Category Archives: Wild Mountain Vegetables

Fern & Bamboo Shoots Picking and BBQ in Higashi Mine, Shizuoka City wth Marufuku Seicha Co.!

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The other Sunday I was invited by my good friend, ms. Asami Iti/伊藤麻美さん, owner of a very progressive green tea company, Marufuku Seicha Company in Shizuoka, to a “warabi” picking party!
“Warabi/ワラビ/fern” is a typical Japanese wild mountain vegetable picked up in the nature in late March here!

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Asami has a land developed by her late father up in the mountains of Higashi Mine in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, up the Abe River at about 1,000 meters altitude where she grows organic Japanese plums.

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The highest altitude green tea fields in Japan!

I go there quite a few times every year, but it is always quite an expedition as after reaching the end of the road we have to walk down quite a ways a steep mountain slope!

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Cherry trees and others were still blooming up there!

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Spring flowers everywhere!

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We finally reached the tradtional Japanese house that Asami’s father had built piece by piece as a “mountain retreat”!

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The land in front of the house is lined with dozens of plum trees and the occasional cherry tree.
The land has not seen any fertilizer or agrichemicals for at least 20 years, making a real organic environment!
The “only problem” is that the land is roamed with wild deer who have the bad habit of leaving leeches in the soft soil!

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The whole space in front of the house is also covered with fern or bracken, called “warabi” in Japanese. The plant needs some preparation before cooking but it is certainly worth it!

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Yuichi Shiozawa, a friend who had joined us, proud of his first harvest!

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Harvesting the traditional Japanese way!

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We also took the opportunity to clean the whole land before organizing the BBQ inside and outside the house!

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Part of the warabi harvest!
We had enough to share between five people!

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We also got some bamboo shoots in nearby land!
As for the fern it does take some preparations but it is so much worth it!

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We organised the BBQ inside the house around a “irori/traditional Japanese fireplace”!

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As lighting charcoal takes quite a while on the irori I prepared plenty outside!

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We had some homemade traditional Japanese cakes, “wagashi”, to help us wait!

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Another friend of ours, Junko Horie helped with the fire!

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Starting getting serious with preparation of the food (and the drinks!)!

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Plenty of food and drinks after the hard work!

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Asami had brought a portable smoking apparatus!

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The “smoke” of the day!

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Smoking away!

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i opened it just in time to prevent the cheese from running through the grill!

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Complete with rice balls/musubi!

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The crowd of the day: Naomi Yokota, ,Junko Horie, Asami Ito and Yuichi Shiozawa!

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And then it was back up the slope carrying our bounty!

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We left just before it started to rain! See you there again in June for organic plums picking!

Marufuku Tea Factory (Owner: Ms. Asami Itoh/伊藤麻実さん)
420-0006 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu, Cho, 25
Tel.: 054-271-2011
Fax: 054-271-2010
Mobile: 090-3250-4188

CHA-O (Director, Ms. Asami Itoh/伊藤麻実さん)
420-0006 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu Cho, 94
Tel: 054-253-8421
Fax: 054-253-8413
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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Wild Mountain Vegetables (Sansai/山菜): Five Mountain Vegetables in Japanese Pepper Miso Sauce (山菜五種盛り山椒味噌和え)-Vegan!

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I was asked by new Czech Friend IVY if I could suggestsome Japanese recipes to accommodate wild mountain vegetables especially Urui/Hasta Monta and others.
Here is a simple recipe for for (A common wild mountain vegetables in Japan (Sansai in Japanese)) including five different varieties:
Tara no me/たらの芽/Aralia elata
Kosiabura/コシアブラ/Acanthopanax sciadophylloides (Japanese only)
Udo/ウド?Aralia Cordata/ (Japanese only)
Kogomi/コゴミ/Ostrich fern
Urui/うるい/Hosta montana

The Japanese pepper/Japanes pricly ash is called sanshyou/山椒. In Japan we use both young leaves and green seeds, whereas in China they use the dried seeds.

INGREDIENTS:

Tara no Me: 5
Koshiabura: 5
Udo:1 medium sized
Kogomi: 5~6
urui: 3 stems

Fresh Sanshyou/Japanese pepper leaves: a few leaves
Miso (of your choice, but white or light brown is best): 1 tablespoon
Japanese sake: 1 tab;espoon
Sugar: 1/2 tablespoon

RECIPE:

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Peel the udo. Cut into thin slices lengthwise. Rinse under cold running water.
Cut the root part away from the kogomi. Boil the kogomi and urui lghtly. Drain and sponge off excess water.

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Cut the urui in same bits of the same size as the kogomi. Actually do try to prepare all the vegetables in same size if possible!
Boil the tara no me and the koshiabura lightly. Drain and sponge off carefully excess water in a dish lined with kitchen paper.
Separate the sanshyou leaves.
Chop or crucnh the sanshyou leaves finally and in a bowl mix them with the miso, sake and sugar.

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Presentation:
Arrange the sansai in a dish as above and add the dressing.

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Mix all vegetables and dressing together and serve as artfully as possible!

An easy, tasty and healthy recipe!

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, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: 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

Urui & Fuki (Hosta Montana 6 Giant Butterbur-Wild Mountain Vegetables) Tempura Recipe

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I was asked by new Czech Friend IVY if I could come up with some tempura and other Japanese recipes to accommodate wild mountain vegetables especially Urui/Hasta Monta and others.
Here is a simple recipe for two wild mountain vegetables (Sansai in Japanese) including Urui/Hosta Montana</strong> and Fuki/Giant Butterbur.

INGREDIENTS:

Hosta Montana: as much as you like!
Giant Butterbur: as much as you like
Naturally you can use other wild mountain vegetables.

Ice cold water: 340 ml (1 + 3/4 cups) Remember that the water must be ice cold!
Egg: 1 ((vegetarians and vegans can skip this and add either more flower or cornstarch)
Fine flour: 200 g (wheat allergics can replace it with a flour of their choice!)
Soy sauce & Japanese sake: a little
Salt
Curry powder

Tsuyu/soupstock for dipping if you wish to:
Mirin/sweet sake: 50 ml (1/4 cup)
Soy sauce: 50 ml (1/4 cup)
Dashi: 200 ml (1 cup). Vegans and vegetarians should check Vegan Dashi Recipe!
Grated daikon and grated ginger: as you like

RECIPE

First prepare the tenpura batter by first mixing ice cold water with egg until smooth. Then incorporate flour little by little and beat until smooth. keep cold into another bigger bowl filled with ice cold water (not ice only as it would not keep the batter cold enough!
Heat the oil. It must be 170 degrees when you are ready to fry the tenpura.
Prepare a grill and cooking paper in advance to sponge off any excess oil off the vegetables

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Cut the Giant butterbur in adequate-sized pieces. Sponge off any humidity. Then as it is quite a sour plant dip them in a mixture of sake and soy sauce. Shake off excess seasoning.
Dip into tempura batter. Shake off excess batter and “slide” vegetable in the oil. By “Slide” I mean no “Throw” or “drop”! Take the vegetable by one end, bring the other end into the oil and “pull” as if you wanted to spread the vegetable over the oil.
When cooked (don’t overcook!) take out and lay on cooking paper/grill.

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As for the urui, since they don’t need any extra seasoning, cut them into appropriate size, dip them either one at a time or two or three together (hold them together by one extremity all the time!), dip into batter, shake off excess batter and “slide” them in into theoil.

You ca serve the above with a small plate of fine rock alt, pepper, or curry powder or even matcha powder!

If you want to dip them into a tsuyu/stock soup first, make the tsuyu quickly as follows:
Over a strong fire heat the mirin in a pot, ten lower the fire. Add soy sauce and dashi. Heat for a little while and pour into a dipping cup/bowl.

Enjoy!

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, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: 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

Sansai/Edible Wild Japanese Mountain Vegetables (2014 edition)

tomii-veg31

“Sansai/Wild Mountain Plants” are around the corner so I thought it might be a good idea to draw people’s attention back to them for easier reference! They also include wild fruit that can be eaten both as vegetables and fruit with various preparations.
Some can be boiled, others fried, prepared as tempura, cooked in soup, prepared as pickles or jam, etc.

As it would become far too big (already massive, but inexhaustive) a posting if I wrote everything, please pick up one item at a time if you want more explanations and I will write an individual article for your pleasure!
But some have added some since the last time I wrote about them and I added some facts!

Here we go:
(No particular order)

ainu-negi-alium-victorialis

AINU NEGI: ALIUM VICTORIALIS
Also called: GYOUJA NINIKU/VICTORY ONION/ALPINE LEEK

High in Vitamin B1

akebi-chocolate-vine

AKEBI: CHOCOLATE VINE

High in Potassium, Vitamin B1, B2, B6, C and vegetal fibers.
Provide great stamina!
The inside is eaten raw as it is sweet.
The outside can be pickled or fried as tempura!

amadokoro-polygonatum-odoratum
AMADOKORO: POLYGONATUM ODORATUM

azami-thistle

AZAMI: THISTLE
Try it as tempura!

fukinoto-giant-butterbur

FUKINOTO: GIANT BUTTERBUR/FLOWER CLUSTER

High in Vitamin A Beta carotene, B1, B2, b6, C, vegetal Fibers and Potassium.
Beautiful as tempura!

hamaboufuu-glhnia-littoralis
HAMABOUFUU: GLEHNIA LITTORALIS

hangonsou-senecio-cannabifolius

HANGONSOU: SENECIO CANNABIFOLIUS

hasukappu-lonicera-caerulea

HASUKAPPU: LONICERA CAERULEA/HASCUP

hikagehego-flying-spider-monkey-tree-fern

HIKAGEHEGO: FLYING SPIDER MONKEY TREE FERN

irakusa-urtica-thunbergiana

IRAKUSA: URTICA THUNBERGIANA

itadori-japanese-knotweed
ITADORI: JAPANESE KNOTWEED

katakuri-dogtooth-violet

KATAKURI: DOGTOOTH VIOLET

Flowers are also edible.

