Weekly Shiritori #12

Last week’s post was about Basashi ( ばさし/ 馬刺し), so this week I need to start with し (shi). I decided to write about…

Shizuoka ( しずおか/ 静岡)

Shizuoka Prefecture (Shizuoka-ken / 静岡県) is located in central Japan, on Honshu (the main island of Japan), and the capital is Shizuoka City (Shizuoka-shi).

I lived in Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture for a year from 2010-11. While I was there I discovered a lot of beautiful places by taking local trains and buses into the countryside or to the coast. I could write all weekend and still not cover everything about Shizuoka in this post, so I’m going to focus instead on the three things Shizuoka is most famous for:

1) Fuji-san (富士山)

Fuji-san

One of the most iconic sights in Japan has to be Fuji-san, or Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is actually on the border between Shizuoka and Yamanashi (山梨県), and is surrounded by the famous Fuji Five Lakes (富士五湖). Tourists flock to Mount Fuji every year to catch a glimpse of the mountain’s perfect shape, and to climb up to see the sunrise. It’s safe to climb Mount Fuji in July and August, and not advisable to climb at other times of year. You can find out more about climbing Mount Fuji on the Mount Fuji Guide. Even if you can’t make it to Shizuoka, it’s still possible to see Mount Fuji. Depending on the weather and time of day, a clear view of Mount Fuji can even be seen from Tokyo.

2) Green Tea

Tea

Shizuoka is the largest producer of green tea in Japan, accounting for 45% of Japan’s overall tea production. Shizuoka’s climate, the quality of its water and its location all help to make it the perfect place to produce tea. Green tea comes in a number of different varieties suitable for drinking on different occasions. Personally, I love a cup of light sencha (煎茶) from Shizuoka and, even though I’m no tea buff, you really can tell the difference between tea grown in Shizuoka and tea grown in other places, such as Kyoto.

Making tea

3) Unagi (うなぎ)

Unagi (Japanese eel)

Unagi (eel) was one of my favourite dishes while living in Japan, and I was delighted to live in an area which produces the best unagi. Lake Hamana in Shizuoka is where the local speciality eels are cultivated, and boy do they taste good! Grilled eel on a bed of rice is one of the best dishes (see above) and, even though eating eel may seem a bit strange to some people, I’d encourage you to give it a go. I don’t even eat meat, but eel is one of the nicest things I’ve ever tasted as a pescetarian.

If you find yourself in Shizuoka Prefecture, most likely staring at the beautiful Mount Fuji, I highly recommend that you check out some of the other places in Shizuoka and, of course, try the local cuisine. Shizuoka boasts some beautiful temples and shrines, as well as the lively Hamamatsu Festival in May and Daidogei (street performance festival) in Shizuoka City in November.

☆★☆

Shizuoka (しずおか) ends with か (ka), so next week I will be looking for a noun beginning with “ka”. If you have any suggestions, please leave them below! And, don’t forget, no words ending in ん!  (^_^)v

7 thoughts on “Weekly Shiritori #12

  1. Shizuoka is a beautiful prefecture in Japan that I have been lucky enough to have visited several times. You can see all the tea fields as you wizz by on the shinkansen but it is a place to you should stop by and visit that is not covered in detail by most Japan travel guides.

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  2. Mmmm I still remember that yummy Unagi we had at the cafe at the Ryugashi-do Caves and the look of surprise on the lady’s face when you ordered it ;0)

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  3. Too fun! My good friend lives in Hamamatsu! We’ve visited her and had the eel and always leave with a big bag of Chikumei (sp?) brand green tea.

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