Tag Archives: 島田市

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Oumuraya Brewery-Jyuube Junmai/Shimada City Gohyakumangoku Rice

Oumuraya Brewery in Shimada City has encouraged local farmers for a long time.
They have been recently brewing sake with sakamai/酒米/sake rice by local farmers.

I’ve just found this bottle called Jyuube/重兵衛 at (Farmers Market) Japan Bazaar in Shimada City.
The rice grown is of the Hyakumangoku variety.
They went as far as decorating the bottle with pictures of the very farmers!
How about that for traceability!

Rice: Hyakumangoku (100%)
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Strong and fruity: custard, vanilla
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong and drier than expected attack.
Fruity: Custard, bananas. Junmai petillant.
Disappears quickly with dry almonds.
Light and dry, almost discreet with food.
Dry pineapple appearing later.

Overall: A straightforward sake.
Very pleasant, fruity with a dry note.
Accompanies food well.
Very pleasurable on its own or with food.
A sake for all seasons!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Masahiro Sugimoto at Sugimoto Garden: A Young Farmer Looking Ahead!

Masahiro Sugimoto/杉本政紘

Agriculture in Japan (and Shizuoka, which s no exception in spite of its favorable position) is suffering from two chronic problems: ageing of the farming population and too much untended farming land.
The situation as far ageing is concened is slowly improving in Shizuoka but there are still 12.000 ha of untended farming land asking to be exploited.

On the bright side more and more young people not only choose farming as their life but also adopt new directions even if it means breaking “traditions”.

One such farmer is Masahiro Sugimoto, only 26 years of age and still only in his second year as an individual farmer.

Experimenting with Italian putarella.

After graduating form Shizuoka Industrial High School/静岡市立商業高校, instead of attending a full university course, he opted for a meaningful two-year study at the Iwata Agricultural Institute/磐田農林大学校 to enable him to continue and improve of his family’s farming venture which had been growing vegetables for 10 generations.

Although mainly growing lettuces and corn on a total of 80 ha comprising 7 ha in greenhouses, he also experiment with all kinds of vegetables for a meaningful diversification.

A closer view of the putarella.

Corn is grown from February to June and lettuces from September to March.
That still leaves him with plenty of time to experiment with different vegetable varieties.

European cabbage variety.

He is on contract with markets such as Shizutetsu as far as his lettuce and corn are concerned but he is actively seeking new markets including local restaurants always looking for new varieties.

Masahiro’s lettuce greenhouses.

Lettuce is big business in Shizuoka!

Masahiro is also reducing all artificial pesticides and fertilizers to the minimum to produce those beautiful vegetables!

He is seriously thinking of making more organic fertilizers and is always carefully listening to suggestions.

Lettuces grown in open fields have to be covered with insect nets to avoid using pesticides.

His own mother is experimenting with wasabina/わさび菜/ a variety of lettuce called such because its taste remniscing of wasabi!

Masahiro will lend this vacant space between his greenhouses for free to local primary schools for on-field classes. A young man already thinking of the future generations!

Atsushi Sugimura/杉村敦志 (33) and Masahiro Sugimoto/杉本政紘 (26)

Masahiro is also very active exchanging views with his peers to form a farming community with better communications and a new common direction not only in farming but also in agri-business!

Sugimoto Garden
Masahiro Sugimoto
427-0111 Shizuoka Ken, Shimada Shi, Sakamoto, 1007-1
Tel. & Fax: 0547-38-08305
Mobile: 090-7958-8969
E-mail: masahiro@smile.tnc.ne.jp
Homepage & Blog: http://hatake.eshizuoka.jp/

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
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

Shimada City: a New Portal to Japan!

Horai Bridge

Ask Businessmen and tourists coming to Japan from China and Korea and they will answer the new starting venue in this country is Shimada City!
Shimada City? Where can that be? So many people in other celebrated metropolises will surely ask.

Shimada City is slightly away from the center of Shizuoka Prefecture which in turn lies in the very middle of Japan halfway between Tokyo and Nagoya, the most traveled portion of this country. But it all started with the advent of Shimada Airport, also called Mount Fuji-Shizuoka Airport, in 2009. You will understand why we see many Chinese and Korean visitors in this area when you realize planes daily land there directly form Seoul-Incheon and Shanghai-Pudong. In fact, it is faster and cheaper to travel from Shimada to Paris via Seoul-Incheon Aiport!

