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Shizuoka Guide Travel to Japan

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12/28/2010 [Tue]

Traditional specialty of the New Year − Shio-Katsuo in Nishiizu Town [Nishiizu]

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Today, I introduce a traditional specialty in Nishiizu Town, Shizuoka. Some of you may know Aramaki salmon, the salted salmon for preservation, but we have “Shio-Katsuo”, the salted bonito as preservative food during New Year’s days. It is processed almost in the same way as Aramaki salmon but not coated with salt when sold in the market. It is washed clean in salt water and hung for several weeks to get dried up. And traditionally, some people still deck it on the door with Shinto straw decoration during the New Year as one of the good-luck charms .

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So, how is “Shio-Katsuo” cooked ?
I like it in “Ochazuke”. As you know, bonitos are often processed for soup stocks for Soba and various Japanese traditional foods. No wonder it tastes splendid ! But I also know that it is not favorable for us, tourists, to buy the whole dried bonito not yet ready to cook and eat. So, I introduce today some of the products that you can enjoy the tradition of Nishiizu Town more easily. They carry bonitos in, by the way, from Yaizu Port, Shizuoka prefecture, well-known for the largest catch of bonitos in Japan !
Now, the first product I take up is the one in the left picture. This is for Ochazuke I mentioned before. I found it in one of the souvenir shops in Izu area. You put it as much as is necessary on the rice and pour hot green tea on it. I did it and could feel the lovely smell of bonito very soon. I took the first sip. Not fishy at all as I had imagined. The flavor of bonito seemed to have been brought out to the utmost together with other ingredients such as seaweeds, sesame and dried lavers.

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The most traditional way of cooking is simply to grill it. It may taste a little bit salty but very good with Japanese Sake.^^ To enjoy the grilled Shio-Katsuo, you can find products as below :

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PDFファイル(169KB)

(169KB)

These products are from Kanesa Katsuobushi (Dried-bonito) Store in Nishiizu Town. You can buy them through their website. Kanesa Katsuobushi Store was established in 1882 and has been introduced through various media to this day. It is also recommendable to have it in soup or pickled. You can see the image from the attached PDF.
This will be a very good opportunity you can go through our tradition in Shizuoka.^^

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Now, this is my last report in 2010. I’ll see you on Jan 4, maybe.
I thank all of you for catching my blog. Hope you have a really Happy New Year !(〃▽〃)

See you next year !^^


“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^



Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 17:30 Permanent Link

12/27/2010 [Mon]

Walking around Mishima Station 3 – Gourmet in Mishima [Mishima]

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Today, back from Mishima, I introduce some special foods available there. I for myself make it a basic policy to have specialties of the spot I visit to understand it more. You know, local food tells its culture, right ?^^
Now, what can we eat in Mishima ? First of all, I’ll take up “Mishima Croquette” that has become well known throughout Japan as one of the best among B-class Gourmet. It basically made from Mishima Potato harvested in the west part of Hakone. You can enjoy it as a snack or a side dish for meals. Around Mishima Station stand many croquette shops. I took some of them to satisfy my stomach while walking.^^

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Next comes Fukutaro that I introduced in “Mishima Taisha Shrine”. It is tansy-mixed rice cakes with bean paste. It was originally a gift for celebration but it has become imperceptibly one for souvenir that represents Mishima City. You can buy it in a box, or eat it in at the Japanese teahouse “Fukutaro” in Mishima Taisha Shrine. 2 for ¥200 with green tea. It is very nice to take something sweet after good walking, isn’t it ?^^

After you’ve enjoyed Mishima enough, you may like to have a good dinner. Water from Mt. Fuji and Hakone is a natural bounty for Mishima City. They boast it and make the most of this paradise of aquatic lives for something special.
By the way, have you ever heard of “the day of Doyo-no-Ushi” ? It is a day of the ox assigned by the animal zodiac during the seasonal Doyo period and it comes once or twice by the seasons. Especially the day of Doyo-no-Ushi in Summer is well-known and some of you may know that we eat “Unagi” grilled eel on this day because it is said to be good for nutritional fortification to get the better of the summer heat.

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So, why do you think I’ve told you such a thing ? Because Unagi is one of the specialties in Mishima ! They say eels in Mishima smell less fishy by letting it in the pure water from Mt. Fuji for several weeks. Still, nutritional value remains as it is. You can find many Unagi restaurants around Mishima Station. In this PDF are introduced 28 Unagi restaurants.

