Comprised of Aichi, Gifu, Mie and Shizuoka Prefectures, the Tokai region is located at the central part of Japan, along the Pacific Ocean on the side of Japan. Below are seven of the most popular souvenirs in the Tokai region, which is home to many attention-grabbing sightseeing destinations like Nagoya and Hida-Takayama.
1. Aoyagi Uirou of Aoyagi Souhonke (Aichi)
Aoyagi uirou is a steamed confectionery made mainly of rice flour that is characterized by its mild sweetness and springy texture. The classic flavors of this delight are: the white with a light and simple taste, the black that’s made from brown sugar, sakura (cherry blossom) that has the aroma of cherry blossoms, matcha green tea, and koshian (strained bean paste) (432 JPY per piece (incl. tax)). The Aoyagi Uirou Hitokuchi (486 JPY (incl. tax)) with bite-sized pieces of five flavors of uirou is also recommended. You can buy this confectionery at major train stations in the city, department stores, Chubu International Airport, shopping centers, and other establishments in the area.
2. Yukari of Bankaku Souhonpo (Aichi)
Yukari is a kind of senbei (rice cracker) that has a rich taste and aroma of shrimp. It uses fresh natural shrimp that can be eaten raw, and it is baked twice, so it has a firm and crispy texture. You’d probably be surprised to know that one piece of this senbei apparently uses seven shrimps! Yukari is a lightweight souvenir, with individually packed senbei that stays fresh for a long period of time. Shown in the photo is the Kan-iri Yukari 10-mai (10 pcs. of Yukari in a can) (918 JPY (incl. tax)). You can purchase this at major train stations, department stores, Chubu International Airport, and other stores inside the city. You can even purchase them from stores that are not directly operated by its manufacturer!
3. Kinjirushi Wasabizuke of Tamaruya Honten (Shizuoka)
Wasabizuke is a kind of preserve that is made by combining the minced roots and stems of carefully selected wasabi with sake lees (strained lees of Japanese sake) and seasonings. With the distinctive sharp, spicy taste and pungent aroma of wasabi, this wasabi preserve has a pleasant taste that makes it delicious when eaten as is, or put on top of hot rice, meat, and fish. The Tamaruya Kinjirushi Wasabizuke 130g (1,350 JPY (incl. tax)) is a limited-quantity product that has more enhanced flavors and spiciness of wasabi than a regular Wasabizuke. It can stay fresh for about a week to 10 days when stored at room temperature. You can purchase it from the main shop in Shizuoka, the Parche shop at Shizuoka Station Building, and the factory shop, STEP IN Tamaruya.
4. Unagi Pie of Shunkado (Shizuoka)
Unagi pie is a confectionery that uses secret unagi (eel) powder and butter, and then mixes them with garlic and other ingredients. This delicacy started to be made in 1961, when the artisans of the company thought about creating a specialty for Hamamatsu that houses Lake Hamana, which is famous for unagi. There is an anecdote that the catchphrase “yoru no okashi” (nighttime snack), which came from wanting families to eat it at night, became popular because it is connected to eel, which is said to have energy boosting effects. Ranking second in the list of the most recognized souvenirs in Japan, the unagi pie is known by everyone in Japan. You can purchase it from the manufacturer’s directly operated shops in Hamamatsu City, as well as at Chubu International Airport, JR Nagoya Station, and other shops.
5. Kuri-kinton of Suya (Gifu)
Kuri-kinton is a baked confectionery with simple sweetness that uses kuri (chestnuts) and sugar. The famous Kuri-kinton Rokko-iri (set of 6 pieces) (1,533 JPY (incl. tax)) – which will let you feel the bits of chestnuts, as well as taste the flavor of the chestnuts, as the dessert crumbles in your mouth – is available only during the harvest season for chestnuts (September – January of the following year). You can store it at room temperature, but note that its expiration date is quite short.
6. Gohei Mochi of Furuya (Gifu)
Gohei Mochi is often found in souvenir shops at Gifu. It is local delicacy of rice skewered onto a wooden stick, and then roasted with lots of miso and soy sauce-based sauce. The Gohei Mochi of Furuya, which has three stores inside the prefecture, is an exquisite delight that uses special soy sauce-based sauce blended with walnuts and other ingredients. Vacuum-sealed packs are sold as souvenirs, and all you have to do is warm the accompanying sauce in the microwave to enjoy this delicacy at home. It is also recommended for barbecues. Shown in the photo is the Gohei Mochi 5-hon Hako-iri (boxed set of 5 pieces) (1,200 JPY (excl. tax)). You can purchase this at service areas on highways and souvenir shops.
7. Akafuku Mochi of Akafuku (Mie)
Born 300 years ago, Akafuku Mochi is a kind of mochi (rice cake) confectionery that is topped with bean paste. The three ridges on the bean paste represent a clear stream, while the white mochi stands for the pebbles on a riverbed. This confectionery has an excellent balance of sweet bean paste and mochi, and it’s so delicious that you will surely end up overindulging in it! It is a souvenir that is famous nationwide. Note, though, that it has an extremely short expiration date of two days (manufacturing date and the following day) in the summer, and three days (including the manufacturing date) in the winter. The photo shows the Oribako 12-ko-iri (boxed set of 12 pieces) (1,100 JPY (incl. tax)). You can purchase it at major stations, service areas, department stores, and other establishments in the prefecture.
One of the fun things to do when traveling is buying souvenirs, correct? You’ll be able to eat what you bought while looking back on your journey when you get home. You can also give it to others to make them experience the flavors of Japan. The souvenirs showcased here represent the Tokai region. Try to find them!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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