Tag Archives: Dairy Products

Japanese Gastronomy: Local Products at Makai Ranch in Fujinomiya City!


Service: Very friendly and familiar
Equipment & Facilities: Spotless clan. Superb washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Very healthy food mainly made with local products. Dairy products. Souvenirs

Shizuoka Prefecture is a large Prefecture by Japanese standards and its peculiar shape make it feel even larger. It takes no less than three hours non-stop to cross it by normal train!
Yesterday I had the occasion to travel (by car) again to Fujinomiya City located on the western slopes of Mount Fuji, which means it is protected from the cold weather coming from the east and is a thriving agricultural area in an already very rich prefecture.


You will not find this side view of Mount Fuji just in front of Makai Ranch in usual pamphlets because of its collapsed flank! It is nonetheless worth the trip!


Foreigners are certainly made welcome!


This is Japan, not Germany!


It is not America, either! LOL


The Buffet Restaurant was our destination on the way to a local farmer we were going to interview in the afternoon!


Have a good look before entering as there is a lot to see and sample!


This is another restaurant inside the same premises. Come early!


Milk, milk, milk!


Take your time to visit the many stands inside offering some great healthy food made local ingredienst and milk from the ranch: Cheese cakes!


Ice cream made on site!


You will have the pleasure to discover other products created by neighboring farmers such as delicious Japanese sake!


Top class milk!


Cheese made on the ranch and at other dairy farms!


Even German craft beer by Stephan Rager in Fujinomiya City!


Premium ham and sausages!


We did not have the time but the ranch activities is a must for children and adults alike!


The entrance to the Buffet Restaurant called Itadakimasu/Bon Appetit!


Some of the food ingredients waiting for you!


All self-service!


Plenty to choose from and as much as you like!


You will find the pictures and introductions of the main local farmers contributing vegetables, meat, fish and fruit to the restaurant above the kitchen!


I have already interviewed quite a few of them!


All kinds of hot soups for all tastes!


The system is simple enough. You pay at the entrance where you will be given a ticket/coupon for one main dish. As for starters, salads, soups, drinks Non alcoholic), bread, rice and desserts you can take and re-take as much as as you want with no time limit between 11:00 and 15:00!


My first plate of starters with corn potage!


Already a meal in itself!


My main dish: Local chicken in honey mustard sauce!


Bring your main dish coupon there and point to the dish of your preference!


As much as freshly home-baked bread as you want!


The desserts!


Choose and make your own tea!


That was all I could eat! But I can assure that many people came again and again!
Great value for very healthy and tasty food!

MAKAI RANCH/MAKAI NO BOKUJYO/Buffet Restaurant Itadakimasu
418-0104 Fujinomiya City, Uchino, 1327
Tel: 0544-54-0342
Fax: 0544-29-1027
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Opening hours: Ranch (09:00~17:00, 08:00~18:00 from April to October)
Buffet Restaurant (11:00~15:00)
Closed either on Wednesdays or Thursdays
Free Car Park available
Ranch visit: Adults, 700 yen, Primary school and under, 500 yen. Special prices for groups (this applies for entrance fees only)
Activities are paid separately.
Pets are allowed but have to be left in a special guarded pet area for a monthly fee of 300 yen.


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: 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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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

Shizuoka Cheese: Gigio Smoked Cheese

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The other day, as I was looking around the supermarket in Kakegawa JR Station, my eyes fell on some cheeses displayed in the refigerated area. As I know that this particular establishment sells solely Shizuoka products I decided to investigate.
I thus discovered a company called Gigio in Hamamatsu City. Upon investigation it turned out to be an Italian Restaurant whose chef makes his own cheese!

Out of its airtght packaging their smoked cheese comes with a nice dark nut colour and an appetizing aroma typical of a smoked cheese.

It also has the merit not to be encased in one of those obnoxious wax casing you have to fight your way through.
It cuts easily in spite of its tenderness, and can be served with salads or other cheese and pickles for example.
It makes for a great morsel with beer as its taste marries really well with the tangy flavour of hops.
I did not try, but next time I shall experiment with pizza or toast or even gratineed vegetables!

Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, Takaoka Kita, 1-48-18
Tel.: 053-4383994
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Shizuoka Cheeses: O-Sashimi Cheese

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This is the second cheese variety by Fuji Milk Land Co in Fujinomiya City.
The name “O-Sashimi” means that they suggest it to be eaten like Sashimi!

Actually it is easy to cut either into thick or thin slices.
It does go well with soy sauce, and even with a little dash of wasabi.
I also found it tasty on top of a salad, on toasts and of course on pizza. Easy to eat for children, too as salt contents are low, but as an adult makes a perfect snack with beer!

Fuji Milk Land
Milk Land Co. Ltd.
Fujinomiya City, Kami Ide 3690
Tel.: 0544-54-3690

Shizuoka Cheeses: Asagiri Stripe Cheese

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“Stripe Cheese”, or “sakeru cheese” in Japanese, is a very popular snack in this country.
I have already described one made by Oratche in Kannami.
This one produced by Fuji Milk Land, Milk Land Co. Ltd. in Fujinomiya City on the slopes of Mount Fuji is slightly different.

I would definitely suggest friends to eat it along with a beer as it bites and chews well. The right amount (little in fact) of salt makes it safe to consume aplenty. And it’s fun to see how thin ou can stripe it down!

