Tag Archives: Okabe

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hatsukame Brewery-Akiagari Honjozo Genshu

Although cheaper than a junmai/sake not blended with pure rice alcohol, the blending of a honjozo is actually no easy matter. And it is even rare to find it in its genshu state, that is blended with pure water to lower the alcohol level!

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These days Hatsukame Brewery puts a small red circle called “maru” in memory of a beloved cat of the same name!

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Rice: oyama Nishiki + Gohaykumangoku
Rice milled down to 65%
Alcohol: 18~19 degrees
Dryness: + 2.0
Acidity: 1.75
Bottled in September 2014

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: assertive. Pears, alcohol, green apples
Body: fluid
Taste: very dry and fruity attack backed by beautiful acidity.
After a strong alcohol appearance subtly slides onto a sweet and fruity note.
Very elegant for a honjozo.
Complex: pears, green apples.
Varies little with food.

Overall: Would make for a superb aperitif but actually marries beautifully with any food, including meat and heavy izakaya fare.
For lovers of strong but subtle sake!

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

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Great Inn Kashibaya in Okabe, Shizuoka City!

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Okabe, now merged with Fujieda City used to be the 21st Station along the Old Tokaido Route, actually the most used one of four that existed at the time as it mainly followed the coast between Nihonbashi in Edo/Tokyo to Keishi/Kyoto

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Inns were vital for the well-being of travelers of the time, generally of so-called middle class, especially merchants, and such a one can still be found just near the “Okabeshuku Kashibaya Mae” bus stop.
As for reaching it, one cheap way is to take a bus either from Shizuoka City JR Station North Exit or Fujieda City JR North Exit!

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Difficult to miss as it stands by a park!

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You will also find a souvenir shop open from 09:00 to 17:00 and a lunch restaurant open from 11:00 to 14:00 located at the back!

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The front access!

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Don’t forget here is also one more attraction also at the back in the shape of old traditional Jpanese warehouses or “lura”!

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Note the owning family crest/mon at the top!

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The lobby with a noren/entrance curtain!
You will pay a small entrance fee there and be handed a pamphlet either in Japanese or in English!

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From the inside!

SN3O5377omebody will be on hand to introduce the whole building!

What you see above is a small box inside the wall containing a paper lantern that was used for night arrivals!

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The guide explained us the handling of the front entrance!

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As well as of the front windows which can be completely closed at night or in bad weather!

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The wooden curtain would prevent any rain or unwanted visitor during the night!

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Before entering the actual premises visitors/travelers would first sit in the mise/welcome space where they would introduced to the inn and tier lodgings and fees.

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Like in Japanese traditional inns nowadays, board included dinner and breakfast and were not that cheap. Customers were mainly of the lower to higher middle cass, including merchants and samurais and their retinue.

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The indoor kitchen!
Actually a lot was also prepared outside and in annexes!

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The owners had their own quarters on the ground/first floor.

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Domestic scene!
The owner’s wife would paint her lips in black as a mark of her status!

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The whole place is a museum.
The present inn was rebuilt in 1836 and had to be again after two fires struck the whole of Okabe.
It was registered as a National Intangible Cultural Asset in 1998.

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Candles and lanterns!

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Portable stove to heat water or sake!

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An incense clock!
The powdered incense would take a determinate time to burn inside that contraption!

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Valuable hairpin collection, some of them made of tortoise shell!

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Money and purses of the time!

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Traveler’s portable gear including inkstone and so on!

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Access to the upper floor!

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You tour the whole place in a predetermined order!

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Kamidana/Home Shrine!

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A fireman’s gear of the time!

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I told you it was a true little museum, didn’t I?

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A biwa, my favorite Japanese music instrument!

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Traveling gear!

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Traveling clothes!

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Lower middle-class guests on the upper floor!

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Back to the owner’s “business room” on the ground floor!

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Ceiling rafters!

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A genuine ukiyoe/woodblock print of the Old Tokaido Road reaching Okabe!

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More copies of ukiyoe of the era!

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A relief map of Edo Era Okabe!

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An Edo Era scene of the Inn!

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Japanese carps in the pond of the small outdoors garden!

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A cute garden!

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Don’t forget to visit to the museum inside the kura behind the Inn as the owner was also a licensed pawn shop owner!

