Category Archives: Japan Tourism

Ethnic Indian and Sri lankan Cuisine at Dahami in Shizuoka City!

Service: Smiling, very friendly and attentive
Equipment & Facilities: Old but clean overall. Basic washrooms (Japanese-style on first floor, Western style on second floor) but clean
Prices: very reasonable
Strong points: Authentic Indian and Sri Lankan Cuisines. Take-outs available. Asian beers.

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Dahami Restaurant located in a back street away from busy Kitakaido Street is small.
But it serves authentic ethnic cuisines from India and Sri Lanka!

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Their prices are very reasonable, especially the lunch sets and bento so popular with nearby office workers.
But even a full lunch is so reasonable!
I advise you to visit it at least in pairs, or better in group of four to be able to share and taste a great variety of dishes!

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For all its simplicity the restaurant and its chef are being recognized by the local media!

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Left: Second Chef, Mr. Herath Mudiyangelage Wasantha Kumara herath, “Wasantha Herath” for short!
Right: Firts Chef, Mr. Mahanamage Rukman Bandara Weerasingha, “Rukman Bandara” for short!

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Traditional Sri Lankan fish and potato balls called “cutlets”!

It was my first visit with a good Sri Lankan friend, Mr. Lalith Prelis, and being three of us we were able to share quite a few scrumptious dishes!

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The “cutlet” inside!

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We ordered three types of curry in sauce!

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Indian Chicken Curry!

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Sri lankan Black Chicken Curry!

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Sri Lankan Potato and Fish Curry!

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Standard nan!

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Cheese nan!

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Turmeric Rice!

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Fiery Sri lankan pickles!
We also had some salad.

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And ginger tea to wash it all down!

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The above is only part of the lunch menu.
Lunch and dinner menus would take quite a few visits to exhaust!

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Next time I will have one of those Asian Beers!

DAHAMI/ダハミ Indain & Sri Lankan Restaurant & Bar

420-0882 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ando, 1-5-11 (Hase Street, not far from Eisel)
Tel.: 054-285-9144
Opening hours: 11:00~14:30, 17:00~22:30
Closed on Mondays (open if National Holiday)
Small car parking available
Parties welcome!
Take outs and bentos available!

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

Backpackers’ Hotel: Momotaro International House in Shizuoka City!

All pictures taken by Robert-Gilles Martineau with the authorization of Momotaro International House.

Service: Smiling & very friendly. English spoken
Equipment & Facilities: Overall great cleanliness. Non-smoking. All basic equipment and more than usual. Excellent modern washroom
Prices: Very reasonable
Strong points: Short and long stays OK. Practical location in Shizuoka City. Close access to all shops. Personalized service

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Yes, you can find cheap backpackers hotels of a higher level than usual in Shizuoka City!
One such place is “Momotaro International House”
It is located about 20 minutes walk straight away from Shizuoka JR Station at the entrance of Sengen Shrine Street.
Once you reach the big red torii/sacred gate at the entrance of the main street look for the entrance of the backpackers hotel on the left hand side!

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It is a thin tall building whose entrance is clearly marked!

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That’s the place!
Walk upstairs or use the elevator if your luggage is a bit too heavy!

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You will find the reception office on the second floor where English-speaking Mrs. Shizuka Nishibata/西畑静佳さん will be waiting for you!
Check the many free pamphlets there for an enjoyable stay in Shizuoka City and Prefecture!
Don’t hesitate to ask question about the current events and attractions of our region!

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Small common office space on the third floor.
Floors are separated by genders. The third floor is for gentlemen, the fourth floor for ladies.

All in all, there 9 rooms to cater for 13 persons.

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The third floor for gentlemen.
Note that guests are requested to take off their shoes beforehand. Easy shoes are provided for quick outings for shopping, etc.

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Hot shower room!

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Computerized toilets with washlet and others!

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Full laundry room!

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Fully equipped kitchen!

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Single room on the men’s floor!

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Each room has a small desk and refrigerator!

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And a TV set!

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Bear in mind that due to the strict hotel fire safety rules in Japan rooms in such hotels cannot be completely separated, hence the narrow, but fenced, opening between the partitions and the ceiling! Guests are kindly asked to limit noise to the lowest possible level.

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Each floor is equipped with a space for drying clothes.

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A double-bunk bedroom on the Ladies floor!

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Now, the ladies floor laundry room has been better equipped to satisfy basic ladies’ needs!

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Actually, the ladies’ common room is more comfortable than the Men’s!

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The kitchen is also of a different design!

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A little finishing touch for the ladies’ floor!

FACILITIES

Air conditioning. Bicycle parking & rental. Common rooms. Elevator. Free city maps. Free internet access. Free WiFi. Hair dryers. Hair dryers for hire. Hot showers. Housekeeping. Internet access. Self-catering facilities. Linen included. Luggage storage. Reading light and desk. Tea & Coffee making facilities. Towels for hire. Washing machine.

POLICIES

Breakfast not included. Pets and children are not allowed. Credit cards not accepted. Payment all in cash. Non smoking. Taxes included. No parking available.

Boarding availability: 9 rooms for a maximum of 13 guests.

BOOKINGS

By e-mail: shizuka03032006@yahoo.co.jp

Through FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/MOMOTARO.I.H/?fref=ts

By phone (only in emergencies): 054-266-6654

ROOM RATES

Small single private: 3,150 yen per day, 18,900 yen per week, 40,000 yen per month
Standard single private: 3,360 yen per day, 20,160 yen per week, 47,670 yen per month
Double-bunk room (per person): 2,625 yen per day, 15,750 yen per week, 38,600 yen per month
All guests must provide ID (passport or driver’s license) on arrival.
Monthly guest will be requested to pay a 30,000 yen deposit.

ADDRESS

117-1, Baban Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, Japan 420-0867
Reception open from 08:00 to nightfall
From Shizuoka Station (north exit)
-Only 5 minutes by bus (100 yen). No 9 bus stop (Buses No 109~119, 124, 125, & 127). Get off at “nakacho” bus stop and 2 minutes walk.
-15~20 minutes on foot. Just keep walking along Miyuki Street

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

Tax Exemption at Matsuzakaya Department Store in Shizuoka City (and in Japan)!