Fuji Milk Land
Milk Land Co. Ltd.
Fujinomiya City, Kami Ide 3690
Tel.: 0544-54-3690

Oratche: an ecological symbiosis

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In 1997, when Mr. Tomoyuki Shimono came all the way from Tokyo to Kannami, near Mishima City, he surely had a grand idea: not only he wanted to create his own bio dairy products and beer, but he also knew how to develop it to contribute to a better environment and cooperation with locals.
He certainly needed a lot of courage to achieve his goals: Kannami is far away from urban life regardless of the great numbers of Tokyoites-owned villas sprouting all over a nearby mountain. At the time he arrived there, the land was poor and grew little but oranges due to its exposure to cold winds in winter and searing heat in summer. Oratche’s beer was not called “Wind Valley Beer” because it sounded good, but because it was a fact of life!
I had already written a few articles about their surprisingly good cheeses when I met their young business department executive, Mr. Satoru Nishimura, by pure chance in Isetan Department Store in Shizuoka City. The gentleman most readily assented when I asked him if I may visit and investigate his company. He went as far as picking me up at the station, about ten minutes away from his establishment.
oratche-int1.jpg oratche-int4.jpg
Oratche is a multiple-purpose company as they include a large shop, a dairy classroom for kids, an attraction park with rabbits, goats and ponies.
oratche-int2.jpg oratche-int3.jpg
Local farmers have their own space where they can sell their own bio vegetables to visitors. Oratche had a good idea to recycle the refuse from the many cows they keep for milk and calves they raise for meat. They just give it to the local farmers who can use it as biological fertiliser!
oratche-int12.jpg oratche-int14.jpg oratche-int13.jpg
They certainly never run out of it, I can tell you, as everything is well planned and quickly disposed of! They grow their own corn for feed combined with hay directly imported from the States. Knowing the Japanese Customs’ pickiness, I do not harbour any worry about its quality!
Now, their beer was a discovery!
oratche-int7.jpg oratche-int10.jpg oratche-int9.jpg oratche-int8.jpg
I was lucky to come just after the new batch was finished. It was Sunday, and the beer brewery was on holiday, but they opened for my sole person and was offered a premium taste of three beers (see boards above. I had to decline the others, as I did not trust myself! Lucky I don’t drive!)
Great beer, seven of them, unfiltered and organic, with a very creamy foam. Wait until I report on the bottles I brought back home!
Before taking my leave, the company graciously offered me lunch at their restaurant where most ingedients are local. The enormous chicken side I chose is from Mishima, and the vegetables from local farmers. The carrots were so sweet!

Do look at their homepage, ven if it in Japanese (they are planning to start a blog soon), and you will see their wealth of products: milk, cream, butter, cheese,yoghurt, ice-creams, fruit juices, jams, cakes and beer!

I’m planning on more visits. If you are interested, do join me!

419-0105 Shizuoka Ken, Tagat Gun, Tanna, 349-1
Tel.: 055-974-4192
Fax: 055-974-4191
Business hours: 10:00~18:00 (week days), 10:00~20:00 (Sat., Sun. and National Holidays)
Free car park.

Shizuoka Cheeses (3): Minami Hakone Gouda

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This is the third cheese variety from Oratche Co in Tagata Gun (vegetarians and health-conscious friends like Lindsay at DeLuscious Life, rejoice again!) I have recently found. I will actually travel to Kannami on March 2nd to interview them as they also have a great beer brewery!


Extremely clean and tasty cheese with the right amount of salt. Reminiscent of a young Gouda from Holland. I really appreciated it with wine and beer.
As the other two cheeses I have already surveyed, thay are made with milk from cows raised in altitude near Mount Fuji, where they graze natural grass and are fed with real non-transgenic cereals.

Minami Hakone no Sakeru Cheese
Oratche Co.
Tagata Gun, Kannami Cho, Tanna, 349-1
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Shizuoka Cheeses (2): Minami Hakone “Sakeru Cheese”

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This is the second cheese from Oratche Co in Tagata Gun (I have a third one to introduce, so vegetarians and health-conscious friends like Lindsay at DeLuscious Life, rejoice!).
The name “Sakeru Cheeze” means “Cheese to be split”.
As its name indicates, it is easy to split, shred or cut in very thin strips, allowing it to be added to all kinds of salads, and even, Allison at Sushi Day will be happy to learn, added in nice combinations inside sushi rolls.
Very light texture. Pleasant to eat. In my case I eat it with a glass of sake or beer.

Minami Hakone no Sakeru Cheese
Oratche Co.
Tagata Gun, Kannami Cho, Tanna, 349-1
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Shizuoka Cheeses (1): Minami Hakone Mozzarella

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Shizuoka Prefecture does come with pleasing surprises, indeed!
Not only are we supplied uncountable kinds of marine and agricultural products, including even meat, some companies have for some time manufactured remarkable dairy products.
One of these, Oratche in Tagata Gun, has been noticed for creating cheese with local milk, including mozarella cheese.
This is definitely a bonafide for vegetarians and lovers of good food as they can trace it back to its very origin, instead of relying on importers’ information.
This particular mozzarella has the great merit to be firm, making it easy to cut, arrange and present. It is tastier than a lot of bland items I was brought to sample in this country, and so easy to adapt into salads, sandwiches and panini.
I definetely plan to fill zucchini/courgettes flowers with it in season before deep-frying, or steam them and serve them with cream-mushroom sauce! I’m pretty sure that Lindsay at DeLuscious Life is expecting the recipe!

Minami Hakone no Mozarella
Oratche Co.
Tagata Gun, Kannami Cho, Tanna, 349-1
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)