Shizuoka is a land of abundance. With hard-working farmers, heavy rainfall, and lands rich in minerals, thanks to Mount Fuji, it is one of the farming capitals of Japan. Here you can find some of the tastiest and most fresh mikan, wasabi, and green tea, among plenty of other products.
Shizuoka Prefecture’s coastline is also the only place in Japan where sakura ebi can be caught. If you’re a foodie visiting Shizuoka or living here, please make sure to try some of the land’s delights!
1. Shizuoka Green Tea
Shizuoka is famous around the world for its green tea. Shizuoka Prefecture produces around 40 percent of the green tea grown in Japan. There are wide different varieties of Shizuoka green tea, so there are multiple tea tours, tea tastings, and tea plantations that you can visit while in the prefecture.
It all began 1200 years ago when a Chinese monk introduced green tea to Shizuoka. Thanks to Mt. Fuji providing rich volcanic soil with a lot of minerals, Shizuoka has some of the best lands for growing green tea. Some of the popular varieties of green tea grown in Shizuoka include sencha, fukamushi sencha, hōjicha, and plenty more.
Not only are all the tea plantations dotted around the prefecture producing delicious green tea, but they are also a sight to behold. If you’re visiting the prefecture, make sure to try some Shizuoka Green Tea and visit a plantation! The Makinohara Plains, an enormous stretch of land in Makinohara and Shimada City, make up a considerable part of all green tea fields in Japan. This is the most iconic place to visit to sample a variety of Shizuoka green tea and learn about green tea. One great way of exploring the area is by hiring bicycles for the day since the lands are flat.
The juiciest and sweetest food that you must try in Shizuoka is the mikan. Shizuoka Prefecture is where Japan’s tastiest mikan comes from. This sweet and sour treat is originally from China, and it’s in season during the winter months.
Mikan are the perfect winter fruit. They are high in vitamins which we are often lacking in the colder months, so eating some of these can help to strengthen your immune system and avoid some colds. Their size and perfect flavor balance make them quite an addictive treat, and here in Shizuoka, you will find the best crop of mikan.
Ito City is home to Shizuoka’s large mikan farms. Here visitors can pick mikan right off the trees. If you want to explore Japan’s mikan capital, we recommend making the trip here! Ito City is also known for its onsen, so you could combine the two for a wonderful winter visit.
3. Shizuoka Wasabi
Wasabi is one of the most famous foods to come from Japan. Shizuoka and its fertile lands and hard-working farmers are responsible for the majority of wasabi that feeds not only the country but also the world.
Utogi District, in the north of Shizuoka, is the birthplace of wasabi cultivation. Around the year 1600, farmers began planting wasabi near sources of spring water, and this innovative approach practically gave Utogi a monopoly over wasabi cultivation. With time Izu Peninsula also began to cultivate a large wasabi crop.
Shizuoka wasabi is rich in vitamins, calcium, and potassium and rich in flavor. To learn more about wasabi cultivation and to try the world’s best wasabi, visit Utogi District or the Ikadaba terraced wasabi paddies.
4. Sakura Shrimp
The cherry shrimp, known as sakura ebi is a unique type of shrimp only found in Suruga Bay in Shizuoka and Taiwan. Sakura ebi are tiny shrimp that melt in your mouth. They are caught in spring and autumn and exported across Japan.
If you find yourself near Suruga Bay, we recommend trying some of these shrimps straight from the source! You can find them in local shops and stalls. Shizuoka prefecture is the only place where they can be eaten raw, so you may want to try this at a nearby restaurant!
Shizuoka Prefecture is home to Fujinomiya yakisoba. This type of yakisoba is unique to Shizuoka due to its characteristically chewy noodles. They are steamed and then coated in oil and combined with vegetables typically, including cabbage and carrots, and meat.
In the post-war era, there were food shortages, and noodles were very economical to make. Due to the combination of these two things, yakisoba grew to be one of the most popular dishes in Shizuoka.
When in Fujinomiya City, we recommend trying Fujinomiya yakisoba at a restaurant since it is one of the prefectures’ most popular regional dishes.
We hope you get a chance to try all these fresh foods and dishes that Shizuoka has to offer. These are just a few of our highlights, and there are plenty of other great foods in Shizuoka.
Since it is one of the best places in Japan for fresh ingredients, it is a popular place among foodies and enthusiastic home cooks. If you decide this is a place where you’d like to live, please check out our available rental apartments in Shizuoka.