Shizuoka Food Markets: Sumpu Raku Ichi

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There is one (more) shop visitors, especially the ones in a hurry, should visit when going through Shizuoka JR Station, namely Sumpu Raku Ichi Store.
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Apart of the vast array of sShizuoka Prefecture crafts they sell, they offer a wide range of agricultural Products from our Prefecture:
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Anything concerning Wasabi, including enormous fresh Wasabi roots with their leaves, Wasabi Tsuke (Pickled wasabi stems and leaves in Sake white lees), cakes (especially made with Shizuoka Green Tea), Shizuoka Tea, Honey, Dried food, including Sakura Ebi/Shrimps, Kuro Hanpen (Dark Sardine Paste), Vinegars, Soy Sauces, Sake、Beers and fruit wines, all exclusively produced in Shizuoka Prefecture from local ingredients!
Another great source of miyage/present-souvenirs on your way back or to your friends!

HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Shizuoka Food Markets: Shizuoka JR Station Parche Fresh Market

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For the pleasure and convenience of many customers, PARCHE in Shizuoka JR Station is going through a general renewal, including their busy indoors market, FRESH MARKET.
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As this particular venture is directly connected to fisheries in Numazu and Yaizu Cities, one can buy not only fresh but also unusual products from Suruga Bay and Izu Peninsula such as “tenagaebi/scampi” and “kinmeidai/goden eye seabream”.
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One will also discover a plethora of shellfish and crabs fresh and alive at vey reasonable prices.
For people who cannot bother dressing or cutting fish, fillets can be bought readily made. With a smile and a polite word you will surely convince the staff the cut the whole fish you have chosen.
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For sushi and sashimi officionados very good value sets are on constant display.
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The vegetables and fruit stands also provide a great range of wares, a good proportion of them local produce.
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The staff are particularly welcoming and attentive. Do not hesitate to ask whether they have some kind of exotic plant. They will probably surprise you!
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The meat stands have gone through a remarkable increase in volume, varieties and quality, too.
I make a point to do some shopping, if not window-shopping which can easily become a revelation, at least once a week.
A few hints for clever purchasing:
-If you want to have first pick at the fish and other marine products, come in the morning at 10:00. As for vegetables, new batches come around 15:00. In both cases it means you will compete with the local restaurants shopping for the menu of the day.
-If you wish to save money, come at 17:00 when “price service” is in full swing. You will benefit from real bargains, but will lose on the varieties.
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Another bonus are the ready-to-eat meals, bento, fried food and so on. Definitely of a higher level than your neighbourhood “convenience store”!

FRESH MARKET
Shizuoka JR Station, PARCHE
Business hours: 09:30~20:00

Shizuoka Izakaya: Wagocoro

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Wagocoro is your typical Japanese “Kakureya”/”Hidden Place”: You have heard of it, but never been able to discover or notice it until you find it one day almost next door!
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The Japanese, especially in Shizuoka, have an affinity for such places, but tend to jealously protect them away from other potential customers, which in my humble opinion is not very fair. I almost feel a malign pleasure in discovering and uncovering them!
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The present owners acquired the place some time ago from the original tenant who had made it a shochu bar. The place is simply replete with Japanese antiques and interestingly enough Mr. Oguriyama and his son have faithfully preserved it in its entirety. Notwithsatanding the great food and drinks, the ancient Japanese atmosphere is a worthy enough reason for a visit.
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Now this izakaya have three “rooms”, the main one where you can sit around a tradiionla Japanese “irori/fireplace” where you can grill your own food over charcoal. Another room with tatami seating amide a crowd of antique furniture and objects and a third room with a kind of counter and high seats. No need to say but the irori is my favourite. Make sure to reserve it!
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You have a hint of the quality of the food as soon as you order your drinks and subsequently are offered the “otoshi,snack”!
Now, Wagocoro has already acquired a solid reputation for quality of food coupled with comparatively reasonable prices. Therefore when I visited it on Monday, December 3rd in the company of my monthly “Monday Gastronomy” companions,we already had a good idea of what we would order!
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The sashimi and grilled fish (see pictures above) are simply first class.
Their “kakuni/pork simmered for four hours” has already become the talk of the town and expats in particular will be happy to learn they concoct savoury deep-fried oysters and even vegetarians will be glad to sample the deep-fried lotus roots/”renkon”!

