Category Archives: Fish

Shimizu Fish Market (清水魚市場) in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

Shimizu Ku, formerly Shimizu City, a city of its own, before it was merged into Shizuoka City, has always been a major fishing harbor in Japan.
It is actually the biggest tuna hauling port in Japan (not Tsukiji where everything is more or less sent to!)!
Since Shimizu Ku’s merger it has been expanded and modernized together with Shimizu JR Station but the quaint old-fashioned market open to the public is still there!

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To find it get off via the North Exit of Shimizu JR Station and walk for about 10 minutes.
It is pretty well indicated and difficult to miss.
Bear in mind there are two entrances.
Follow me for an easy visit and let’s see what is in store for us!
And remember it can make make for a great monthly tour as the fresh seafood is seasonal and there are many small and very reasonable restaurants inside!

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Women’s power!

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Shellfish!

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Fresh oysters!

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Scabbard/cutlass fish!

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Soles!

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Rosy seabass, red gnomefish!

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Himono/sun-dried fish!
Shizuoka Prefecture produces 50% of all himono in Japan!

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Shiokara/pickled seafood!

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More himono!

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Sun-dried horse mackerel!

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Shirasu/hard mouth sardine whiting and sakuraebi/cherry shrimps!
A Shizuoka specialty!

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Freshly deep-fried seafood!

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Kamoboko/Steamed fish paste!

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Sweet pickled/marinated fish (dry style)!

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Yellowtail!

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Red squids!

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Tuna sashimi!

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Take-out sushi sets!

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Sushi donburi take pout!

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Deep-fried fish paste (cold)!

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Sun-dried and seasoned mackerel!

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Small tuna blocks!

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Night catch!

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More shellfish!

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More oysters!

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Sun-dried seabreams!

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More expensive variety of sun-dried seabreams!

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Whale bacon!

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More of women’s power!

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Many kinds of dried and seasoned fish!

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Live fish!

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Turbo shells!

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Live spiny lobsters!

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One of the small restaurants!
Don’t worry the restaurants tour will come in a separate report!

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More ready to takeout seafood!

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Don’t forget these two!
You will never see them displayed together outside our Prefecture!

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These dried fish are considered as extravagant souvenirs up in Tokyo!

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Frozen octopus!

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Big but reasonably-priced tuna blocks!

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Will meet you there again very soon!

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

Gastronomy on a Manhole Cover: Bonito in Yaizu City!

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I’ve been recently disparaged in some corners for adding tourism, environment and manhole covers to this gastronomic blog, but I would like to point out that tourism and environment walk hands in hands with gastronomy!

If you get off Yaizu JR Station from the south exit and take the main street on your right you will see many of these magnificently colored manhole covers on the pavement.

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Do take a care about cars before taking a picture across the street!

Yaizu City is classified as a major fishing harbor in Japan and deals with the biggest catches of bonito (katsuo/鰹).
No wonder it is featured on at least two types of manhole covers!

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

Railway Stations in Shizuoka Prefecture 3: Yui JR Station and Vicinity

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Some stations, even larger ones, are better left alone, but one should give at least one chance to any you venture to get off as there is always a chance that such a station and its vicinity contain enough helpful information, especially in a touristic spot.

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Yui is such a station along the Tokaido Railway Line about 20 minutes from Shizuoka JR Station in the east direction and found between Okitsu and Kambara Stations.
After all Yui has always been an important stage along the various routes coursing Japan between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto as superbly described in many ukiyo-e/woodblock prints.
So, although the railway station is tiny, keep your eyes open (and don’t forget you can espy Mount Fuji from the overhead tracks bridge!)!

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I know a lot of stations which don’t bother, but you will find a window display of the local products typical of Yui.
Bear in mind that Yui was a city of its own before being recently merged with Shizuoka City and Shimizu Ku!

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Ogura Co. specializes in processed sakura ebi/cherry shrimps and fish!

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Yui Cannery Co. is famous all over Japan for its “White Ship” olive oil tuna cans!

