In early autumn of 2017, while the Japanese baseball playoffs were heating up, I visited Dining Bar Geibi in Sumiyoshicho. A savory aroma of soup stock greeted me at the door. Geibi is an oden-focused restaurant run by Hiroshima-born chef/owner Miyake Kenichi. The restaurant offers its signature oden and grilled oysters with shochu and sake from Hiroshima. In that vein, a plethora of Hiroshima Carp-themed items are found all around the shop.

Miyake’s oden is carefully prepared in a special soup stock made from chicken, vegetables and kombu seaweed stewed for more than twelve hours. He doesn’t use soy sauce, but adds some salt and sugar to complete the golden-colored soup. Over 20 kinds of ingredient, such as Daikon (¥350), Chicken Meatballs (¥360), and Tomato & Mozzarella Cheese (¥480), are simmered in the broth. For those who want variety, try the oden with four or eight items (¥730/¥1450). Also recommended are the Grilled Oysters (¥280 each), which are freshly delivered from a shop near Miyajima, Hiroshima. They’re seasoned with a perfect duo of mildly sweetened soy sauce and Hiroshima sake.

Miyake, who was a food company sales rep, decided to seek a career as chef when he met his “master”, an owner of a popular oden restaurant in Tokyo. “Master served me incredibly good oden and I wanted to cook something similar,” Miyake says. He is continuously pursuing the ideal oden. Although he doesn’t advertise his place as a gathering spot for Carp fans, he shows all the team’s games on the TV and regularly replays games during the season. “When they’re playing, I always need to know the score! I’m much more relaxed during the off-season,” Miyake says with a smile from behind a steaming oden pot.


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