Fukushima Prefecture in Tohoku region can be reached in an hour by Shinkansen from Tokyo.
The charm of Fukushima is its lush nature, beautiful scenery, delicious fruits, rice, and Japanese sake that is made from rice.
We went to Fukushima to interview two brothers who grow rice.
It has only been 10 years since Tsuchiya brothers started farming rice, but they have already won numerous awards in rice contests. Rather than adhering to old ways of cultivating rice, they constantly adopt new ideas that they find good.
Instead of using any chemical fertilizers, they only use organic fertilizers to make rice that is good for the environment as well as the body.
One person who ate their rice had the following to say:
“Children who didn’t eat that much rice before, have started to eat rice more than side dishes.”
So, not just adults but also kids are able to notice the difference in the taste.
“Bread is delicious, and I like it. But I would still like it if people ate some rice, too. After all, with rice, you just put it into a rice cooker. Bread requires kneading,” Mr. Tsuchiya says with a smile. Indeed, rice is easy to prepare, since all you have to do is put it in a rice cooker together with water.
Tsuchiya Plantation is located in Inawashiro, Yama District in Fukushima Prefecture, but you can also purchase rice from their website.
Famous products from Fukushima you will want to eat with rice
Here, we will introduce side dishes from Fukushima Prefecture that you will want to eat with the delicious rice.
Ika Ninjin, known to any local, is a side dish with a crispy texture. It is made of carrots, squids, and Konbu (seaweed), which are marinated in soy sauce.
Koyo-zuke (lit. autumn foliage pickle) is a Fukushima dish with a long history, as it has been passed down since the Edo period.
It is a fermented mixture of salmon, malted rice, salt, and salted salmon roe. Even though it has a raw texture, it can be stored, so it will also make for a good souvenir. The bright color of salmon is just like autumn foliage.
Uni Miso (sea urchin miso) is a hidden famous product from Iwaki City, that even many Japanese aren’t familiar with. Sea urchin, which has a short shelf time, is mixed with egg white and miso, and fried to make a preserved food. It tastes good on rice, but its flavor can also be enjoyed as a pizza or pasta topping.
You should visit not just souvenir shops, but also local supermarkets where you will surely encounter some traditional local foods.
Everyone who loves Japanese sake likes Sharaku, which is made in Miyaizumi Meijo Brewery in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima. Sharaku has many varieties, such as rare ones that can appear on the market only twice a year, and ones that can be bought throughout the year. Its flavor differs, depending on the type of rice, and the combination of rice that is used.
Come to Fukishima Prefecture to eat some delicious local foods.