Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Shizuoka
Population
3,767,427

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find In Shizuoka

You think you know wasabi? You have no idea.

Shizuoka Prefecture will host four matches during the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Check out our guide to find out what to do after the games!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Shizuoka Prefecture? That white-capped mammoth called Mount Fuji, right? Even if you come to this Central Japan prefecture to slog to the top of Japan’s highest mountain, you’re bound to be starving afterward. Here are five of Shizuoka’s most famous foods (…and drink) to replenish your energy stores.

1. Green tea

Matcha time!

Many people are aware that Kyoto is the matcha capital of Japan but did you know that Shizuoka produces over 40 percent of the green tea grown in the entire country? Several varieties of quality green tea are grown here, fed by the region’s tea-friendly topography, climate and spring water.

Mt. Fuji and tea plantations

Mount Fuji and the surrounding tea plantations of Shizuoka.

Green tea was first introduced in Shizuoka in the 1200s by a monk called Shoichi Kokushi who brought back tea seeds from China. If you like to smell and taste tea leaves up close and personal, there are many tea tours across the prefecture. Head to the famous tea plantations of Makinohara to get the total tea experience, from leaf to cup.

2. Sakura ebi (sakura shrimp)

Speical sakura shrimp grill pizza

Tiny little sakura shrimp are good on everything, including pizza.

Yui Harbor and Oigawa Harbor in Shizuoka are the only two locations in the entire Japanese archipelago where fishermen catch these tiny critters. Both areas overlook Suruga Bay, Japan’s deepest bay and home to this rare shrimp famous for its delicate sweetness. The shrimp are only caught twice a year and then sun-dried to preserve their shrimpy goodness.

Head to Shizuoka in spring or fall to enjoy fresh sakura ebi prepared in many ways — boiled, pickled, fried in batter in the form of tempura or kakiage, in soups, or sashimi style. Yui also hosts a sakura shrimp festival annually on May 3 when you can try as much sakura shrimp as you like.

3. Oden

Photo by: Frank Striegl Oden on a stick

Shizuoka is pretty well known for its regional spin on oden, a typical Japanese comfort food especially popular during the winter months. While locals in the rest of the country enjoy oden eggs, fishcakes and vegetables in steaming bowls of dashi (Japanese soup or cooking stock), this prefecture serves its version on a stick.

Shizuoka oden is unique because its dashi is robustly flavored with beef tendon stock and strong soy sauce and topped with aonori seaweed, karashi (Japanese mustard), and dried fish powder. There’s an oden festival in Shizuoka City (Japanese) every March. Aoba Oden Alley, Oden Yokocho Alley, and Umi Bozu Izakaya in Shizuoka City are some places where you can try this local delicacy.

4. Gyoza

Photo by: lazy fri13th The most gyoza are consumed in Hamamatsu in Japan. Suffice to say, it’s a good place to try this national favorite.

Who doesn’t love these pan-fried dumplings with a cold beer? Hamamatsu city in Shizuoka is famous for its version of the izakaya (Japanese pub) staple as well as the invention of the gyoza-wrapping machine. In Hamamatsu, these little flavor pockets are filled with minced pork, leek, and cabbage, arranged in a tightly-packed circle, and served with a bundle of crunchy bean sprouts.

In fact, gyoza consumption in this city is the highest in the country, surpassing the original record holder, Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture. Grab a Hamamatsu gyoza map from Hamamatsu Gyoza Society (Japanese) which lists over 100 places to try this regional specialty.

5. Wasabi

Grating fresh wasabi with a sharkskin grater.

No list of famous foods in Shizuoka would be complete without wasabi. Can you imagine Japanese food without the green pungent stuff? In fact, Utogi, which is north of Shizuoka city, is the birthplace of wasabi cultivation in Japan. Today, the prefecture produces the majority of the wasabi sold in the country and overseas.

Sushi with fresh wasabi.

Sushi with fresh wasabi.

Wasabi can be grown in water (sawa wasabi) or in soil (hatake wasabi). Shizuoka grows a lot of premium sawa wasabi in water sourced from Mount Fuji. If you’re looking to try some of the freshest and most delicious wasabi in all of Japan, head to Utogi or the Izu Peninsula. Be sure to sample the strange yet delightful wasabi ice cream in the onsen town of Shuzenji.

You may think you know wasabi from the stuff you get in packets at cheap sushi shops, but until you’ve tried it freshly ground, you have not tried wasabi! Luckily, Shizuoka can fix this!

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How To Get There

Address

Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan

By train

Here are the routes for locations listed in the article:

To get to Shizuoka City, take the JR Tokaido shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Shizuoka Station (60-90 minutes).

To get to Hamamatsu City, take the JR Tokaido shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Hamamatsu Station (90-115 minutes).

To get to Yui, take the JR Tokaido shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Shizuoka Station (60-90 minutes), change for the JR Tokaido local line, and get off at Yui Station (20 minutes).

To get to Yaizu, take the JR Tokaido shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Shizuoka Station (60-90 minutes), change for the JR Tokaido local line, and get off at Yaizu Station (12 minutes).

To get to Makinohara, take the JR Tokaido shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Kakegawa Station (60-90 minutes), change for the JR Tokaido local line, and get off at Kanaya Station (15 minutes).

To get to Utogi, take the JR Tokaido shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Shizuoka Station (60-90 minutes), rent a car, and drive to Utogi (60 minutes).

To get to Izu Peninsula (including Shuzenji), take the Odoriko or Superview Odoriko limited express train from Tokyo Station (130 minutes).

 

Where To Stay

Business Hotel Sunpu
  • Takajo Aoi 1-5-10 Shizuoka-Shi, Shizuoka 420-0839
  • 7.1/10
  • 0.4 km
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Momotaro International House
  • Aoi-ku Baban-cho 117-1 Shizuoka-Shi, Shizuoka 420-0867
  • 9/10
  • 0.4 km
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Shizuoka Town Hotel
  • Aoi-ku Gofuku-Cho 2-8-8 Shizuoka-Shi, Shizuoka 420-0031
  • 7.8/10
  • 0.4 km
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Nakajimaya Grand Hotel
  • Aoi-ku Koyamachi 3-10 Shizuoka-Shi, Shizuoka 420-0852
  • 7.9/10
  • 0.5 km
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