All pictures taken by Robert-Gilles Martineau and authorized by Matsuzakaya Department Store in Shizuoka City.

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In 2015 Matsuzakaya Department Stores, formerly from Nagoya but now merged with Tokyo-based Daimaru Stores were among the first establishments to provide a tax exemption service to foreign tourists in Japan!
Good news for the latter when you realize that the refund will amount to no less than 8%.
But there conditions similar to the same scheme existing in many other countries, especially in Europe!

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Matsuzakaya Department Store in Shizuoka City, right across from Shizuoka JR Station North exit, consists of two buildings, the main building/本館 and the North wing/北館, also called Bekkan/別館.
For the sake of simplicity this article deals with the Main Building only, as the tax exemption counter is located on the 6th floor of the Main Building!

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Note that Matsuzakaya Department Store has provided an English, Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean multiple translation of its floor plan!
Simple multilingual floor plan leaflets are provided for free at the reception lobby on the first floor, too.

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Freshly-cooked food on the basement floor. Such food cannot be tax exempted.

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Vegetables and fruit on the basement floor.
Such items cannot be tax exempted either.

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Packaged sweets and cakes on the basement floor.
These can be tax exempted!

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Wines, spirits and liquors are also tax exempted!
Matsuzakaya Department Store offers many local sake and shochu among a vast selection!

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First floor: Women’s shoes, handbags and casual jewelry, cosmetics, accessories.

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Second floor: Men’s clothing/men’s accessories.

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More men’s clothing on the second floor.

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Third floor: Women’s clothing/handbags.

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Fourth floor:  Women’s clothing.

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Fifth floor: Children’s clothing/Toys/Women’s intimate apparel.

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Sixth floor: fine jewelry, kimono art, tableware, cooking supplies.

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Very popular cooking supplies on the sixth floor!

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Seventh floor: Event Hall/Home furnishings.

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Eighth floor: Event hall/Restaurants.

Bear in mind that restaurant bills are not tax exempt.

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Having completed your purchases for the day, proceed to the tax exemption office on the sixth floor!

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The staff at the office do not speak English but a multilingual phone translation and interpretation will be launched there in March!

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The Japanese side of the tax exemption counter pamphlet.

Bear in mind that Masuzakaya Department store will levy 1.1 % off the 8% tax for paperwork and other expenses. You will be actually refunded 6.9%!

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The multilingual side of the pamphlet in English, Chinese and Taiwanese.

Please copy it and read carefully the conditions!

In short you will be refunded tax for purchases totaling over 10,801 yen (including tax) in a single day at the store for standard products, and 5,401 to 540,000 yen for consumable goods. This must be done on the day of purchase between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.!

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For consumable goods you will be provided vinyl bags which will have to stay sealed until you have left Japan!

For more information consult Matsuzakaya Department Store Shizuoka HOMEPAGE
ENGLISH SITE
CHINESE SITE
TAIWANESE SITE
KOREAN SITE

10-2, Miyuki Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, japan 420-8560
Tel.: 054-254-1111
Opening hours: 10:00~19:30 (B1 and 1st floors and tax exemption, 10:00~20:00; main Building 8th-floor restaurants: 11:00~22:00)

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

Atami City: The Hot Springs City of Yore in Shizuoka Prefecture!

All photos taken by Robert-Gilles Martineau

Atami must be the most famous hot springs city in Shizuoka Prefecture and in Japan! And one of the oldest to boot.
It has always been a favorite destination for Tokyoites in particular.
Shizuoka people do visit the city but in markedly smaller numbers.
The main reason for this state of affairs is that Atami is at the eastern extremity of the Prefecture.

The welcoming hot spring just outside the JR Railway Station.

The City counts 7 different hot springs more or less connected to Mount Fuji.
Be careful not to touch the water! It is truly scalding hot!

But you can take a foot bath at a reasonable temperature.
Bear in mind that at 16:00 the bath will be emptied!

If you don’t believe me, take a plunge! You won’t come back alive! It does look hellish, after all!

The city is celebrated for its plum tree flowers especially in February (and March if you are lucky!)!

One main attraction is the MOA Museum. You had better take a day bus ticket to keep expenses low as the city is half along the coast, half perched on top of steep cliffs. Walking is just a bit too tough. Bus is best!

One can enjoy great vistas from the MOA Museum and other sites atop the nearby mountains!

The park around the Museum is worth a leisurely walk in all seasons!

There are some great photos to be taken outside!
Unfortunately the inside is almost completely prohibited to cameras!

Inside the museum lobby.

Do have a look at the vistas from inside!

One of the rare sights allowed to photographers!

A grand view of the Atami Harbor! The locals call it the Japanese Napoli! LOL

The actual entry of the Museum!

They also have plenty of plum trees in their own park stretching over the mountain slopes.

Difficult to right focus!

It is a vast park that provides with plenty of physical exercise!

What did I tell you?

Next we shall visit the local markets!

Botarga/Mullet Roe/Karasumi/カラスミ!

The shopping streets in Atami City are quite old-fashioned. You almost seem to slipped back 30 years when you stroll along them browsing old-fashioned shops of every kind.

Once out of Atami JR station you will find two parallel streets going down sharply on the right. There you will find the epitome of land and sea products of the region.
Will you follow me?

Atami is located at the northern tip of Izu Peninsula, which means an access to an incredible number of fish. Can you believe that Shizuoka produces 50% of all dried and semi-dried fish in Japan?
And of a great quality!

These dried fish are shirasu/白子/sardine whiting. Rare of that size (and not cheap!)!

The himono/干物/dried fish on the left are not cheap either: globefish/fugu/河豚!

One Japanese confectionery typical of Atami is Onsen Manju!

Onsen manju/温泉万寿/means hot spring steamed sweetmeat cake. Many shops are competing with each other!

A great array of fresh fish paste cakes you eat either as they are, or as oden! Very tasty!

A giant Japanese brochette! The sign says to be careful and not to push the display with your hands (apparently some did with a disastrous result!)!

