Shizuoka Green Tea has been overused, and this in very dubious ways, all over Japan to create so-called “true Shizuoka Green Tea products” although not made inside our Prefecture and with untraceable ingredients.
Hachijyuhachiya Chakkiri Bushi by Fujinishiki Brewery in Fujinomiya City is the only authentic Shizuoka Green Tea Shochu. Full stop!
Accordingly Fujinishiki Brewery is the only one to dare advertising it as such in no uncertain terms: 静岡茶焼酎/Shizuoka Cha Shochu/Shizuoka Green Tea Shochu!
Rice shochu/rice honkaku shochu
Rice white lees
Tokugawa Yukari no Honyama Cha Tea variety only used
Tea leaves: at least 10% of total volume of ingredients.
Single distilling method
Alcohol: 25 degrees
Clarity: very clear
Aroma: dry and fruity. Green tea.greens
Body: very fluid
Taste: dry and fruity attack.
Very marked green tea leaves.
Lingers for quite a while on the palate with green tea expanding with its temperature rising inside the mouth.
Extremely elegant and easy to drink.
Overall: A rare, elegant and intriguing shochu!
The rare kind that even ladies would drink straight at any time of an evening or of a celebration.
Thoroughly enjoyable at any temperature or on the rocks, although best on its own.
Will beautifully marry with any food.
A splendid gift to offer anywhere in Japan and overseas!
The Japanese are in perpetual search for harmony.
This constant pursuit of “wa/和” preoccupies them not only at the office with their fellow workers, at home with their family, but also, and probably most, when taking a pleasurable respite at the table or counter of their favorite restaurant or bar.
At Uogashi Sushi Restaurant…
Whereas in many other countries patronizing the same establishment on a regular basis might be considered at best as an ostentatious show, and a disreputable habit at worst, eating and drinking out in Japan is a sine qua non prerequisite to a successful life, both professional and social.
“Jouren” (常連) can be loosely translated as “regular customer”, although the term does not give justice to its real meaning.
The jouren is an essential feature at any establishment worth its salt. He/she will usually sit quietly at the end of the counter if he/she is the only one present at the time, or next to another regular.
Now, if you observe him /her carefully (unobtrusively) you will notice that he /she is served food and drinks without orders or enquiries. There is a clear reason to that: the oyakata/chef or ofukuro/lady owner knows what the jouren likes to eat and drink within a tacitly agreed budget.
The jouren is not necessarily a well-off person, but he/she is a vital actor in the gastronomic theater because he/she will occasionally come out of hi/her reserve to gently recommend a dish or concoction when he/she notices a new customer experiencing some difficulty in choosing from an unknown menu. Very often a Japanese client will (politely) ask the local jouren for advice and enquire on the very food he/she is eating or on the best drink available.
Another peculiarity you will not fail to mark is that the jouren usually takes his/her leave without paying. He/she simply has a bill in the books that he/she will pay at a more or less determined date away from the inquisitive eyes of other diners and drinkers. This last arrangement is more practical for the owner’s accounts and tax returns. You will know that you have become a jouren the day or night the owner tells you to pay later, which of course means that he/she expects you to grace the place again soon!
At Minato Machi Okamura Ikichi…
Be it a posh kaiseki restaurant, an expensive sushi bar, a simple but popular izakaya, or a late night cocktail lounge, the “rules” are the same.
The jouren possesses an unfailing instinct as to the timing of his/her visits. He/she will avoid the really busy period of the evening, and will retreat with a smile and wave when his/her favorite haunt is unseasonably busy. He/she will also take leave when other customers start flowing in. On the other hand, a jouren will get full satisfaction and no questions asked if h/she requests a few seats for a party or some friends. Simply put, he/she is priority.
