SN3O0300

Japanese Appetizer (O-toushi/お通し): Bamboo Shoots!

O-toushi/お通しis actually a bit difficult to translate.
In a Japanese (in Japan) izakaya it is an appetizer that is served with the first drink and that you pay for in general in lieu of a cover charge.
I have nothing against such a notion as it gives you a good idea of the chef’s skills!

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Bamboo shoots are in season, although they are going to disappear as fresh produce very soon.
We still can find them raw or already boiled in supermarkets all over Japan, and especially in Shizuoka where they grow early!

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Dragon bought a large piece already boiled at the big Cenova market in Shizuoka City.
She washed it first and then cut it in fairly large long pieces.
She fired hem in a little oil and soy sauce and a little seasoning of her own until their surface became crispy and brown in some places!

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Served with chopped scallions it once makes for a tasty and healthy morsel!
Vegetarians and vegans should particularly enjoy the satisfying crunch!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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SN3O0192

Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses In Shizuoka Prefecture 16: Kanaya

“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

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I found this comparatively middle-sized kura in Kanaya, Shimada City during my recent Tea Festival coverage!

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It looked old enough although in good repair. Only the windows showed its age as the concept of the walls in base stones and and hard concrete block made it very resistant!

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An old Japanese talkative lady very proud of the more than the 90 years she lived in the city informed us that this kura was owned by the Matsumura Family apparently the richest in Kanaya.
Since she told us she used to play nearby as a kid we can imagine the age of the edifice!

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A very sturdy and well-maintained kura still used as a shed!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

SN3O0293

Japanese Appetizer (O-toushi/お通し): Boiled Squid and Kimchi!

O-toushi/お通しis actually a bit difficult to translate.
In a Japanese (in Japan) izakaya it is an appetizer that is served with the first drink and that you pay for in general in lieu of a cover charge.
I have nothing against such a notion as it gives you a good idea of the chef’s skills!

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Dragon had found some boiled squid and kimchi at the supermarket.
Kimchi is Korean but it is one food that all Japanese have adopted as their for a very long time!
The kimchi provided enough seasoning on its own, but Dragon also added black sesame seeds for extra taste!

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Sprinkled with some finely chopped scallions it makes for a very healthy and tasty morsel to enjoy with your drink! wine in this particular case!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

SN3O0322

GREEN TEA: SHIZUOKA PREFECTURE TEA FIRST AUCTIONS IN 2014 IN SHIZUOKA CITY!

Once again like every year with this most important event Tea growers are early-risers!
Since Marufuku Tea Factory (Shizuoka City) in the person of Ms. Asami Itoh/伊藤麻美 had again kindly invited me to attend and interview at the official first day of the new tea auctions (officially) held today (April 23rd) I found myself the only European (journalist) present at the early hour of 6:30 a.m.!

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Like every year too the event is held at the Shizuoka Tea Market Center in Tamachi, SAoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

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“Cha Musume” were i\on hand to serve the new tea of the year, most of it from the Shimada and Makihara regions as these produce the first tea of the year due to their comparatively low altitude!

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Some producers took advantage of the event to sell their vegetables and other products!

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A tea massage demonstration was also held outside!

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As usual this was the day for plenty of speeches in front the TV and newspaper reporters!

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Mr. Fumiyaki Ichikawa of Marufuku Tea Factory was also present to buy some tea!

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The “bigwigs” who also had some problems with the early hour!

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Shizuoka Prefecture Governor, Heita Kawakatsu/川勝平太静岡県知事!

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Shizuoka City Mayor, Nobuhiro Tanabe/田辺信宏静岡市長!

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And then the participants were soon haggling prices!

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Making offers or taking notes?

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Note that the auctioneers are still using traditional abacuses!

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Some of these teas were pretty steep!

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18,000 yen for 3 kg!

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But this particular tea was the record for the day!

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100,000 yen for 4.5 kg of hand-massaged Yabukita tea!