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(957KB)

PDFファイル(395KB)

(395KB)


I stepped in one of them, after finishing my work, and ordered conventional “Una-don”, a bowl of rice with grilled eel. It tasted splendid with the scent of charcoal fire and tender texture. The meat was juicy with a lot of fat just as melting in my mouth. I finished it up in a few minutes. Maybe I should have enjoyed it better.^^;

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Payable-by-tickets sign

It would be quite smart of you to find shops and restaurants where you can pay by “Tsumamigui Ticket”.^^ I paid all of them above by ticket on that day.
“Tsumamigui Ticket” is ¥1000 with tickets of ¥1100 and a good postcard. You can obtain it at Mishima Tourist Association in front of JR Mishima Station.
Anyway, when you visit Mishima for Hatsumode or anything else, please enjoy these gourmet specialties as well.

Bye for now !^^


“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^



Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 17:17 Permanent Link

12/24/2010 [Fri]

Attractions in Gotemba – Toki-no-Sumika [Gotemba]

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Gotemba Kogen Hotel B,U

After having a lovely time in Gotemba Premium Outlets, I took several shuttle buses to Gotemba Kogen “Toki no Sumika”.
Toki-no-Sumika is a complex facility with hotels, cottages, onsen hot spas, tennis courts, soccer grounds, a skating rink, a church, and shops and restaurants. But there is something more in this season ! Yes, illuminations of the largest in Shizuoka Prefectrue ! !

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Gotemba Kogen Beer

Telling the truth, it was my third visit there. The first time, I remember I had lunch in “Gotemba Kogen Beer” with their home-brew beer. The second was when flowers were in full bloom around. And this time, Illuminations I had been waiting for.
I got off the bus in the evening, in front of Gotemba Kogen Hotel B,U and strolled around to wait for the illuminations lit up. Along the main street was decorated “Tunnel of Lights” just as one covered with snow. I wondered how it would be lit up. I was getting more and more excited.
On the small hill is “Bell of Love”. I walked toward it to see the sunset and Mt. Fuji from there, and found it the very place for the Illumination Show. “The image of The Palace of Versailles” it said. I couldn’t miss it !

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I passed through the gate and found The Bell of Love of my memories and Mt, Fuji in evening lights. The sunset told me how fast the time goes by. In a few moments, “The Little Prince” was lit, followed by outburst of spontaneous exclamation in the silent evening.
At 17:00, with the signal of lights-out, it started with a brisk music. First came on the laser technology on the water screen, and the fountain show illuminated in a variety of colors, followed by projected images on the water screen. You can see these pictures from here. I don’t know what the show in the Palace of Versailles is like but it absolutely enchanted us into a dreamy world.

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The Little Prince was lit again after 20 minute entertainment to tell us the end of the show but we stayed there in the afterglow of the illuminations.
Now, finally, I was on my way to the archway ! Trees along the pathway had already been decorated with thousands of illuminations. I found some cute snowmen and reindeers on its way.^^
And here I was ! The breathtakingly illuminated archway ! I strolled through the 370m long tunnel just as slowly as possible not wanting to reach the end of it. Many couples and families seemed the same just as I felt. They stopped in the middle of the tunnel to have a talk or to take a look around.

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Passing through the tunnel, I found many people flocking around “Gotemba Kogen Beer”. Some stepped in it to have their maybe gorgeous dinner and others went in food-products shop for their souvenirs. I liked people just lingering on the bench because I could tell how much they had loved it.^^
I stood in front of the Hotel B,U to take a shuttle bus. Available for Gotemba Sta. and Mishima Sta. I would strongly recommend you to use these shuttle buses because cars will be stuck in a bad traffic jam during this season.

Thank you and have a good day !

Gotemba Kogen “Toki no Sumika”
Access : 20 minutes by free shuttle bus from Gotemba Sta., or 50 minutes from Mishima Sta.
Admission : Free
Illumination : Nov 12 – Jan 5 (16:30 – 22:00)/Jan 6 – Mar 6 (17:00 – 21:30)
“Illumination of Versailles” Show
Admission : ¥1,000 for adults/¥200 for children ※Free for the hotel guests
Show time : every 30 minutes from 17:00


“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^


Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 16:54 Permanent Link

12/22/2010 [Wed]

Attractions in Gotemba – Gotemba Premium Outlets [Gotemba]

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So, I’m standing just in front of the entrance of Gotemba Premium Outlets. This is a humongous outlet-center, actually one of the largest outlet centers in Japan, consisting of about 210 stores of well-known domestic or foreign brands, all of which offer outlet prices.
Despite the weekday, it was full of shoppers. I met a staff there to say hello and strolled about the “West Zone” first. I’m sorry that I can’t introduce all of world-famous brand stores at a time but you can find some of them in the picture.^^ Or please see the “Store Listing” from this official page.