Jouren usually has his/her “bottle keep”, or own bottle of favourite spirits in situ, although the notion can be double-edged. Some izakayas or Japanese restaurants and bars make it rule for all customers, regular or not to acquire their own bottle with the attached condition that it must be consumed within a certain time limit. But a real jouren at an establishment worthy of its salt will probably keep a hard to find whisky or an extravagant shochu for his/her sole usage. On the other hand, if the jouren kindly offers you a glass of his/her own nectar, you may assume you will be part of the selected clientele very soon!
At Ekimae Matsuno Sushi,…
Japanese owners value their jouren very much for another reason.
In a tightly preordained world where the customer and the owner/chef are literally sitting on either side of a rigid fence, the jouren becomes an indispensable interlocutor you can talk shop with or even ask for advice. Japanese chefs have very little free time to spend outside work and take the pulse of their society to keep in touch with the prevalent trends of their fellow citizens. The jouren will bring in the news and information on any subject and the answers to questions that the chef will not hesitate to ask.
It works both ways: high-class geishas in Kyoto, who are not mere entertainers, do make a point to read at least two or three daily newspapers every morning, including one financial tabloid to ensure they can not only follow their clients’ conversations but give their own advice when solicited.
The nationality of a jouren is of little importance. Being a Japanese fluent foreigner is actually an advantage as some social restrictions inherent to the Japanese society can easily be circumvented.
As a case in point a great majority of celebrated resident foreign chefs spend most of their free time patronizing local sushi and kaiseki restaurants for the dual purpose of relaxation and study in great company!
At Sushi Ko…
As a final word do not think jouren are exclusively male clients. There are certainly many ladies among them, although they will generally patronize a different type of establishment. But the same “rules” and traditions apply!
Sashimi or thin slices of fish when put onto some rice could be called “sushi” as long as rice vinegar, salt and sugar have been added to season the rice beforehand.
On the other hand it does not have to be sashimi as almost anything could be used for making sushi: fish guts, roe, shellfish, meat, vegetables. etc.
Even the word “sashimi” does not actually apply to fish only as its meaning is “thin slices” (debatable).
There are 3 basic kinds of sushi:
“Nare Zushi”, or pickled fish sushi.
“Nigiri Sushi” or “Edomae Zushi”,or sliced fish et al onto small balls of rice.
“Oshi Zushi” or “Osaka Zushi”, or sliced fish et al pressed onto rice inside a wooden box or mould and then cut into equal-sized pieces.
Of course the three above kinds can be divided into numerous sub-varieties.
Home-made “chirashi zushi”!
One important variety is “Chirashi Zushi”, basically all kinds of (available) ingredients, preferably small, strewn on a layer of rice inside a bowl or shallow Japanese dish. This last variety is commonly encountered at home meals when it is more practical for a housewife to serve to a whole family.
This is the original form of sushi in Japan. One way to preserve fish was to gut it, slice the meat with or without the skin and pickle it (ferment it) in rice. The fish could then always be presented at meals after having taken it out of the pickle jar, cleaned it and served it on a dish as an accompaniment (or main dish) to the usual Japanese fare of rice, miso (fermented beans) soup and pickles.
“Nare Zushi” is slowly disappearing in japan due to better and safer transport of raw fish. One still available is “funa zushi/crucian carp sushi”.
Then one day, somebody selling fish in Edo (old Tokyo) struck on the idea to serve it wrapped around balls of rice to which vinegar, salt and sugar had been added for preservation. These balls were 2 or 3 times as big as nowadays and 3 balls would be enough for a meal.
This form of sushi is rarely encountered or available these days.
“Katsuo/Bonito”, “Shake/Salmon” and “Hon Maguro/Blue Fin Tuna”, all marinated beforehand, that is in “Zuke” style.
One modern extension of this technique is “Zuke” whereas tuna (“maguro”) or other fish has been first dipped in hot water for a while, then transferred into iced water to stop it cooking and finally marinated into a pickle brine (“tsuke shiru”) for a while. When cut, the surface is cooked and slightly harder while the inside is still soft and comparatively raw. If it is not dipped in brine it becomes “tataki”.