One great thing about Japan is that most (Japanese-style) restaurants display their cuisine as plastic models in their shop windows! At least you have a good idea of what is available!

More seafood left out to dry to become tasty himono! Traceabilty guaranteed!

More, including rare tuna himono (bottom right)!

Now, the beautiful kinmedai/金目鯛 (Top right) is expensive (but not by Tokyo standards!)!

Izu Peninsula and Atami City are also famous for all kinds of citruses!

Golden oranges/貴金柑 (front) are beautiful and expensive!
They tend to come up with a new variety every year in that region!

Now, if you want to eat sushi, you will know that the seafood is fresh!

Although this is a sushi chain of the cheaper kind, they have the merit to explain clearly the varieties and the prices (very reasonable!)!

Now, what are these?

Karasumi/カラスミ/Botarga, or mullet roe! You can find anything more traceable. This is a truly expensive gastronomic marvel, even in Shizuoka!

A last long look at the shops and then we’ll go to another tourist attraction!

 

Atami resort harbor/marina.

Strolling in Atami City, that is in the downtown area by the sea can be interesting indeed if you know where to look!

Don’t look up but down for directions!

Difficult to get lost!

There are 7 hot springs (including the one in front of the JR station), but I couldn’t find them all…

3rd one. Don’t put your hand inside!

4th one. The temperature was alright!

The 5th one. A little beauty!
I couldn’t find the last two. Pity, when you realize they have been used for hundreds of years!

The other major Atami attraction is the Baien Koen/梅園公園/plum tree Park!
It was created more than 120 years ago and subsequently donated to the city!
Let’ take a stroll!

I forgot to check how many kinds are planted there. I can assure you you need a few visits to exhaust them all!

Now, this is Japan!

Take your time and enjoy the sights!

Flower trees everywhere. You should come on bright sunny day!

A man-made waterfall! Great in summer!

A view from “inside” the waterfall!

Plum tree blooms…

Interesting tree…

Beautiful color!

Can you see the daffodils?
Spring is near and we shall to think and come back again in the summer!

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

Kushida Shinto Shrine in Fukuoka City: A Photographic Introduction

All photographs taken by Robert-Gilles martineau

When In Fukuoka City for the first time, being religious-minded or not a site not to be missed is Kushida shinto Shrine/Kushida Shrine/櫛田神社, a Shinto shrine located in Hakata-ku. Dedicated to the deities Amaterasu and Susanoo, it is said to have been founded in 757. Its visit can enjoyed at all times of the year although the New Year and during the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival during the first two weeks of July are arguably the best periods of the year!

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A horned lion guard, called “shishi or komainu” seems to ensure the safety of the donated Japanese sake kegs behind it!

The whole visit makes for a truly great photographic experience of a typical Japanese Shinto Shrine, and I can assure you are bound for some surprises!
just follow me for this first visit and I can guarantee you will wish to come back again and stroll around the place at your own pace!

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The other lion guard with its maw open also guarding the sake kegs!
Sake kegs will be found at Shinto Shrines only and not at Buddhist Temples as sake is considered as the food of gods in Shintoism.

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The whole shrine is actually a group of them erected at various times and their lion guards differ!

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There are always two lion gurads at each shrine, one with its maw closed,…

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The other with its maw open!

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On the new Year visitors are requested to walk through the mouth of a giant Ameterasu Goddess under a torii/sacred bird gate!

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Placed at both entrances, but do not worry they won’t eat you!

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You will also meet fox guards/kitsune meaning that the shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Goddess of Plenty!

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Its counterpart is carrying a sacred scroll inits mouth.
Both look unusually fierce!

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Torii/sacred bird gate can be fund in stone or red-painted wood, alone or in rows!

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A whole mixture of torii!

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A small but highly venerated shrine at the very end of the torii tunnel!

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A stone torii arch?

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You will discover a whole menagerie as well such as this sacred bull!

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Sacred cranes guarding a natural salty hot spring!

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A Lord Horse!

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Belgians will be astounded to find a Japanese version of their Manneken Piss!

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Keep a sharp eye for the bonsai/miniature trees!

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you cane even buy (for 50 yen) your own fortune-telling slip/o-mikuji in five different languages: Japanese, English, Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese!

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My fortune-telling slip in English!
Now, what did it say?

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“Very lucky”!
Wishing you the same!

Access: 1-41, Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture 812-0026
Between Hakata JR Station and Nakagawa River, near Gion Station.
Phone: 092-291-2951

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

Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival Giant Floats in Fukuoka City!

All pictures by Robert-Gilles Martineau.

Some of the information is  based on official Fukuoka City Tourism Internet Sites.

Hakata Gion Yamakasa (博多祇園山笠) is the name of one of the most famous Japanese festivals celebrated every year from the 1st to the 15th of July in Hakata Ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka prefecture in Northern Kyushu Island.
This grand event, more than 750 years old, attracts more than a million spectators every year and was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 1979.
Moreover, the sound of the Kaki Yamakasa has been selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.
Its rites are centered on Kushida Shinto Shrine/Kushida Jinja/串田神社.
In fact the official name of the Festival is Kushida jinja Gion Retsu Oomatsuri/櫛田神社祇園例大祭.

Now, you need not worry if you cannot visit Fukuoka City during the first two weeks of July as the giant floats are on constant display for all to enjoy either under roof along the Nakagawa River at a walking distance from Hakata JR STation or inside Kushida Shinto Shrine!

Festival Floats exhibited along the Nakagawa River:

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Don’ forget you can see both sides of the float!

The Yamakasa floats come in two categories, namely, colorful floats for decorative purposes called kazariyama, and floats to be carried in the festival known as kakiyama. The decorated floats are set up on the street corners on July 1st for display, and you can take a look at them while strolling through the city. They are almost 10 meters tall,  and are decorated with samurai or popular anime character dolls produced through the expertise of master Hakata Doll craftsmen. Formerly, men used to run about carrying these tall decorated floats, but because they would get stuck on electric cables and lights, it was decided that they were more suited for display purposes only. The floats exhibited at the Kushida Shinto Shrine and along the Nakagawa Rivercan be viewed all year round.

