Category Archives: Japanese Gastronomy

Japanese Cuttlefish/Squid Species 3: Aori Ika/Bigfin Reef Squid

Here we continue with this series which still promises a long haul!

Aori Ika or Bigfin Reef Squid is another extremely popular cuttle fish but in many othere countries.
In French languedoc and Roussillon they call them “piste” and eat them raw marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and spices on top of freshly toasted bread.

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American Aori Ika/Caribbean Reef Squid

Of course they come by various regional names in Japan: Mo Ika, Bashoo Ika, Kutsu Ika, Misu Ika, Shiroi Ika.
They are fairly large as they can attain 40~45 cm length for a weight up to 6 kg.

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Their season is from Summer to early Autumn (just in time for this article!). They are mainly caught in Central and South Japan along the Southern shores.
The catch has never been big (mainly by trawling nets), making them a choice morsel.

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They are considered the best cuttlefish as far as sashimi is concerned.
The Japanese often catch them as a hobby to process and sell at local markets.

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As sushi, especially as nigiri, they are simply top-class!

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

Soba (Buckwheat Noodles) Restaurant: Soba Gen in Shimada City!

Service: very kind and smiling
Equipment & Facilities: Old but very clean. Washroom equipped for physically-impaired customers
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Soba/buckwheat noodles, sushi. Pottery on sale

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I discovered this very traditional soba/buckwheat noodles restaurant near the Shimada Municipal Meuseum when I visited the old Ooi River Crossing Village/Kawagoshi Kaidou!
It made for the perfect stop for lunch during a very interesting visit of this important historical site!

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A very traditional entrance!

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It actually doubles up as a pottery atelier and you can find fine artifacts right from the moment you enter the place!

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Some of it is for sale inside the restaurant!

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And you can have a good view of the kitchen and working chef!

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A really peaceful rural atmosphere!

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Traditional Shizuoka Soba with grated yam!

The menu is fairly extensive including even sushi!
As for soba, they are very traditional and authentic!

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This was my order!

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Cold soba with tenpura/Ten Oroshi Soba!

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Absolutely succulent!
Definitely looking forward to my next visit as I want to visit the village a bit more thoroughly in more clement weather!

SOBA GEN/そば玄

427-0037 Shimada City, Kawahara, 2-14-5
Tel.: 0547-34-3332
Mobile: 090-5617-7548
Opening hours: 11:00~14:00 (on week ends: 11:00~15:00). From 17:00, on reservation only
Closed on Mondays and 3rd Tuesday of the month. Open on Monday if it is a National Holiday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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

Japanese Cuttlefish/Squids Species 2: Kensaki Ika (Red Squid)

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“Kensaki Ika/ケンサキ烏賊 goes by the Latin name of Loligo (Photololigo) edulis Hoyle,1885, but that complicated name does not prevent this particular squid to be extremely popular in Japan!

It is of course known under other local names: Aka Ika/Red Squid, especially in Shizuoka, Budo Ika/Grapes Squid, Shiro Ika, Gotou Ika.

They will soon appear in the markets in Summer.
They are mainly caught by line.
They are more and more available live, so great specimens can be easily bought.

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Kensaki Ika Sashimi! “Somen style/noodle style!

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Another sashimi presentation!

They are a very versatile kind of squid as they can be appreciated as sashimi, sushi, simmered, boiled, broiled, dried, and especially as tempura!

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As a cold boiled appetizer!

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As tempura!

Sushi as it is!

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Sushi, seasoned!

As for me, it is a bit of a dilemna as I like them both as sushi nigiri and sashimi!

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

Japanese Cuttlefish/Squids Species 1: Yari Ika-Spear Squid

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Cuttlefish or squids are eaten almost all the world as they seem to inhabit the whole planet! They are the favourite food of many big fish such as tuna, whales and birds. Although humans contribute to dwindling stocks, they will never consume the same amount as its natural predators.

The Japanese call them Ika/烏賊, roughly meaning crow shellfish/cephalopods.

This is the start of a long series. I do hope you like them, otherwise you are in for a long haul!LOL

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Yari Ika/槍烏賊, or Spear Squid, are also known under the names of sashika, Sayaika, Shyakuhachi, Tsutsuika or Sayanaga.
In Japan they are mainly caught in Winter and Spring off the shores of Aomori, Hokkaido, Ibaragi, Mie, Aichi and Yamaguchi Prefectures.
Females are slightly more rounded thanthe males.
They are either caught with nets or lines.
Their flesh is comparatively thin, but soft and sweet. They are among the most popular in Japan.
The best specimens are the ones caught by line. Buy them live whenever possible.

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Still alive spear squid sushi nigiri!

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Classical presentation sushi nigiri!

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Unusual presentation sushi nigiri!

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Classical live spear squid sashimi plate!

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Spear Squid Sashimi Donburi!

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Broiled spear squid!

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Spear Squid Tempura!