(Note: “Zuke” also means leaving the fish slices in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin and sake for about a certain amount of time before making any kind of sushi. Each restaurant has its own original secrets and recipes.)
“NIGIRI ZUSHI EXAMPLES”
“Amaebi/Sweet shrimps” nigiri!
“Botan ebi/Large sweet prawns” nigiri topped with their roe!
“Shita birame/Sole” nigiri!
“Tachiuo/Scabbard or Cutlass Fish” nigiri in “Aburi/seared” style topped with “momiji oroshi/grated daikon seasoned with chili powder and chopped scallion!
“Kawahagi/Filefish” nigiri topped with its raw liver!
“Aji/Horse Mackerel” bogata sushi!
“Bogata” style is a variant of Osaka Oshi Zushi style by wrapping a fish over or a pressed “baton” of sushi rice and presenting it cut!
From top and left: “Uni/Sea Urchin”, “Sakura ebi/Cherry shrimps), “Uzura/Quail egg” with seaweed and dry bonito shavings, “Shirako/male cod milt”, and “Negitoro/Grated tuna” gunkan!
“Gunkan” means “Mothership” and consists of a small ball of rice laterally wrapped in a thin band of dry seaweed and topped with various ingredients!
“Ankimo/Steamed monkfish liver in Japanese sake and preserved like a terrine” seasoned with momiji oroshi and chopped scallion! “Ankimo” is also called “Japanese foie gras”!
A rare “Oyako/Parent and Child” rendition of “Ikura/salmon Roe” gunkan with its two “kids in the form of small gunkan with raw salmon wrapped around minuscule rice balls!
“MAKI ZUSHI/SUSHI ROLLS”
“Natto/Fermented beans and Ika/Cuttlefish” thin sushi roll!
The ever popular (especially overseas!) sushi rolls come into two basic types: thin, or called “hoso maki” and thick, or called “futo maki”!
A “California roll” made with spicy raw scallops and cucumber!
“Rainbow Roll”, a very thick futo maki with no less than 15 ingredients wrapped in sushi rice and dry seaweed!
“DONBURI ZUSHI/SUSHI BOWLS”
“Ikura/Salmon roe” ko donburi with sliced cucumber and grated fresh wasabi!
“Donburi Zushi” is a big or small (in the latter case called “Ko Donburi”) filled with sushi rice and topped with one or many ingredients! The variants are unlimited!
Flower Millefeuille Sushi!
Young chefs do experiment with shapes and appearance, but such “fancy sushi” are rarely introduced on menus, therefore the need to become a regular customer at at least one sushi restaurant!
“Happy Birthday Millefeuuille!
An extravagant “Piece Montee”!
And don’t forget the sushi for vegans and vegetarians! It is possible!
This article is only an introduction to what you may encounter during your trip! Do not worry too much about etiquette, the Japanese will have the pleasure to teach you!
IZAKAYA RANKING: +3 Service: +3 Excellent and very friendly Facilities: +3 Very clean, Beautiful washroom Prices: +2 reasonable Strong points: Vegan and vegetarian Cuisine possible any time, Izakaya gastronomy, local products, oden. Good list of sake, shochu. Wines also available.
Time and again I have said that vegans and vegetarians would probably have their happiest times in Japan, at least for gastronomes, because this country, and especially Shizuoka with its mild weather and abundance of vegetables in all seasons, can provide all ingredients all year round whose traceability is easy to prove!
The above o-tooshi/お通し/is not vegetarian, but you aforementioned priorities will ensure it is!
There are many places in Shizuoka City and Prefecture offering alternatives to their omnivorous dishes for vegans and vegetarians who still want to enjoy their outing with friends with different priorities.
One such place, and arguably the best at it, is Yasaitei in Tokiwa Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
Incidentally the owner/chef and staff are all ladies, but customers are certainly of both genders!
And here is one recommendation:
Vegetable sashimi plate!
