Headlined by the aromas and flavours of green tea, the cuisine of Shizuoka prefecture is both elegant, personable and above all tasty. Japan's zest-filled flavour of the wasabi root finds its origins here while unique seafood, like the amazingly sweet sakura shrimp share the gastronomical corridors of the region with rich hearty flavours of dishes like the prefecture's signature winter hotpot dish. Here is a simple guide to some of the regional cuisine of Shizuoka.

Sakura ebi

Only found in Shizuoka's Yui Harbour, sakura ebi are an extraordinarily sweet and juicy species of shrimp. These translucent delicacies are an absolute treat when eaten raw - no need for any additional flavouring - but when dried or fried as kakiage, the condensed flavouring turns out to be just as delicious.

Sakura ebi (Photo: <a href="http://photozou.jp/photo/show/184917/185281263" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">jyakou / CC BY-ND 2.5</a>)
Sakura ebi (Photo: jyakou / CC BY-ND 2.5)

Wasabi zuke

Literally pickled wasabi, Shizuoka's famous zingy root gets a flavour treatment as wasabi zuke. A traditional local speciality, wasabi zuke is as rare and expensive outside of the prefecture as it is delicious and famous within it. Pickled in sake lees, all parts of the wasabi root can be used, leading to a satisfying kick in flavour that goes well with drinks or as a side dish on its own.

Wasabi zuke (Photo: <a href="https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marusa_Food_Wasabi-zuke_2018.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">photo: Qurren (talk) / CC BY-SA 4.0</a>)
Wasabi zuke (Photo: photo: Qurren (talk) / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Shizuoka oden

Different from the more common oden, Shizuoka oden is simmered in a broth of strong soy sauce and beef stock, giving this hearty hotpot dish a decidedly dark colouring. In addition to its colour, the ingredients of Shizuoka oden are all served skewered and with a helping of dried fish seasoning and aonori seaweed, makes for a great eat during the winter months,

Shizuoka oden (Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kynbit/612212490" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Kiyonobu Ito / CC BY 2.0</a>)
Shizuoka oden (Photo: Kiyonobu Ito / CC BY 2.0)

Shizuoka green tea

With over forty percent of Japan's green tea production based in the prefecture, it's safe to say that Shizuoka green tea is nation's teapot of heaven. With whole swathes of the prefecture covered in gorgeous tea plantations, a millennium of cultivation now offers a fascinating variety of delicious aromatic flavours and fragrances.

Green tea  (Photo: <a href="https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2017_Kagoshima_sencha_-_second_infusion.jpg#mw-jump-to-license" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Difference engine / CC BY-SA 4.0</a>)
Green tea (Photo: Difference engine / CC BY-SA 4.0)