Beppu is not a culinary gem on Japan’s gastronomic map. But if there’s anything the Beppuites can boast about, in addition to Bungo-gyu (豊後牛) or local beef, it is their gyoza (餃子). Gyoza Kogetsu (餃子湖月), tucked away in a tiny alley of the covered shopping arcade across from Beppu Train Station, this mom and pop seven-seater counter shop has been frying some of the best and most crunchy gyoza you will ever find in Kyushu.

I had a hard time trying to locate Gyoza Kogetsu and it was only after circling the shopping arcade thrice and asking the proprietor of a spectacles store that I finally managed to spot this obscure establishment. It’s really tiny, and fitting six people is already a challenge, not to mention seven.

The gyozas are fried upon order, and a 1-person portion will reward you with 30 gyozas. Don’t freak out yet! Because the gyozas are small, an average person can easily polish off 1-and-a-half plate – that’s 45 gyozas!!! And in case you are worried about the oil, the gyozas are so daintily fried that they are crispy without the oil. Kick back on a couple of Sapporos and you won’t even feel the oiliness.

I gobbled down a double portion (i.e. 60 gyozas!!!) And while you’re there, drop by Toyotsune とよ常 (cross the small road in front of the train station, turn left and walk right to the end of the alley) for the abovementioned Beppu specialty – Bungo-gyu (豊後牛) and some superb lovingly fried tempura.   LS


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