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Inaba Co is another big tuna cannery!

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Kakusa Co specializes in processed fish products, especially dry and liquid fish dashi/soup stock!

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The Yui Cake (Japanese cakes) Association is also featuring their products!

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With all that fish around Yui is home to high end brand of dog and cat food producers!

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Yui is also home of famous kamaboko/steamed fish paste and kuro hanpen/black sardine fish paste cakes, the latter found only in Shizuoka Prefecture as demonstrated by the Yui Kamaboko Makers Association!

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Next time you visit Yui buy some in the many shops along Sakura Ebi Street as an unusual souvenir! Great with sake or beer!

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The small but renown Hiroshige Museum hang their posters inside to inform all-comers of their events!
A must visit in Yui!

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Yui might be small but you will gratified to discover that most signs are bi-lingual (sometimes with funny renditions!)!

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A must take picture: the Sakura Ebi Portal at the the entrance of Sakura Ebi Street!
The contraption was only moved there recently!

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You will find the double Yui Emblem of Sakura Ebi and Mount Fuji everywhere, so keep your eyes open for some interesting shots!

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You will find big signs hung by local establishments but like in any touristic spots big signs do not always guarantee the best of quality. To take with a pinch of salt! After all there is plenty around!

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Past the exit on your right you will find this first map board. Have a look at it even if you do not understand Japanese as more bilingual boards are near!

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It will give you a first idea of what to look for!

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Tokai Nature Trail bilingual board! Take your time to consult it!

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Take good note!

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You must take a look at Village Head Koike’s Mansion on Tokaido (meaning “Village Head/Chief’s Mansion along the Tokaido route. Free entrance) that I will talk about in an article soon to be posted and the Museum of Light, one of the only three lighting (candles and so on) museums in Japan! (entry 500 yen including coffee and an oral and manual demonstration!)!

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The Yui Edo Period Lodging Stations Guide Board!

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Take your time and read it!

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And don’t forget the sakura ebi & Mount Fuji emblems, they are everywhere, even on manhole covers!

FOR MORE REPORTS ON YUI AND SAKURA EBI do consult the following reports:

Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps: Catching Season Opened in Yui!
Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps Catching in Yui. Still Hard Work!”
Japanese Crustacean Species 7: Sakura Shrimp-Sakura Ebi-桜海老
O Taiko Festival at Toyosumi Shrine in Yui, Shizuoka City on the New Year!
Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 14: Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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

Railway Stations in Shizuoka Prefecture 2: Shizuoka City JR Station

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What is this fish called at Parche Market inside Shizuoka City JR Station?
Scroll down for the answer!

Shizuoka City JR (Japanese railways) Station is a fairly big one, even by Japanese standards as it situated in the very middle of Japan and sees untold numbers of travelers!

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North Exit!

Shizuoka City is divided into three distinct Wards: Aoi Ku in the North, Suruga Ku in the South, and Shimizu Ku in The East.
When I arrived in Shizuoka City in 1976 it was still a shambles of a station all wooden planks and steel frames. But in 1977 it saw its first face-lifting with the creation of Parche Department Store above the Station.

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South exit!

Before Parche was open there was not communication between the north and south exits and you had to pay a platform ticket if you were in a hurry, but now, the exits are only 30 second walk from each other and that fact has helped develop the southern half of the city.
The station and its surroundings have since seen a lot of modifications resulting in a fairly modern and clean railway station.
It is worth visiting as it includes so many shops and stores.
I will spare you from the ubiquitous chain diners, coffee shops et al and show you what is worth a stop or at least the reason for it!

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Great sandwiches at Subway, just on the right side of the northern exit. I know it is a big franchise chain but the vegetables used are local!

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The Shizuoka Tourism Office on the north exit right between the two entrances.
English spoken there at least on weekdays!

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The Shinkansen/Bullet Train Tracks Entrance!

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The Tokaido Railway Line Tracks entrance!

