Green tea Nihoncha means green tea produced in Japan. Green tea is made by immediately heating the tea leaves and drying them after harvest to prevent them from oxidizing, and there are various types of green tea – gyokuro, matcha, bancha, hojicha, genmai-cha, etc. At green tea factories around the Ohigawa area, each makes unique and original green tea in terms of umami, bitterness, flavor, and color (the color of green tea when steeped). Sakura ebi Touted as the Jewel of Suruga Bay, Sakura ebi or Sakura shrimps are only 4 to 5 cm in size, yet they pack full of umami and flavor. They are translucent while in the water but once on the shore, their light pink pigments become more apparent, making them appear pink in color just like Sakura, or cherry blossoms. For conservation purposes and to protect the ecosystem, only the Shizuoka Prefecture has the permit to harvest them in Japan. tea plantation While serving guests with green tea is an often practiced custom, green tea is deeply rooted in the lives of Japanese people. The plush green and the aroma of green tea not only have a relaxing effect but also enhance the flavor of the dishes you’re having. Known as the largest producer of green tea in Japan, Shizuoka Prefecture has the perfect climate, advanced cultivation skills and methods, resulting in accounting for over 40% of all the tea fields in Japan. Mud crabs The greatest appeal of the local seafood is its freshness. Some of the specialty seafoods from the region include the mud crab, known locally as the “phantom crab” for its rarity. The sunset of Bentenjima Island, one of the Eight Views of Totomi The Eight Views of Totomi are themes often used in traditional art, such as haiku, ukiyo-e paintings, and 31-syllable poems known as tanka. One of these views is the sunset as seen from Bentenjima Island in Lake Hamana. The traditional takiya fishing technique in action ―Freshly caught prawns and crabs― At night, the boat moves steadily over the pitch-black waters of Lake Hamana, steered by the steady hand of the boatman. He shines a light onto the surface of a lake, attracting prawns and crabs, which he spears or catches in his nets. This is takiya fishing, a traditional method which can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. When you’ve made your catch, the fisherman can cook it on a takiya-tei floating platform for you to enjoy along with other local foods. Yaizu Southern Bluefin Tuna boat-wrap sushi At Yaizu Port facing Suruga Bay, where the Oi-River flows, you can enjoy various things such as Yaizu Southern Bluefin Tuna, which is called “red diamond” because of its elegant fat and sweetness, bonito flakes which are royal gifts, as well as sashimi and tataki. The bonito fishes used to make these delicious dishes are caught here. 2019 COOL JAPAN AWARD WINNER “OKUOIKOJO STATION” In the middle basin of the Oi-River, the Oi-River Railway, a steam locomotive, runs between the fresh green tea garden and the magnificent Oi-River. At Kawanehon Town there is a tea garden located over 500m above sea level and is called the “tea-producing area in the sky”, here you can see a magical landscape filled with fog. “Cha no Ma” where you can enjoy tea while facing the superb view of the tea garden Tea experience unique to the Oi-River basin With the “Tea room” experience (tea in tea garden space with a superb view), you can enjoy taste testing various teas, a high quality green tea / matcha tea room experience in a Japanese garden, tea farm visit, hand massage experience, tea girl experience, and tea factory tour. Eel More than a century has passed since eel and soft-shell turtle farming was developed in the Hamamatsu and Lake Hamana area, and in that time over a hundred restaurants specializing in eel have sprung up. Because the area is situated halfway between Eastern and Western Japan, you can find the eel cuisine styles of both regions in Hamamatsu. In the Eastern style, the eel is slit along the back before broiling, and in the Western style, the cut is made along the belly.