Great Inn KASHIBAYA
Fujieda City, Okabe, Okabe Cho, 817
Tel.: 054-667-0018
Opening hours: 09:00~17:00
Closed on Mondays and end and beginning of the year. If Monday is a National Holiday the following Tuesday is a closing day
Entrance fee: 300 yen for adults, free for children under junior high school, 240 yen each for groups of over 20 people.

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

Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 9

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Kura in Kashibaya Inn, Okabe, Fujieda City!

“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

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During my trip last week in Okabe, Fujieda City and Utsunoya, Shizuoka City, I noticed this small kura along the way to Utusunoya at a bend of the road with no more houses and under the shade of the mountain.

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It had been converted into a no-limit shelter for the Utsunoya water pomp!

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The original location is not fortuitous as it stands in the shade all day long!

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It is still relatively new but the concept is traditional!

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No way you can get in!

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When I visited the Great Inn Kashibaya in Okabe, Fujieda City, I noticed two big kuras in perfect state behind the Inn!

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Actually the two big kuras belonged to a man called Ryoukichi who owned the Inn and also operated a pawn shop in the two kuras!

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They were built in 1836.
Although the Inn burnt down twice, the kuras survived all that time!

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Both of them now house a museum and gallery!

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“Namako” design walls!

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It is also used for private art exhibitions!

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

Contentment? Happiness? Unconcern?

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i found this small statue in a park by an Edo period Inn!

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I wonder what the artist wanted to impress on onlookers: Contenetment? Happiness? Unconcern?

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

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 8: Okabe, Fujieda City with Atsuko Kurata!

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Hatsukame Brewery warehouse!

“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

This time my good friend, ms. Atsuko Kurata is taking us to Okabe, which was merged some time ago to Fujieda City!

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if you do not have a car 8by bicycle is possible, though) you can take a bus from Shizuoka JR Station North Exit!
Take the no 84 or 85 bus from bus stop platform .
It is Chubu Kokudo Line/中部国道線 heading for Fujieda station. Buses leave every 20 minutes.
You will reach your destination in roughly 35 minutes ride.

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Get off at Okabesyuku-Kashibaya-Mae/岡部宿柏屋前 bus stop.
The fare is 570 yen for one way. Children under 12 pay half price for 250 yen

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You will find Hatsukame jouzou/is right across from the bus stop!

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Hatsukame Brewery is a beautiful complex with an ancient house and a kura who will find on its right!

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Can you spot the kura?

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Getting close!

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Behind beautiful pine trees!

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When they build the new road the city pulled out all the pine trees on the east side!

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Fortunately you can still see the pine trees on one side giving a good idea of the atmosphere around this brewery, the oldest in Shizuoka Prefecture (end of 17th century!)

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Another view of the second side of the kura!

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A closer view of the beautiful window!

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There are actually two more warehouses along the same street!

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This one is quite similar to Hatsukame Brewery kura!

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For a closer view… It is completely surrounded by other buildings!

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The second kura! Very imposing!

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Very well preserved!

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It is quite tall and certainly requires much maintenance!

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

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hatsukame Brewery-Goku Ginjo Hyogetsu

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Hyogetsu is brand by Hatsukame Brwery in Okabe, Fujieda City, which have been known practically all over the world from the day its bottle recived the Best Bottle Design Award!

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Even the case is a beauty!

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Great stopper!

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Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Hyogo Preefcture9
Rice milled down to 50%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: + 3.0
Acidity: 1.35
Yeast: 1801 KA-1
Bottled in September 2012

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Elegant. Pears, nashi
Body: Fluid
Taste: Well-rounded attack backed by a discreet junmai petillant
Dry and fruity. Pears, bananas.
Lingers for a while with dry dark choclate, almonds.
very complex, almost mysterious.
Very satisfying and so easy to drink.
Changes little with food but for a drier turn with the appearance of very dry oranges.
Beautifully marries with food, especially light fare.
Tends to show new facets with next sip, with or away from food.

Overall: Best enjoyed slightly chilled and on its own although it combines so well with food.
Thoroughly enjoyable any time of the day and night, by yourself or with great company!
A superb present for a very important one!

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

The Best Aoshima Mandarines in Japan: Mr. Kuniaki Oishi in Okabe, Fujieda City!

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Mrs. Reiko Oishi/大石礼子さん and Mr. Kuniaki Oishi/大石邦昭さん, Aoshima mandarines producers in Okabe, Fujieda City!