The above is the basic one, but you certainly may order for a bigger variety!
View for the other side!
Ice plant and celery!
One thing all these vegetables have in common is that they are super fresh, crunchy, juicy and so tasty!
Tomatoes and daikon!
Onion and shiso/perilla leaf!
Simple but exquisite dressing made with higher-class sesame oil, rock salt and miso paste!
For friends who like seafood: cod roe steamed and marinated in rice vinegar!
Another “o-tooshi/お通し/snack served with the first drink!
Lotus root/renkon/蓮根 in “kinpira” fashion!
Such a satisfying crunch!
Grilled fresh shiitake/椎茸!
The shiitake were simply grilled and seasoned with soy sauce before being served over shiso/perilla leaves.
Freshly grated daikon and ginger were provided for further seasoning and enjoyment.
Surely one of the best ways to enjoy fresh shiitake!
Mushrooms and fried tofu o-hitashi/お浸し/Japanese-style light appetizer!
Maitake, tomato and spinach stir-fried in sesame oil and served with fresh coriander!
Maitake/舞茸 in English stands for mushrooms called Hen-of-the-Woods, Ram’s Head or Sheep’s Head!
Juicy and so tasty mushrooms!
Note the coriander for beautiful balance in presentation and taste!
Mushrooms and mekabu/芽蕪/small turnips! If you are vegetarian or vegan just tell them not to top it with katsuo bushi!
Steamed eringe (or eringi)/エリンゲ/known in English as king trumpet mushroom, French horn mushroom or king oyster mushroom!
The eringe were steamed together with fresh cucumber and served with freshly grated Shizuoka-grown wasabi!
See “Izakaya Ranking” system at bottom of article!
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 14 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
Individual orders (carte) welcome
IZAKAYA RANKING SYSTEM
+1 ought to be visited at least once
+2 could be become a regular visit
+3 must visit!
+3 very good
Equipment & Facilities:
+2 slightly expensive but good value
+3 expensive but good value
Himekari/姫光: a rare deep sea fish found in Suruga Bay near Numazu City
Hirame/平目、鮃、比目魚: sole, flatfish
Hiramasa/平政: yellowtail amberjack
Hirasaba/平鯖: chub mackerel, Pacific mackerel, blue mackerel
Hirasoudagatsuo/平宗田鰹: auxis, variety of bonito, bullet tuna
Hirasuzuki/平鱸: a variety of sea blackbass
Hokke/𩸽: Okhotsk atka mackerel, Arabesque greenling
Honkamasu/本梭魚、本梭子魚、本魳 (also called Akakamasu/赤梭魚、赤梭子魚、赤魳): red barracuda, sphyraena pinguis Gunther
Honmaguro/本鮪 (also called Kuromaguro/黒鮪): bluefin tuna
Hoshigarei/星鰈: “Star Turbot”,verasper variegatus (Temmink and Schlegel)
Houbou/方々: red gurnard, red robin
Ibodai (also called Ebodai)/ 疣鯛（えぼ鯛）: Japanese butterfish, Melon seed, Wart Perch
Ikanago/玉筋魚: Japanese sand lance
Indomaguro印度鮪 (also known as Minamimaguro/南鮪): Southern Bluefin tuna