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The kazariyama floats are truly enormous and you had probably better take photographs at different levels for more precise viewing: bottom part!

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Middle part!

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Top part!

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One full space is dedicated to the history of the Festival and the tools needed to drive the floats!

These poles are placed under the kakiyama, “Yamakasa/Festival Floats” and over the shoulders of  carriers running at full speed in the streets of Hakata! Bear in mind that each float weighs at least a ton!

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The back side, or “river side side” of the same float!

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The bottom half!

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The top half!

Festival Floats exhibited at the Kushida Shinto Shrine:

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These are exhibited all year round under special covers with explanations Japanese and English!

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The bottom part!

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The top half!

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The very top!

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The second float!

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The bottom part!

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The middle part!

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The top part!

The carried floats are borne by the men from the 10th and the festival culminates in excitement on the 15th. Early in the morning, at 4:59 on this final day of the festival, the first float sets off at the signal of beating drums. This is a contest in which men compete on the time taken to race along a 5 km course, over more or less 30 minutes; although speed is important, they are also required to maintain a graceful and heroic style as they run carrying the floats on their shoulders.

The interesting thing about this festival is that the citizens of Hakata refrain from eating cucumbers during the festival period. Even if they happen to find slices of cucumber in a bowl of salad, they will pick them out. This practice is said to derive from the fact that the pattern of the round cucumber slices resembles the emblem of the festive deity called Gion-sama enshrined in Kushida Shrine!

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

Follow the “Jouren”(常連)/Regular Customer at Japanese Restaurants!

At Yasaitei,….

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.

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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.

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At Kasuri…

“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.

At Tomii,…

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!

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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.

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At Kawasaki…

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.

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At Anchorz…

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!

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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!

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

Local Reasonable Wagyu Beef at Sumpu No Nikudokoro Restaurant in Shizuoka City!

Service: Friendly, attentive and smiling
Equipment & Facilities: Great cleanliness overall. Beautiful and modern gender-separated washrooms
Prices: Reasonable (wayuu is not cheap anywhere!)
Strong points: Almost completely local ingredients. High class beef and pork. Great local sake and shochu list! Non-smoking at lunch time!

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I had been curious for some time about a new restaurant which had been opened three years ago above a convenience store of all things this year when the far corner across Cenova Department Store in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, was reclaimed for development.

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The name of the restaurant is “Sumpu No Nikudokoro/駿府の肉処”. Sumpu stands for the old name of Shizuoka City and Nikudokoro means “the Place for Meat”!
Pity they don’t take the pains of at least writing the English pronunciation when you hear that Shizuoka Prefecture and City have recently declared to promote tourism more actively…

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I had noticed this advert for a single donburi/bowl dish priced at 800 yen/8 US $/6 Euros for quite a while and I had thought that the place was maybe a very reasonable and simple restaurant subsidized by the Shizuoka Prefecture Government, the Agriculture Department in particular. I was proved slightly wrong!

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Frankly speaking the lack of explanations and introductions on the ground floor was a bit frustrating and I was somewhat surprised to find out after climbing nondescript stairs to stand in front of small but elegant entrance!

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An the surprises only continued after I had stepped inside!
Wow! Special Wagyu certified from Shizuoka Prefecture!
Actually no less than 12 breeders have been awarded the distinction in our Prefecture!

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They were not shy about exhibiting the meat used in the restaurant, a sure sign of superior quality!

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Then I started to understand!
Wagyu is horribly expensive in Japan, wherever it is produced and moreover if it has received the label ‘Special Choice” by the Government!

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The restaurant is owned and run by the Shizuoka JA (Japan Agriculture), the biggest Agricultural Association in Shizuoka Prefecture (and also heavily subsidized by the country!)!
Now, I knew why the prices were still comparatively reasonable, even for local products!

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The establishment is absolutely spotless clean with a direct view into the kitchen! Talk about superior hygiene!

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Not only the meat, but most of the sake and shochu are also brewed in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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There are three types of seating: A counter by the window, very practical for individual guests or couples, benches and tables for 4 people apiece and a dig-in kotatsu Japanese room you can partly or completely reserved for a meal away from other guests’ sight (500 yen extra per person in that case). The Japanese room can be completely reserved for up to 8 guests. Otherwise parties up to 26 guests are accepted. Total reservation can be insured for up to 66 guests.

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The sliding doors of the private Japanese-style room.

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My first visit was for lunch at which you can a choice of single bowl dishes between 800 and 980 yen (very popular with office workers and doctors working nearby!), and three meat lunch sets between 1,200 yen and 3,000 yen. I chose the latter, which at 25 US $ is still very reasonable!

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Next time I will strongly suggest that they write an English translation!

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Not only the wasabi (of course!) but even the salt is local!

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Supreme fat to coat the BBQ plate with before grilling the meat and vegetables! Extravagant!

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Absolutely beautiful!
Now, what do we have?

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Two kinds of Wagyu Beef and Kinton-o Pork form Shizuoka Prefecture!
Actually our Prefecture is nationally renown for its supreme pork!

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They need to translate that, too!
It does make for good reading, actually!

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In the bckground lean Wagyu Beef and in the forefront Kinton-O Pork!

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Great attentions to detail: served with grilled garlic slices and chopped thin scallions!

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Naturally the vegetables are exclusively local!

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Local vegetable salad and Shizuoka green tea as a bavarois with jelly!

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Shizuoka-grown Koshihikari rice! A real beauty!

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They should translate that too in English:
Shizuoka Koshikari rice is the earliest to be harvested in the island of Honshu: planted in April, rice grains appear in July and the rice is harvested end of August!
It is nicknamed “Pearl Rice”!

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A light soup, perfect to wash all that good food down!

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100% Shizuoka orange juice! The real article!

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You grill everything at your own pace and order!

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So tender and so juicy Wagyu Beef!
What else can you ask for?

Look forward to more reports as I want to investigate some of the ridiculously cheap meat bowl lunches and of course a full dinner with local sake and shochu!

Sumpu No Nikudokoro
Shizuoka Sodachi
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Oote Machi, 2-15, MRK Bldg., 2f (across Cenova Dept. Store above 7 eleven convenience store)
Tel.: 054-251-4129
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:00~23:00
Closed on third Wednesday of each month
Credit Cards OK
Reservations highly recommended for dinner!
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

Sushi & Sashimi: A Basic Introduction

All original pictures taken in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Sushi for vegans and vegetarians!

Next time you visit Japan and Shizuoka Prefecture I suppose that the first thing you might like to check if you are a sushi lover is the “real article”!

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The ubiquitous “Hon Maguro Nigiri” or “Blue Fin Tuna on a rice ball”. In this case marinated beforehand!

If it your first visit to Japan you might also be in for a surprise as you will discover that the varieties of sushi are practically unlimited!

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“Katsuo/Bonito) & “Kinmedai/Splendid Alfonsino” sashimi assortment!

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.

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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.

“NARE ZUSHI”
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.

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“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”

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“Amaebi/Sweet shrimps” nigiri!

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“Botan ebi/Large sweet prawns” nigiri topped with their roe!

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“Shita birame/Sole” nigiri!

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“Tachiuo/Scabbard or Cutlass Fish” nigiri in “Aburi/seared” style topped with “momiji oroshi/grated daikon seasoned with chili powder and chopped scallion!

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“Hotate/scallops” nigiri!

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“Kawahagi/Filefish” nigiri topped with its raw liver!

“BOGATA SUSHI”

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“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!

“GUNKAN”

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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!

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“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”!

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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”

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“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”!

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A “California roll” made with spicy raw scallops and cucumber!

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“Rainbow Roll”, a very thick futo maki with no less than 15 ingredients wrapped in sushi rice and dry seaweed!

“DONBURI ZUSHI/SUSHI BOWLS”

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“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!

“FANCY SUSHI”

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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!

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“Happy Birthday Millefeuuille!

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An extravagant “Piece Montee”!

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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!

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

On the Shizuoka Prefecture Beer Trail 2: Aoi brewing Co. In Shizuoka City!

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Naoki Mando/万度直樹さん, the owner of a few bars and restaurants in Shizuoka City achieved a long dream when his Brewery, the newest in Shizuoka Prefectyre at the time, Aoi Brewing Co. produced its first craft beer on May 22nd, 2014.

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“Aoi” is a name rarely recorded by Shizuoka City as it is the official emblem of Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa who more or less founded Sumpu, the old name of Shizuoka City.
Naoki had to get not only the Shizuoka City’s permission to use the name and crest but also that of Kunozan Toshogu Shrine in Kuno, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City, the Shrine dedicated to Lord Ieyasu!

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Aoi Brewing Company was built inside a former soy sauce manufacture near Sengen Shrine, another sanctuary related with Lord Tokugawa Ieayasu.

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Now the brewery has its own Brew Pub, Beer Garage, where only Aoi Brewing Co craft beers are served on the tap.
The same pub also serves all kinds of food typical of a brew pub.
Customers are mainly locals or beer lovers wanting to enjoy their past time away from the crowds in downtown Shizuoka City!

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On the other hand, Naoki Mando’s oldest property, Growstock bar & Restaurant in downtown Shizuoka City also serves a couple of Aoi Craft Beers on the tap.

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But Growstock basically serves beers from all over the world either in bottles or on the tap!

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They serve a large array of foods, some of which finds its way into the beer stand located in Miyuki-Cho, near Shizuoka JR Station.

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This is a very busy place as it serves at least 6 beers on the tap, usually all from Aoi Brewing Co. although guest beers from Shizuoka Prefecture and far beyond also appear for the great pleasure of all aficionados!

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Although Aoi Brewing Co. has already produced no less than 47 limited craft beers until December 31st, 2015, it will soon also put out bottled carft beers including Weissen, Ales, Alt and Stouts!

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Although customers at Aoi Beer Stand are basically for the beer, some unusual snacks such as the above mutton gyoza do appear from time to time, the food is not to be forgotten easily!

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Look out for the Mexican hot dog,although these days they serve a Mexican pisza and a Japanese quiche!

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last year, Naoki Mando opened a fourth establishment to satsify the notorious Shizuoka City night owls: Beer Junkies Motel!

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They serve 4 Aoi Brewing Co craft beers on the tap plus two more guest tap beers, including overseas brews along with all kinds of bottled beers, wine, spirits and cocktails!

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The food menu there is definitively more extensive and includes grilled lamb chops, succulent meat pies, and what else!
A great place for late eating!

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But always keep in mind that Aoi Brewing Co. is always putting out superlative brews fast gathering a lot of attention all over Japan such as this rare Christmas Ale, Abv: 10%!

Beer Junkie MOTEL

420-0035 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken Cho, 11-5, IMAKKOKO Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-253-6558
Opening hours: 17:00~25:00, 17:00~26:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesday
Parties welcome
FACEBOOK

BEER GARAGE

Aoi Brewing Co.,Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyagasaki Chyo, 30
Tel.: 054-294-8911
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00 (Monday~Friday), 15:00~23:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesdays
COD, Cash On Delivery only for all orders.
MAP
FACEBOOK

AOI BEER STAND
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 4-6, Den bill, 1F
Tel.: 054-260-5203
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Credit cards OK
FACEBOOK

Some Aoi beers are also available at Aoi Brewery’s restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely

GROWSTOCK

420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamachi Naka Building, 5F
Tel.: 054-293-9331
Opening hours: 17:00~25:00 (Mon.~Thurs.), 17:00~27:00 (Fri & Sat.), 17:00~24:00 (Sun.)
Parties welcome (reserve!)
Credit Cards OK
FACEBOOK

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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

Japanese Izakaya: Yasaitei In Shizuoka City! (For Vegans, Vegetarians and Omnivores!)

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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.

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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!

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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:

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Vegetable sashimi plate!
The above is the basic one, but you certainly may order for a bigger variety!

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View for the other side!

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Ice plant and celery!

One thing all these vegetables have in common is that they are super fresh, crunchy, juicy and so tasty!

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Tomatoes and daikon!

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Japanese cucumber!

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Onion and shiso/perilla leaf!

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Simple but exquisite dressing made with higher-class sesame oil, rock salt and miso paste!

