Showing posts with label ekiben station lunchbox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ekiben station lunchbox. Show all posts


Orio ekiben



Orio Stationlunch
ORIO Ekiben Station lunchbox

Kashiwameshi (minced chicken meat on rice)

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The meat is cooked for a long time in a special sauce, the rice is cooked in a flavored soce with special ingredients, some are the strict secret of the company, which prepares more than 1000 every day.
The rice is covered with minced chicken meat, finely cut "golden threads of egg" (kinshi tamago 錦糸玉子) and seaweed. Some pickles are added at one side.

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This bento started selling in 1921, it was the first Japanese station lunch to serve local chicken meat. One box was 30 sen at that time.

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The singing bento vendor of Kitakyushu
Shoichi Nasu

Platform vendor Kazutoshi Yamaguchi poses with his ekiben boxed meals on the platform of JR Orio Station in Kitakyushu.

Photo by Shoichi Nasu

If you happen to get on or off at Platform No. 5 of Orio Station in Kitakyushu, you can buy an ekiben from a platform vendor named Kazutoshi Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi-san is one of the nation's very few remaining ekiben vendors. Wearing the uniform of the Tochikuken company, which specializes in making boxed meals in Fukuoka Prefecture, and a bow tie and a cap, he smiles broadly to would-be-customers on the platform.
He started working at his ekiben vending job at the station in 1996, finding the position through a public employment center. He had lost his previous job when the company closed.

At first, he found it hard to raise his voice in front of passengers. He used to walk to a park near his home at night to practice, shouting, "Bento, Kashiwa-meshi!" (Box lunch, minced chicken rice). Kashiwameshi is a well-known local dish in the area, and the Kashiwameshi bento comes in three different prices: 650 yen, 750 yen and 1,000 yen.

Eventually, he was able to overcome his shyness and shout out to attract customers. Now he goes even further, and has composed an 18-verse song about Kashiwameshi. The first verse goes, "Bento, bento, bento, Kashiwameshi. Orio's specialty, made with affection. The most delicious."

On his business card is printed the fifth verse of the song: "Bento, bento, bento, Kashiwameshi, Kagoshima Line, Platform No. 5. If a train door opens, you hear a vendor's voice." If passengers wish to hear the song, Yamaguchi sings several verses for them on the platform.

According to him, on weekdays the Kashiwameshi bento priced at 650 yen sells well, while on weekends the one for 1,000 yen is more popular. "As there are very few of us nowadays, people, mostly elderly people, I suppose, feel nostalgic for ekiben vendors. They come and buy ekiben from me, taking the train even from far-away areas," Yamaguchi told me.

Gone are the days when there were a lot of bento vendors. When the neighboring Chikuho area in Fukuoka Prefecture was prosperous due to coal mining in the pre- and post-World War II era--a driving force of Japan's economy at the time--Orio Station had a number of bento vendors. Now Yamaguchi is the only one.
source :, April 2008


Jidori 地鳥 (じどり ) Local Chicken

Tori awase 鶏合 (とりあわせ) Ritual Cock Fighting


Orio Eki station, 折尾駅 prefecture
鹿児島本線折尾(おりお)駅 Kagoshima Honsen Main Line

The station building is quite old and retro with its pink facade.

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Things found on the way


Related words

Ekiben 駅弁 Station Lunch Box

Regional Japanese Dishes

Roadside stations (michi no eki 道の駅) Highway Service Areas



Miyajima Ekiben Anago



Miyajima Stationlunch
Miyamima Ekiben Station lunchbox
宮島うえのの穴子飯 Miyajima Ueno no Anagomeshi

Anagomeshi あなごめし

Anago sea eel is a speciality from this area.
Congriscus megastomus, Meeraal, conger eel, salt-water eel
But even this eel is getting less and less in the waters off Miyajima.

It has been sold for many years, now the maker is in the 13th generation!
UENO is the name of the maker, who is now in the 4th generation, Ueno Junichi 上野純一.
When he found the many old wrappers from the time of his grandfather, he decided to make the bento again.

During the war, when there was not enough rice, they served in on bread.
The present Ueno san learned the taste of this bento from his mother. The rice is cooked with a special broth of the simmered anago. There is only a layer of fish on the cooked rice and just a few pieces of vegetables in a corner.

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The bento box is still made from real wood. In this way, the hot rice can loose some of its water through the bottom of the box and gets more tasty.
In the kitchen, there is only room for cooking rice for 20 bento, then a new load must be cooked. 20 minutes is just the time the helpers need to get the rice out of the pot and into the bento boxes, to keep the good taste.

There used to be many trains stopping at the station, but with the event of the Shinkansen, the line is rather quiet and the business quite difficult.


Dishes from Hiroshima Prefecture

WASHOKU : Eel dishes (unagi) Japan. Some are kigo

Ehomaki 恵方巻き Sushi Roll (ehoomaki)for Setsubun

Yahata-maki やはたまき (八幡巻き) anago roll
Speciality of Yahata, Kyoto


kigo for all summer
anago 穴子 (あなご) sea eel, conger eel
..... 海鰻(あなご)
anagotsuri あなご釣(あなごつり)fishing for anago
maanago, ma-anago真穴子(まあなご)
hakarime はかりめ

anagonabe あなご鍋(あなごなべ)hodgepot with anago
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anago is most often simmered to put on sushi or deep-fried as tempura.

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アナゴ寿司 Anago sushi 穴子寿司


Miyajima station, Hiroshima prefecture
JR西日本・宮島駅 Main Line
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The island of Itsukushima, in the Seto inland sea, has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. The first shrine buildings here were probably erected in the 6th century. The present shrine dates from the 12th century and the harmoniously arranged buildings reveal great artistic and technical skill. The shrine plays on the contrasts in colour and form between mountains and sea and illustrates the Japanese concept of scenic beauty, which combines nature and human creativity.
whc.unesco . Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Miyajima town 宮島  

Itsukushima (厳島) is an island in the Inland Sea of Japan.
It is popularly known as Miyajima (宮島), the Shrine Island.
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Things found on the way

The great rice paddle shamoji in Miyajima 宮島しゃもじ
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The White Horse of the Gods at Miyajima 宮島白馬


umai aji anago yakarete natsu no zen

delicious taste -
a conger eeal grilled
for a summer lunch

Matsui Shinzoo  松井信三

. Itsukushima Shrine and Kigo 厳島神社

Related words

eel, unagi, 鰻、うなぎ, Aal KIGO

Ekiben 駅弁 Station Lunch Box

Regional Japanese Dishes

Roadside stations (michi no eki 道の駅) Highway Service Areas


Miyako Ekiben



Miyako Stationlunch


Ichigo bentoo いちご弁当
Lunchbox with uni and awabi, sea urchin eggs and abalone

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ichigoni, ichigo-ni いちご煮 seafood soup with uni sea urchin eggs and abalone
Originally prepared by the fishermen of Northern Japan directly on the beaches. When uni is placed in boiling water, it takes on a round form like a wild strawberry, hence the name "strawberry stew".