Irako anago/伊良子穴子: a cheap variety of Anago/穴子: conger eel, synaphobranchus kaupii Johnson
Isaki/伊佐木、伊佐幾、鶏魚: chicken grunt
Ishidai/石鯛: striped beakfish, barred knifejaw
Ishigaki-Ishigakidai/石垣-石垣鯛: spotted knifejaw
Ishigarei/石喰霊: stone flounder
Ishimochi/石持: silver croaker, white croaker, silver jewfish
Iso kasago/磯笠子、磯瘡魚: a variety of rockfish
Iwana/岩魚、嘉魚、鮇: char, charr
Kaiwari/貝割: whitefin trevally
Kajikimaguro/梶木鮪・旗魚鮪 (also known as Makajiki/真梶木・真旗魚): spearfish (blue) marlin
Kagokakidai/駕籠担鯛: Stripey, Microcanthus strigatus (Cuvier)
Kanpachi/間八、環八: greater amberjack, Japanese amberjack
Karasugarei/烏鰈: Greenland halibut, Mock halibut, Bastard halibut, Black halibut, Reinhardtius hippoglossoides (Walbaum)
Karei/鰈: righteye flounder
Kasago/笠子、瘡魚: False kelpfish, Marbled rockfish
Kasugo/春子鯛: young Madai/真鯛: Japanese seabream
Kawahagi/皮剥: filefish, leather jacket
Kibinago/黍女子、黍魚子、吉備女子、吉備奈仔: silver-stripe round herring,
Kibire/黄鰭: yellowback seabream
Kihadamaguro/黄肌鮪 (also known as Kiwada/キワダ(Tokyo, Wakayama), Gesunaga/ゲスナガ(Shizuoka), Mashipi/マシビ(Osaka, Kochi) and Kinhire/キンヒレ: yellowfin tuna
kijihata/雉羽太(also called Akou/茂魚,石茂魚): redspotted grouper
Kinki/金色魚: Thornhead, Idiot, Sebastolobus macrochir (Gunther)
Kinmedai/金目鯛: splendid alfonsino
Kintokidai/金時鯛: red bigeye
Kisu /鱚、鼠頭魚: sand boarer
Ko Aji/子鯵: very young horse mackerel (also called Mame aji/豆鯵)
Kohada (konoshiro)/小肌（鰶・鮗・鯯・鱅）: dotted gizzard shad
Koi/鯉: carp (fresh water)
Konoshiro (kohada)/小肌（鰶・鮗・鯯・鱅）: dotted gizzard shad
Korodai/胡蘆鯛: a cheap variety of snapper, diagramma pictum
Kose/コセ: A variety of Stripped jack, also called Shima aji/縞鯵!
Koshinagamaguro/腰長鮪 (also called Bakemaguro/化け鮪): longtail tuna, longtailed tuna, spot-side tuna (the smallest tuna in Japan)
Koshyo (Koshiodai)/胡椒鯛: crescent sweetlips
Kuchimidai/口美鯛 (also called Menada/目奈陀・目魚): haarder, redlip mullet, Liza haematocheila (Temminck and Schlegel)!
Other names I will have to add to the lexicon!
Kue/九絵、垢穢: longtooth grouper
Kurodai/黒鯛: Japanese black porgy
Kuromaguro/黒鮪(also called Honmaguro/本鮪): bluefin tuna
Kuro Mebaru/黒眼張、黒眼張魚、黒鮴/Black Japanese sea perch
Kuromutsu/黒鱫、黒鯥: Black gnomefish
Kuro shitabirame/黒舌平目: Black Sole
Kyuusen/九線・九仙 (also called Bera/ベラ): halichoeres poecilopterus (Temminck and Schlegel) a cheap variety of snapper in Eastern Japan, but an expensive one in Western Japan
Maaji/真鯵: Japanese jack mackerel
Ma anago/真穴子 (also called Maru anago/丸穴子): a cheap variety of Anago/穴子: conger eel, conger myriaster (Brevoort)
Madai/真鯛: Japanese seabream
Madara/真鱈: Pacific cod
Magarei/真鰈: flounder, yellow striped flounder, turbot, halibut
Makajiki/真梶木・真旗魚 (also known as Kajikimaguro/梶木鮪・旗魚鮪): spear fish (blue) marlin
Makubuu/マクブー (also called Shirokurabera/シロクラベラ): Okinawa Blackspot tuskfish, Choerodon shoenleinii (Valenciennes)