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Japanese-Style Sauteed Spear squid!

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Italian-Style Spear squid in its ink!

They can of course be cooked, or eaten as sashimi, but I reckon sushi nigiri is best.
The best sushi restaurants will serve two of them with two different dip soy sauces.

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

Japanese Crustacean Species 6: Kuruma Ebi/Japanese Imperial Prawn

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Kuruma Ebi, or Japanese Imperial Prwan, is probably the most popular prawn in Japan!
It has different names depending on its size: Saimaki (up to 5 cm), Maki (up to 10cm)

Its season lasts from late Autumn to the end of Winter.
It is found south of Hokkaido Island down to the Indian Ocean until depths of 50 metres.
It had been successfully artificially grown for some time until diseases put a momentary stop.
The prawn has steadily become a rare morsel. Altogether, natural and human raised specimen, the annual catch amounts only to 2,000 tonnes.

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Raw, or

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boiled, they make for great decoration on top of suucculent taste!

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They are very much appreciated a sashimi, especially after having been made to “dance” in Japanese sake!

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Grilled on the stick would tempt many a prawn connoisseur!

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They make for extravagant tempura!

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As sushi Nigiri, they are equally popular raw, or

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boiled!

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In winter enjoy in “nabe”/Japanese pot au feu!

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If you the chance to buy them alive (In Shizuoka, we do have them kicking), put them in a pan with Japanese sake under a lid. Wait until they have grown “quiet”, and prepare them right away!

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

Osaka-Style Takoyaki: Tonbo in Shimada City!

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Service: shy but very kind and smiling
Equipment & facilities: Old but very clean. Clean washroom
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: takoyaki and okonomiyaki and other traditional izakaya foods. Local sake

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The other day having some time to spare I walked along streets near Shimada Railway Station north exit when I found this little place which seemed very popular with the locals. Luckily enough I came in early enough before the place was packed with revelers!

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The atmosphere is reminiscent of the 1960’a and 1970’s and I suspect the whole place dates back to that period with the only concession of a modernized washroom to our present era!

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The food is cooked afresh in front of you and it is worth waiting for it!

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Even the chef seems straight out of a past age!

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No wonder the place is popular with the locals but also with the visiting Chinese and Taiwanese tourists straight out of Shimada Airport!

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The drinks menu and the menu cartes are also very traditional including a sake from neighboring Oumuraya Brewery!

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My sake!

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Also noticed an intriguing wine liquor!

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As this first visit was dedicated to Osaka=style takoyaki/octopus dumplings I first ordered a plate of takoyaki with soy sauce, mayonnaise and chopped scallions accompanied with a glass of wine liqueur!

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Osaka-style takoyaki are soft and burning hot!

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My second order was takoyaki in “Akashi Yaki” style, that is as it is with a hot clear soup to dip them in!

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Eat them while they are very hot!

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Look forward to the next report which will be about okonomiyaki and other morsels!

TONBO

427-0029 Shimada City, Hinode-Cho, 1-1 ( few minutes’ walk straight from Shimada JR Station North exit)
Tel.: 0547-35-7635
Opening hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays and national Holidays.
Orders on the phone and take-out OK!

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

Shizuoka Izakaya: Tanuki no Ana Celebrating Their 35th Anniversary!

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Service: very kind and attentive
Equipment and facilities: overall a bit old but very clean
Prices: appropriate~a little expensive
Strong points: at least 23 sake from Shizuoka Prefecture!

Makoto and Chieko Naruoka/成川岡真・千恵子さん are celebrating the 35th Anniversary of their izakaya, Tanuki no Hana/狸の穴 (the racoon’s lair!) until July 10th!

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The place has little changed over the years!

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It is not the oldest izakaya in town but is certainly the oldest izakaya specialized in Shizuoka Prefecture sake!
Have a look at the sake labels on the window and you will discover some breweries that have long ceased to exist!
Makoto san in particular will happy to reminisce!

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For their anniversary, Makoto and Chieko offer a special daily selection of five sake for only 500 yen a glass with a complimentary glass of draft beer!
Now, if you give them your name, size, phone number and e-mail address before the 10th you might become the lucky winner of a commemorative T-shirt!

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A snack is also offered for 500 yen!

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If you are a regular or give them any reason to like you they will probably come up with a complimentary snack!

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I had three sake on offer that day:
Kinmei Junmai by Negami Brewery in Gotemba City!

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Takasago Junmai Karakuchi (+10) by Fuji Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City!

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Sayogoromo Junmai Karakuchi by Morimoto Brewery in Kikugawa City!

If you want not only to taste fine Shizuoka Sake but also learn about their history and anecdotes, Tanuki no Ana is the place!

TANUKI NO HANA/狸の穴

Makoto & Chieko Naruoka/成岡誠。千恵子さん
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae Cho, 2-2-5 (near Aoba Park Street)
Tel.: 054-255-6704
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays & National Holidays
Credit Cards OK

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