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There are many automatic tickets machines but you can buy and reserve your tickets at the Japan East Railway Line Ticket Booth. English spoken!

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Or you could buy the same tickets and reserve tours at The Tokai Tours Company across. English spoken there, too!

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You have many direct accesses to the Parche Department Store for all kinds of shopping on the 5 floors!

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Bellmart Convenience store where you can buy English newspapers!

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Let’s visit the right half of the ground (first) floor of the station first!
I recommend the fresh sandwiches at Cafe Danmark!

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Soup Stock Tokyo. Great in winter!

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Tokaiken Company Booth: Ekiben/Railway Lunch Boxes!
A must for a long travel as they sell more than a dozen different boxes all containing local food! A great way to discover the Shzuoka gastronomy!

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The right side of the station is owned and administered by ASTY Company.
You can enter the complex through 3 different entrances.
Let’s go and see what’s inside!

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GRAND SHOP selling all kinds of local food souvenirs!

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Belgian Manneken Waffles!

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Green Tea Madeleines at Laurier!

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Bagels at Bagel & Bagel!

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Traditional local Wagashi cakes called Abekawa Mochi!
Great for vegans!

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Healthy Japanese food at Osozai Cafe!

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Sumpu Raku Ichi!

This shop is a must visit as it sells food and crafts from Shizuoka City and its surroundings!

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A multitude of local food souvenirs!

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Enormous fresh wasabi with its stems and leaves!

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Shizuoka Sake, beer and soft drinks!

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the right prat of Sumpu Raku ichi Shop is dedicated to local crafts!

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So many of them and regularly changing that it is worth a report of its own!

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Saboten Restaurant/Shop for tonkatsu!

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Traditional local Japanese gastronomy at Sunchuan Togeppou!
Arguably the best restaurant in the whole station!

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Soba/buckwheat noodles restaurant!

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Japanese restaurant specializing in Japanese seafood and fish gastronomy!

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Japanese-style Western food at Tokyo Nashi Goren!

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Coffee, cakes, biscuits, wine, cheese and what else at KALDI!

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Some very interesting traditional Japanese apparels at Kyoto Raku Fu Shop!

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Japanese izakaya: Roydo!

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Hachokura Izakaya: Great local seafood!

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Udon noodles and local sake!

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Shizuoka and Nagoya-style ramen!

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Non-smoking cafe: Platini!

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Sankyu Izakaya serving oden and great Shizuoka sake!

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Taisaku Izakaya: good seafood and Shizuoka sake!

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Yoshineka Shop sells the best Shizuoka himono/sun-dried fish!
Did you know that Shizuoka Prefecture produces half of all himono in Japan?

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Great bento there!

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Umibouzu Izakaya: Great oden and Shizuoka sake there!

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Now let’go to the left half of the edifice and enter Parche Shokuzaikan/Parche Food Market!
Even if you don’t buy anything, it is worth more than one good look!
So much true local food there!

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Shizuoka Green Tea!

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Shizuoka Wasabi and derived products!

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Abekawa Mochi wagashi!

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Compose your own sushi lunch there!

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Japanese brochettes at Nihonichi!

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Takoyaki/octopus dumplings at Takosen!

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Organic food at Natural House!

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Let’s enter the real (and large) supermarket!
Fruit and vegetables!

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Dried and preserves seafood!

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Very cheap and tasty sushi bento/donburi!

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Great fresh fish and seafood market!
More than half is caught off Shizuoka Prefecture shores!

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All these fish were caught in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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The answer to the quizz:
Yagara/Trumpet fish caught in Suruga Bay!

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One of the best meat delicatessen in town!

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Great fried food at reasonable prices for immediate consumption!

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Japanese traditional cakes!

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Uogashi Conveyor Sushi restaurant!
Quite good for such a restaurant!

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Raggenmeyer, an excellent bakery!

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And don’ forget the flowers!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: 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

Japanese Gastronomy, Markets & Local Products at S-Pulse Dream Plaza in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Kappa Chan at Kaldi Store!

