Here’s Saki from you Local Travel Partners agency.
We have been presenting you lot of tourism spots to visit. Let us change perspective, I would like introduce you to some of Shizuoka’s local speciality ! Please give it a try while in Shizuoka 🙂
Oden is a sort of Japanese hot-pot. Inside you will find boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in soy-flavored dashi broth. When in Japan you will often found them in convenience store in winter. The taste may differ in each region.
Then, how is the oden in Shizuoka different from other region’s ?
First, people from Shizuoka doesn’t eat oden only in winter but throughout the year ! It is said that Shizuoka Oden originated as an alternative to snacks during the Taisho era (1912-1926), and is now eaten by locals as a kind of fast food.
Also, the oden broth that you usually see has a thin and transparent color, but the Shizuoka Oden has a dark-colored broth. The reason is that it is made by adding dark soy sauce to the soup stock taken from beef.
By the way, contrary to the appearance, the taste is light and brings out the umami taste of each ingredient.
Finally, each oden ingredient is put on a skewer you can easily take out from the pot according to your taste. You can also choose from miso, japanese mustard, bonito flake called katsuobushi and seaweed powder aonori to put on top of your oden skewer and enjoy different taste.
Oden restaurants aren’t rare in Shizuoka city center. On the west side of the JR Shizuoka Station, there are two oden towns : Aoba Yokocho and Aoba Oden Street, on both sides of Showa Street. We recommend to go there which gather around 20 oden restaurants. At night, the atmosphere is quite unique !
Aoba Oden Town and Aoba Yokocho are crowded with locals and tourists every night. One way to enjoy this local specialty is to try and compare Shizuoka Oden while going from one shop to another in those Oden town.
If you are looking for hanpen in Japan, you will find a white and fluffy square fish product. It is made from grated yam, fish surimi and dashi.
However, in most areas of Shizuoka prefecture, the mainstream is a black one called “kuro hanpen“. Especially in Yaizu, located in central Shizuoka, it is sold as a local specialty.
Whole sardines are used, and the resulting product has this bluish-gray color. Unlike white fluffy hanpen, it has a chewy texture that is similar to “satsuma-age“.
You can eat black hanpen “as it is”, bake them, boil them or have them fried. They are delicious no matter how you cook them !
It is also very popular in the Shizuoka Oden we introduced earlier !
While in Shizuoka during your visit, it will be our pleasure to present you to the place where you can have a taste of oden or kuro hanpen.
There are more specialty that we would like to let you know, from drink to sweets.
Hopefully, more posts will follow on that “gourmet” theme ! Please look forward to it !