Category Archives: Fujinomiya City

Shizuoka Umeshu Tasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Limited Edition Umeshu with Shizuoka Tea

Many Shizuoka Breweries have been creating umeshu of their own as a way to expand their range of already extravagant nectars!

Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City not only made umeshu with their own sake and local Japanese plums, but they also added it local macha tea to it!
It is furthermore a very limited edition!

Fuji-Takasago Brewery’s “Diamond” mark!

Sake
Ume/Japanese plums
Shizuoka Macha Tea
Alcohol: 11 degrees

Clarity: Green cloudy
Color: Deep tea green
Aroma: fruity and sweet. Ume/Japanese plums and tea
Body: Liquorish
Taste: Very pleasant sweetish attack with typical umeshu taste.
Drier than expected. Turns even drier with second sip.
The macha tea is very distinctive but beautifully blends with the umeshu.
The macha tea will linger with a sweeter back note with further sips.

Overall: Soft liqueur impression.
Very feminine but unusual dryness will appeal to gentlemen too.
Best appreciated chilled as it will warm up quickly inside the palate revealing many facets.
In Europe would make for a beautiful aperitif!
Best drunk on its own as it would be a waste to mix with anything but ice!

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

Organic Vegetables at Kitayama Organic Farm (2nd interview)

My purchase of the day!

As promised last Sunday I went all the way to Fujinomiya City yesterday to pay a visit to the Hirakakis’ Kitayama organic farm!
Masaaki Hirakaki/平垣正明さん (45) was kind enough to pick me up at the station in his small pick-up truck to drive me all the way to their home across his fields.

Masaaki Hirakaki/平垣正明さん!

Once again it was flaming hot and I certainly appreciated the slight drop in temperature as their fields lie at an altitude of 400 meters at the foot of Mount Fuji (which was lost in the clouds then). Mind you, it can be bitingly cold there in winter!

They grow all kinds of vegetables here and there on plots of land totaling 6,000 square meters!

When you discover all that natural grass (tough to keep in check!) between the rows of vegetables and among them you understand quickly that no insecticides, herbicides or agrichemicals are used there!

I just couldn’t catch all the names of the fancy vegetables, some of them in some kind of Italian. I just sweated too much and was too busy to take pics to jot down all the names! Next time I will take a secretary along…?
Anyway, these chili peppers are a sweet variety!

Common (?) green pepper.

Dwarf violet eggplant/aubergine.

Big and round violet eggplant/aubergine.

The same in its row.
Notice that the ground is protected with black vinyl to keep off insects.

Long and thin “thread eggplants/aubergines”!

Very crunchy and juicy Japanese cucumber!

Sweet potatoes/satsuma imo!
Again tough work to pull off that grass (used as compost later!)!

Beautiful pumpkin with an impossible Italian name!

The same and its flower!

I love all those healthy pumpkin flowers!

Instead of using insecticides or herbicides Masaaki “burns” the soil under vinyl sheets with the help of natural sun light and heat!

There is certainly no lack of pure water constantly flowing from the slopes of Mount Fuji!

Green okra!
Some plants are marked with a ribbon to indicate they are let grow freely to supply next year’s seeds!

Okra flowers are edible!

Big violet okra grown for their seeds!

Masaaki also grows his own rice, half for his own consumption, half for sale!

Have you ever seen rice flowers?

These tomatoes are not let to grow on stalks. They are for cooking, not to be eaten raw!

Sweet white corn field! It has to be protected with nets to fend off rampant civets!

Incredibly sweet and juicy eaten raw!

The Hirakakis (both 45 and so young!) in front of their home they built with their own hands!

Part of the day’s crop on sale!

Their home is such an intelligent jumble of bits and pieces, including some real antiques!

They do have many friends of all ages from all sorts of locations to help them organize regular parties!
Many of them are producers I will soon visit!

Organic shallots left to dry outside.

