Not far from Tokyo, Shizuoka prefecture has a lot of natural beauty to explore and unique food experiences to offer. If you are traveling to Japan, make sure to seek experiences beyond what is available in the major cities. We at runAway Japan did just that! Early on in our 50-day adventure through Japan, we traveled to Shizuoka prefecture and found a beautiful waterfall and tasted a flavor of ice cream unlike anything we had tried before!
Japan has so many amazing foods to sample, but you would be missing out if you didn’t check out the Japanese dessert world. Being a self-diagnosed chocoholic myself, I have been sampling many Japanese sweets and here are some of my favorite place in Gifu!
Starting from April 29 is Golden Week, a week of national holidays in Japan which include Constitution Day, Greenery Day, and Children's Day; making May one of the busiest months of the year in Japan. They have a “Tango no Sekku” custom to pray for well-being and healthy growth of boys on 5 May, Children's Day. The types of food that come with the season are also exciting to look forward to. There are two kinds of wagashi (Japanese sweets) eaten during this “Tango no Sekku”.
With shops all around selling a variety of chocolates, cookies, cakes, and bread, Kobe is the city of sweets. Few sweets in Kobe can be described as mediocre. In fact, most range between eye-opening-good to mind-blowing-excellent. The amount of care and attention that goes into what are seemingly “gimmick” products can be astonishing.
Kurashiki is one of the most beautiful places in Japan, and yet remains unknown to many people.
Wagashi has a variety of shapes and kinds instead of being standard goods because each wagashi is made by hand, reflecting a person's creativity and imagination.
Yatsuhashi are one of the most popular traditional sweets sold in Kyoto. They come in two varieties: a crispy baked version, or a soft, sweet-bean-paste filled steamed version known as ‘nama’ (raw or unbaked) yatsuhashi. Next time you are in Kyoto try the Yatsuhashi making tour.
Harajuku, located in the heart of the shopping district of Shibuya, is known internationally for its extravagant outfits, and its great shopping. Since it has become an epicenter for young Japanese people and international travellers, many eateries have also started to sell different types of food on the streets of Harajuku. While you are shopping and looking at the interesting clothes and souvenirs you can also find some great sweets to eat while you stroll.
Like many art forms, wagashi making is an effort of practice and instructions, two things you can experience yourself in some of Japan’s most renowned wagashi shops. In Kyoto you have the chance to do make tradition with your own hands at Kanshundo Honten.