Category Archives: 山葵

Wasabi Grower: Masahiro Sugiyama/杉山昌弘 in Umegashima, Shizuoka City!

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Masahiro Sugiyama/杉山正浩!

Shizuoka City, in Utogi for that matter, is the birthplace of wasabi. But the city itself is very large, the second largest city in Japan, area wise, and wasabi is grown in many other spots along the Abe River in particular.

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my chef friends and I had to drive a long way up as proved by the snow still clinging to the mountains in the background. Actually these mountains are still part of Shizuoka City!

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This is still much rural traditional Japan as typified by the Sugiyamas’family farmhouse!

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It still took us one more mire to meet Masahiro’s family busy harvesting wasabi in their fields at 600 meter-altitude!
As Masahiro is the third generation as far as wasabi is concerned (he also grows tea, shiitake, konyaku roots and so on) you can see the second generation represented by his parents and the 4th generation in the person of his daughter still studying at Agricultural University in Hokkaido!

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The wasabi fields which have to be protected from monkeys, wild boars, deer and other pests!

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These wasabi which take about 12 to 18 months to grow from seedlings are almost ready for harvest which is conducted all year round.

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Wasabi seedling

Wasabi culture is organic when sawa wasabi/fresh running water wasabi is concerned.
Masahiro, for better protection against disease and insects prefers to buy his seedlings from a nearby grower than to make his own seedlings.

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Uprooting and cleaning the fresh wasabi.

Wasabi culture is a tough job daily conducted whatever the temperature although the water has a constant temperature between 12 and 16 degrees all year round.

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Seedlings recently replanted.

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The wasabi fields water is directly pumped from the Abe River flowing along.

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We are not far from the source of the Abe River and the water here is pure and untouched!

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But for the wasabi fields this is wild country here!

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If it were not for the blue tents you wouldn’t know that agriculture is conducted there!
I can assure you that all protection is needed as we discovered whole groups of monkeys prowling nearby!

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Only a single narrow road, recently paved, gives access!

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It is still winter up there!

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Those “steps/dams” were built a long time ago and they don’t interfere with the purity of the water.

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Not only the roots of these wasabi but also the leaves and stems are very popular with the local chefs who order directly from Masahiro Sugiyama according to their own specifications!

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Another big crop of the precious vegetable!

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Ready to to the farmhouse!

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For a clsoder look!

These will be cleaned and separated in roots, stems and leaves and even flowers which are all edible!

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Now this was a great discovery: wild cress growing in the same water!
We all took batches back home! So sweet and crunchy! You will find such at supermarkets!

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More hard work back at the farm where all the roots, stems, leaves and flowers have to be separated, cleaned and packed for immediate delivery!

No wonder these beauties fetch such a price (mind you, they are comparatively cheap here!)!

SUGIYAMA NOEN/SUGIYAMA FARM
Masahiro Sugiyama, Wasabi Grower
421-2301 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Umegashima, 5504
Tel.: 054-269-2420
Fax: 054-269-2450
Mobile: 090-8376-3854
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
E-mail: kanesima@grape.piala.or.jp

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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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Wasabi Flowers at Tamaruya in Shizuoka City!

We know spring is around the corner in Shizuoka Prefecture and especially in Shizuoka City because the wasabi flowers are at last on sale!
It is certainly not easy to obtain them so fresh and cheaply as Shizuoka Prefecture produces 80% of all wasabi in Japan!

Tamaruya Company is the oldest company trading wasabi, fresh or processed, in the whole World as it was established in Shizuoka City in the 17th Century when it was first grown by humans in Utogi/有東木 along the Abe River/安部川 in present Shizuoka City! Their present shop has stood in front of Shizuoka Station (February 1st, 1889/21st Year of Meiji Era) site since 1876 (8th Year of Meiji Era)!

Their oldest shop is a must-visit for all tourists, be they Japanese or foreigners, coming to Shizuoka City as it is only 5 minutes on foot away from Shizuoka City JR Station!
Not only they sell fresh wasabi roots and flowers, but also a vast array of processed products including wasabi paste, salt, dressings, pickles and many many more!

You must try their wasabi soft ice-creams, especially in the summer!

I know a lot of people who buy their snacks for a trip or back home, especially Wasabi Kit Kat chocolates and wasabi sakura ebi crackers!

Naturally you can have a good look at and buy fresh wasabi roots!

And of course their fresh wasabi flowers with their small leaves and stems!
Now, how do we eat them, you are going to ask me?