Shizuoka Prefecture, among other products such as green tea, wasabi, strawberries and a lot more, is celebrated all over Japan for its oranges!
The other day my good Australian friends, Nick and Yayoi Shannon, who live in Okabe, Fujieda City called me as they wanted me to meet a neighbor of theirs who had just been awarded the top prize by the Japan Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister for its Aoshima mandarines!

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The Oishi’s Farmhouse!

Interestingly enough it became a real expedition last Sunday as we were joined by another good friend, Robert Hirai, an American friend who is a photographer when not working as a navigator on ships!

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Time slip!

Mr. Kuniaki Oishi and his wife are the 7th generation of farmers living and working in the mountains of Okabe in Fujieda City, an area celebrated for its great agricultural and wild game. They also represent the 4th generation as Aoshima Mandarines growers.

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Shizuoka Governor Heita kawakatsu/川勝平太県知事 tasting Mr. Kuniaki Oishi’s Aoshima Mandarines!
The paper article mentions that they are 1,000 yen worth (10 US$!) each!

The Oishi’s being used to those foreigners living nearby readily took in their stride this invasion with great smiles and true hospitality!
Interviewing them was more a pleasurable and enriching chat than anything else.
Although he received the 2nd top accolade from Shizuoka Prefecture in 2011 and the very top national prize in 2012, Mr. Kuniaki Oshima (71) struck me with his modesty: “I can only say that I finally started to master my skills at the age of 60”! Farmers certainly could impart a lot of wisdom and humility to us city dwellers!

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The “maturing shed”!

Before visiting Mr. Oishi’s fields, we were invited to have a look inside the maturing shed!
The harvest is done in December, which meant we did not interfere too much with the grower’s work.
Mandarines are stored inside a shed to mature for two months before being marketed.
Incidentally, Aoshima mandarines are a variety born a long time ago in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Maturing certainly requires skills and precise storing conditions.
The temperature is maintained as low as 5 degrees Celsius and a regular air circulation must be sustained throughout the whole shed where the mandarines are carefully stored in the dark.

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Moreover, the shed must be absolutely clean and dry and totally free of insects!
All the wood inside the shed is “dead”, meaning that insects will not find it amenable to their nefarious activities!
We were kindly offered to taste the mandarines out of their boxes.

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Although sweet, the balance in sweetness, acidity and “umami” was beyond words!
The Japanese, judges and growers alike, are very picky in their survey and Mr. Oishi had to satisfy no less than 12 different criteria from shape and sweetness to biting/chewing impression!
Needless to say that coming top in 6 of them, especially overall taste, helped him acquire the top reward!

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Then we all embarked in one car and a small truck for a visiting expedition of the Oishi’s fields covering one full hectare on very steep slopes over 400-meter altitude in the nearby mountains!

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On the way I noticed these electric wires to keep civets, monkeys, deer and wild boars away!

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Recently wild boars have become a real plague!
This cage trap can catch a female and at least three cubs which will be culled and have their meat distributed around!

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A very Japanese contraption consisting of one “rail” to easily carry harvest inside boxes that descend along terribly steep slopes. They have been used for quite some time now but bear in mind that people still had to walk up and down unpaved roads to reach their fields not so long ago!

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Access to the fields is done by small trucks up tortuous roads but all the work has to be done on foot!

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Although we are at an altitude of only 400 neters the landscape made the climb all the worth for it to us city dwellers!

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It’s lucky that the harvesting is done in winter as the scorching heat in summer allows work only during the first and last few hours of the day!

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For all the size of the mountains, space is limited as sun exposure is vital.
Moreover, a big difference of temperature between daytime and nighttime is the first condition for sweet fruit!

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Organic agriculture is impossible in these conditions but Kuniaki Oishi uses only the strict minimum of pesticides and fertilizers he buys from the local government agricultural offices.

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Even so it is back breaking work as the fields and trees have to be provided with mulch and protected with plastic sheets at various times of the year!
No wonder growers never get fat in this area!
And they are so fit!

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And trees have a limited life.
This twenty-year old tree with almost a ten-centimeter thick trunk will have to be cut and replaced in twenty tears time!

It certainly makes you humble to realize all the work behind those fruit we take for granted!
Mr. and Mrs Osihi, thank you so much for your hospitality, patience and great smiles!

Kuniaki Oishi
Aoshima mandarines Grower/Producer
421-1115 Fujieda City, Okabe Cho, Niufune, 192
Tel.: 054-668-0618
Mr. Oishi’s products are sold at the JA stores and other shos, as well as through a very limited private list of customers.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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