Rare organic chicken and quail eggs from a friend’s farm!

We actually went back to the fields to pick my favorite banana peppers! Incidentally these grow upwards!
The Hirakakis, professional photographers, moved here from Shizuoka City 6 years ago.
At the time Kiko had a pet rabbit she fed with organic carrot leaves grown by a friend.
They started to grow organic carrots for the pet, which developed into full-fledged organic agriculture!

Little beauties, aren’t they?

Tomatoes for cooking!

Kiko san fried the same tomatoes with olive oil, a little salt and pepper and cheese!
So sweet and delicious!

We ate them with these enormous organic sweet basil leaves!

I purchased all these for my friends in their izakaya!

Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋さん at Yasaitei/やさい亭 in Shizuoka City!
She does not look too happy, not because of the beautiful vegetables she holds, but because I caught her on a busy day! LOL

Can you guess which ones I brought?

To be continued…. I mean these trips to Fujinomiya City!

Kitayama Organic Farm
Masaaki and Kiko Hirakaki
418-0112 Fujinomiya Shi, Kitayama, 3102
Tel./Fax: 0544-25-2795
Mobile phone: 090-2261-8821
HOMEPAGE
Orders accepted according to personal priorities and seasonal availability!

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

Organic Vegetables at Kitayama Organic Farm (1st interview)

As the second Sunny Sunday Event was held in front of Parco Department Store, Shizuoka City, yesterday I went to check if I could find new participants to this local market featuring shops and growers from all over the Prefecture.

It certainly paid off as I had the pleasure to meet Masaaki and Kiko Hirakaki/平垣雅章と紀子さん, a very young-minded couple from as far as Fujinomiya City at the foot of Mount Fuji, an area celebrated for its many organic vegetables growers!

Kiko had this great idea to exhibit their vegetables in pots, pans, baskets and boxes and provide customers with osier baskets to choose their vegetables at their own leisure!

These beautiful pumpkins are not easily available in Europe but here in Japan they are very popular!

It is certainly a great pleasure for a lot of people to discover that such common place vegetables are also grown organically!

So cute and so appetizing!

Actually Mr. and Mrs. Hirakakい are also professional photographers who decided to seriously grow organic vegetables 4 years ago!

They were so passionate explaining everyone all about their vegetables, their season, their taste, the best way to cook them and so forth!

They certainly attracted some major celebrities of Shizuoka Gastronomy!
I very much doubt I will be able to take such a picture at ease any time in the future:
Ms. Tokiko Hirano/平野斗紀子さんof Tamara Press
Mr. Testuya Sugimoto/杉本哲也さん, Owner/Chef at Tetsuya Sugimoto
Mr. Tooru Arima/有馬亨さん/Owner/Chef at Pissenlit
Mr. Fujio Satsukawa/薩川さん/Owner/Chef at Chez Satsukawa
It also shows that the Hirakakis have attracted some serious interest!

Look at the beauties I bought and that the Missus is going to prepare for us tonight!

I will have ample opportunity to explain all about their vegetables and varieties as I’m going all the way to Fujinomiya City and interview them very soon!

Kitayama Organic Farm
Masaaki and Kiko Hirakaki
418-0112 Fujinomiya Shi, Kitayama, 3102
Tel./Fax: 0544-25-2795
Mobile phone: 090-2261-8821
HOMEPAGE

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

BBQ with Shizuoka Agricultural Products Under Mount Fuji!

Last Monday we were lucky and blessed with splendid weather before Typhoon No1 fell around our ears the next day!

Our merry band of gastronomes rode from Shizuoka City to Fujinomiya City getting nearer and nearer Mount Fuji!

We finally arrived at our destination, Bayern Meister Bier, run by Stephan Rager already busy preparing the BBQ in the space outside the Brewery.
Alright before I lose them for good let me imtroduce the true gastronomes of Shizuoka Prefecture who attended the event:

Mr. Yoshimura from Uzu Restaurant in Shizuoka City.
The leader of the band! Sorry, but I just couldn’t catch him alone during the whole day!

