Shizuoka loosely translates to “calm hill,” though the surrounding prefecture is home to an occasionally erupting Mt. Fuji. But hosting a volcano means nutrient-rich soil, making Shizuoka a hotbed for gorgeous produce like persimmons, zucchini, and world-renowned tea. Osaka may be known as the nation’s kitchen, but Shizuoka is where you get fed. Whet your appetite by digging in to our list of where to eat and drink in Shizuoka City.
Green Tea Sweets
Tea isn’t just for drinking, but an ideal ingredient for all manner of sweets and eats. Exhibit A: organic matcha stand CHA10’s mixed menu includes matcha shaved ice and an icy twist on matcha anmitsu: creamy matcha ice cream, red beans, and chewy balls of snow-white mochi (a regular costs 600 yen, while a large is 1200). They’ve also got bite-size treats like a green tea “jar cake” (500 yen) or a matcha nitro cocktail mixed with Bailey’s for your evening tipple (600 yen). To make things even sweeter, they serve their tea-infused goodies straight onto the street, making it convenient for a pit stop en route to nearby Shin-Shizuoka Station.
Tororojiru at Gansochoshiya
Step back in time to enjoy a classic meal at an old stop on the Tokaido Highway. Shizuoka’s Gansochoshiya has been dishing up tororojiru, a unique grated yam soup, for around 400 years. The simple but delicious dish remains a local favorite, though its texture might take a little getting used to: the gist of Tororojiru’s preparation requires grating a Japanese yam called jinenjo, mixing it with a raw egg, then pouring the mixture onto a bowl of freshly steamed rice. At Gansochoshiya, it’s topped with diced leeks and paired with a satisfying lunch set (prices vary from 1,000 to 2,000 yen, depending on your selection). Be advised that it’s a bit outside of the city centre, but can be easily reached via the Shizutetsu Justline Bus from Shizuoka Station.
Shizuoka is said to be the largest consumer of tuna in Japan. To eat like the locals, head to Shimizu Fish Market Kashinoichi–Shizuoka’s equivalent of Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market. If you’re hankering for tuna you might want to go wholesale, but if your craving demands instant gratification then order a rice bowl topped with fresh or marinated tuna. At Uoichiba Shokudo, the official restaurant of the market, they’ll ladle hefty scoops of tuna onto your rice until you demand that they stop (though the ideal ratio is thought to be 1:1).
- 浜焼小屋 馬鹿貝(ばかがい)
- 静岡県静岡市清水区島崎町149 2F
Green Tea Soba
Soba, thin noodles made from buckwheat, are popular all over Japan–especially in the sticky summer months, when a cool bowl serves as a great way to beat the heat. In Shizuoka, top-shelf tea is infused into the noodles to give them a smoother taste and a beautiful green tint. A lunch time pairing with a tumbler of green tea might seem like too much of a good thing, but it’s right on point. Green Tea soba can be found all over the city.
Shizuoka is famous for its oden, a Japanese dish combining a mix of simmered ingredients in a broth of soy sauce and dashi. One of the best parts of oden is how customizable it is, and it’s fun to build your own bowl from selections like hardboiled eggs, juicy fried tofu, and tasty fish cakes. Local oden is known for its dark colour, the result of letting its rich broth of beef tendons cook for longer than is common elsewhere in Japan. If you like spice, try it topped with fiery yellow mustard and a seasoning of seaweed and powdered fish. Variations on the dish are available throughout the city, so try them all and find your favorite!