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For friends who like seafood: cod roe steamed and marinated in rice vinegar!

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Another “o-tooshi/お通し/snack served with the first drink!

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Lotus root/renkon/蓮根 in “kinpira” fashion!
Such a satisfying crunch!

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Grilled fresh shiitake/椎茸!

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The shiitake were simply grilled and seasoned with soy sauce before being served over shiso/perilla leaves.

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Freshly grated daikon and ginger were provided for further seasoning and enjoyment.

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Surely one of the best ways to enjoy fresh shiitake!

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Another o-tooshi!

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Mushrooms and fried tofu o-hitashi/お浸し/Japanese-style light appetizer!

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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!

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Juicy and so tasty mushrooms!

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Note the coriander for beautiful balance in presentation and taste!

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Another o-tooshi!

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Mushrooms and mekabu/芽蕪/small turnips! If you are vegetarian or vegan just tell them not to top it with katsuo bushi!

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Steamed eringe (or eringi)/エリンゲ/known in English as king trumpet mushroom, French horn mushroom or king oyster mushroom!

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The eringe were steamed together with fresh cucumber and served with freshly grated Shizuoka-grown wasabi!

See “Izakaya Ranking” system at bottom of article!

YASAITEI/やさい亭

Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
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
Parties welcome

IZAKAYA RANKING SYSTEM
IZAKAYA RANKING:

+1 ought to be visited at least once
+2 could be become a regular visit
+3 must visit!

Service:
+1 standard
+2 pleasant
+3 very good

Equipment & Facilities:
+1 standard
+2 excellent
+3 Superb

Prices:
+1 cheap
+2 slightly expensive but good value
+3 expensive but good value

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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

Wata (also called “Mizu”) Shinto Shrine-水神社 in Shizuoka City!

Yesterday on my way to Anzai Bridge across the Abe River in Shizuoka City, I decided to cycle along a die road on a whim and discovered this small Shinto shrine in Ta Machi!

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Upon seeing the name plaque on the torii/sacred gate I wondered how the kanji for “water/水”, that is “mizu” would be pronounced.
Luckily enough a neighbor had just come out and I decided to ask him and get some more information!
The locals pronounce the name “wata”!
And apparently it is a very old if small shrine, dating back to Edo Era!

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Although their roofing is recent the hand washing stone basin are very ancient.
Two of them in such a small shrine is indeed rare and the neighbor indicated me through their engravings that they had been erected in totally different eras!

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Two large stone lanterns and two smaller ones stood along the short path with mountain and clouds carvings!

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I noted an interesting difference between the two deers!
The one above has its right foreleg raised!

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But not this one!

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A smaller stone lantern between two venerable trees!

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The “haiden”/worshipers hall!

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Unusually the lion guards/shishi are not represented as stone statues, but as wooden carvings abovehead!

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Its companion!
I pointed out the fact to the kind neighbor relating the history of the shrine and I had the pleasure to notice his surprise!

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Money offerings are unusually thrown though the door instead of inside a box placed outside!

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Side view of the “haiden” and “honden/deity abode”!

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The enshrined deity is male!

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A side view of the completely isolated “haiden”!

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The trees inside the shrine are dwarfing the building proving its ancient origins!

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Good-bye, Wata Shrine!

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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

Airbnb: “Shimada Ieyama Shounso” with Osamu Kurosawa’s in Ieyama, Shimada City

Mr. Osamu Kurosawa, a very old friend of mine, decided after retirement as an officer at the Shizuoka Municipal Library to buy an old farm house in Ieyama, Shimada City for a meaningful life, now that he has plenty of time not only to really enjoy it but to make other people also share his pleasure.
Osamu is actually the recognized expert on Shizuoka, especially Shizuoka City, history and culture and has already published a number of books and papers on it.
He does not intend whatsoever to rest on his laurels and has embarked on a mission to promote the town he is presently living in.
He has just registered his home a member of Japanese Airbnb under the name, “Shimada Ieyama Shounso”, to provide cheap accommodation with all necessary facilities for people and tourists wishing to experience the real Japanese rural life in the “outback” of Shizuoka Prefecture!

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The small farmhouse has been completely refurbished for comfort and everyday life at a walking distance from Ieyama Station along the Oigawa Railway Line extending from Kanaya, Shimada City to Ikawa in the Japanese Southern Alps!

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The view from the first floor entrance!

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It stands by real tea fields of Kawane, producing top-class green tea in Japan!

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The entrance itself gives a good indication of what to expect inside!

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Ask Osamu to translate his own life’s philosophy!

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I have already described the interior during my first visit and second visit.
The place has been considerably reformed since, especially the kitchen and the tatami room here above!

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The guest room on the second floor! Sorry, it was a bit dark when I visited it!

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It has its own terrace!

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A real Japanese atmosphere!

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The place is still full of artifacts and real history and antiques that Osamu will have a pleasure to introduce to all!

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But my favorite place is still the Japanese traditional hearth (irori/囲炉裏), whatever the season!

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Always ready for a cooking fire!

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A landscape pot made with local wild plants!

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Osamu went as far as to create his own coasters and under-plates!

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For that particular visit I had brought a very unusual sake from Niigata prefecture for Osamu who is a great lover of good food drink!

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We shared around a barbecue of enormous chicken wings cooked over charcoal!

Looking forward to the next visit!

Do visit Osamu Kurosawa on his FACEBOOK blog as he is fluent in English and Spanish!

OSAMU KUROSWA/黒澤修さん

Shimada City, Kawane Cho, Ieyama, 763-2
Tel.: 09085525739

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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

Heda, a secret cove off the beaten tracks in Izu Peninsula

Heda, a harbor tucked away inside an almost closed cove is the epitome of what Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture has best to offer to any tourist, be he/she Japanese or from distant shores!
-A resort off the beaten tracks.
-A spa renowned for its thermal hot springs.
-A major fishing harbor part of Numazu City, one of the main providers of seafood to Tokyo.
-Arguably one of the best spots to admire Mount Fuji in the whole of Japan!
-A gastronomic venture with its deep-sea fish and marine life including the largest crab in the world, Takaashigani/高足蟹/Japanese Spider Crab!
-History: It was visited in 1854 by the Russian frigate Diana of the Imperial Russian Navy, the flagship of the Russian explorer Yevfimy Putyatin when it was damaged in a tsunami, following the powerful Ansei-Tōkai earthquake of 23 December 1854. The Diana sank while sailing from Shimoda to Heda for repairs!