Mr. Shimura from Narusei tenpura Restaurant in Shizuoka City.

Mr. Takashima from Takashima Sake Brewery in Numazu City.

Mr. Nakata from Hiro Sushi Sushi Restaurant in Kikugawa City.

Mr. Sano of Sanoman Co. in Fujinomiya City.

Mr. Tozaki (nice guy, actually!) from Hana Oto Chinese Restaurant in Shizuoka City.

Mr. Sano from Kamoshibito Japanese Restaurant in Shizuoka City.

Mr. Kuawahara from Yukai Co. in Fujinomita City.

Mr. & Mrs. Rager from Bayern Mesiter Bier in Fujinomiya City.

At any BBQ (in Japan) you expect beer and a lot of it!
What better place then to hold our BBQ at Bayern Meister Bier! Stephan Rager, the only German Beer masterbrewer owning and making beer in his own brewery in Japan founded his establishment 7 years ago.

Stephan’s Diploma!

One can visit the brewery any time of the year as it also includes a small restautrant and shop (it can be really cold in winter there!).

Of course the whole place, inside and outside can be rented for parties!

Stephan even grows his own hop for special limited brews!

The bier!

The three regular beers: Weissen, Prinz and Spezial (don’t worry, a more detailed interview is in the offing!)!

All the meat, beef, pork and chicken (all local!), and local vegetables were provide by Mr. Sano of Sanoman. Extravagant!

That’s the Man!

Fresh vegetables from Fujinomiya City.
Soon I will run articles on the incredible vegtables grown in that area!

Prime beef!

Not only Mr. Sano provided all the food but he spent most of his time cooking it!

Prime pork. Sorry for the blurry pictures, what with beer and the sun, I had a hard time focusing!

A novel way to draft black beer!

Sausages, of course!

The whole range (well, a small part) from Sanoman Co.!

Fresh liver!

A late arrival, Mr. Kunugi from Kunugi Trout Farm in Fujinomiya City!

A whole plate of sashimi of Fuji Rainbow Salmon Trout!

Yakitori!

While the yakitori grilled we took a pause for the very Japanese tradition of self-introctions (mine was the shortest!LOL)!

Ready to eat! With a little salt and pepper, nothing else, just perfect!

And then the start of the real Fujinomiya Yakisoba!

Sano San of Sanoman Co. busy at work again!

The real Fujinomiya Yakisoba for the true gastronomes only!

After the BBQ we visited Mr. Kuwahara’s Yukai Farm where truly extravagant pigs are bred in incredible surroundings!

Right under Mount Fuji which provides all the water to the farm!

Everyone had to comply to the strict hygiene rules and sterelize their footwear!

Although the pigs tend to herd together they benefit from more space than in any usual farm. And their sties are cleaned twice a day.
The pigs are taken away from other herds kept at a long distance to avoid any disease and the culling is done away from the farm by a specialized company or maximum quality and minimum stress.

Visitors must go upstairs to observe the pigs without causing any stress to the animals.

They are literally kept in an incredibly clean “house” naturally ventilated. Not only the water but also the air they breathe is pure!

As for their feed, even humans can safely eat it. I actually did (sweet corn!)!
The motto is: “Quality, not quantity”!
As for traceability, you just can’t beat them!

As the last stage of our day we visited “mangenton” delicatessen owned and run by Mr, Sano’s Sanoman Co.

They even have a restaurant for private parties!

An embarrasment of choice!

The sausages!

A very busy place, any tine of the day of the season! Just look at the number plates of the cars and you will be surprised!

They even have a TV screen to suggest you recipes!

Last but not least they sell their own smoked ham!
I don’t need to tell you what my next visit will be all about!

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Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Yakisoba: Fujinomiya Yakisoba-The real one!