We simply did not have any strength left to explore the rest of the seasonal menu which will have to wait until our next visit!
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Like any good izakaya, Wagocoro has a great range of local sake: Kaiun (Doi Brewery/Kakegawa City), Wakatake (Oomuraya Brewery/Shimada City), Suginishiki (Sugii Brewery/Fujieda City), Isojiman Brewery (Yaizu City), Hakuin masamune (Takashima Brewery/Numazu City) and Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery/Fujieda).
The four of us emptied a great bottle of Suginishiki Shiboritate Yamahai Honjozo in no time!

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Now the big plus is that they also serve two Shizuoka shochu, namely wasabi Shochu by Bandai Brewery in Shuzenji and rice shochu by Hanan no mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City which went as far as designing an original label!
What else could you ask?

Wagocoro
420-0882 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ando, 1-6-15
Tel.: 054-2470059/09091805779
Business hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:30~23:00
Closed on Tuesdays and second Wednesdays
Reservations advised

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter

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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2007 #30
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Topic:
-Seasonal Releases — Jubilation Ale & Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale
-Taproom Holiday Events and Shogatsu Business Hours

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Warm holiday season greetings. December is a special, celebratory month. In the beer world, there is a tradition of crafting celebratory holiday season ales that incorporate festive spices or other special ingredients. These ales tend to be rich and hearty, but above all else, they are joyous in character. This year, we are introducing two special ales that fit this
description: (1) Jubilation Ale and (2) Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale.

(1) Jubilation Ale 2007 (ABV 6.5%):

This is our annually crafted holiday season ale. It’s hallmark flavor stems chiefly from the addition of two special ingredients: (1) fully ripened figs candied in Japanese red sugar and (2) cinnamon-like twigs culled from a Japanese Nikki tree. A sublimely balanced interplay of sweet and spice reminiscent of the yin-yang duality in life results. The ruby red hue and the wafting aroma of Japanese nikki warm the heart and furbish the soul.

(2) Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale (ABV 8.0%):

The inspiration here is all Belgian. The immensely imaginative brewers from this eccentric land are artisans par excellence, particularly in terms of the following practices: (a) incorporating sugar as a central brewing ingredient, (b) utilizing other unusual ingredients (fruit, spice, etc.) in subtle but impactful ways, and (c) combining yeast strains in complex fermentations. Well, we have tried our hand at all three of these wonderful practices in this one extremely unique brew. For starters, we incorporate a blend of Japanese dark sugars which account for fully 20 percent of the fermentable extract. Second, we add pureed Shizuoka strawberries, picked fresh by the Baird Beer team and its helpers, to the kettle near the end of boil. As a final touch, we begin fermentation with a Belgian yeast strain and then add our house ale yeast to the effort midway through primary fermentation. Snow Storm has been conditioning (warm and cold) for five months since packaging.

The result is a furious flurry of stormy eccentricity. Neither fish nor fowl, Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale becomes a category unto itself. The aroma is piquant and playful (strawberries?), the flavor is indescribably complex (multiple yeast strains?), and the finish is warmingly dry (sugar and alcohol?). A disorientation results, as if you were caught unprepared in a winter snow storm. Seek guidance back to safety from your friendly bartender!

Both holiday season brews are now on tap at the Fishmarket Taproom in Numazu and available for enjoyment through select Baird Beer retailers in Japan.
May your cup of holiday joy runneth over!

Please mark your calendar for these upcoming Taproom events: (1) Christmas celebration beginning at noon on Christmas-eve day (Monday, December 24) and featuring a sumptuous buffet of culinary Christmas treats, and (2) Taproom countdown party beginning at 5:00 PM on Monday, December 31 and featuring a Mexican-style food fiesta along with the ritual tapping of Hatsujozo 2008 Double IPA at the stroke of midnight. Details regarding each event will be
forthcoming soon.