Board in front of the tiny but extremely useful Heda Tourist Bureau.

Before I can extol on the reasons to visit the village let me explain the easy access:
Go down at Mishima JR Station (Shinkasen Bullet Train Stop) and proceed to the neighboring Izu Hakone Line Station (right of the Mishima JR Station South Exit). Board the local train/Izu Hakone Line to Shyuzenji (30 minutes, 510 yen). Take a bus from Shuzenji Station, terminal No 6 to Heda (54 minutes, 1,000 yen).
The bus will reach Heda just beside the Tourist Bureau you ought to visit to get as much information and as many pamphlets as possible from the very kind staff!

First of all, Heda is a paradise for photographers, amateur and professional alike, who can take innumerable shots of Mount Fuji from various view spots all year round as the sacred mountain is changing its robes daily!

In Autumn, one may sight Mount Fuji as a dark and mysterious figure shrouded in mists looming beyond the sea.

Sometimes it does look as surging out blue expanses!

At dusk it will be blurred out of the sky by magnificent sunsets irreverently crossed by returning squid fishing boats!

Once you have managed to take your eyes off Mount Fuji you will realize that the cove itself is also worth clicking away all day long!
In the middle of November the surrounding mountains will explode into autumnal colors and the first snow will don a cap to the faraway Mount Fuji!
But before you linger on the inside beach let me take to the tiny Shipyard and Suruga Bay Deep-Sea Museum past the old lighthouse!

It is an old and almost decrepit building, the more when you realize that the various monuments left and donated by the Soviet Government date back to 1947!
But the entrance fee is a mere 200 yen as the Museum is managed by the City!

The largest crab in the world, Takaashigani, almost 3 meters from leg tip to leg tip!

The Museum is divided into two distinct parts, the Shipyard & Suruga Bay Deep-sea Hall on the lower level and the upper level dedicated to Yevfimy Putyatin and his frigate Diana.

A real Sakegashira, a variety of deep-sea mahi mahi, even bigger than the Japanese Spider Crabs!

Most of the displays were donated by local fishermen or well-wishers. All names of fishermen, places and dates of catch are clearly indicated!

Tasmanian Giant Crab, the crab with the largest body (legs not included) in the world!

Crabs out of the deeps…

Spiders of the deeps…?

Hands off me, guys! (I know that I’m tasty!)

A ghost of the deeps…?

Sharks of the deeps…

They call that critter from the deeps a fan globefish!

Seesaw sharks!

Shark eggs!

For the marine history buffs!

Walking from the Museum towards the inlet you will go past the small quaint Shinto Shrine Maorokuchi Jinjya/諸口神社!

Keep walking under the pines and you will find the sacred shrine portal/torii/鳥居/ overlooking the inlet. Needless to say that the shrine is there to protect the fishermen and their families!

In summer that small pine forest is a welcome haven from the hot sun!

Away from the summer bathers, fishing buffs enjoy the day on the small pier in front of the shrine portal!

A last picture of Mount Fuji before walking back along the beach!

The shrine portal as it looks from inside the cove!

The beach is a great promenade out of season (I mean the bathing season!)!

Calm blue and beautiful waters away from the rough seas!

A monster from the deeps…? Utsubo/ウツボ/Moray eel!

A Nessie monster for the kids!

One can walk all the way to the center of Heda past fishing boats!

A squid-fishing boat! Red squids are a delicacy abundant in the Suruga Bay waters. The boats go at sea at night only.

Time to go back to our hot springs hotel!

HEDA TOURISM ASSOCIATION & BUREAU
410-3402 Shizuoka Prefecture, Numazu City, Heda, 289-12
Tel.: 0558-94-3115
HOMEPAGE (English)

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

Unequalled Japanese Hygiene

From magic toilets to wet finger napkins/”wet tissue”

SHUZENJI-FEET

Hot spring foot bath in Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Japan is considered by many a traveler, tourist and businessperson as one of the mst beutiful countries in the world. But the Land of the Rising Sun has another in her pocket other than the beauty of her landscapes, her universally recognized gastronomy or her financial opportunities: a daily life safety unbeknownst in our lands, a comfort bordering on obsession, but above all an hygiene above any norms.

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Baths in hot spring hotel in Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture

Japan has been blessed since immemorial times with an abundance of natural water rushing down her mountains all year round and with a generally  abrupt geographical profile allowing for a natural and fast evacuation of debris, and soiled waters. This active volcano-dotted archipelago  is replete with hot springs which have been exploited for more than 1,500 years and contributed to the establishment of daily baths as never witnessed in any other countries.
The Japanese do not wash themsleves inside bathtubs. They clean their body first before immersing themselves in clean and ideally warm water. This attention to the cleanliness of their bodies before plunging it in a veritable liquid massage is the more remarkable when you consider the icy cold winter and tropical summers prevalent in most Japan.
In fact the love of the Japanese for their hot springs (“onsen”) lies not only in the need to warm up their bodies in summer but also to treat their skins and even clean their internal organs in summer.

SHOOL-TOILETS-CLEANING

Junior high school students scrubbing their own toilets!

When it comes to natural needs the inhabitants of this crowded archipelago far away from the rest of Asia have always understood the vital importance of a strict daily hygiene be it that of individuals or groups. Already by the end of the 19th Century, when Japan “reopened her doors” to the rest of the World, Occidental visitors were surprised, if not shocked, by this attention brought to the care of the body that they often mistakenly interpreted as a lack of  decency, the more for it that the same Japanese showed a great sexual freedom and a marked veneration for all kinds of fertilty symbols in their daily life and festivals (“matsuri”). After all the famous/notorious Japanese erotic  woodblock prints (“shunga”) had been possible only with ethics vastly different from those considered as normal in Europe and and North America. Homosexuality and bisexuality were condemned as they were in the “Westernized World”. Accordingly the Japanese are not bashful at all when it comes to frankly talk about natural needs even when Westerners attempted to impose their customs and interdicts in this country which never accepted colonization in spite of its preparedness to other standards than their own.