This local food was made into a lunchbox by the chef of the restaurand "Uomoto 魚元" in the town of Miyako, when they were looking for some speciality to serve as ekiben. He uses "Ezo awabi" 蝦夷アワビ a local catch during the abalone fishing season. They keep the abalone in special basins to be able to have them fresh all year round.

For the bento, it is prepared like a soboro, kind of fish powder, to give a colorful background for the abalone pieces and to make it last longer. Four pieces are placed on the soboro, each with the part of the "ears" in the middle to make it look tasty and voluminous. The abalone are especially cut for this layout.

The abalone are simmered in sake and seasalt water for a long time to make them last for a while, as a lunchbox is not eaten right away and must keep in normal temperatures.

is a local fish restaurant, serving kappoo ryoori 割烹料理 kappo food

kappoo 割烹 (かっぽう) : 肉を割(さ)いて烹(に)る意から
It is made up of the character "katsu," which means "to cut 割," and "hoo 烹," which means "to boil."
To prepare food. This word is used already in very old records of Japan. It takes time to prepare the food and is similar to kaiseki, but a bit less formal. Also prepared outside of Kyoto.

kappoogi 割烹着 is the name for the usually white apron with sleaves worn by the woman chefs.
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Küchenschürze; Schürzenkittel


more information about kappoo

AWABI, abalone, more information


Miyako Eki station, Iwate prefecture
JR山田線宮古駅 JR Yamada Main Line
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MIYAKO town 宮古市 

On June 6, 2005, the old Miyako absorbed the town of Tarō and village of Niisato from Shimohei District to form the new city of Miyako, more than doubling the old city's size. As of 2008, the new city has an estimated population of 57,874 and a density of 83.1 persons per km². The total area is 696.82 km².

The city was founded on February 11, 1941. It lies along the coast where the Shimohei River flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is connected to Morioka by an east-west train line and highway and the coastal highway also goes through the town.
The city has a port but much of the shipping traffic is taken by larger cities along the coast.
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Joodogahama, Jodo-ga-hama
The Jodogahama 浄土が浜 Coastline with spectacular cliff formations is close by.

Reference : Jodogahama

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Related words

Ekiben 駅弁 Station Lunch Box

Regional Japanese Dishes

Roadside stations (michi no eki 道の駅) Highway Service Areas



Kuji, Oku Kuji Ekiben



Oku Kuji Stationlunch
OKU KUJI Ekiben Station lunchbox

Shamo Bento
しゃも弁当 , Chicken Lunchbox

with local shamo chicken

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The chicken is boiled in a special sauce.
The local ryokan makes this for more than 50 years now.


Jidori 地鳥 (じどり ).Local Chicken

Tori awase 鶏合 (とりあわせ) Ritual Cock Fighting


Oku Kuji station, IBARAGI prefecture
JR水郡線・常陸大子駅 Suigun Line, Hitachi 大子 Station
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Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Related words

Ekiben 駅弁 Station Lunch Box

Regional Japanese Dishes

Roadside stations (michi no eki 道の駅) Highway Service Areas



Gyuuniku Beef Cows


Beef (gyuuniku) Rindfleisch, Rind

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Various
***** Category: Humanity


gyuuniku 牛肉 beef, often steak
Japanese beef is often very fat, with marble fat, "like frost" (shimofuri).
There are quite a few regional varieties of cows, some are treated like royalty and classical music is played in the shed to keep them happy.

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wagyuu, wagyu 和牛 Japanese beef
from Japanese cattle.

biifu ビーフ beef
roosuto ロースト― roast


Wagyū (和牛)
refers to several breeds of cattle genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. The meat from wagyū cattle is known worldwide for its marbling characteristics, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness, and thus a high market value. Several areas in Japan are famous for the quality of their Wagyu cattle, and ship beef bearing their areas' names. Some examples are Kobe, Mishima and Ōmi beef.

The wagyū cattle's genetic predisposition yields a beef that contains a higher percentage of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids[1] than typical beef. The increased marbling also improves the ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats.

Wagyū were initially introduced to Japan as a beast of burden to help cultivate rice. By order of the Shogun, the cowherd in Japan was closed and eating meat from any four legged animal was prohibited from 1635 to 1838. Because of Japan's rugged terrain and isolated areas, different breeding and feeding techniques were used such as massaging or adding beer or sake to their feeding regimen.

It is suggested that this was done to aid in digestion and induce hunger during humid seasons but appears to have no effect on the meat's flavor. Massaging may have been to prevent muscle cramping on small farms in Japan in which the animals did not have sufficient room to use their muscles.

There are five major breeds of wagyū (wa means "Japanese" and gyū means "cow"): Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, Japanese Shorthorn, and Kumamoto Reds. Japanese breed names include: Tajima, Tottori, Shimane, Kochi and Kumamoto. Kumamoto Prefecture is famous for their red wagyū cattle. The more famous black variety has their origins in Kobe.
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sukiyaki is one of the most favorite beef dishes.

source :

sukiyaki, suki-yaki 鋤焼 (すきやき) "food prepared on a spade"
gyuunabe 牛鍋(ぎゅうなべ)、with beef
uosuki 魚すき(うおすき)、with fish
okisuki 沖すき(おきすき)、with seafood
torisuki 鶏すき(とりすき)、with chicken or pheasant
udonsuki 饂飩すき(うどんすき) with udon
kigo for winter

Sukiyaki (Japanese: 鋤焼 or more commonly すき焼き; スキヤキ) is a Japanese dish in the nabemono (Japanese steamboat) style.

often prepared with warishita すき焼きわりした soy sauce and dashi mix
Warishita and Soy Sauce

It consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) as the secular, raw part of the meal (namakusa), and a lot of vegetarian ingredients like firm tofu, konnyaku and vegetables, slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients of the sacred aspect of a meal (shoojin), in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (warishita). Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs.