kiboushi-plantain-lily-hosta-fortinei

KIBOUSHI: PLANTAIN LILY HOSTA FORTINEI ( a variety of Hosta Montana)
Beautiful lightly steamed!

kogomi-ostrich-fern

KOGOMI: OSTRICH FERN (exists as green and red)

One of the most eaten wild maoutain vegetable in Japan!
Great plant as it needs no special procees to erase tanginess.
High Carotenes, Vitamin C, Amino acids and vegetal fibers.

koshiabura-ascathopanax-sciadophylloides

KOSHIABURA : ASCATHOPANAX SCIADOPHYLLOIDES

kuko-chinese-wolfberry
KUKO: CHINESE WOLFBERRY

kusagi-harlequin-glory-bower-peanut-butter-shrub2

KUSAGI: HARLEQUIN GLORY BOWER PEANUT BUTTER SHRUB

matatabi-silver-vine
MATATABI: SILVER VINE

mitsuba-japanese-honeywort

MITSUBA: JAPANESE HONEYWORT
has become a common garden vegetable!

nirinsou-anemone-flaccida

NIRINSOU: ANEMONE FLACCIDA

nobiru-alium-macrostemon

NOBIRU: ALIUM MACROSTEMON
Another favorite in Japan!

High in Vitamin C, Carotenes, Calcium, Potassium and vegetal fibers.

oyamabokuchi-synurus-pungens

OYAMABOKUCHI: SYNURUS PUNGENS

ryoubu-clrthra-barbinervis
RYOUBU: CLERTHRA BARBINERVIS

sarunashi-actinia-arguta

SARUNASHI: ACTINIA ARGUTA

seri-japanese-parsley

SERI: JAPANESE PARSLEY
has become a garden vegetable in Japan!

suberiyu-common-purslane

SUBERIYU: COMMON PURSLANE

takenoko-bamboo-shoots
TAKENOKO: BAMBOO SHOOTS (SPROUTS)

tanpopo-dandelion

TANPOPO: DANDELION
A green and a yellow variety are already grown in Japanese gardens!

tara-no-me-aralia-elata

TARA NO ME: ARALIA ELATA

High in Potassium, Vitamin A Beta Carotenes, B2 and vegetal fibers.
Another favorite in Japan!

tsukushi-horsetail

TSUKUSHI: HORSETAIL-Equisetum arvense (Source IVY)
A kid’s favorite!
High in Potassium, Magnesium, Carotenes and Vitamin E.

tsuroganeninjin-adenophora-triphylla

TSUROGANENINJIN: ADENOPHORA TRIPHYLLA

udo-aralia-cordata

UDO: ARALIA CORDATA
Commonly found in Japanese supermarkets!
High in Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin B1, C, Pantotene acid.
Helps combat human body acidity.

yamaudo

YAMAUDO: same as UDO (above)

urui-hosta-montana

URUI: HOSTA MONTANA
Can be eaten raw.
Great in salads. Has become a common vegetable in Japan.

warabi-pteridium-aquilinum

WARABI: PTERIDIUM AQUILINUM/BRACKEN
High Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin B2, C, E and vegetal fibers.
Commonly seen in supermarkets!

yamabudo-crimson-glory-vine

YAMABUDO: CRIMSON GLORY VINE

yamawasabi-wild-horseradish

YAMAWASABI: WILD HORSERADISH
Consumed for its flowers, stalks and leaves, but not roots!

zenmai-osmunda-japonica

ZENMAI: OSMUNDA JAPONICA/ROYAL FERN
High in Potassium, Vitamin A Beta Carotenes, B2, B6, C and vegetal fibers.

FUKI:JAPANESE BUTTERBUR/GIANT BUTTERBUR-Petasites japonicus (Source IVY)

High in Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin B2 and vegetal fibers.

—————————
Still have to find the English names for the following ones!

aiko

AIKO/Laportea macrostachya (Maxim.) Ohwi (Source IVY)

akamizu

AKAMIZU/ELATOSTEMA UMBELLATUM var. NAJUS

Found the name!

aomizu

AOMIZU/Pilea Mongolica
Found the name thanks to IVY

inudouna

INUDOUNA/Cacalia Hastata L. var . tanakae kitam
Found the name thanks to IVY

shidoke

SHIDOKE

ITADORI
has become common in Japan! Can actually be very invasive!

HONNA/Also called SUPPON

YOMOGI/MUGWORT
Great as tempura or in rice cakes!
Not to be confused with absinthe!

NOKANZOU/Hemerocallis fulva, orange daylily
Found the name thanks to IVY

YUKINOSHITA/Saxifraga stolonifera (is the same as Saxifraga sarmentosa), known by several common names, including Creeping Saxifrage, Strawberry Saxifrage, Creeping Rockfoil, the quite ambiguous “Aaron’s beard”, and Strawberry Begonia or Strawberry Geranium (Source: IVY)

Found the name!

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, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: 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