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Usui Pass Iron-pot Rice
おぎのや横川ドライブイン店(基本情報) おぎのやWEBサイトリンク What has been indispensable for railway travelers who go across the Usui Pass is the Usui Pass Iron-pot Rice sold at the Yokokawa station.
Its current style began in 1958. For as long as a half century, it has satisfied the appetite of travelers who go across the Usui Pass. Its taste is good due to a variety of food materials, including chicken, quail eggs, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, chestnuts, green peas, apricots, burdocks, and pickled ginger. It also looks rich.
Travelers often want to bring back home the container made of Mashiko-yaki pottery, the design of which has remained the same since this food began to be served to railway travelers.
Fuwa-Toro Tofu at the Isobe Spa/Mineral Spring
雀のお宿 磯部館(基本情報 磯部館WEBサイトリンク Yudofu cooked using minerals from the Isobe Spa.
This tofu is squeezed more firmly than ordinary tofu and boiled for a while. When boiled continuously, it begins to melt due to the action of minerals from the spa. Enjoy its unique feel on the tongue with a special sauce. This food is named for its "feel" in that it is fluffy (Fuwa) and meltingly (Toro).
The mineral soup remaining on the bottom of the pan is good for your stomach and intestines and helps you recover from a hangover. This food thus leaves nothing wasted after you enjoy it
Chikara Mochi
玉屋ドライブイン(基本情報) 玉屋ドライブインWEBサイトリンク Chikara Mochi is a renowned cake of the area surrounding the Usui Pass. It is a thumb-sized mochi wrapped with bean paste.
It dates back to the age of Ansei (1850s). In 1855, Chikara Mochi was first served to encourage and cheer young samurais who participated in the Nakasendo Road Expedition Competition held by the Annaka Domain, which is the origin of the current Ansei Samurai Marathon. It is believed that Imperial Princess Kazunomiya ate Chikara Mochi during her marital travel to Edo and that Ei Wada, who wrote "Tomioka Diary," ate also Chikara Mochi when she arrived at Tomioka.
磯部煎餅
磯部煎餅かじりあるきコース 磯部煎餅かじりあるきコースリンク Isobe Senbei is light-crisp senbei (cookies) whose principal materials are wheat flour, sugar, and minerals from the Isobe Spa. In 1873, Kensai Horiguchi, a physician at Isobe, verified the efficacy of the Isobe Spa and the sanitation bureau of the prefectural government permitted water from the spa to be used for foods on the basis of Horiguchi's verification. It is believed that this triggered the birth of Isobe Senbei.
It is produced in a wide range of varieties, including a plain type prepared by simply baking a mixture of the materials, a pair of senbei with cream inserted in between, a type made from a dough containing miso, ginger, yuzu, and other ingredients, a somewhat unique type made of plates of wet senbei dough with bean paste cream sandwiched in between, and a type of Isobe Senbei chocolate crunchies. There are about a dozen of Isobe Senbei stores in the Isobe area. Some manually bake, and others use machines.
Why don't you try the Isobe Senbei Stores Visiting Tour, which is also outlined at this website?
Ayu dishes
Isobe Yana 磯部簗外部リンク In June to September when ayu is the best, Isobe Yana, a restaurant located near the Isobe Spa streets, serves salt broil, sashimi, and other dishes cooked directly from live ayu. The restaurant's supper menu includes various ayu dishes, which are not only set meals, but also single dishes, such as salt-broiled ayu and fried young ayu. The lunch menu also includes reasonable-price dishes favored by many people.
Enjoy fresh-ayu dishes while listening to the murmuring of the brook and resting under the green leaves of the acacias.
Plum
Umenosato (Land of Plums) Annaka Annaka City includes Akima Plum Forest, which is about 50 ha with 35,000 plum trees, yielding the greatest plum production in Eastern Japan. This plum forest is a distinctive feature of the Gunma Prefecture. The city produces a lot of plum products.At present, people centering around the Annaka Commerce and Industry Association are making efforts to develop plum supplements and other plum-based indigenous products in cooperation with twenty-one restaurants and cake stores in the area using plums produced by local farmers. The Annaka City, as Umenosato (Land of Plums) Annaka, welcomes you with a plum-flavored hospitability.
Curry and rice dishes loved also by the working women of the Tomioka Silk Mill
Restaurant TakadaThis curry and rice dish is served by Restaurant Takada, which has been in business since 1951 at Tomioka, a city of silk mills. It is somewhat hot and a little spicy. Its taste is very rich.
It is said that this restaurant was often visited by working women of the Tomioka Silk Mill, which changed from a government-run factory to a private factory, after their overtime work and by cinemagoers who went to the cinema theater near the silk mill. Some people who remember the things observed at that time visit now this restaurant. A retort-food version of this curry and rice is also available that can be taken out. Its container is of the size of one brick used to build the Tomioka Silk Mill.
Silk Shaomai
信州屋(基本情報) This dish began in the early Meiji era as part of supper served by Hotel Shinshu-ya located just in front of the Tomioka Silk Mill. It features silk-like smooth tongue feel. The material consisting of lean pork, onion, root ginger, and other ingredients is wrapped with a thin coat specially prepared with Shinshu-ya's techniques, into a rather large dumpling. You can take it out or can eat it here as boiled.
Momotaro Gohan
甘楽物産センター(基本情報)In 1985, this dish was born from the local community's desire to produce a dish unique to this town. Pheasant meat and glutinous proso millet, which are indigenous products of Kanra Town, are boiled together into a special dish that is unique to this town.
The dish is served at the restaurant in the Kanra Town Product Exhibition Center. A take-out version is also available at the store.