In the 1890s when Japan was opened to foreigners, new cooking styles were also introduced. Cows, milk, meat, and egg became widely used, and sukiyaki was the most popular way to serve them. The first sukiyaki restaurant, Isekuma, opened in Yokohama in 1862.
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In Kanto, the warishita is put in the pot first, them meat and vegetables are added. In Kansai, only lard is used for the first frying of meat, which is eaten dipped in a raw egg to make it a bit cool. Then warishita is poored in the pot, other ingredients, vegetables and tofu are added with more meat and all is let to stew for a moment.

In Kyoto, the oldest restaurant, Mishima Tei 三嶋亭, had a story to tell about the beginning of the restaurant there.
The founder, a samurai from Kyoto, Mishima Kanekichi and his love Tei made it to Nagasaki to get married and there studied the new ways of eating meat, which was not common in Buddhist Japan. Then they went back to Kyoto and established their restaurant in 1873. The present owner is the 5th generation and keeps up the high standard for meet dishes.

They serve sukiyaki in a hexagonal pan. First some white sugar is placed on the black pan and then one piece of beef for each guest. While it grills on the sugar it makes a delicious sound. This first bite is pure beef, so the guest can enjoy the taste of the carefully choosen marbled meat.
Then the other ingredients are added, warishita poored over it and all is cooked in the usual way.
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shabushabu しゃぶしゃぶ  shabu shabu

Shabu-shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ, also spelled syabu-syabu) is a Japanese variant of hot pot. The dish is related to sukiyaki in style, where both use thinly sliced meat and vegetables, and usually served with dipping sauces. However, it is starkly different in taste as it more closely resembles its predecessor, the Chinese hot pot; shabu-shabu is more savory and less sweet than sukiyaki. It is considered a winter dish but is eaten year-round.
The dish is traditionally made with thinly sliced beef, though modern preparations sometimes use pork, crab, chicken, duck, or lobster. Most often, tender ribeye steak is used, but less tender cuts such as top sirloin are also common. A more expensive meat, such as Wagyu, may also be used for its enhanced flavor and texture.

Shabu-shabu is usually served with tofu and vegetables, including hakusai, chrysanthemum leaves, nori (edible seaweed), onions, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and enokitake mushrooms. In some places, Udon, Mochi and/or harusame noodles may also be served.

Shabu-shabu was introduced in Japan in the 20th century with the opening of a Shabu-shabu restaurant "Suehiro"[1] in Osaka. The name of Shabu-shabu was named when Suehiro served it. After that, Suehiro registered the name of shabu-shabu as a trademark in 1955. The cuisine rapidly spread through Asia and is now a popular dish in Western countries as well. Together with sukiyaki, shabu-shabu is a common dish in tourist hot-spots, especially in Tokyo, but also in local Japanese neighborhoods (colloquially called "Little Tokyos") in countries such as the United States.
Its origins are traced back to the Chinese hot pot known as "shuan yang rou". Shabu-shabu is most similar to the original Chinese version when compared to other Japanese steamboat dishes (nabemono) such as sukiyaki.
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rei shabushabu, reishabu れいしゃぶ / 冷しゃぶ cold shabushabu
a delicacy in summer. Often served on salad leaves.
often pork meat is also used.
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ume beef, Osaka Ume beef 大阪ウメビーフ "plum beef"
From the farm of Harano Shooji
He feeds his 50 cows pickled umeboshi every day, about 1 kg. The cattle does not get any antibiotics, and they seem to like the umebosh. It keeps the cows happy (with an alcohol content of about 12 percent) and free of stress.
The plums come from Choya Umesho in Habikino, Osaka.

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wagyuu tsukudani 和牛佃煮 sweetly simmered Japanese beef
prepared in some areas of Japan, often an expensive present for travellers.
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yaki-niku, yakiniku 焼き肉 (やきにく, 焼肉) grilled slices of meat
Korean-style barbecued beef is quite popular too.
Many restaurants specialize in this kind of food for a group of people to enjoy whilst socializing.
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binchootan 備長炭 Binchotan. special charcoal from Wakayama

used for grilling food


gyuudon 牛丼 (ぎゅうどん) bowl of rice with beef
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mega gyuudon メガ牛丼 expecially large portion

nikujaga 肉じゃが "meat and potatoes"
from Kure city, Hiroshima

The town of Kure is one of the originagors of this dish, together with Maizuru.
Toogoo Heihachiro of the Marine is said to have introduced this dish to the mariners after eating it in Europe.
In Kure, they do not use water but may queen potatoes, beef, shirataki noodles and onions.
If you add also carrots and green peas, it is no longer nikujaga from Kure city.

The city of Kure is also lately trying to introduce the Marine gourmet, kaigun gurume 海軍グルメ, giving some dishes the names of the ships which were most famous for this dish.

Unweit von Hiroshima liegt die Hafenstadt Kure, ein wichtiger Stützpunkt der japanischen Kriegsmarine. Der Admiral Toogoo Heihachiroo (1847-1934) lernte bei seinen Fahrten in Europa ein Gericht kennen, das er seinen Soldaten auf dem Schiff unterwegs zu Essen gab und das von Kure aus ganz Japan eroberte – die inzwischen so beliebte Hausmannskost „Kartoffeln mit Fleisch“ (nikujaga).
In Kure werden dazu nur Kartoffeln der Sorte May Queen, Rindfleischscheiben, Shirataki-Konnyaku-Fadennudeln und Zwiebeln zusammen ohne Wasser eingekocht. In anderen Gegenden kommen nach Geschmack noch Möhren und Erbsen dazu.
Die Stadt Kure bemüht sich mit diesem und anderen Gerichten, die auf Schiffen der Kriegsmarine gegessen werden, einen „Marine-Gourmet“ (kaigun gurume) populär zu machen und viele Restaurants in Kure servieren inzwischen diese Gerichte für die Touristen.


hikiniku ひき肉 minced meat, Hackfleisch
It is produced into

meat balls ミートボール
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hamburgers ハンバーグ
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and German steak dishes ジャーマンステーキ (jaaman suteeki)
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With different sauces these dishes can be varied as mother likes it.