Mame aji/豆鯵: very young horse mackerel (also called Ko Aji/子鯵)
Mandai/万鯛 (also called Akamanbou/赤万包): Opah,Moonfish
Maruaji/丸鯵: “round horse mackerel”, decpterus akaadsi Abe
Maru anago/丸穴子 (also called Ma anago/真穴子): a cheap variety of Anago/穴子: conger eel, conger myriaster (Brevoort)
Marusoudagatsuo/丸宗田鰹: auxis, variety of bonito, frigate tuna
Masunosake/鱒の介: king salmon, chinok salmon
Matoudai/的鯛、馬頭鯛: John dory, St Peter’s fish
Matsukawagarei/松川鰈: An expensive variety of Japanese Karei/鰈: righteye flounder, verasper moseri Jordan and Gilbert
Mebachi/目鉢・眼撥 (also known as Mebachimaguro/目鉢鮪・眼撥鮪or as Bachimaguro/鉢鮪・撥鮪): big-eyed tuna
Mebachimaguro/目鉢鮪 ・眼撥鮪(also known as Mebachi/目鉢 。眼撥or as Bachimaguro/鉢鮪・撥鮪): big-eyed tuna
Mebaru/眼張、眼張魚、鮴: Japanese sea perch, Japanese rock fish
Medai/目鯛: an expensive variety of Japanese snapper, hyperoglyphe japonica
Meichidai/目一鯛: an expensive variety of Japanese snapper, Gymnocranius griseus
Meitagarei/目板鰈: Frog-flounder, Finespotted flounder, Seriola quinqueradiata Temminck and Schlegel
Mejina/眼仁奈: largescale blackfish
Mejiro/目白: young Buri/鰤: yellowtail
Mekajiki/眼梶木・眼旗魚: swordfish, broadbill
Menada/目奈陀・目魚 (also called Kuchimidai/口美鯛): haarder, redlip mullet, Liza haematocheila (Temminck and Schlegel)!
Menuke/目抜: a Japanese variety of rock fish/sea perch, “flame fish”, sebastes flammeus (Jordan and Starks)
Minaimaguro/ 南鮪 (also known as Indomaguro印度鮪): Southern Bluefin tuna
Mizukamasu/水魳、水梭魚、水梭子魚: a variety of Japanese barracuda
Namazu/鯰: catfish (fresh water)
Nanyoubudai/: blunt headed parrotfish, parrotfish, Chlorurus microrhinos (Bleeker)
Nodokuro/喉黒 (also called Akamutsu/赤鱫、赤鯥): Rosy seabass
Noresore/のれそれ: conger eel whiting
Oaka Aji/尾赤鯵:Red tail horse mackerel
Okimebara/沖目張 (also called Usumebaru/薄目張): sebastes Thompson (Jordan and Hubbs): a variety of Japanese sea perch, Japanese rock fish
Okoze/虎魚、鰧: velvet fish
Onaga/尾長(also called Hamadai/浜鯛): flame snapper, longtailed red snapper, Onaga
Onigochi/鬼鯒、鬼牛尾魚/a variety of sand borer
Onikasago/鬼笠子、鬼瘡魚: Devil scorpion fish
Renkodai/連子鯛: Yellowback seabream
Saamon torauto/サーモントラウト: salmon trout
Sagoshi/サゴシ/Another name for Sawara/鰆/Japanese Spanish mackerel
Sake, Shake/鮭: salmon
Samegarei/鮫鰈: roughscale sole, clidoderma asperrimum (Temminck and schlegel)
Satsuki masu/皐月鱒: Red spotted masu trout, Satsukimasu salmon
Sakura masu/桜鱒: seema, cherry salmon, masu salmon
Sanma/秋刀魚、青串魚: mackerel pike
Sappa/鯥: Japanese shad
Sawara/鰆: Japanese Spanish mackerel
Sennendai:千年鯛: Emperor red sanpper
Shiira/鱪、鱰: mahi mahi, dolphinfish
Shimaaji/縞鯵・島鯵: striped jack, white trevally
Shimanagatsuo/縞鰹: Striped butter fish (not to be confused with Suma/縞鰹: a variety of bonito found in South Japan/same kanji characters!)
