Tochigi prefecture



Tochigi Prefecture

Tochigi Prefecture (栃木県, Tochigi-ken) is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya 宇都宮. Utsunomiya is famous for its many gyoza specialist shops. Also located in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture has one of the largest shopping malls in the North Kantō region, Bell Mall.

Nikkō, whose ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture. Nikkō is approximately one hour by train from Tokyo and approximately 35 km west of the capital Utsunomiya.

Other famous parts of Tochigi include a region called Nasu known for onsen and local sake and ski resorts. The Imperial family has a villa in Nasu. Nasu Shiobara is a major Shinkansen station.
Another onsen resort is at Kinugawa Onsen.

The annual gross agricultural output in Tochigi is about 274 billion yen. Rice, vegetables, and livestock are produced in the region. Tochigi is also known for strawberries, Chinese chives, and Japanese pears sold throughout Japan and exported to other countries.
Approximately 55% of Tochigi is covered by forests. Mushrooms, such as Shiitake mushrooms, make up half of the forest industry, with an output of approximately 5.6 billion yen.
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Kirifuri koogen きりふりこうげん【とちぎ 霧降高原】 Kirifuri Highlands
with special beef selections
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Senbonmatsu bokujoo 千本松牧場 Dairy Farm Senbonmatsu
Nasu Highlands 那須
with レアチーズケーキ cheese cake, アイス soft icecream, yoghurt and the lot!
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Regional Dishes from Tochigi 栃木の郷土料理
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ain no dengaku アイソの田楽
ain are the eggs of the fish ugui ウグイ, Tribolodon hakonensis.

ayumeshi 鮎めし trout with rice
ayu no shioyaki 鮎の塩焼き grilled ayu trout with salt


chitakesoba ちたけそば soba buckwheat noodles with chichi mushrooms
chichitake チチタケ / 乳茸 Lactarius volemus
This mushroom is called CHITAKE in the local dialect.
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daikonsoba 大根そば buckwheat noodles with shredded radish
the radish is shredded to thick threads like the noodles and also cooked for a short while. Then it is placed on the cooked noodles and dipped with them into the soba sauce, which might contain another portion of finely grated radish !
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nirasoba, nira soba ニラそば soba with nira leek
nira leek is cut into 5 cm long stripes, put in boiling water for 30 seconds, then cooled on ice. A handful is thrown over the buckwheat noodles.
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gyooza 餃子, Utsunomiya gyooza
宇都宮ぎょうざ Gyoza-dumplings from Utsunomiya

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There is even a statue of GYOZA ギョウザ像 / 餃子像 in front of the station.
gyooza  ギョーザ / 餃子 Jiaozi
Chinese Dumplings

- quote -
Legend has it that soldiers who returned home from China after the second world war brought with them dumpling recipes. It’s said that they also began to open restaurants that specialized in the ‘new’ delight. Whether that story is a reality or a myth is not important. What is important is that Utsunomiya has an enormous selection of gyoza dishes that one can sample at a variety of cozy eateries scattered throughout the city.
..... If you find that you just can’t get enough of Utsunomiya’s gyoza dishes, there is also a Gyoza Matsuri that occurs during the first weekend of November .....
- source : tokyoweekender.com/2012 -


imogushi, imo kushi イモ串 taro potatoes on skewers

kanpyoo no tamagotooshi かんぴょうの卵とじ kampyo with egg
dried gourd shavings 乾瓢 kanpyoo

masu 鱒 ます trout, Forelle
all kind of trout are artificially put into the lake Chuzenji 中善寺. In Autumn, they are "harvested", eggs and sperm put together and kept until next year, when they are let into the lake to grow.
The adult fish are killed during this insemination process, but they are prepared into a delicious soup, to express thankfulness for their death.
sairanjiru さいらんじる (採卵汁) with radish and other local vegetables.

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mimiudon, mimi-udon 耳うどん "Udon like ears"
ear-shaped noodles
They have the form of the ear of a demon. When you eat these noodles the domon will not hear what you say and you will not have any illness or problems during the coming year.
Dough made from local wheat, with a special wooden form the pieces are then cut into oblong squares and formed by hand by folding them carefully into the shape. They are then cooked in an extra pot and washed in cold water before putting them into a larger pot with a vegetable broth and chicken meat.
This dish is prepared for festivals and the New Year.
They can be prepared in large numbers and kept fresh in a bucket of water outside the home.
Sano Town 栃木県佐野市, Sano City Senba-cho

neginuta ねぎぬた/ ネギヌタ leek with maguro and ika
nuta 沼田 refers to fish and seafood and vegetables pickled in miso and tells about the soft creamy texture of the food.
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shimotsukare しもつかれ Shimotsuke Family Dish
霜つかれ shimotsukare (to be tired of the frost) is another meaning.

Shimotsukare(しもつかれ) is a local Japanese dish served in Northern parts of Japan particularly, Tochigi Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture. The dish is generally served on hatsu-u-no hi (初午の日, literally; first day of horse in the month of February) together with sekihan as an offering to appease the legendary deity, inari-no-shin (稲荷の神).

Shimotsukare is usually made by simmering vegetables, soybeans, abura-age (あぶらあげ or deep fried tofu skins) and sake kasu (酒粕, literally rice pulp from fermented sake). Common additional ingredients include grated raw radish (oroshi daikon) and carrots. The dish is also known as shimitsukari, shimitsukare or sumitsukare in some areas.

History of Shimotsukare
The origins of shimotsukare can be traced back to Edo Period (1603-1868) and is thought to be a derivation of su-mutsukari (酢むつかり,literally roasted soy beans in vinegar), a speciality dish which was mentioned in mytological narratives of Uji-jyu-i-monogatari (宇治拾遺物語) and Ko-ji-dan(古事談). The origin of the name 'shimotsukare' remains in debate.
It is also widely believed that as the dish is mainly served in Tochigi Prefecture, formerly known as Shimotsuke Province(下野国), the name of the dish is thought to be a derivation of the pharse shimotsuke-no-karei (jp: 下野の家例, literally traditional customs of the Shimotsuke clan)

Various presentations of shimotsukare exists in different areas in Japan. The dish is served either hot or cold. Shimotsukare is normally served with rice but could also be taken without it. In some areas, once the dish is simmered, it will not be re-heated again when served.

As a means of preservation, simmered shimotsukare is kept in frozen grounds during winter and served on top of warm rice to allow it to thaw naturally.
Shimotsukare, together with its distinct flavor, scent and semi-liquid appearance is well received by some locals but not all. It is even referred as neko-no-gero 猫のゲロ, literally; cat's barf to some in Japan.

Some sayings such as
"shimotsukare o nana-ken tabe aruku to byooki ni naranai"
( しもつかれを7軒食べ歩くと病気にならない
literally, eating shimotsukare prepared from seven houses will keep you from getting sick) noted that consuming shimotsukare promotes good health.
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shisomisomaki しそみそまき shiso perilla leaves
pickled in miso for about half a year.
from Nikko 日光

suiton すいとん(法度汁)dumpling soup
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Suppe mit gekochten Mehlklössen

Tochigi Santaka 栃木三鷹
"three hawk talons" from Tochigi
chilli peppers
From Otawara village 大田原 (Ohtawara)

yuba ryoori 湯波料理 dishes with yuba soymilk skin
Nikko 日光 is famous for its Yuba dishes and presentation in kaiseki food style.
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Things found on the way

Tokugawa Ieyasu ... 徳川家康...
and Tosho-Gu 東照宮, Nikko 日光

Inarizushi 稲荷寿司 and the Fox Deity Inari san


source : shashin-haiku.jp : koara

daikan ya aji natsukashiki shimotsukare

great cold -
the nostalgic taste of

Koara san

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes


1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

.. Tochigi 栃木県
上都賀郡 Kami-Tsuga district

kyuubi no kitsune 九尾の狐 a fox with nine tails

A favorite dish of the Tochigi region is shimotsukare シモツカレ.
- - - - - Once upon a time
there lived a fox with nine tails at 殺生岩 Sesshoseki who caused a lot of trouble. The villagers killed it after luring it with this dish of Shimotsukare.
To appease the soul of the fox this dish is now prepared in a memorial service on hatsu-u-no hi (初午の日, literally; first day of horse in the month of February) together with sekihan ritual red rice as an offering to appease the legendary fox deity, Inari-no-shin (稲荷の神) Inari no Kami.

- Matsuo Basho visiting Sesshoseki - Oku no Hosomichi -
. - - Station 9 - Sesshoseki 殺生岩 - - - .
The fox is the spirit of Tamamo no Mae 玉藻前 - Tamamo Gozen 玉藻御前