As you travel through Shizuoka, you will notice that the locals in each area have their own comfort foods to help them through the cold winter months.
5 SHIZUOKA COMFORT FOODS FOR WINTER
As the Japanese winter approaches and Japanese reach for their favourite winter jacket, the locals in Shizuoka also look forward to some winter comfort foods that help them through the colder months.
Although many of the following are available year-round, there is something about enjoying them especially in the winter months that makes them special.
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1. SHIZUOKA ODEN – Shizuoka Station
Walk into any convenience store in Japan during the winter months and you will be introduced to Oden.
Typically taking up a lot of space on the convenience store countertop, Oden is a combination of eggs, fish cakes, squid balls, radishes and fish cakes that are left to simmer in a mix of soy sauce and fish broth.
Shizuoka City has become famous for its local version of this traditional winter fare – simmering the different ingredients in a broth of beef and bringing out more concentrated flavors.
2. HAMAMATSU GYOZA – Hamamatsu Station
Gyoza is a pan-fried dumpling that is made with minced pork, leek and cabbage which is dipped into a mix of soy sauce, vinegar and spicy oil.
Gyoza are a popular favorite throughout Japan and is taking hold around the World – it is arguably the perfect accompaniment to a tall cold beer and as such is a good way to finish a hard days work.
Every year in Japan local cities battle for the crown of Gyoza Capital of the year.
Hamamatsu City and Utsunomiya City quite often end up competing against each other for this prestigious title and locals from both cities take great pride in receiving this title.
Spending a day in Hamamatsu City making your own soy sauce and making your own gyoza is a great way to spend a day in Shizuoka.
3. FUJINOMIYA YAKISOBA – Shin-Fuji Station
The small town of Fujinomiya located at the foothills of Mt. Fuji is a popular spot for Yakisoba – the classic Japanese fried noodles.
Yakisoba is typically a combination of fried noodles, pork and cabbage and cooked on a large hotplate and served with a side of pickled ginger.
The Fujinomiya version of Yakisoba is topped with a fish powder made from locally sourced sardines giving it a unique taste.
Catch the Yakisoba Express bus from Tokyo and enjoy this staple Japanese street food while you enjoy spectacular views of the Majestic Mt. Fuji.
4. IZU PENINSULA ISE EBI (Lobster) – Atami Station or Mishima Station
Japanese spiny lobster is a celebrated seafood for Japanese people and has been used in traditional celebratory meals for centuries – especially the new year.
Izu Peninsula is famous for its yearly catch of Ise Ebi and many of the small fishing ports along the Southern coast of the Peninsula specialize in catching this delicacy.
The Ise-Ebi lobster is typically caught between October and April.
Nets are set as the sun is going down and pulled in early the next morning to catch these nocturnal creatures.
5. LAKE HAMANA OYSTERS – Hamamatsu Station
Oysters are cultivated in the lake and harvested in the Winter months from January to March.
These mineral rich and meaty oysters are available at a number of Oyster Shacks located around the Lake where oysters straight from the lake are cooked for you on the spot.