The leaves and flowers can be eaten raw in salads, with soy sauce, mayonnaise or miso paste. They can also be prepared as tempura!
But I bought a batch of them today for the Missus to pickle (flowers, leaves and stems!)!
They are a beauty as condiment for freshly steamed rice!

Tamaruya Honten
420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koya machi, 6-7 (next to Parco Department Store)
Tel.: free dial/0120-168111
Business hours: 09:00~17:30

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Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Prefecture Appetizer: Fujiyama Beef, Utogi Wasabi & Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes!

There are days when things seem to click out of nowhere!
The Missus last night brought home some beef from the newly opened Cenova Department Store.
This was Fujiyama Beef, the equivalent of Kobe Beef bred in Shizuoka Prefecture!
It is expensive but when the Missus noticed the 30% discount tag when she visited the place in the evening she did not hesitate!

The Missus sauteed the four slices (two for each…) up to medium rare in top-class olive oil. Nothing else, good girl!

We had a small pack of Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes from Iwata City in the fridge. These tomatoes are being grown here and there in Japan these days but until recently only two farmers were growing them in our Prefecture in the whole of Japan. These are very firm and sweet and are eaten like a dessert!

I also happened to have quite a few fresh wasabi roots in the fridge. These were offered to me by farmers who grow them in Utogi, Shizuoka City, the very birthplace of wasabi!
Since Shizuoka Prefecture grows 80% of the total crop in Japan, it is quite a common pleasure here to grate your own wasabi!

Just some grated wasabi and salt for the beef… Simple is best and most extravagant!
incidentally, the red salt is a present from Hawai!
Mind you, true to tell, the rest of the dinner was a bit of an anticlimax! LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Local Food at Cenova Department Store in Shizuoka City!

After 3 years in the making Cenova Department Store has been finished and went through a pre-opening gala today.
Formerly known as Shin Shizuoka Center, the crumbling store has been completely rebuilt into a brand new venture reminiscing better store in bigger cities.
I was curious about what local food they would offer and decided to investigate today since I had obtained an invitation, a rigmarole necessary for the day!

At least the entrance was grand enough and all the ceilings very high. No complain there!

I immediately went down to the basement solely dedicated to food and drinks. It certainly was as big as the other department stores in town and was divided into Shizutetsu Store, the building owning company’s own store and tenants.
I checked the tenants first!

Shizuoka Green Tea! Shizuoka Prefecture produces 45~50% of the total Japanese crops!

Cana, a great chiffon cake specialist from Yaizu City!

Korokuya Co. Is also a tenant at Shizuoka JR Station Parche Department Store.

Shizuoka-grown shiitake mushrooms!

Fresh wasabi roots from Izu Peninsuloa!

Shizuoka-grown “Akagara” satoimo/taro!

Shizuoka-bred Suku Suku Chicken!

Fish and seafood from Shizuoka Prefecture. The same company are also tenants in Parche!

Isaki/Chicken Grunt sashimi from Suruga Bay!

That was about as far as the tenants were concerned. Actually it was more than I expected.
I then moved to the Shizutetsu Store space.

Crown Melons from Fukuroi City!

All these vegetables come from Shizuoka Prefecture producers on contact with Shizutetsu Store!

The farm’s name and owner picture are all featured at this special stand. How about that for traceability!

Shizuoka Prefecture is also celebrated for its succulent mandarine oranges!

Not many people know that grapes were first grown in Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan!

The mushrooms grown by Mr. Hasegawa in Fuji City are famous beyond our Prefecture!

Shizuoka-grown Celebes Satoimo/taro!

Fish and seafood from 5 different fishing harbors in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Beautiful fish in the company of a whole wasabi, toot, stems and leaves. You won’t see that outside our Prefecture!

Shirasu/sardine whiting from Mochimune and Sakura ebi/cherry shrimps from Yui!

Katusobushi/Dry bonito shavings from Yaizu City!

Fujiyama Beef!

Shizuoka Aka Buta/Red Pork!

Nakata San Chi No Aijyou Buta/Nakata’s Love Pork!

Bioran Eggs by Mr. Shimizu in Shizuoka City are famous in Tokyo!

Now that’s nice surprise! Bayern Meister Beer Microbrewery Beer from Fujinomiya City!

Another boon! Tenjingura Microbrewery Beer from Hamamatsu City!

Plenty of sake from Shizuoka Prefecture!

A sake brand devised for the opening of Cenova by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City!

And more mandarine oranges!

All in all, I must admit I found more than I expected!
Next time I will investigate in more detail!

To be continued…
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery