All posts by dragonlife

Robert-Gilles Martineau hails from Bourgogne/Burgundy, France and presently resides in Shizuoka/Japan

Sushi Lunch at Sushi Chu in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Service: a bit shy but kind and attentive
Equipment and facilities: Overall very clean if old. Non-smoking at lunch time
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Mainly local seafood. Great sushi donburi/bowls

The star of the restaurant!

Nice face, isn’t it?

During our last visit to Atami City, at the eastern end of Shizuoka Prefecture, we decided to try Sushi Chu Restaurant, a very traditional place like they don’t do anymore!
It can be a busy place especially on weekends both with Japanese and foreign tourists!

You will be asked if you want to eat lunch in the normal style, for which you will be invited to sit at the counter or if you want to order the sushi donburi/bowls, in which case you will sit at a table.
The donburi sets are great at lunch. We decided to order both!

I ordered the “Jyou Kaisen Don/Superior seafood bowl” which includes local seafood and more from other parts of Japan!

Of course Dragon expected to share that!

From another angle!

As for Dragon, she ordered “Jizakana Kaisen Don/Local fish Bowl”!

From another angle!

All local seafood including shirasu/sardine whiting and Sakuraebi/Cherry Shrimps”!

The servings are big enough to satisfy you without stuffing yourself. The food is authentic and very reasonabkle for the quality!

SUSHI CHU

413-0013, 7-11, Ginza Cho, Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Tel.: 0557-82-3222
Opening hours: 11:00~15:00, 17:00~20:00
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

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American Gastronomy and Craft Beers at “12” in Shizuoka City!

Service: Shy but very kind and attentive
Equipment: Spotless clean. Excellent washroom. Non smoking
Prices: Slighly expensive
Strong Points: American craft beers. Excellent bar food. Beers regularly changed. Large live sports screens.

“12” is an unusual name for a bar or restaurant. The owner, a fan of all sports in Seattle, USA, be they the Seattle Supersonics basketball tea, the Seattle Seahawks American football team or the Seattle Mariners baseball team, has taken a liking for their number “12” jerseys, hence the name of the stablishment. Incidentally all the games of these teams can be viewed live or later on no less than three big screens.
The whole design was conceived by American Shizuoka City resident, Derrek Buston, who has actually just opened his own bar/brewery, West Coast Brewery, in Mochimune, and some of his brews will be served on the tap at “12” from June!

It is located just next to the side entrance torii/sacred gate of Ogushi Shrine. You can surmise that all drinkers are automatically blessed! LOL

The food there, notwithstanding their common household names, is definitely of a better variety for all tastes!
My favorite is the fish and chips (Brirish food for you, but better than in Great Britain!)!

Made with fresh cod and fried on order!

Served with spicy French fries (they are Belgian!) fried on order and homemade coleslaw!

And authentic red wine vinegar!

For the moment all craft beers on the tap or in cans afrom mainly Seattle and its surroundings but sometimes from other places such as Wyoming!
There ar nine craft beers served on the tap and regularly changed. And fully described on the menu!
I actually have a liking for their canned beers and ciders as there are so many to explore!

Incidentally, vegetarians and vegans shouldn’t need  worry as they have a beautiful organic salad on the menu for you!

To be continued, of course!

“12”

420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamchi, 7-14, 1F (next to Ogushi Shrine)
Tel.: 054-204-2707
Opening hurs: 16:00=24:00
Closed on Mondays
Homepage
facebook: twelveshzuoka.com
Instagram: tewlve_shizuoka
Credit cards OK
Private parties possible

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

Dinner at Numazu Uogashi Nagare Sushi, Shizuoka Parche Restaurant

Service: Shy but kind and attentive
Equipment: Overall very clean. Excellent washroom. Entirely non-smoking
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Very fresh fish, mainly local. Excellent cooked fish and seafood. many local sake!

Numazu Uogashi restaurants are so called because they originate from a company based in Nymazu City in the eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture which is connected with the fishing harbour and its trade.
This very placelocated on the first floor of Parche Department Store (Inside Shizuoka JR Station) just in front of Associa Hotel used to be a conveyor-style sushi restaurant but it was recencently converted into a “nagare Sushi restaurant”, a system invented by this very company!

Each table or seat has its own computer panel to choose and order food from. You can browse the whole at ease, choose or modify your order until you confirm it. Then it will reach you through a special rolling floor to be diverted at the last second to your seat only!

That is what we ordered on that particular day!
Katsuo/bonito sashimi!

Steamed oysters! Enormous!

They also serve izakaya style dishes: tukune/minced chicken brochettes!

One of the evry good local sake after the initial beer! They also have wine on the menu!

Enormous multiple seafood gunkan sushi!

Closer view!

Deep-fried globe fish on the bone! To eat with your fingers!

Stir-fried tuna!

Local seafood sushi nigiri set!

And asari/cockles miso soup to washi all down!
Perfect for limited purses!

Numazu Uogashi Nagare Sushi, Shizuoka Parche Restaurant

420-0551 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Kurogane Cho, 49, Parche, 1F, Shizuoka JR Station
Tel.: 054-251-6116
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00
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

Shioya Kichie Wasabi Farm in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

The other day I had the opportunity to visit Shioya Kichie Wasabi Farm deep inside Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture!
We met at Shuzenji Station, the last station along the Izu-Hakone private railway line joining Mishima City andd Shuzenji.
From there it was a fairly long trip by car deep into the Amagi Mountains to Kichie’s Farm before boarding a lighter car to manage the narrow roads to his fields located at about 300 meter altitude.
It is still much lower than Utogi, the birthplace of wasabi, meaning different condtions in cultivation and maintenace!

Higher temperatures and lower altitude mean that utmost care must be given to a regular water flow, most of it coming from natural sources and the cleanliness of the soil made mainly of sand and fine gravel which must be regularly tilled in between new transplanting occuring in a staggered fashion to ensure a constant harvest all year round although quality and quantiry will evidently differ depending on the sseason!

All this means no holidays for the growers as they must chack daily on the possibility of natural disease and pests proliferation!
They do have techniques to prevent the latter far different from those used in Utogi. Generally speaking wasabi cultivation in Izu Peninsula is still recent going back only to three geanerations or so!

Water must funneled out of each water field along channels to prevent impurities from one field to accumuate inside another one! Of course the water running in the chunnels must be controlled and the chunnels regularly cleaned!

We did have to trudge along in between the water fields and it does demand some good athletic skills! no wonder Mr. Shioya is so thin and fleet-footed!

Roots are cleaned with water sprays instead of brushes which harm the skin! before that secondary rhizomes/subroots will be taken out for replanting!

Wasabi flowering occurs there more than a month before Utogi! Of course they are edible!

A beautful “mazuma” cultivar wasabi root Mr. Shioya took home to have us taste it!

The light lunch prepared for us by Mrs. Shioya!

Wasabi potato salad, wasabi and cheese, wasabi stem pickles!

Succulent sushi rolls!

With fresh wasabi root grated by Kichie!

And wasabi leaf tempura for dessert!
Talk about Japanese hospitality!

Kichie Shioya Wasabi Farm/塩谷吉栄山葵農園 (producer and seller)
410-2516 Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu Shi, Ikanaba, 35
Tel.: 0558-83-0136

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 Sake Tasting: Oomuraya Brewery-Wakatake Tokubetsu Junmai Oniotome Sachi(conducted at la Sommeliere in Shizuoka City)

I don’t mind repeating it all the time but I prefer conducting sake tastings in the right environment but not many places are propitious for that exercise or willing to help.
But La Sommeliere in Miyuki Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City is certainly becoming a habit as not only I can conduct my tasting in the best conditions possible but also exchange views at the same time!

Tis tasting is about a favorite brewery of mine, namely Oomuraya Brewery in Shimada City, Shizuoka Prefecture!
It is the third of Oniotome/the Ogre Princess series, a sake collection acquiring fame all the country!

Rice: Homarefuji (Shizuoka Prefectur)
Rice both milled down to 60%
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW 5
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: + 1
Acidity: 1.4
Amino acids: 1.4
Bottled in August 2018

Clarity: very clear
Color: light golden hue
Aroma: subtle, floral and fruity. Pineapple, banana.
Body: fluid
Tate: soft dry attack. Flowers. Very dry pears and apples. Dry raisins.
Disappearsquickly enough warming up back of the palate with plums and oranges.
Tends to mellow down with food and end on a sweeter note.
Comments: very elegant and dry sake, typical of Oomuraya Brewery. Very sophisticated in spite of the modest Homare Fuji rice. Makes for a splendid aperitif!
Recommende pairings: Fresh asparagus, sashimi.

LA SOMMELIERE

420-0857 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 7-5, Aiseido Bldg, 1F
Tel. & Fax: 054-266-5085
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00, 12:00~18:00 on Sundays & National Holidays
FACEBOOK (Japanese)
Entirely non-smoking!

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

Mizutori Geta/Japanese Traditional Clogs/Sandals in Shizuoka City!