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For more efficient or fulfilling shopping, I would recommend you to visit the Information Center first. I did, of course, to have a guide map. Available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. What is more, you can talk to them in English in most cases. They have not only information of Outlets but one around Gotemba, including transportation to Hakone or Tokyo. I’m sure they would help you much.^^
It took me for more than an hour to shop around the West Zone. I browsed in various brand-name stores. They sell most of the products 25 – 65% off, or more !
Now, “West Zone” naturally indicates that there is “East Zone”. You are right ! These two zones are connected by a large bridge called “Great Dream Bridge”. And here is a special ! You will see when you turn around at the other end of the bridge. In Gotemba, 10 spots have been chosen as Mt. Fuji best-seen places and this is one of them. Especially, in winter, Mt. Fuji can be seen very wide and clear. I was so lucky then because I could run into a stunning scenery !

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The East Zone is, I think, as large as the West Zone. I bustled into some sports shops to find some shoes for my Christmas present. New shoes might encourage me to walk or jog for exercise, right ? ^^;
In the East Zone, there stand some restaurants such as Sushi, Chinese, Italian and Hamburgers. I found a huge Food Court, “Food Bazaar” with seats of 750 chairs ! Many shoppers were there for their late lunch and so was I. I took a dynamic steak with garlic rice. It was splendid for its price^^

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After lunch, I walked to a small hill, where a major playland in Shizuoka used to be. The vestiges still remained partly as it had been and to my surprise, the Ferris wheel was in service. I wanted to take a ride on it to overlook Mt. Fuji from above but due to strong wind, it had been temporarily out of service.
Now, maybe I shall inform you about general services of Gotemba Premium Outlets. It is always nice to buy something cheaper or of one grade higher with the same budget. Shopping in the evening may enchant you for romantic illuminations.^^

Thank you and have a good day !^^

Gotemba Premium Outlets

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Access from Gotemba Station : 15 minutes by free shuttle bus
Admission : free
Open Hours : Dec – Feb 10:00 – 19:00/Mar – Jul, Sep – Nov 10:00 – 20:00/Aug 10:00 – 21:00
Extra hours scheduled during the Year-end and New-year holidays and Golden Week holidays
Closed : only once a year ( the third Thursday of Feb )
Other services : Coin-lockers, ATM, nursing rooms, strollers and wheelchairs.
Happy Bag Campaign : Jan 1 – 3, 2011
Premium Outlet Bargain : Jan 21 – 30, 2011
Luner New Year Campaign : Feb 1 – 28, 2011

“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^


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Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 08:59 Permanent Link

12/20/2010 [Mon]

Attractions in Gotemba – Gotemba City Tourist Association [Gotemba]

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Today, I’m in Gotemba City, at the east foot of Mt. Fuji. It took me about 30 minutes by Gotemba Line from JR Numazu Station. On my way, from the train, I could see Mt. Fuji very clearly, though there was a little bit cloud on its top.
So what are for tourists in Gotemba, well-known as one of the best spots for Mt. Fuji viewing ? As I do every time, let’s visit the information center first. It is basically in or around the station. You’d better make the most of it any time for precise information. ^^
Gotemba Station has 2 exits, “Fujisan-guchi” and “Otome-guchi”. Getting out of Fujisan-guchi, it is across the road. I stepped in it to say hello and for information about Gotemba and, yes, maps and guidebooks in English ! Fortunately, I got 2 of them. They are just pocket-sized. But once you open it, you will see how they are efficiently abridged to find a large map in and around Gotemba including Hakone, with information of tourist sightseeing spots, Onsen hot springs and Transportations.

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The staff there also told me that some of them could communicate in English. Just feel free to talk to them anyway.^^
Now, I was meant to visit “Gotemba Premium Outlets” and “Gotemba Kogen Toki-no-Sumika”. Toki-no-Sumika is very popular at this time for its spectacular illuminations. Lucky for me, illumination shows were also scheduled during this season !

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After getting out of the information center, I went back in the station again to get to Otome-guchi, where I could take a free shuttle bus to “Gotemba Premium Outlets”. You can take the free shuttle bus to Toki-no-Sumika from #6 bus-stop on Fujisan-guchi side, by the way.

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The shuttle buses to Gotemba Premium Outlets leave every 20 minutes. Many tourists had been in line for it even in the early morning. I took a ride on it, speculating what to see or to buy. The Christmas is coming just around the corner. ^^

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In 15 minutes, I stood there in front of Outlets. Mt. Fuji was seen better than that I had seen from the train. I took a deep breath, feeling the fresh cool air from Mt. Fuji. Now, here we go !

Next time, I’ll report Gotemba Premium Outlets.

Bye for now !


Gotemba City Tourist Association
Access from Gotemba Station : Across the road of Fujisan-guchi

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Gotemba Premium Outlets
Access from Gotemba Station : 15 minutes by free shuttle bus ( Otome-guchi )
Gotemba Kogen “Toki-no-Sumika”
Access from Gotemba Station : 20 minutes by free shuttle bus ( #6 Fujisan-guchi )


“Shizuoka Guide” is our official website for events & sightseeings, always with you ! ^^


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Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 17:17 Permanent Link

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