If you have the occasion to visit (choose a rainy day!) Shimizu Ku (formerly Shimizu City before it was merged with Shizuoka City), you ought to try and visit S-Pulse Dream Plaza to have a good look at the local gastronomy in markets and taste it in the many restaurants inside! I can assure you there is lot to investigate as Shimizu is a major fishing harbor in Japan and is surrounded by the greatest variety of agricultural producers!

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First of all take the Tokaido Line/JR Line and get off at Shimizu.
Once past the ticket machines turn right, walk to the first exit and go down the stairs!

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Once downstairs turn left and look for the bus stop ring!

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Your bus stop is just beyond this (strange) sign!

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This is the schedule (weekdays on the left and week-ends on the right) for the free limousine bus service to S Pulse Dream Plaza!

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Incidentally this is also the bus stop for the free limousine bus to the ferry harbor if you want to take a ferry boat to Toi, Izu Peninsula!

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This is your bus!

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Board in at any of the two doors!

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Alright let’s have a good look at the restaurants and shops on the first (ground) floor!
Suruga Wan Shokudo/Suruga Bay Canteen!

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Hatoba Kitchen Restaurant!

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I told you that Shimizu is a major fishing harbor!

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Kaldi Coffee Farm!
They also serve a great selection of wine, sauces, preserved foods, pasta, etc.!

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Tezuka Shoten Ramen JIN Restaurant!

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Totoraku, serving fried sakuraebi bowl from Yui among others!

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Manmaya Eel Shop!

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Shimizu Harbor delicatessen and bento shop!

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Kaidoya shop specializing in unusual marine products!

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Nobu Chan Fish Market specializing in Shimizu Tuna!

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Live TV of their kitchen!

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Have a god look at the shop, left and right!

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Great and so reasonable fresh sushi bento!

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Only seasonal and local as far as fresh fish is concerned!

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Live seafood also available!

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Spicy Shizuoka Tuna preserves!

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And of course the Shizuoka specialty, bonito/katsuo (cooked in this case)!

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Kanei Suisan Shop specializing in sundried fish/himono and preserved marine products!

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First-class preserved seafood!

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Irifune Vegetables & Fruit Market!

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Benihoppe/Red Cheeks Strawberries, a Shizuoka specialty since 2002!

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Shimizu Groceries Store!

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Taki Delicatessen Shop!

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Tonkatsu Saboten Shop specializing in tonkatsu!

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Great variety of very reasonable bento!

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Shinoda Liqueur Shop, one of the very best in Shizuoka Prefecture where you will find local and Japanese drinks of all genres!

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Rare shochu from Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Shizuoka sake mini cups and mini bottles!

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Rare sake from Shizuoka and elsewhere!

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At the bottom Shizuoka Craft beers by Bryan Baird and Stephan Rager!

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Minato Pan, a great bakery where you can eat onsite!

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Mount Fuji melon Bread!

I already have introduced Umi Sushi Restaurant there but there are more to come as well as other shops and attractions!
Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: 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

Japanese Gastronomy: Eels at Chigusa in Hamamatsu City!

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Service: shy but very friendly
Facilities: traditional but very clean
Prices : reasonable for eels (eels are very expensive in Japan)
Strong points: Eels! Only local fish used! Great view on Hamana Lake

Summer is eel eating time in Japan, especially in Shizuoka renown all over the country for its great eels mainly bred around Hamamatsu City and in Hamana Lake in particular.
So the other day we decided to visit at long last a famous but traditional and very reasonable eel restaurant lost by the Hamana Lake in Mikkabi, Hamamatsu City, called Chigusa (ちぐさ/千草)!

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So instead of boarding a regular train, and taxi or bus we took a local train along the Tenhama Line (Japanese web site), a trip I would advise any true traveler (and photographer) to take to enjoy the sights and discoveries of old Japan!
We got down at an unmanned (yes, they still exist! Talk about Japanese trust!) station in the blazing sun.