Later on not only beef was used for minced meat, but also pork, chicken and others.


Regional Beef
This LIST is not complete. Let me know your information.

akaushi, aka-ushi あかうし "red cows"
from Mount Aso, Kyushu, also Tosa and other regions.
At Mt. Aso, they make Aso hayashi raisu 阿蘇ハヤシライス hashee rice with this beef

akaushi burger from Aso
阿蘇あかうしバーガー Aso Akaushi Hamburger 赤牛ハンバーガー

Akaushi cattle is richly marbled with fat and produces a very tender, flavorful expensive variety of steak which is used in Kobe restaurants.
The largest purebred group of the Wagyu breed of Akaushi cattle outside Japan is located in Harwood, Texas, owned by HeartBrand Beef.
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Hidakagyuu 日高牛 beef from Hidaka

Iki gyuu 壱岐牛 beef from Iki Island, Nagasaki pref.
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Ishigaki gyuu 石垣牛 beef from Ishigaki, Okinawa

Matsuzaka gyuu 松阪牛 beef from Matsuzaka
Mie prefecture
. . . CLICK here for Photos of the most expensive beef filet !
Ami-yaki, amiyaki 網焼き grilled on a net
Grilled beef from Matsuzaka beef is a speciality of Mie prefecture

Mishima Ushi, Mishima gyuu 見島牛 beef from Mishima Island
Yamaguchi prefecture
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On this small island, most elderly farmers still have some of these cows and some oxen. They take a longer time to grow for food, but are kept like members of the family in the barn. About 20 cows are brought to slauter to the mainland every year.

Mokkori gyuu もっこり牛
brand of beef produced in Minamikata town, Hokkaido
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Oki no shima 隠岐の島 Island group of Oki no shima

On the island 知夫里島 they have a long tradition of keeping cows, more than 800 years. The cows are strong and can swim through the sea to the next island, they are called "the sea-crossing, swimming cows" of Okinoshima.
Nowadays, the whole island is used as common grazing land for the calfs and cows. In winter, when the island becmes barren, the cows have to swim to nearby Shimazu island 島津島.
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The famous ekiben lunch from Matsue uses this beef.
Regional Dishes from Shimane prefecture

Oomi gyuu 近江牛 beef from Omi
Shiga prefecture
. . . Oomi Beef in the Edo period Ii Naosuke and Mito no Nariaki

Sagagyuu 佐賀牛 beef from Saga

Shinshuu wagyuu 信州和牛 beef from Shinshu province, Matsumoto
beef from Nagano Prefecture, also called "Shinshu premium beef."
It comes from cattle with black hair kuroge-wagyu (黒毛和牛).
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Shiraoigyuu 白老牛 beef from Shiraoi
Hokkaido. rather dark brown to black cows.
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Tajimagyuu 但馬牛 beef from Tajima Hyogo prefecture
Tajima cattle (但馬牛, Tajima-ushi or Tajima-gyu) is one of the types of black Wagyu cattle in Japan. Many tajima cattle are born in Hyōgo Prefecture and raised as stock for famous beef such as Kobe beef and Matsuzaka beef.
Tajima cattle has been fed from old times in Tajima Province. In the Shoku Nihongi, it is written that “The Tajima-ushi is fit to cultivate the fields, to carry burdens and to eat.” In ancient times, people ate tajima-ushi in their own houses.
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Takamorigyuu 高森牛 beef from Takamori
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Yonezawa gyuu 米沢牛 beef from Yonezawa

BEEF in the Washoku Database


U.K. 'wagyu' cross-breed an affordable favorite

"Wagyu" beef has long been the preserve of Britain's exclusive restaurants and London's high-end stores, like Harrods.
However, the average bloke in the street will soon be able to have a taste of the prized wagyu thanks to a major supermarket chain that wants to bring luxury foods to everyone.

ASDA, part of the Wal-Mart group, has just started breeding cross Holstein-wagyu cattle for its supermarkets and hopes to start selling the product in early 2011.

Although not pure wagyu meat, which retails for as much as $170 per kg, the meat will have many of the characteristics of wagyu (which literally means Japanese cattle) that make it so appetizing to gourmets.

With wagyu, the fat is more evenly distributed than in other meats and it has a highly marbled appearance. The fine strands of unsaturated fat in the meat melt when it is cooked, giving it a greater depth of flavor than other kinds of beef.

Because the store is producing its own wagyu and does not have to import anything, the store is confident it can keep costs down and reduce the price to the consumer.

"wagyu beef is the best in the world, but until now it has been the preserve of the extremely well to do. We want to make it affordable for the average man in the street," said Pearce Hughes, the company's agricultural development manager.

ASDA took semen from two pedigree black wagyu bulls in Britain. Breeders in southern Scotland then inseminated a Holstein cow and a few months later their efforts paid off with the birth of the first wagyu-cross, which they have named Inochi, which means life in Japanese.
The bulls used in the breeding process are the result of implanting Australian full-blood wagyu embryos into cows in Europe. The bulls' genes are linked to the Kedeka and Fujiyoshi lines.

Following the successful birth, farmers will now inseminate further Holstein cows on a Yorkshire farm and the plan is to produce 2,500 wagyu-Holsteins a year, providing 750 tons of meat.

But Hughes adds, "wagyu-cross-Holstein is deemed as the ultimate cross in Japan because the two breeds lay down marbling in exactly the same way, producing top quality meat superior to wagyu-cross-Angus or Red Devon. It has been known for wagyu-Holstein beef to match the eating quality of purebred wagyu in taste trials."

The meat will be less fatty than pure wagyu, but bosses at ASDA believe this will appeal to health-conscious Britons.

Pure wagyu have been bred in Wales on a small scale since 2000. Farmer David Wynne Finch imported some embryos of mixed black wagyu and implanted them into some standard cross-bred beef cows. He has a herd of around 30 wagyu.

The wagyu breed has only been exported out of Japan on three occasions.

While the breed is considered indigenous to Japan, DNA testing has shown it was influenced by European breeds brought about through cross-breeding in the early 1900s.
In Japan, it is claimed that farmers massage their wagyu cows to ensure the fat is evenly distributed. They are also fed grain and given beer to stimulate appetite.
source : Japan Times, October 2009

Worldwide use

Steak, Rinderbraten

Things found on the way


sukiyaki e sewa suru hashi taberu hashi

for the sukiyaki pot
for eating

Sagara Wataru 相良渉


suteeki no sara ni ninjin itsumo kita

a plate with steak
and the carrots always
facing north

Moriya Akitoshi 守屋明俊


sukiyaki no haha e nokotta negi toofu

left over for mother
from the sukiyaki pot ...
leek and tofu

Makido 牧戸俊翠

Related words


Milk and Milk Products




Shizuoka Prefecture


Shizuoka Prefecture

Shizuoka Prefecture (静岡県,Shizuoka-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.

The prefecture was previously divided into Tōtōmi Province, Suruga Province and Izu Province. The most noted history of the prefecture is that it was once home to the first Tokugawa Shogun.

The region was held by Tokugawa Ieyasu until he conquered the lands of the Hōjō clan in the Kantō region and gave his lands to the stewardship of Oda Nobunaga. After becoming shogun Tokugawa took the land back for his family, particularly putting the area around modern-day Shizuoka city under direct shogunal supervision.

It once again became the residence of the Tokugawa family after 1868, with the creation of Shizuoka han.

Shizuoka Prefecture is an elongated region following the coast of the Pacific Ocean at the Suruga Bay. In the west, the prefecture extends deep into the Japan Alps, while farther east it becomes a narrower coast bounded on the north by Mount Fuji, until it comes to the Izu Peninsula, a popular resort area pointing south into the Pacific

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Mount Fuji 富士山 Fujisan Fujiyama

Temple Shuzen-Ji 修善寺 with onsen hot spring
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

A personal BLOG
source : Shizuoka Gourmet


Local Dishes from Shizuoka 静岡郷土料理

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

asa raamen 朝ラーメン ramen for breakfast
In Fujieda town 藤枝.
The people from the nearby port of Yaizu 焼津市 and the tea pickers used to get up early for work. So the noodle shops followed suit with a soup based on soysauce flavor with little fat. Some now even serve a set of one bowl of hot soup and one bowl of cold soup. The shops start as early as 5 in the morning and close for lunch.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

ashitaba no goma ae あした葉の胡麻和え ashitaba leaves with sesame dressing
Ashitaba-Pflanze. Angelica keiskei

awabi no odoriyaki あわびの踊り焼 "dancing awabi"
awabi grilled alive

ayu no kanroni 鮎の甘露煮
sweetly simmered ayu fish, especially with eggs

ayu no senbei 鮎のせんべい
deep-fried pieces of ayu fish

Benten Nabe 弁天鍋
"Seafood Hodgepodge from Benten Island", with miso soup and iseebi lobster, crabs and special abalones,
From Matsuzaki.
tokobushi 床伏、 Japanese abalone、Sulculus diversicolor aquatilis

Heda no shio 戸田の塩 Salt from Heda, Izu peninsula

Hamamtasu gyooza, Hamamatsu gyoza 浜松餃子
There are a lot of boiled moyashi soybean sprouts in the middle of the gyoza dish. Served with hot chili oil, raayuu ラー油
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

いのしし鍋・きじ鍋 inoshishi nabe, kiji nabe
hodgepodge with wild boar or pheasant

iruka no misoni いるかの味噌煮
iruka dolphin meat in small pieces

iseebi no sugatazukuri 伊勢海老の姿造り
Lobster sashimi served on the living animal

iwashi no kezuribushi 蒲原いわし削りぶし
shredded dried sardines
From Kanbara town かんばら【蒲原】
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
The dried sardines are once more dipped in a special flavored mix and dried again before shredding in special maschines. They can be used for dashi broth and many other dishes.
They are a speciality of the town and are put on many dishes, even on curry (which is also cooked with loads of these shreds, when there is not enough meat.
Kanbara iwashi karee 蒲原いわしカレー curry with sardines

Kaguyahime chazuke 富士かぐや姫茶漬け bowl of rice with tea
Fuji Town 富士市

kibinago no sashimi きびなごの刺身
sashimi from small sardines. from Matsuzaki Town. They live in the cliffs from December to April and can be caught, before they take off to Kagoshima.

kuromai mochi 黒米餅 mochi made from "black rice"
from Shuzen-Ji Hot Spring 修善寺温泉
They are eaten with soy sauce.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
There is also a kind of ricewine from this special Shuzenji black rice: Kuromai Yondai Shikomi Seishu

magochazuke まご茶づけ, Magocha
MAGOCHA ... from Chiba

mugitoro 麦とろ creamy wheat and jam sauce for topping

Numazu Station Ekiben lunchbox
Minato Ajizushi 港あじ鮨mackerel sushi with extra wasabi

oden おでん Oden
Shizuoka oden is a variation of oden, a stew-like Japanese food consisting of fish paste cakes, boiled eggs, daikon, potatoes, kelp rolls, konnyaku, and other ingredients that are first boiled then kept simmering in a broth until consumption.
Shizuoka oden differs from other types of oden in two ways: the preparation of the broth and the way every ingredient is skewered on a stick. The broth is made with beef sinew (instead of the dried skipjack flakes used in other types of oden) and seasoned with strong soy sauce. Because the simmering broth is only replenished rather than discarded, it takes on a very deep, brown-black color; but this process of adding new broth to old is what gives Shizuoka oden the distinctive flavor that many people find so delicious.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

- - - - - Shizuoka Oden - 5 details
black hanpen 黒はんぺん
black broth 黒いスープ
stuck on some special kushi串
sprinkeld with aonori 青海苔 and dashikona だし粉
often served at a store for dagashi sweets 駄菓子屋.

There is a food street near the station of Shizuoka,
Oden is the "soul food" of the people here.
Oden Yokocho 静岡 おでん横丁

. Oden, O-Den hodgepodge おでん 御田 .

omoro オモロ with vinegar-miso or boiled in soy sauce or with curry sauce.
same as tebichi in Okinawa: tonsoku 豚足(とんそく)


sakuraboo さくら棒 "cherry blossom stick"
Made from FU wheat gluten and food coloring, a sweet. It also comes in different colors (flavors), like green powder tea. Some are as long as 60 centimeters.
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sakura-ebi no kakiage 桜えびのかき揚げ
Kakiage-Tempura from sakura shrimp
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Made from fresh shrimp and leafs of leek, cut finely.
geschnitzeltes Tempura mit Sakura-Garnelen
Dishes with Sakura-ebi 桜えび料理

sakura gohan さくらご飯 "cherry blossom rice"
rice cooked with soy sauce and sake only, no other ingredients.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !
From the Western Parts of Shizuoka. Today it is eaten at homes and schools and kids like this simple dish.
Probably it started much earlier, when the fishermen and farmers offered for the Ebisu deity not only their catch and farm products, but a bowl of this simple rice.

sakura ha mochi さくら葉餅
Mochi wrapped in cherry leaves
From the town of Matsuzaki 松崎町, since Showa 6.


shirasu tatami しらすタタミ
small white fish dried "like a tatami mat"


Shizuoka cha 静岡茶 tea from Shizuoka
The growing of tea started at the early Meiji-Period, when the statesman Katsu Kaishu (1823-1899) had to take care of the livelihood of the vasalls from the last Tokugawa shogun. He suggested they come to Shizuoka, where the Shogun Yoshinobu had taken up residence in exile, and start planting tea, since green tea was in demand with the many foreigners coming to Japan via Yokohama. The retainers came to Makinohara 牧之原台地 to start the tea plantages.
- - - Count Katsu Kaishū 勝海舟

. Katsu Kaishu in Akasaka Tamachi, Tokyo .

Reference ... Tea from Shizuoka

Shizuoka koora 静岡コーラ Cola from Shizuoka (with green tea)

The Kimura Drinks Co.,Ltd. have been producing a variety of drinks since their foundation in 1947. A local business that is still stationed in the Shizuoka Prefecture (between Nagoya and Tokyo), they have survived and thrived by not competing with the big boys like Asahi and Kirin, but but by producing small quantities of locally made drinks.
- snip - Although the drink draws in the tourists, Kimura Drink is not resting in its quest to make the most unique drinks available. Besides Shizuoka Cola, you can buy Shizuoka, Strawberry and Fuji Cider (as in lemonade, not fermented apples).
- - source axio mmagazine -


suppon ryoori スッポン料理
Speciality of Hamamatsu. 70% of Japanese suppon is farmed here.
suppon turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis

takaashigani taka-ashi kani たかあしがに (高足蟹)
crabs with long legs. Japanese Spider Crab.
Macrocheira kaempferi . giant spider crab
fished in the deap sea off Heda, Izu peninsula, in Suruga Bay.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
„Japanische Spinnen-Krabbe“.

torobotchi, torobocchi とろぼっち fish
fished in the deap sea off Heda, Izu peninsula.
shinkaigyo 深海魚 fish from the deep sea, more than 200 meters desp
also called
aome eso アオメエソ 青眼狗母魚
The body is long and round, about 15 cm. Big eyes, which reflect the sunlight, so it is also called "sparkling eyes" (mehikari メヒカリ). His white meat is used for sashimi, kara-age and shioyaki fried with salt.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

tororojiru とろろ汁 soup with grated tororo yam
At the station Mariko 丸子の宿 (鞠子) of the old Tokaido. For example from 梅若菜丸子の宿
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

unagi no kabayaki うなぎの蒲焼き broiled eel
aquafarming has started here since the Meiji restauration around lake Hamanako 浜名湖.

わさび漬け wasbizuke, wasabi pickles
spring kigo

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes

***** . Folk Toys from Shizuoka .




Niigata Echigo


Niigata prefecture

Niigata Prefecture (新潟県, Niigata-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on Honshū island on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The capital is the city of Niigata. The name Niigata literally means "New Lagoon".
Niigata prefecture was originally divided into Echigo Province and Sado Province until the Meiji Restoration. During the Sengoku period it was ruled by Uesugi Kenshin.

The major industry in Niigata is agriculture. Rice is the principal product, with Niigata ranking 2nd (after Hokkaidō) among the prefectures for total rice output. The area around Uonuma is especially known for its Koshihikari variety of rice, which is widely thought of as the highest quality rice in Japan.

Rice-related industries are also very important to the local economy. Niigata prefecture is known throughout Japan for its quality sake, senbei, mochi, and arare. In sake production, Niigata is third in the country after Gunma and Kyoto prefectures.

The prefecture is famous as the original home of the ornamental carp known as koi, and the best-quality koi are still considered to come from the farms of Niigata.

Niigata is known for the following regional specialities:

Uonuma koshihikari rice: considered the best quality rice in Japan.
Shoyu (soy-sauce) and Yofu (western-style) katsudon.
Shoyu sekihan.
Sasa-dango, sasadango (mochi balls filled with red bean paste, seasoned with mugwort and wrapped in bamboo leaves).
Po-po-yaki (steamed bread flavored with brown sugar).
"Tsubame-Sanjo ramen" (ramen made using thick udon-style noodles).
Kirazu (dishes using okara).
Kakinomoto (edible chrysanthemums).

Kanzuri (a special seasoning from Myōkō (Myookoo, Myoko) made by leaving chili pepper exposed on snow, then adding flour, salt and yuzu).
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Tenchijin (天地人)
is the 48th NHK Taiga drama for 2009! NHK大河ドラマ
The life of Naoe Kanetsugu 
直江兼続(なおえ かねつぐ 1560 - 1619)
Kanetsugu in Yamagata


Niigata Dishes 新潟郷土料理

abura-age 油あげ deepfried tofu pouches
Tochio aburage あぶらげ (aburaage is called "aburage" in Tochio 栃尾), where there is even an "aburage matsuri" festival あぶらげまつり.
They are made with 100 % Niigaga soybeans. With leek and ginger, they are a delicacy.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

anbo あんぼ balls from rice and vegetables
rice flour and finely chopped vegetables of the season, sansai and soy beans are kneaded with them. A food for the cold winter morning breakfast.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

ayu no ishiyaki 鮎の石焼 ayu fish fried on hot stones
You collect stones by the riverside and heat them up for 2 hours. Thes the innards of the fish and miso paste are fried on the stone. It is just a little bitter in taste.

boodara no nitsuke ぼうだらの煮付け simmered dried cod
boodara 棒鱈 "stick tara" is tara cut in three pieces and dried.
It is simmered with sugar and soy sauce for half a day to get the bones soft.
boodara is a kigo for spring.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
tara たら【鱈】codfish, haddock

botamochi ぼたもち rice cakes covered with sween bean paste
... see mochi

dengaku 田楽 food on skewers, with misopaste
Dengaku dance and food with amazing details
Usually firm tofu and eggplants on skewers, grilled with miso paste. Also satoimo potatoes, fish and other vegetables are grilled like this.

donbikoni, donbiko-ni, どんびこ煮 donbiko-ni cooked heart of salmon
speciality of Murakami area.
Cooked in sweet sauce. Precious food since there is only one heart in each fish caught.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

egoneri (igoneri) えごねり(イゴネリ)seaweed
The seaweed "egogusa エゴ草" from the wild sea of the Nihonkai is full of minerals.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
. The Azumi clan 安曇族  and ego /igo dishes .

Fucha ryori, fucha ryoori 普茶料理 Chinese monk quisine

gajini がじに cooked innards of salmon
from Murakami area. Cooked in a hodgepodge with vegetables and spicy sauce.

gibasani, gibasa-ni ぎばさ煮 boiled gibasa seaweed
also called akamoku あかもく or nagamo ナガモ "long seaweed"
It grows in shallow sea water and grows to seven meters long.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


CLICK for more photos hegisoba, hegi soba へぎそば buckwheat noodles
from Ochiya town 小千谷そば
Buckwheat flour is mixed with the seaweed funori 布海苔(ふのり), hitting the dough in a special way. (nori 糊 glue). The noodles are quite firm.
hegi 片木 is a thin wooden board hegi ita 剥板, that was used like a shingle for a roof.
They are served in small portions arranged like shingles, "swinging the hand once" 一手振り.
They are almost like zarusoba.

hime takenoko 姫たけのこ / 姫竹の子 small thin bamboo shoots
They are put in miso soup or boiled as a sidedish.
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ibushi daikon いぶし大根 smoked radish
small radishes are smoked for about one week. Then it is cut and pickled in rice bran miso
(iburi gakko is from Akita)


kachidokimeshi (かちどき飯)"rice to win the battle"
This was given to the warriours before sending them to battle, to encourage them, by their lord, Uesugi Kenshin 謙信公.
It includes kezurimono in auspicious five colors けずりもの, sengoku war sashimi 戦国さしみ, aburiyaki grilled meat 炙り焼き, nuka misoni boiled in miso 糠味噌煮, kurumi hitashi walnuts 胡桃浸し, kuromai black rice (brown rice) 黒米(玄米), atsumejiru soup 集め汁 koo no mono pickles 香の物, mizugashi mixed fruit 水菓子.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kaguramiso, kagura nanban miso 神楽南蛮味噌
CLICK for more pepper photos kagurananban (kagura namban) is a kind of bell pepper. It has its name because it is full of bulbs like the mask for a kagura dance. In the village 新潟県中頚城郡中郷村 it is called buta koshoo, ぶたこしょう pepper for pigs.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kanzuri かんずり chili paste
fermented chili paste with yuzu citron and salt, kept in the snow and matured for 3 years. Sauce for nabemono
from the high areas of Echigo
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kensayaki, kensa-yaki けんさ焼き "rice grilled on a sword tip"
When Uesugi Kenshin fought his many wars around 1550, he had his soldiers put onigiri on the top of the sword and grill them slightly before eating. It was his way to show resprct to the rice-growing farmers of his province.
Now it is eaten for the New Year and harvest festivals.
A bit of miso paste can be put on the grilled rice.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kiku no hana no sunomono 菊の花の酢の物
vinegared chrysanthemum flowers
Speciality of Niigata and other areas of Tohoku in Northern Japan. Eaten in autumn.

kinpira キンピラ simmered root vegetables
Kinpira (Japanese: 金平) is a Japanese cooking style that can be summarised as a technique of "sauté and simmer". It is commonly used to cook root vegetables such as carrot, burdock and lotus root, seaweeds such as arame and hijiki and other foods including tofu and namafu (生麸) (wheat gluten).
The dish features the use of soy sauce and mirin, as well as often slivered chili peppers.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

In Niigata, kinpira is put into rice flour dumplings, kinpira dango キンピラ団子, (considered a sweet or oyatsu for the three o'clock snack)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kinpira soba キンピラ蕎麦 where the kinpira is put into the dipping sauce and then eaten with the buckwheat noodles.

kiriai きりあい daikon pickled in miso
daikon radish boiled, cut very small and mixed with miso. Some yuzu citron, black sesame and sugar is added. It can be put on rice just like this.
shiso-iri kiriai しそ入りきりあい with perilla leaves
from Iwaya Onsen 岩室温泉
Iwa is a postal town at the "Northern Route" hokkoku kaidoo 北国街道.
another speciality of Iwaya is
suika misozuke すいか味噌漬 watermelon pickled in miso
Iwaya onsen manjuu 岩室温泉饅頭
Iwaya senbei 岩室せんべい
. . . CLICK here for Photos of the hot spring!

CLICK for more photos koshihikari コシヒカリthe most famous brand of rice
Rice, kome, types of rice

koshihikari matsuril コシヒカリまつり
rice festival
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Kubiki no oshizushi くびきの押し寿司 station lunch
from Naoetsu Station 直江津駅 and JR越後湯沢駅
ekiben from Kubiki area 頸城地方(くびきちほう)
Three different flavors in three layers. With local koshihikari rice.
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miruku yookan ミルクようかん milk desert
made from milk, sugar and kanten jelly. It comes in a container like yoghurt. Taken out it looks like a white piece of tofu. Cut into pieces, eaten with fruit.