Finally, as for Taproom business hours for the kick-off of 2008: closed on
January 1-2 (Tuesday-Wednesday), open from noon to 6:00 PM on Thursday,
January 3 (special Shogatsu dishes prepared and served by Sayuri and
Kyoko-chan and discounted pints of Hatsujozo 2008), normal business hours
resume on Friday, January 4.

Cheers!

Bryan Baird

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Persimmon Vinegar: Denbei Kakisu

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This particular (very few in Japan) Persimmon Vinegar was created by the man who revolutioned Shizuoka Sake for the last thirty years, Denbei Kawamura of Shizuoka City.

Contents:
Volume: 500 cc
Jiro Persimmon extract (variety created in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1884, grown by Niko Niko Koen): 20%
Yeasts: Shizuoka HD-1 and vinegar yeast No 34
Citric acid: 4.0~4.5%
Bottled in June 2007 (original batch)

Its creator declared it is particularly beneficial against high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. High in vitamin C, it also helps prevent skin trouble. Other vitamins include B1, B2, Carotene. Finally it is high in minerals.

It can be used for seasoning or drinking.
I particularly appreciated it mixed with Shizuoka mineral water. It gives a great original flavour to dressing and sauces. Highly recommended.
Sold in Raku Ichi Store, Asty, Shizuoka JR Station

RIVERSON KS Co. Ltd.
Shizuoka Ken, Fukuroi City, Matsubara 932
Tel.: 0538-238211

Soba Restaurant: Bokunenji

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My Japanese better (worse?) half who is a soba-addict had always wanted to visit Bokunenji in Shuzenji, Izu peninsula. The comparatively long train and bus journey (a couple of hours from Shizuoka City) means that we do not have many opprtunities to visit this charming little city.

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Bokunenji is your typical traditional Japanese restaurant set in an ancient wooden house fit with tatami and cushions. A bit tough for my stiff body, but stiil worth suffering a little!

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Bokunenji serves “juwari” soba/buckwheat noodles in 9 different manners, hot or cold, as well as 8 kinds of side dishes. Any soba restaurant worth its salt should serve “tamago yaki/Japanese omelette” and “yaki soba miso”/soba seeds and miso grilled on a wooden spoon. Therefore we ordered tamago yaki, which was excellent by any standards.

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As for the noodles my better (worse?) half ordered hot noodles with slices of duck, and I “oroshi soba” (cold noodles served with grated daikon radish).
They were really tasty andI came to understand why the place is so popular as demonstrated by the guests keeping coming in all the time.
Eating such food in such a place will provide with a true Japanese experience.
The prices are a bit stiff, but this is a very popular tourist spot.
Among the proposed sake, they serve Isojiman (Yaizu City) Honjozo, which is definitely a plus in their favour!

Bokunenji
Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu City, Shuzenji, 3451-40
Tel: 0558-730073
Business hours: 10:30~16:00
Closed on Wednesdays

Uogashi Sushi Restaurant

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The Shizuoka JR Station is slowly turning into a better quality gastronomic spot, a boon for travellers in a hurry. I have already mentioned in other postings that Asty has shops catering for all ages and genders.
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Now, if it is sushi and Shizuoka Prefecture sake you are aiming for, pay a visit to Uogashi Sushi Restaurant at all times of the day.
Uogashi Company originally hails from Numazu City, a major fishing port in Japan. Which means that they can provide their many restaurants with higher quality at a lower price. They also offer another bonus as they also include fried/cooked seafood and oden in their menus.
On our way back from Shuzenji on Thursday, November 29th, my better (worse?) half and I decided to take advantage of the place as it saved time and money.
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We particularly appreciated their deep-fried oysters and mambo fish (above picture).
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Their “all-maguro sushi set” was a real bargain regarding size, quality and price.
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Foreigners will be glad to learn about their special “maguro roll”. I’m sure Allison will appreciate the thin slices of tuna, hame and lettuce rolled together, cut and served with wasabi and seasoned mayonnaise!

Finally youwill be able to sample the sake from seven Shizuoka Breweries, including the private brands for Uogashi only by Hana no Mai and Oomuraya Breweries

Numazu Uogashi
Shizuoka City, JR Station, Asty
Tel.: 054-2862276
Business hours: 07:30~23:00
Credit cards accepted