Shinko/シンコ: young Kohada (konoshiro)/小肌（鰶・鮗・鯯・鱅）: dotted gizzard shad
Shirauo/白魚: white bait
Shirasu/白子(Namasirasu/生白子 if raw): sardine whiting
Shirokurabera/シロクラベラ (also called Makubuu/マクブー): Okinawa Blackspot tuskfish, Choerodon shoenleinii (Valenciennes)
Shiro mebaru/白眼張、白眼張魚、白鮴: white Japanese sea perch-rockfish
Shirosaba Fugu/白鯖河豚: a variety of globefish/puffer fish, lagocephalus wheeleri abe, tabeta and kitahama
Shishamo/柳葉魚: Shishamo (meaning willow leaf fish, a kind of Japanese smelt), Spirinchus lanceolatus
Soi or Kurosoi/曽以, 黒曽以: a variety of black rockfish, sebastes schlegeli, 1880
Sujiara/筋𩺊 (also called Aka jinmiidai/赤仁羽鯛): red-spotted rockcod, blue spotted grouper, plectropomus leoparadus(Lacepède,1802)
Suma/縞鰹: a variety of bonito found in South Japan. Not to be confused with Shimanagatsuo/縞鰹(same kanji characters!): striped butter fish
Suzuki/鱸: Japanese seabass, Japanese dace
Tachiuo/太刀魚、魛: scabbard fish, cutlass fish
Tai/鯛: Seabream (in Japan, it means the best variety!), red snapper
Taiseiyoumaguro/大西洋鮪: Atlantic (including Mediterranean) bluefin tuna
Takabe/鰖: Yellowstriped Butterfish
Tobiuo/飛魚: flying fish
Tonbomaguro/蜻蛉鮪(also known as Binchoumaguro/鬢長鮪 and Binnaga/鬢長): Albacore
Tsubodai/つぼ鯛: pentaceros japonicus Doderlein (seabream variety)
Ugui/鯎、石斑魚: a Japanese dace, fresh water minnow
Umazura/馬面 (also called Umazurahagi/馬面剥): black scraper, Filefish, Scraper, a large variety of filefish
Umazurahagi/馬面剥(also called Umazura/馬面): black scraper, Filefish, Scraper, a large variety of filefish
Unagi/鰻: eel (only cooked)
Urumeiwashi/うるめ鰯: round Herring
Usumebaru/薄目張 (also called Okimebara/沖目張): sebastes Thompson (Jordan and Hubbs): a variety of Japanese sea perch, Japanese rock fish
Utsubo/鱓: moray eel
Wakasagi/公魚、鰙、若鷺: pond melt, Japanese melt (fresh water)
Yagara/矢柄: trumpet fish
Service: very friendly, attentive and informative Equipment & Facilities: Spotless clean. Superb washroom. Entirely non-smoking! Prices: Reasonable to slightly expensive Strong points: Ju wari/100% soba/buckwheat noodles. Tempura. sake list!
Kishigami Soba Restaurant is located in a celebrated touristic area of Shizuoka City in Utsunoya famous for its many Edo Period houses and inns along the Old Tokaido Road.
It makes for the perfect stop for refreshments in the middle of nature!
It is not that difficult to reach actually.
Just take the bus to Fujieda City at platform 7 in front of Shizuoka JR Station north exit and get off at Utsunoya just before the Fuijieda Tunnel.
Cross the road and take the paved street on the right side snaking up the mountain and you will discover it in the middle of an Edo Travel Inn Village!
The menu is waiting for you outside!
100% buckwheat noodles!
Have a good look inside before choosing a table!
A traveling artist actually drew this picture of the restaurant during his only visit!
The spotless clean kitchen manned by two generations!
A real wood fire stove!
All warm wood!