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The station is called Okuhamanako/Far side of Hamana Lake.
Get down there and try to reach the main road through the countryside as soon as you can (there are many ways!)!

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This particular area, Mikkabi in Hamamatsu City, is famous all over Japan for its (still green now) oranges!

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Once you reach the main road turn left and walk along for 10 minutes along the Hamana Lake!

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You can’t miss it even if you can’t read Japanese as a long black eel is welcoming you from afar!

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A picture/snapshot not to miss!

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The entrance with unagi/鰻 written on the noren/暖簾, entrance curtain!
Who’s that guy taking a picture? LOL

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Past the entrance you will find these long metal tubes wrapped in rice straw ropes.
What are they? Can you guess?

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Portable fireworks!
This very rare festival is held beginning of August in Hosoe near Hamana Lake. I couldn’t manage my schedule to report but I’ll do it next year! Promise!

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Have a good look at the souvenirs before entering the dining room!

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Very traditional Japanese atmosphere inside!

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The menu is in Japanese, but the pictures will give a very good indication!
I personally chose the above, the best eel “double-decker” lunch set. Even at 3,200 yen (32 US $) it is very reasonable when you realize that the eel prices have almost doubled in the past 3 years!
And the eels are exclusively locally bred in Hamana Lake!
It is worth the trip, even by car as there is a big car park!

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Another important detail: you will have to wait some time before your order arrives. A good sign proving that contrary to the “cheap diners” food is individually prepared for best quality!
The lunch arrives at your table in a bento box shape on a tray.

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Take off the lids…. et voila!

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A succulent light soup containing eel liver/鰻肝!

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Home-made Japanese pickles, o-shinko/オシンコ!

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The broiled eel double decker/unagi jyuu/鰻重!

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Two layers of eel grilled and broiled to perfection with two layers of freshly (very important!) steamed rice enhanced by the sauce of the eel
Take your time and use chopsticks to make sure you eat slowly and appreciate it to the fullest! This eel in eel country!

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This gourd-shaped receptable contains shijimi/七味 mixed spice powder you can sprinkle over the eel for extra zip!

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Dragon (my worse half) chose the above which contains a single layer of broiled eel but with finely shredded omelet between the fish and the rice!

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Really appetizing, isn’t it?
I forgot: we visited Chigusa on Dragon’s advice! LOL

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Do I need to mention I helped Dragon to finish it under the pretense of sharing?

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It would certainly be a dilemma if I had to choose only one of those two lunches!
Make sure to come with a special company to taste as much as you can as I daresay that yen for yen this is the best value for eel in the whole Prefecture! (but I’m sure a lot of people will disagree! LOL)

CHIGUSA ちぐさ/千草
Hamamatsu City, kita Ku, Mikkabi Cho, Mikkabi, 1148-10
Tel.: 053-525-0218
Opening hours: 11:00~14:00, 16:00~20:00
Closed on 31st of December and 1st of January only
Reservations strongly recommended
Take-outs OK!
Cards OK
Non-smoking at lunch time
Car park available (30 spaces)
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
BLOG (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: 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 kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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 Prefecture Gastronomic Specialty: Shirasu/Japanese Anchovy Whitebait

Shirasu/シラス in Japanese means “whitebait”, although it normally applies only to the Japanese Anchovy/Katakuchiiwashi/片口鰯 (Engraulis japonica ).

It is found in many parts of Japan, but Mochimune Harbour in Shizuoka City puts the largest catch on markets in Japan.
The season lasts from May to the Fall.

Today, as I visited the town on my way to the beach to eat my bento in the Missus’ company, I noticed local fishermen drying the fish.

They kindly explained that any shirasu that was not sold or boiled raw immediately after their arrival at the harbour would be first steamed then sun-dried before further process. Such process includes further oven-drying them and pressing into thin sheets, or adding them to various fish mixtures.

Now, if you can’t find them raw, but still discover them freshly boiled, choose the best: some of the packaged fish should have a pink spot on their belly!

Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), 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!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery