The land of Mt. Fuji and green tea is a beautiful prefecture found along Japan’s eastern coastline and geographically located in the Pacific Ocean. Shizuoka City is the well-known capital, however, there are many gorgeous cities that you are highly recommended to visit, especially those close to the great Fuji-san; such as Gotemba and Fujinomiya.
Aside from the stunning view of Japan’s national mountainous treasure and flowing clearwater streams, this prefecture is well known for its agriculture with lush fields of green tea, greenhouse melons, strawberries and citrusy mikan fruits!
When it comes to your stomach though, of course a matcha ice-cream is one not to be missed, but there is more to the food than what meets the eye. So, without further ado, here are 5 delicious foods you must definitely try the next time you visit Shizuoka prefecture:
Falling under the category of popular street food items, Yakisoba is definitely a delicious buy that can give you that energy boost on your long trips! However, if you head to Fujinomiya, did you know that this regionally famous dish will differ from your usual yakisoba?
For this dish to be specifically called Fujinomiya yakisoba, there are actually 12 basic guidelines which must be followed, however, most importantly is the unique, firm, thick noodles that are chewy once cooked. These noodles are only made by 4 designated factories in Fujinomiya, so visiting this city is a must to get the authentic taste of this dish!
Cooked on a flat open griddle, cabbage and pork is stir fried with a little oil, then in goes the tender noodles, and finally it’s all mixed together with a special sauce. When served, it is topped off with shaved dried sardine flakes, green seaweed flakes (ao-nori) and some red pickled ginger (beni-shoga).
One thing we should remember about this dish is that the best yakisoba is prepared with spring water from one of the great UNESCO world heritage sites called Mt. Fuji! This crystal, clear component adds a great unique local touch to this dish!
Shizuoka prefecture ranks 4th place when it comes to fisheries and is well-known for yellowfin tuna and bonito, but the most unique are sakura shrimps.
Shrimp in Japanese is called Ebi (エビ), and these sakura ebi, which translate to cherry blossom shrimp are distinctive to Suruga Bay in Shizuoka. With depths of 2400m and no continental shelf, these tiny, delicately pink coloured critters thrive here.
Only harvested twice for the year then left to dry to preserve their delicate, shrimpy, sweet flavour, you can find these in a variety of dishes. First and foremost, you can enjoy their light crispy texture in the form of sashimi at local Japanese style restaurants.
Enjoy Sakura Ebi Kakiage where it can be mixed in a batter with vegetables, and fried in oil, which sounds similar to tempura. Crispy and delicious! A little more adventuring will lead you to find these shrimp in noodle dishes, boiled plain, or simmered in soups! A versatile product that remains delicious nonetheless!
Japanese nabemono, also known as hotpot dishes, are quite popular especially when it comes to the colder months. Nothing beats a steaming savoury broth to warm you up on a cold winter’s night. If you head to Shizuoka, you are sure to find Oden being sold at street stalls as their long skewer sticks stand out!
Oden contains a variety of ingredients such as boiled eggs, fishcakes and daikon radishes, but Shizuoka adds their own regional spin. Aside from all ingredients being skewered onto long sticks, they are boiled for long hours in a dashi broth that’s much darker in colour due to the beef tendon stock and the dark soy sauce.
The flavours are super concentrated as the food is boiled to a darker colour. Once served, it’s topped off with aonori seaweed, dried fish powder and Japanese mustard (karashi). As a boost of flavour hits you in every bite, we highly recommend it as one dish you should go and enjoy!
The green, pungent condiment you will find to complement any tray of sushi is none other than WASABI, or more formally known as Japanese horseradish.
Wasabi has two varieties depending on where they are grown, hatake wasabi (grown in soil) and sawa wasabi (grown in water). Since Shizuoka is flowing with streams of Mt. Fuji’s cold and clear spring water, this is ideal for growing the sawa wasabi in the region, and Shizuoka has a reputation for their high quality wasabi in Japan!
Japanese people would always say that you have not tried TRUE wasabi until it is the one made fresh right in front of you. It does not compare to the packaged items one bit! You definitely need to have a bite of this paired with sushi, as chefs will grate the pure product in front of you which they will then serve.
Sushi is not the only food item in which you can enjoy this pungent condiment, as it has been adapted as a flavouring for many foods and snacks! Head to the onsen town of Shuzenji and grab yourself some exciting wasabi ice-cream! What a trip it will be for your tastebuds!
Bursting in juicy, citrusy flavour, Shizuoka prefecture remains a leading region when it comes to Mikan production, due to its geographical conditions and warm climate that makes it ideal!
Wait, what are mikan? Not everyone may be familiar with this orange citrus fruit, but they are commonly known as a variety of the Japanese mandarin-orange.
Mikan picking season comes almost at the last minute of the year, as it takes place from early october to around February. It’s a great time to go visit an orchard and grab those delicious fruits for yourself.
A definite go to fruit to get your vitamin C during those cold winter months, it’s quite easy to peel the yellow-orange layer which reveals the juicy interior with intense sweetness. What a treat to definitely try!
So, did you enjoy discovering more about Shizuoka when it comes to food? Don’t just settle for green tea on your next visit as there is a variety of options for you to enjoy!
What’s more is that this only covers the beginning as an eruption of a food adventure awaits you! (Don’t worry, not referring to Mt. Fuji. LOL)!
Featuring photo courtesy Explore Shizuoka
Join a local guide for an authentic local experience in the Mt Fuji area!
PIN THIS FOR LATER