Although it is open only at lunch time the menu is really extensive!
The elder daughter, Ms. Kayoko Kishigami/岸上香誉子さん is very knowledgeable with sake and a seasonal brew by Sugii Brewery (Fujieda City) was on offer that day!
The Japanese sake from nearby Fujieda City!
The big bonus is a menu in English in no less than 4 pages!
Elegant earthenware and glassware!
My friend’s order!
Ten Oroshi Soba!
Kamo/Duck Oroshi Soba!
The sobayu/buckwheat noodles boiling water to add to the leftover soup and wash it all down!
A meal is not complete at Kishigami without their superb tempura!
What do we have there?
Soba Dango/Buckwheat balls!
Green leafy vegetable!
Maitake/hen-of-the-woods, ram’s head and sheep’s head mushroom!
Another very special treat is this homemade ham prepared every year by Kayoko’s father!
It is made with whole legs of pigs raised in Mikkabi, Western Shizuoka Prefecture which are salted, cured and smoked for a whole month to obtain a succulent ham which is neither raw or cooked! A discovery!
A very original dessert: buckwheat balls with hot sweetmeat/anko shiru!
SOBADOKORO KSHIGAMI SOBA RESTAURANT
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Utsunoya, 232-2
Opening hours: 11:00~14:00
Closed on Mondays and 3rd Tuesday of the month (next day in case of a national holiday) HOMEPAGE (Japanese) Entirely non-smoking!
The other day my good friend, Miss Asami Ittoh invited me in the company of 7 more guests to make wasabi zuke according to traditional recipe at her company, Marufuku Tea factory Co. Ltd in Shizuoka City!
Wasabi zuke literally means “pickled wasabi” and it is a typical agricultural product of Shizuoka Prefecture, and particularly Shizuoka City, the birthplace of wasabi in Japan!
Wasabi Zuke might be common in Shizuoka but I can assure you it is a rare and expensive delicacy away from our region!
Maruku Tea factory in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
For that particular session all products were either from Shizuoka or made in Japan!
The fresh wasabi roots and stems were cultivated in the mountains along the Abe River in Shizuoka City, the sake kasu/sake white lees came from directly from a sake brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture. The salt, brown cane sugar and the mirin/sweet sake were all made in Japan!
The wasabi and the sake kasu/sake white lees!
All the ingredients for 8 people!
Fresh and clean wasabi roots.
They were of very good quality but cheaper (by Shizuoka standards) due to their inferior shape!
The fresh wasabi stems!
Unprocessed sea salt and top class sugar cane sugar!
The mirin/sweet sake!
All the ingredients with the sake kasu (softened) included.
Each member was allotted the following for the recipe:
Fresh wasabi root: 375 g
Wasai stems and small leaves: 375 g
Sake kasu/Sake white lees: 500 g
Salt: 37 g
Sugar:: 100=120 g
Mirin/sweet sake: optional
Making sure that everybody understood the proportions!
Weighing up everyone’s share!
First chopping the wasabi stems!
My share of wasabi roots!
We were soon all in tears chopping away the wasabi roots!
The roots have to hand-chopped finely to obtain maximum piquancy!
A machine would not do a good job, it is all slow food!
Mixing the chopped stems and roots, adding the salt, mix well and lest rest for 20 minutes!
A well-earned rest!
Pressing out by hand as much of the excess water as possible!
Softened sake kasu/sake white lees!
If you use unprocessed sake kasu, you will have to soften it by kneading it or user a beater!
Adding the sake kasu!
Adding the sugar!
Mixing the whole by hand until you obtain a smooth paste!
Taste and add mirin/sweet sake if necessary!
Filling small boxes to take back home!
We had 1.2 kg of it each!
Note that is greener than the comparatively cheap variety you will find in shops downtown!
I dare not imagine the price even in Shizuoka!
To be eaten over freshly steamed white rice, with baked poultry, sausages and even hot on toasts!