At last I had the opportunity to visit and witness the power of a Japanese lady in Shizuoka Prefecture!
Yukiko Mizutori had not thought of succeeding her father, Masashi Mizutori, the 3rd generation owner of Mizutori Company founded in 1937 in Shizuoka City and instead opted to become a beautician 10 years ago.

Jonathan holding the main sole (“dai”) of a geta in its original form cut out of high quality hinoki/Japanese cypress.

But 4 years ago, having worked away from home for 7 years and getting married to Jonathan Barnabe from Quebec, she had to take a dudden turnin her life when her father, due to declining health, became increasingly worried about his business.

Beautiful range of sandal straps (“hanao”) from which customers can choose.

Having no sons, but three daughters, Yukiko being the second one, it would have been nigh impossible to find a suitable successor when she decided to ask her father to let her take care of Mizutori Company. He accepted and now only participates as a an overseer and exhibition manager.
On the other hand Yukiko had to study very hard and fast to succeed him.

Lady staff working on the sole of a geta.

But in spite of the enormity of her decision to take over acompany in male-dominated industry, she did have some advantages:
First, as a lady she would be free to implement new ideas and thinking into the craft.
Second, her husband is a former engineer nad now that he has acquired sufficient abilty in the Japanese language he can contribute much needed unique ideas to develop the business.
Third, instead of thinking solely of competition, she knew that collaboration would be far more beneficial and outsourced the making of geta with more than 12 local companies to provide design ideas, materials and work togeteher for combined products.
Fourth, and maybe more importantly, she uses, as much as possible, Japanese material form nearbymountains and forests.
When she needs exoctic wood her husband travel to Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries where his foreign language ability comes in handy.

Making geta/sandals involved many materials which have to be stored permanently!

Her company presently counts 15 staff and all participate, young and not so young, to the whole concpet of the company, even modelling for their pamhlets and brochures!
Not only her company supports local workers by using made-in-Shizuoka products whenever possible but also by hiring residents in the neighborhood.

Some work is done with traditional machiney.

But highly specialsed craft needs the hands and skills of veterans!

But young power is also definitely needed!

Without mentioning the need for a professional office team!

And orders are piling up!

Prices for Mizutori’s geta range from ¥6,800 to ¥18,000, but those painted with urushi lacquer cost as much as ¥200,000, and the award-winning made-to-order product requires two months until delivery.

Geta can be made with flat soles in a modern style but also with two ha/stilts for more tradiyonal footwear.

Geta may look unwieldy at first to a Westerner, but the fit and breathability are such that they are as easy to wear as a rubber beach sandal.

Mizutori Company provides sandals up to 32 size!

Geta are designed both for ladies and gentlemen and of course for children.
As for ladies’ footwear height can be designed according to the customer’s priorities and preferences!

The great news is that Mizutori Company is planning to accept and design visits for foreign visitors who will be able to make their own sandals on site!

They would certainly make for a great and unique souvenir gift back home!

The other good news are that Mizutori Company will soon open an otlet shop in the middle of Shizuoka City, on Aoba Street (Aoi Ward) in the middle of the of an area replet with great shops, izakayas and restaurants. But this is for another article!

Mizutori Company
Address: 420-0876 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Heiwa, 1-16-22
Tel.: 054-271-6787 (English & French possible)
Fax: 054-272-1302
E-Mail: info@mizutori.co.jp
Homepage: http://www.geta.co.jp
Web Shop: http://www.geta-shop.jp

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

Walking to the Izakaya the Japanese Way: Geta/Japanese Clogs

Not so long ago, the sound of wooden clogs (geta/下駄 in Japanese) could still be heard at any time of the day and night in any season in cities as well as in the countryside.
This is still mentioned as one of the sounds that older Japanese miss most in modern life. A traditional saying in Japanese says that “You do not know until you have worn geta.” meaning that you cannot tell the results until the game is over.
Chefs were wearing them at work inside izakayas and sushi restaurants. Now they wear graceless white vinyl boots.
Interestingly enough, by ignoring geta in favor of Western footwear, the Japanese are not doing a favour to their own health. Instead of being constricted inside shoes with the consequent skin problems during the rainy season and sweaty socks to wear with them, geta allow free movement of the feet in the most natural environment. Contrary to belief, walking with the skin in direct contact with a wooden or lacquered surface does keep the feet at a comfortable temperature, even in the snow.
Moreover, good Japanese-made geta cost an average of 5~6,000 yen (50~60 US dollars), which make them cheaper and far more durable than Western shoes! They can be easily worn day in day out for up to 10 years according to traditional makers in Shizuoka Prefecture!
The great majority of modern geta are made abroad, especially in China these days but traditional manufacture still survives in Japan.
The City of Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture produces 60% of the national output. Hida City in Oita Prefecture is also a major producer.
Traditional and high quality geta are especially made in Fukushima, Nagano, Niigata, Akita and Shizuoka Prefectures.