All that is fine, you might say, what brings all these visitors to that particular part of Japan? What does it has to offer to businessmen and tourists?
Well businessmen know that Shizuoka is the third richest Prefecture, GDP-wise, after Aichi and Kanagawa Prefectures (which incidentally follow each other along the Tokaido Road!), and that ought to be a good enough reason.
Alright, alright, businessmen also share more reasons to come with tourists!

Shimada City and its neighborhoods certainly have enough to warrant a serious visit and a longer stay than expected. After all, if you also come from Kyushu or Hokkaido you will appreciate to learn they are regularly serviced with direct flights from Mount Fuji-Shizuoka Airport.

Shimada tea fields

Shimada City being in the middle of Shizuoka prefecture finds itself in the heart of green tea country. It also has two railway stations, more precisely in Kanaya where you can board the Steam Locomotive for a beautiful trip along the Oigawa Main Line up to Senzu Hot Springs Resort across vast expanses of green tea fields bordering the Oi River. Do not forget to pay an enriching visit to the Tea Museum/Ocha No Sato in Kanaya!

Horai Bridge

The same Oi River was at its most difficult to cross in Shimada City along the Old Tokaido Road prompting the Meiji Government to build the (still) longest wooden bridge in the world, the Horai Bridge, in 1879. It is 897.4m long and 2.7m wide.
Not only it deserved to be walked across for a great vista but it also has the great merit to lead to vast green tea fields beyond a small mountain ridge along a lane dotted with statues of Seven Deities.

Obi Sword dancer

Every city worth its salt in Japan has a major festival to boast from.
Shimada City not only has one, but it is one of the so-called most unusual festivals in Japan!: the Shimada Obi Matsuri and its Daimyo Procession.
The 300-year old Daimyo Gyoretsu imitates the procession of a grand jumangoku (one hundred thousand koku, units of rice) daimyo, and a total of 250 marchers stretch over 500 meters. Particularly striking is the presence of oyakko who walk gracefully, carrying an obi for safe delivery of babies on the tip of a wooden sword.
The procession is held every three years, in the years of the tiger, snake, monkey and wild boar. It’s commemorated by a grand statue in case you cannot visit the city on time for the festival!

Oomuraya Brewery

Now that we have enough reasons to either choose Shimada as a practical entry portal to Japan for our business or a source of new hidden treasures, what about the communications, accommodations and gastronomy?

Communications are no problem at all as the Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport is directly linked by bus to Shimada Tokaido Line Railway Stations and the Shinkasen/Bullet Train Stations in Hamamatsu, Kakegawa and Shizuoka Cities, all within 90 minutes of Nagoya and Tokyo. Moreover, a (free) parking lot for more than 1,000 cars, taxis and car rental companies are part of the facilities.

Accommodations should not be a worry either as the city has enough hotels of all grades, Western or Japanese style near and by the railway station.

As for gastronomy, the City is blessed with a celebrated Sake Brewery, Oomuraya Shuzo, whose brands “Onna Nakase” (“Make a Lady weep”), “Wakatake” (“Young Bamboo) and “Onigoroshi” (“Goblin-Killing”) are known as far as New York, Paris and London.
The presence of a great sake brewery means that the local Japanese Izakayas in particular are of a higher level. What with superlative marine products from nearby Suruga Bay and the extravagant abundance of vegetables (don’t forget the green tea!), there is plenty to please everyone, be they vegetarian, omnivores, drinkers or not!

Recommended Hotel:
Hotel Route Inn Shimada Ekimae, 427-0022 Shizuoka Ken, Shimada Shi, Hon Toori, 5-1-13, Tel.: (81)(0)547-37-0055, Fax: (81)(0)547-037-0065, http://www.route-inn.co.jp/search/hotel/index.php?hotel_id=48

Recommended Restaurant:
Setsugetsuka (Soba, menus to please both vegetarians and omnivores alike. Great sake!), (Closed on Mondays and third Tuesday), 427-0022 Shizuoka ken, Shimada Shi, Hon Toori, 2-3-4, Tel.: (81)(0)547-35-5241
http://www3.tokai.or.jp/soba-setugetuka/top.htm

Tea Museum/Ocha No Sato, (Closed on Tuesdays) Shizuoka Ken, Shimada Shi, Kanaya, 3053-2, Tel.: (81)(0)547-46-5588
http://www.ochanosato.com/

Oomuraya Sake Brewery (Closed on Sundays), 427-0022 Shizuoka ken, Hon Toori, 1-1-8, tel.: (81)(0)547-37-3058, Fax: (81)(0)547-37-7567
(Visits and tasting sessions for small groups possible upon reservation)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
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

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