Fujinomiya City is famous all over Japan for the so-called B-Class Gourmet Fujinomiya Yakisoba.
Actually I have little liking for this “B-Class Gourmet/B-Kyu-Gourmet/B級グルメ” branding which has been invented by scoop-hungry TV channels in Japan with a total disregard for authenticity and true local gastronomy.
Well, at least some honest gastronomes are fighting hard to put things into their right place!
Yesterday I spent the whole day in Fujinomiya City as I was invited to a grand BBQ (article coming soon!) where a true Fujinomiya-style yakisoba was prepared with the best ingredients that could be found in Fujinomiya City!

The pork, the same as shown in above picture was provided by Sanoman Co/さの萬株式会社 which produces some of the best pork in Japan.
As for vegetables, good quality cabbage (especially in the Spring!) grown in Fujinomiya City is enough as it will contribute all the water you need!

Just a little good oil to fry the pork and the cabbage together. The pork will add all the necessary extra fat for a lighter fare!
Good salt and pepper only for first seasoning! The yakisoba are first put on top while more pork is added.

And naturally who else but Mr. Sano, President of Sanoman, would graciously volunteer to cook it all!?

Hot work, even for Mr. Sano!
Luckily the BBQ was held at Bayern Meister Bier run by Stephan Rager, the only German Brewmaster to run his own Brewery in Japan (article coming, too!).

The best yakisoba are not prepared with water, but with beer!
And Stephan added his own beer! Extravagant!
(A lot of picture taken for posterity!)

A good (not cheap common stuff!) yakisoba sauce chosen in person by Mr. Sano and here you are:
Healthy, tasty, simple and extravagant Fujinomiya Yakisoba!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/30): Wasabi Pork Sausage Bento!

Wasabi sausages!!??
Yes, they certainly exist!
These were conceived with the best pork you could find in Japan produced by Sanoman Company in Fujinomiya City. The wasabi of course is from Shizuoka Prefecture, that is, from a nearby wasabi field.
Actually, I went to Fujinomiya City yesterday to report on a grand BBQ organized by Sanoman Co. and I just couldn’t resist bringing back these sausages to the Missus!

The Missus just steamed plain rice before filling the box and sprinkling them with black roasted sesame seeds and adding some fresh ginger pickled in sweet vinegar.
As for the vegetables she prepared “kinpira” with burdock roots/gobo/牛蒡, local chili pepper and dry shredded cuttle-fish. She filled the other other half with hot Chinese-style sauteed eggplant and green pepper.

As for the side dish she prepared her specialty, tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette and simply boiled and fried the sausages to which she added fresh celery.
The dessert was made of grapes and oranges wedges.

For a better view of the wasabi pork sausages!
A real delicatessen’s delicacy (the oxymoron of the day!)!
You must absolutely try them!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai Diamond Fuji

Although the Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City is part of a larger conglomerate, all the staff is from Shizuoka Prefecture and the sake there are made exclusively according to methods prevalent in the Prefecture.

Moreover, they are active in promoting sake rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture.
In this particular case half of the rice used for this brew is Homare Fuji, a Yamada Nishii hybrid developed in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Rice: Yamada Nishiki and Shizuoka-grownHomare Fuji
Rice milled down to 60%
Dyness: +6
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottlled in November 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity: pineapple, custard. almonds
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack backed up by Junmai petillant.
Fruity: dry almonds, custard.
Quickly disappears with a soft custard note.
Very soft and easy to drink in spite of its softness.
Turns dry with food.
Goes very well with fish and sashimi.
As nurukan/lukewarm: Turns sweeter with a short strong junmai pang with a quick comeback on the drier side.
Oranges and custard.
very pleasant as a warm sake.

Overall: Very pleasant and easy to drink sake.
Goes well with any food, raw or cooked.
A sake to please everyone!
A great sake for a great party!

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
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Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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日本語のブログ
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