Geta are sometimes called wooden clogs in English because of their resemblance wit clogs and flip-flops. One could describe them as a kind of elevated wooden base held onto the foot with a fabric thong to keep well above the ground. They are worn with traditional Japanese clothing such as kimono or yukata but (in Japan) also with Western clothing during the summer months. One can still see people wearing them in rain or snow to keep the feet dry, dur to their extra height and impermeability compared to other shoes such as zori.
There are several styles of geta. The most familiar style in the West consists of unfinished wooden board called a dai (台, stand) that the the foot is set upon, with a cloth thong (鼻緒, hanao) that passes between the big toe and second toe. Although there is no need to wear socks, apprentice geisha (also called “maiko”) wear their special geta with tabi (Japanese socks) to accommodate the hanao.

Ladies will often add a protective cap called tsumakawa (爪掛) to protect their toes from the rain or mud in inclement weather.
The supporting pieces below the base board, called teeth (歯, ha), are also made of wood. Cheap clogs are made with cedar wood (杉, sugi), whereas high-quality geta are made of very light-weight paulownia (桐, kiri) imported from Northern Japan.
The teeth are usually made separately and fixed to the base board later (Funageta/船下駄), whereas more valuable geta will be carved out of a single block called (Okaku/大角).
Although great craftsmen are becoming scarce (there are only five recognized in Shizuoka Prefecture in spite of their fame), geta can and usually are suggested to be made on order, so as to perfectly “fit the feet” of its wearer.
Such footwear is becoming increasingly popular abroad where more and more people have recognized not only their practical, health and ecological values, but also for their decorative and fashion merits.

The dai may vary in shape: oval and narow for ladies to rectangular and wide for men as well as in color: natural (harigeta/張下駄), lacquered (nurigeta/塗り下駄) or stained.
The teeth of any geta may have harder wood drilled into the bottom to avoid splitting, and the soles of modern clogs of the teeth may have rubber soles glued to them.
The hanao can be wide and padded, or narrow and hard, and it can be made with many fabrics Printed cotton with traditional Japanese motifs is popular. Inside the hanao is a cord (recently synthetic, but traditionally hemp) which is knotted in a special way to the three holes of the dai. The hanao are replaceable, although breaking the thong of one’s geta is considered very unlucky!
Maiko in Kyoto wear distinctive tall geta called okobo. Also very young girls wear “okobo”, also called “pokkuri” and “koppori”, that have a small bell inside a cavity in the thick “sole”/dai. These geta have no teeth but are formed of one piece of wood. They are carved in such a way as to accommodate for walking.
Japanese professional sumo wrestlers in the lowest wo divisions of Jonokuchi and Jonidan must wear geat with their yukata at all times!

Various types of geta for the true collectors! (this list is far from exhaustive!):
-Sokugeta/足駄: real antiques as these were worn between the Heian Era and Edo Era! They became the symbolic footwear of students in meiji Era
-Yama Geta/山下駄: Square mountain Clogs made of paulownia wood and worn at the beginning of Edo Era. When made with cedar pine wood, they are called Yoshiwara geta/吉原下駄 as revellers in the Yaoshiwara Distritc used them on rainy days.
-Pokkuri Geta/ぽっくり下駄 worn by maiko, geisha and young girls, generally higher and decorated with golden motifs.
-Robou/露卯, Yanagi Geta柳下駄 worn in the early Edo Era.
-Uma Geta/馬下駄, square and made of cedar pine wood. “Horse Clogs”, called so because they sound like horse’s hooves on paved streets.
-Koma Geta/駒下駄, most common all-weather clogs until before the Meiji Era.
-Kiri Geta/桐下駄, high-quality expensive clogs made of paulownia wood. Originally finished with black lacquer.
-Odawara Geta/小田原下駄, very popular among harbor workers and fishermen in the 18th Century in spite of their high price.
-Ippon Geta/一本下駄 or Tengu Geta/天狗下駄, a clog with only one ha/歯/”tooth”. Both worn by kids and adults.
-Taka Geta/高下駄, very high clogs
-Bankara/バンカラ/Narrow clogs with high teeth, popular with older time students.

Recommended manufacture/display center:
Suruga Nuri Geta (駿河塗下駄) (designated by the Shizuoka Prefecture Government)
420-0047, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Seikancho, 9-22
Tel. & fax: 054-253-4917
Homepage: http://www.shizuoka-kougei.jp/009.html (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