Note: Shizuoka tea is not only absolutely safe, it is of very high quality this year!!
Next report will be in the tea-fields picking up the Ichiban Cha (First leaves of the year)!

Marufuku Tea Factory (Owner: Ms. Asami Itoh)
420-0006 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu, Cho, 25
Tel.: 054-271-2011
Fax: 054-271-2010
Mobile: 090-3250-4188

CHA-O (Director, Ms. Asami Itoh)
420-0006 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu Cho, 94
Tel: 054-253-8421
Fax: 054-253-8413
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

SN3O0202

Scabbard Fish at Parche Supermarket in Shizuoka City!

There seems to be an endless list of names for Tachiuo/太刀魚!
In Japanese it means “big Sword Fish”!

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I’ve always liked the name of Scabbard Fish as it becomes an interesting comparison with the meaning of the Janaese name!

This is the Wikipedia definition which does not things any clearer!
The largehead hairtail (also beltfish), Trichiurus lepturus, is a member of the cutlassfish family, Trichiuridae. It is a long, slender fish found throughout the tropical and temperate waters of the world. The Atlantic and Pacific populations are also known as Atlantic cutlassfish and Pacific cutlassfish, respectively.

Largehead hairtails can grow to over 2 m in length; the largest recorded weight is 5 kg and the oldest recorded age is 15 years. They live in shallow coastal waters, rising to eat planktonic crustaceans during the day and returning to the sea bed at night.

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These were caught in the Suruga Bay off Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!
They seem a bit pricey at 1,500 yen a piece, but they are the freshest samples you will find anywhere except on boats!
You will find cheaper ones in other markets but they will not be that fresh and will bear many injuries as the skin is very thin and easily broken!
Do not buy fish with broken skin, a sure sign of lack of freshness!

SN3O0203

They certainly not easy to put on display for the reason of their length!

It is a very versatile fish which can be appreciated as sashimi, sushi both raw or aburi/seared!
It is a little beauty as tempura, but you can also cook it grilled or in sauce in all kinds of gastronomy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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Japanese Appetizer (O-toushi/お通し): Mashed Kabocha Salad

O-toushi/お通しis actually a bit difficult to translate.
In a Japanese (in Japan) izakaya it is an appetizer that is served with the first drink and that you pay for in general in lieu of a cover charge.
I have nothing against such a notion as it gives you a good idea of the chef’s skills!

SN3O0197

Kabocha, or Japanese pumpkin, is a very versatile vegetable often associated with soup or tempura.
It can be prepared in a Western way by boiling it first and make a mash while it is still hot.
Fragon then mixes it a little mayonnaise, broken boiled egg, black olive slices and little pepper.
last she sprinkles it with hand-broken parsley!
Makes for some elegant colors and is so yummy it does disappear quickly!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

SN3O0061

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Kokkou Brewery-Tokubetsu Honjozo Miyabi No Iki

It’s been quite some time since I tasted a brew by Kokkou Brewery in Fukuroi City!
Their sake are not easy to find in Shizuoka City actually!

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Kokkou Brewery is remarkable for the fact that it was the first brewery to sue the famed Shizuoka yeasts!

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They tend to produce very dry sake, even by Shizuoka standards and this particlar brew has a special attached to it, “Miyabi no iki’”/”Elegant Style”!

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Rice: Yamada Nishiki 20%, Gohyakumangoku 80%
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: + 9
Acidity: 1.2
Amino acids: 1.1
Yeast: Shizuoka Ginjo HD-1
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in March 2014

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Golden hue
Aroma: Melon with hints of apples and pears
Body: Fluid, slightly sirupy
Taste: Very dry and fruity attack with pleasant alcohol.
Complex. Dry almonds, nuts.
Very elegant in spite of its very dry approach.
Disappears quickly.
Changes little with food but for a slightly sweeter turn.

Overall: Extremely elegant for a “simple” tokubetsu honjozo.
The skills involved in the creation of such sake are simply extraordinary!
Blind tasting will bring out surprises!
A sake for all seasons and genders and occasions!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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