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About Shizuoka Prefecture : Regional Specialties and Traditional Handicrafts

Regional Specialties and Traditional Handicrafts

Thanks to its mild climate and rich natural environment, Shizuoka’s ocean waters and mountains create mouth-watering fresh foods.

The region features many traditional handicrafts, primarily wood crafts and lacquer ware, which are made from natural materials such as bamboo.

Green Tea

It is said that green tea has been cultivated in Shizuoka Prefecture for around 760 years.

Approximately half of Japan’s tea is grown in Shizuoka, which ranks number one in Japan in terms of quality and production quantity.

Rich in healthy ingredients such as catechin and vitamin C, green tea is gaining worldwide recognition as a calorie-free health drink.

 

Mikan (Mandarin Orange)

Shizuoka Prefecture is the third largest mikan producer in Japan thanks to its warm climate and geographical conditions which provide optimum growing conditions.

Mikan from Shizuoka are said to be very sweet and are the most popular type found in Japanese markets.

 

Strawberries

Many strawberry farmers take full advantage of Shizuoka's sunny and warm climate.

Akihime and Benihoppe are two strawberry breeds which originated in Shizuoka Prefecture and are popular throughout Japan.

During the winter to spring strawberry season, people enjoy strawberry picking throughout the prefecture.

 

 

Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish)

Shizuoka Prefecture is the birthplace of wasabi, a plant indigenous to Japan which only grows in cool areas with clean water.

Wasabizuke is a well-known specialty made by chopping wasabi leaf stems and rootstocks and then soaking the pieces in sake lees.

Nowadays, wasabi is used in a variety of sweets and snacks such as yokan (thick jellied desserts), senbei (rice crackers), and soft ice cream.

 

Sakura Ebi (Sakura Shrimp)

Sakura Ebi is a treasured seafood found in Shizuoka Prefecture.

In fact, Shizuoka is the only place in Japan where they can be caught.

Sakura Ebi are called "sea gems" because of their transparent bodies which make them beautiful to look at.

There are two Sakura Ebi fishing seasons per year, one in spring and one in autumn.

Shizuoka's Suruga Makie (Gold Lacquer)

Shizuoka's Suruga Makie

Makie is lacquer ware created by sprinkling metal powders such as gold or silver in order to create designs and patterns.

The Suruga Makie style was started in 1828.

It is mainly characterized by togidashi makie (burnished makie), which features a deep, three-dimensional finish, as well as keshifun makie (frosted gold leaf), which creates a sense of exquisite beauty.

Shizuoka became well-known as a distinctive lacquer ware region due to the traditional techniques that are used in original modern lacquer ware design.

Principal products include Japanese doll accessories, writing boxes, serving trays, and geta (Japanese wooden clogs).

Suruga Hina Ningyo (Suruga Hina Dolls)

Suruga Hina Ningyo

Suruga Hina Ningyo can be traced back to the Neritenjin doll replicas of Sugawara no Michizane, a famous scholar, poet, and politician of Japan's Heian Period.

Neritenjin dolls are made completely from a clay substance that is paulownia powder mixed with glue.

Not only the face, but the doll's clothing is also painted by brush.

The oldest existing doll dates back to 1853.

In the Edo Period, a new type of Neritenjin doll started to be produced featuring a cloth costume.

By bringing artisans and the finest materials from all over Japan to Sumpu (eastern part of present day Shizuoka Prefecture), Tokugawa Ieyasu aided in the development of Sumpu Hina Ningyo, high quality dolls with a variety of designs.

Sumpu Hina Ningyo are designated as a national traditional handicraft.

Suruga Wazome (Suruga Dyeing Style)

Suruga Wazome

Suruga Wazome was started in Shizuoka's Imagawa Period.

In the beginning of the Taisho Period, Serizawa Keisuke, designated as a living national treasure, created dyeing techniques and an art which are still practiced in the Shizuoka area.

This made Shizuoka famous around Japan for its Wazome crafts.

Characterized by the sharp contrast created by its indigo and white colors, Suruga Wazome is used to create a wide variety of products from fabrics to home interior materials, and its beauty provides people with a sense of comfort.

Kakegawa Teori Kuzufu (Kakegawa Handwoven Kuzu Cloth)

Kakegawa Teori Kuzufu

Kakegawa Kuzufu, used in formalwear such as haori (half-coats) and hakama (divided skirts), creates an elegant aura that is beyond words.

It is a stiff material that gives off a light, tastefully austere shine without using silk or hemp.

Kakegawa Kuzufu is completely handmade from start to finish.

Since the craft has been taught by our ancestors through the generations, the natural fabric is still created as it was in the past.

Today, people around the world appreciate this important rustic folk material's graceful appearance.

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