Japanese magic toilets/a recent revolution

Undoubtedly those famous Japanese toilets are very much talked about although few outside Japan know how they have become part and parcel of daily life in this country.
Until 30 years ago they existed only in two distinct forms.”Japanese toilets”, that is the oldest model that consists of  simple toilets above which you have to crouch (somewhat like inverted Turkish toilets). They still can be found in many public toilets. After WWII flush toilets and urinals started to appear. But it was in 2004 that Japanese toilets became magical thanks to the added quasi computers hidden inside their structure enabling the control of a bidet system that architects and builders adopted to the point of equipping half of the Japanese abodes within a single year. In Japan bidets are commonly called “washlets”, a commercial name owned by the TOTO Company, a company based in Kitakyushu (Kyushu Island).
Apart of a far better hygiene and easier maintenance and cleaning the main reason for the popularity of this type of toilets is that many Japanese suffered from piles/hemorrhoids due to the physical effort required to stay in a crouching position above the traditional toilets. Actually Japan holds the world record number of clinics solely specializing in proctology and colorectal surgery, a extremely lucrative medical field in spite of the recent change in toilets.
Although most public toilets, school toilets and those found in temples and stations are traditionally equipped, the Japanese prefer to sit down on a toilet at home, especially old citizens for whom the crouching position can become particularly difficult and uncomfortable.

TOILETES-JAPONAISES

But it is when you disembark at a Japanese airpor that you will discover incredible state of of the art facilities due to the fierce competition between the two biggest companies in the field, namely TOTO (50% share of the production) and INAX (25%), which make most of their profits with hotels all over the World, especially in the Middle East. The long rolling carpets carrying you from planes to different arrival gates are regularly interrupted to allow tired travelers to relieve themselves after a long voyage not only inside vast and spotless facilities but also equipped with the very latest amenities. Although divided according to gender, the only difference is that the toilets for gents are also equipped with state of the art urinals (no button to press, which avoids any dicey contacts!). The toilets on which you sit are fit with two types of washlets whose temperature you can regulate, one to wash your backside, the other for ladies’ intimate parts Even if you do not understand Japanese the small illustrations will leave you in no doubt! And thay are even equipped qith hot air drying systems for people who do not want to use paper at all!

TABLETTE-CONTROLE

Of course all modern hotels are equipped thus, but another difference with Western countries is that yu will find toilets almost anywhere in Japan, either public inside railway stations, parks, beaches, sport centers and areas and leisure spots and supermarkets where they will always be state of the art but which are immensely cleaner, but they will sport the latest models inside department stores, museums, theaters, movies, concert halls as well as inside town halls, police stations and other public buildings! An embarrassment of choices! And furthermore they are spotless clean at any hour of the day and night!
The Japanese went as far as devising mobile telephone app called”Check a Toilet”. this app will enable you to find the nearest public toilets, wherever you are!

A word for our ladies: “otohime”

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“Otohime”!

Many Japanese ladies feel embarrassed by the notion of someone being able to hear the noise raised by their visits to the toilets to the point of developing a kind of allergy called “timid bladder”! To hide all the noises many women will let water run all the way through thus causing an incredible waste of water. As education campaigns could not help eradicate such a practice a system was devised during the 1980’s.Once activated it reproduces the sound of water being flushed without having to have to let the water. One of of the brands proposing such a device is Otohime (音姫), which literally means “The Princess of Sound”, thus named after the Japanese Goddess Otohime, daughter of the God Ryujin (although the Chinese characters for Otohime are different (乙姫) and mean “the Second Princess”. This device is installed in most new toilets for ladies, while many old public ladies toilets are also equipped with it. The Otohime can either be an independent device fixed on the inside wall of the toilets or as a component of of the washlet. One can activate the device by pressing a button or with a hand passing in front of a sensor. Once activated the device will emit a similar sound to that of a real water flush. Thus more than 20 liters of water can be saved every day with such an apparatus. Nonetheless many a ladyy still thinks that the sound of the Otohime is artificial and prefer a constant water flushing than using the recorded tape. As it seems that such a device is not required or requested in gents toilets it will very seldom be found in public amenites

Apart of the toilets you will also discover that the hygiene standards in Japanese hotels is almost unheard of in Western establishments. In any case you will not find a star ranking system or else which allows tight-fisted hotel owners back home to do without advantages considered as the norm in any Japanese hotel. Any decent standard hotel provides shampoos, eau de toilette, razors, combs, brushes and others changed every day with your sheets, and this in hotels costing less than 50 euros a night!

Of course the same applies to restaurants and cafés in the whole country.
Actually it has turned into a cutthroat competition as to which establishment will offer the best amenities. Even away from Tokyo, I know many a restaurant which besides state of the art bilingual washrooms will offer you mouthwash, disposable toothpicks and ear cotton swabs without mentioning a whole palette of paper napkins!

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Talking of paper it simply becomes outlandish: single layer, double layer, triple layer, soft, exra soft, white, colored, with motifs all kinds, I just can’t mention them all! Stores generally have a single department dedicated to their sole display!

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Incidentally many hotels complain that their toilet paper completely disappears after the visit by tourists from other Asian countries!

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Finger napkins/”wet tissue”.

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Anti germ finger wet tissue napkins.SN3O0272

Finger napkins/wet tissue and others for men only!

Finger napkins/”wet tissue” are simply delirious!
In fact #finger napkins/wet tissue” doesn’t mean whrn one is confronted  by ts choice, be it for ladies or gents (or children and senior citizens!)!
Wet napkins, anti-germ or perfumed, not only for hands and fingers (and nails) but also various parts of body, napkins of different size, napkins for sportsmen or professionals, talcum napkins, anti germ napkins for toilet seats, tables, chairs and others, and others, and others…
In fact many people who buy them just to build up a collection to show to their friends as manyof them are conceived for a publicity and commemorative purpose!

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