Tag Archives: 伊豆市

Amagi Shamo Chicken Farm in Izu City: Toshiyaki Horie

Toshiyaki Horie (extreme right) with his father and employee

Shizuoka is probably more famous for its high quality chicken outside than inside the Prefecture, but the locals are beginning to realize what kind of treasure they have been sitting on all that time!

The reason that Shizuoka people don’t know much about their avian treasures is that such high quality chicken has to be raised away from the cities, in altitude and in close contact with the nature for rigorous hygienic conditions.

We conducted the interview before paying a visit to the chickens inside a visitors room Toshiyaki had been himself where I discovered his hobby: drum/taiko/太鼓 making!

Third-generation farmer Toshiyaki (33) made all these by hand from scratch. Playing the drums is a good past time that keeps him fit for a work that requires constant attention!

Ventilators for the summer.

Toshiyaki’s father started raising shamo/軍鶏 chicken, originally a species from Thailand, 23 years ago.
Whereas their chickens are labeled Amagi (from Amagi Plateau) Shamo, they are a species derived from the Ikkoku Shamo/一黒軍鶏 raised in the Western part of the Prefecture.
They are raised from just-born chicks sent by Hoshino Chicken Farm in Shimada City.
The main difference with their cousins in the west is that Toshiyaku adds natural food to the usual grain feed such as wasabi leaves (Izu City is the largest producer of wasabi in Japan) and soy milk from a local tofu shop. Their water comes from a river raging down just along the farm. Moreover, the hygiene is strictly maintained with soil between the shacks being cemented over and regularly spread with liquid chalk.
They keep the chickens in four different locations according to their age. Every time they move one age group, all the soil on which the chickens live is moved and renewed entirely. The removed soil will find its way into the natural fertilizer shack to be sold to local farmers.

The chicks will be kept in enclosed areas until 30 days old as they have to be kept warm then.
Incidentally, I had to take the pics without a flash as the chickens must be kept free of any stress!

The feed silo.

They will be moved to another shack until 60 days. They will be inoculated once during that period.
The total number of chickens is around 3,000 at all times, half of them male.
Toshiyaki has also started selling their eggs 3 years ago.

They will be moved to a third shack until 90 days old. Males and females will be separated then. All the chickens will be vaccinated a second time before being moved to their third shack.

The blue container is filled with soy milk.

Female chickens.
They will be culled between 120 and 150 days,
This is hard and very precise work. Except for the taking of their feathers done in a water-filled spinning machine, all has to be done by hand from bleeding (unavoidable or the meat would irremediaby spoiled) to dressing. Their livers and hearts and shirako/白子 are all delicacies that have to be of the uttermost cleanliness. Raw Amagi Shamo sashimi and livers are a delicacy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

The male chickens.

Now, I know at least four restaurants which serve this unique Amagi Shamo Chicken.
Moreover, Toshiyuki takes part in many gastronomic events. Expect a series of articles soon!

410-3203, Shizuoka Ken, Izu Shi, Yaguma, 296
Tel.: 0558-87-0644
Mobile: 090-7449-5655
Fax: 0558-87-0763
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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

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

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Bandai Brewery-Junmai Ginjo Genshu Homare Fuji

Bandai Brewery is located in one of the most scenic cities of Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu Peninsula formerly called Shuzenji. The city has recently been included into a larger city called Izu City, but people and tourists certainly don’t mix the two when they say they are going to Shuzenji!
One can reach this city also famous for its hotsprings and Japanese inns by taking a local train from Mishima City.
When you go down at Shuzenji Station, don’t forget to visit the souvenir shop where you will find all the products of Bandai Brewery, including real wasabi shochu!

Bandai Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in the Prefecture and its history under other names can be traced back to the 16th Century!
Like most of the other sake breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture, it has started to use locally grown sake rice to ensure a stable output.

Rice: Homare Fuji 100% (grown in Shizuoka Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +3
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees (genshu: no water added)
Bottled in July 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: faint golden hue
Aroma: Strong and fruity: banana, vanilla, hints of pineapple
Body: fluid
Taste: Strongish attack with junmai petillant and a lot of fruit. Warms back of the palate. Well-rounded backed up by pleasant alcohol.
Complex: banana, gum-candy, almonds with memories of coffee beans later.
Softens with food to turn dry again on its own.
Almonds and banana tend to follow each other alternatively.

Overall: A sake you might as well drink chilled as it is quite sweet in spite of a +3 dryness level (quite dry by Shizuoka standards).
One of those sake you can pour over an ice-cream!
Very pleasant. Tends to get drier with food.
Would very well accompany blue cheese like a Port wine, or being drunk as a digestif!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Shizuoka Wine receives national recognition!: Naka Izu Winery


After 10 years of existence, Naka Izu Winery Chateau T.S. has finally recevied the accolade of wine lovers in Japan!

Naka Izu Winery & Hotel

The winery entered 10 varieties of wines in the Japan Wine Challenge Concours 09.
Its Shida Noujyo Nagano Chardonnay 2008 won the Gold Medal in the New World White Wine Wine Section, and its Shida Noujyo Nagano Chardonnay 2007 won another one at the National Homegrown Wines Contest.


Both wines made use of a Chardonnay grape strain originally developped in Nagano Prefecture, our northern neighbours.

On the other hand, another white wine made from Chardonnay grape strain developped in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, called Shida Chardonnay won a silver medals in both contests.

Riesling strain grown at Naka Izu Winery.

The winery grows all its grapes and the wine is aged either in their own stainless tanks or wooden casks depending on the variety, making a real local winery.
Actually, until 1958 wine was produced in many parts of Shizuoka Prefecture, especially near Numazu City and in the Izu Peninsula, but disappeared when the government decided to support sake instead with very substantial subsidies.
Naka Izu Winery is still the only winery in existence in Shizuoka Prefecture.

About time to interview the winery and taste its wines!

Naka Izu Winery Chateau T.S.
410-2501, Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu Shi, Shimoshiraiwa, 1433-27
Tel.: 0120-818-517
Office hours: 09:30~17:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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

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