakata, such as hitokuchi gyoza and mizutaki hotpot, are also featured as Bib Gourmand and Michelin Plate restaurants.
Of the ten one-MICHELIN-starred establishments in Saga Prefecture, the three newly-starred restaurants in Karatsu city are full of character: Arutokoro operates in a newly refurbished traditional Japanese house while Kawashima offers tofu kaiseki and Hirata makes use of foraged ingredients. The guide also includes places for the specialty produce of Saga such as Saga beef at one-MICHELIN-starred teppanyaki restaurant Kira Honten (Saga City), fish at one-MICHELIN-starred Amegen (Karatsu City), as well as local imarigyu beef and yobuko (live squid) at other listed restaurants.
Local cuisine shines in Nagasaki where new cuisine classifications include okoze cuisine from Michelin-plated Ogasawara in Nagasaki City, and chanpon from Koran in Sasebo City. Also listed in the guide are establishments which showcase local ingredients and feature various local specialties such as sara udon, shippoku ryori (Chinese-influenced banquet cuisine), guzouni (a soup dish with mochi and other ingredients), Goto udon, karasumi (dried and salted mullet roe) and hatoshi (shrimp toast).
View the full selection here.