藻塩 salt with seaweed
from Sado Island 佐渡
Salt of Japan

nasu no abura itame なすの油炒め fried eggplant
There are many different types of eggplants in Niigata. round eggplants 丸なす, long eggplants 長なす, eggplants "like brushes" 鉛筆なす、and 十全なす、水なす、漬けなす、巾着なす ...
Most of them are also prepared for tsukemono pickles.

nina 煮菜 "simmered leaves"
from leafy vegetables like Nozawana 野沢菜 and taina タイ菜
Simmered with beans and abura-age tofu pouches.
..... ni namasu 煮なます simmered daikon
grated daikon radish with crushed beand simmered with sugar and vinegar.

nodoguro のどぐろ / のど黒 "black neck" fish
expensive fatty white fish
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noppejiru のっぺ汁 Vegetable broth with mixed ingredients
noppe stew, Noppe-Eintopf


okoshigata おこし型 colored sweet dumplings
Sado beanpaste cakes
filled with anko sweet bean paste. They are very colorful, pink, green and yellow. They come in various auspicious forms, flowers or animals, made to stand up on decoration shelves, for example the Doll festival, the Boy's festival or O-Bon for the ancestors.
Sado Island
. . . CLICK here for Photos 佐渡のおこし型 !

okowadango おこわだんご balls
with okowa rice outside and sween anko inside
from Washima village 和島村

sankaku chimaki 三角ちまき rice wrapped in triangular form
prepared by lokal farmewifes for the husband to take to the field work.
Now it is mostly eaten as a sweet snack with kinako soybean flower.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


sasadango 笹団子 (ささだんご) dumplings

sasazushi 笹寿司 Sushi served on sasa leaves
Sasa japonica. During the battles at Kawanakajima, there were no vessels to serve the food in. So the soldiers took these leaves, which are abundant, and placed their food on them.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Kawanakajima no tatakai 川中島の戦い
were fought in the Sengoku Period of Japan between Takeda Shingen of Kai Province and Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo Province in the plain of Kawanakajima, in the north of Shinano Province. The location is in the southern part of the present-day city of Nagano.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Shagiri manjuu しゃぎり 饅頭 Murakami village

shake no sakebitashi 鮭の酒びたし salmon in rice wine
from the Murakami area 村上地方
Salmon pieces dried hard in the cold wind of the Sea of Japan were defrozen by putting them in a bit of hot rice wine and mirin.
salmon pickled in Japanese wine, marinated in Sake
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

shinsetsujiru miyuki jiru 深雪汁 "deep snow soup"
soup made of rabbit meat ウサギ肉. With pieces of radish, carrots, satoimo potatoes, shimeji mushrooms, konnyaku and burdock, it is full of nurishment on a cold winter day.

suketo no okijiru スケトウの沖汁 / スケトの沖汁
halibutt soup on the boat
prepared by fishermen on the boat. On the fishing trip to Sado island they caught sukettodara すけとうだら(介党鱈) and cut it into bite-size in a pot with miso soup or salt water.
Alaska pollack, Theragra chalcogramma
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


CLICK for more photos Takahashi ame 高橋あめ made with millet
from Echigo, the store Takahashiya makes them in the 14th generation
桜花くびきの里 hana saku biki no sato
“粟の古代飴”awa no kodai ame, millet sweets in the old style
They were the appointed sweet makers of the Lord. 御用菓子師
高橋孫左衛門商店 Takahashi Magozaemon Ameya 高橋あめや


tori no karaage (kara-age) 鳥のから揚げ deep fried chicken
They serve a half chicken with one wing and one leg, all covered in curry powder and then deep fried for about 10 minutes. It is quite a volumous portion.
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tsuttoko つっとこ New Year Food
packed in straw and hung in the cool space between the kitchen and outside.
About 14 different ingredients from the local fields are packed in a straw bag for each member of the family. A mikan was a special treat, so was a boiled egg. Home-made konnyaku was also put in the package.
Toge Shuraku, Matsudai Area 峠集落(松代エリア)(Tooge Shuuraku)
They also use wild rabbit for the zoni New Year soup in Toge.
yama-usagi ozooni 山ウサギお雑煮


umazurahagi, umazura hagi ウマズラハギ "hagi with the face of a horse"
Thamnaconus modestus
Local people call it UMAZURA, horse face.
fish with a hard skin, which can be easily wrappef off. Eaten as Sashimi, with the liver in soysauce to dip.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

Uonuma mochi 魚沼餅 mochi with rice from Uonuma town
Koganemochi 小金餅
This is the best rice in Japan to prepare mochi.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

wappa-han, wappameshi ワッパ飯
cooked rice and seafood are steamed in a bamboo basket

wappa-ni, wappani わっぱ煮 boiled in a wappa basket by placing hot stones into the broth of fish and vegetables
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

yukiguni maitake 雪国まいたけ
Sheep’s Head, Hen of the Woods
Grifola frondosa
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
This is a special brand from Niigata. It even has a corporation in America to sell these mushrooms.
Maitake mushrooms KIGO
vinegar from yukiguni maitake 雪国まいたけ絞り黒酢
maitake tempura まいたけ天ぷら
Reference : fresh Kosher maitake mushrooms

zenmai abura itame ぜんまい油炒め fern fried with oil
Osmunda japonica, Taubenfarn
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
see: sansai, mountain vegetables

zooni 雑煮 New Year Soup
prepared with salmon and chicken meat and plenty of local vegetables.
Mochi are also put into the soup. They say it is the best zooni of all Japan!

zuiki no sunomono ずいきの酢の物 cooked stem from yam
from the yam potato yatsugashira 八つ頭
Zuiki from Wakayama
芋茎(ずいき) Zuiki Taro and the 随喜 Zuiki Vegetable Festival

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


mugi aki ya ko o oi-nagara iwashiuri

ripened barley--
with a child on her back
the sardine vendor

Kobayashi Issa

In a prescript for this haiku, Issa writes,
"Feeling pity for a woman from Echigo on a business journey."
Echigo is one of the old provinces of Japan, today's Niigata Prefecture. Mugi is a generic term that refers to several grains: wheat, barley, oats, and rye. Shinji Ogawa explains that the phrase "barley's autumn" (mugi no aki) refers, in fact, to the summer season. The name derives from the fact that ripened barley "is comparable to the sight of a rice field in autumn." The grain is ready for harvest, but the baby bundled on his or her mother's back is just starting life.

Not mentioned in the haiku, but implied, are the field workers to whom the mother is selling her sardines for their lunch break. The haiku presents a scene teeming with life: the field of golden grain, the hungry harvesters, the mother, the child.
Tr. and Comment : David Lanoue


Makoto Ueda mentions in his book,
Dew on the Grass: The Life and Poetry of Kobayashi Issa,
that there is an earlier version of this poem in Issa's Eighth Diary:

iwashi mese mese to ya naku ko oinagara

"Sardines! Sardines!"
she calls, with a baby
crying on her back

Ueda points out, however, that this "poem is deficient as a hokku since it lacks a season word. The revised version [which Issa included in The Year of My Life] corrects that deficiency, creating a sense not only of the season but of the surrounding landscape."

Larry Bole, Translating Haiku Fourm

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes

. Folk Toys from Niigata .