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A traditional food for the New Year, zouni

Today, I’ll talk about traditional Japanese food, ‘zouni’.

Zouni is a kind of soup with rice cakes (mochi) and other ingredients such as fish, meat, and vegetables.

It’s especially associated with the New Year holidays in Japan.
People eat zouni during that since they believe zouni brings them good health for a coming year.
Zouni can be found nationwide, but each of them is slightly different.


So, this time we visit Maniwa City of north Okayama to eat some local zouni
We joined the tour ‘Maniwa zouni bus tour’ which is organized by Maniwa tourism association


Maniwa tourism association
Address: 420-2 Katsuyama, Maniwa City
Tel: 0867-44-4111
www.e-maniwa.net/ (tourist information of Maniwa City)
www.e-maniwa.net/maniwabito/(sightseeing tour in Maniwa City)


For a kick-off, we visited the south part of Maniwa City, Hokubo area.
It takes about an hour by car from the centre of Okayama City.


Here is ‘Nakatsui jinya’, an accommodation with a lovely restaurant.
真庭 お雑煮 142 真庭 お雑煮 144


This is a traditional zouni, ‘Hokubo buri zouni’.
真庭 お雑煮 149  
It has a slice of buri fish(a yellowtail) in it.
Buri fish and mochi(rice cakes) are boiled in the fish stock (dried bonito, seaweed, and dried little sardeines)


When I saw the zouni, a question popped into my head

Why local people of former days put fish in their zouni
Because Hokubo is surrounded by the mountains, so it must have been very difficult to get fishes at that time...



So, I asked a local woman about it. 
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Apparently, this zouni got its start about 300 years ago (in the Edo era).

The Ise Matsuyama clan which was ruling Hokubo area at that time promoted the buri fish market to make the area affluent.
The market was held at the New Year holidays.

Because of that, people got a chance to buy buri fish and they started eating buri zouni at the New Year holidays.
For people, it was a great luxury, only once a year


Uh-huh, I see
真庭 お雑煮 152 真庭 お雑煮 153
I’m fond of this buri fish, it’s really soft and tasty


Nakatsui jinya
Address: 454-2 Shimo natatsui, Maniwa City
Tel: 0866-52-5001
Opening time: depends of the booking
Close: Wednesdays
Price: Hokubo buri zouni 550yen (booking needed, a group of more than 10 people is acceptable)
           This zouni is served until the end of March (booking is needed).
Staying:adults 3150yen per one night / breakfast 735yen / meals 1575yen~
hokubo.city.maniwa.lg.jp/hoku-cgi/hokusst/freserve.cgi



Totally full
So, we decided to do some exercises.

After one-hour drive, we arrived at a campsite, Create Sugedani where you can enjoy some outdoor activities.
IMG_1380.jpg 真庭 お雑煮 175

Today, we are going to try snow shoes walking (this activity is available only if you join ‘Maniwa zouni bus tour’ or other tours) .


First, we heard the instruction on how to use snow shoes.
Now, we are ready to set off
真庭 お雑煮 183 IMG_1341.jpg


We entered the mountain covered with snow. It was just amazing
I enjoyed walking on the brand-new snow
IMG_1337.jpg IMG_1346.jpg
Sometimes we got stuck in the snow as it was too deep


We climbed a hill, and enjoy the wonderful view from the top.
This is a snowman I made
真庭 お雑煮 198 真庭 お雑煮 204

Look at those trees covered with snow!
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I liked the snow, the blue sky, fresh air… everything


Create Sugedani
Address: 1050-2 Mikamo, Maniwa City
Tel: 0867-56-2044
Opening time: 8:30-17:00
Car park: 100cars
www.sugedani.com/


Next, we headed for Shinjo village to eat zouni with local specialties.
It takes about 10min by car from Create Sugedani to ‘Marchen no sato Shinjyo’.
IMG_1415.jpg IMG_1413.jpg


Sinjyo village is well-known for a production of organic mochi rice ‘Himenomochi’.
The girl in the packet is a mascot of it ‘Himekko chan’.
IMG_1423.jpg

Local people eat zouni with mochi made of Himenomochi.
This zouni is called ‘Himekko zouni’, and there are some different types.


Soon after we arrived there, local people demonstrated the rice-pounding (mochi tsuki). IMG_1398.jpg IMG_1400.jpg

As you know, Mochi is made from Mochi rice.

Mochi rice that has been left to soak in water overnight is steamed and then put into the mortar.
Generally, the rice-pounding is done by two people, but Himenomochi needs four people. Unlike other case, any water is added to Himenomochi during mochi-tsuki, so the mochi tend to be more springy.
After about 5minutes, the mochi looked nice and shiny and was ready to eat


Freshly pounded mochi is soft and smooth.
真庭 お雑煮 245 真庭 お雑煮 248
I was surprised because Himenomochi was so stretchy


We came across an unusual zouni at the restaurant.This is ‘Gyu mochi don’.
真庭 お雑煮 251 

The zouni has local beef (Shinjyo beef), onions and Himenomochi in it, and the soup is sweet.


The beef brings the special richness and flavor
真庭 お雑煮 253 真庭 お雑煮 257
I’ve never eaten zouni like this, but I fell in love with it


Marchen no sato Shinjyo
Address: 2190-1 Shinjyo village, Maniwa City
Tel:0867-56-2908
Open: the restaurant 10:00-17:00 (during the winter 10:00-16:00)
Close: Wednesdays, at the end of the year and the New Year holidays
Price: Gyu mocha don 600yen
cms.top-page.jp/p/maniwa/3/3/54/


We visited a small hotel Ajiwaino yado Shinjyo to eat another Himekko zouni afterwards.
IMG_1431.jpg 真庭 お雑煮 286
Apperently, this hotel is busy especially in the winter time, since it’s located near the ski resort, Hiruzen

It takes about 15min by car from Marchen no sato Shinjyo.


This zouni has hamaguri(clam) and other toppings such as tofu, mushrooms, seaweeds salad onions.
真庭 お雑煮 276 


It looks gorgeous Bon appétit
真庭 お雑煮 278 
真庭 お雑煮 281

It had a mild taste compared to other zouni.
I like its delicate flavour


Ajiwaino yado Shinjyo
Address: 4744-1 Shinjyo village, Maniwa Gun
Opening time: 9:00-19:00 (booking needed)
Tel: 0867-56-3233
Close: irregularly
Tel: 0867-56-3233
Price: Himekko zouni 700yen
Staying: adults 5300yen per one night (breakfast included)
                          
7800yem (dinner and breakfast included)
     Zouni is served as a breakfast for guests of the hotel.
Car Park: 15cars
www1a.biglobe.ne.jp/shinjoson-yamanoeki/


As you can see, zouni shows the history, customs and culture of each area


It could be fun to visit different part of Japan and eat local ozouni
Please try ozouni if you visit Japan during the New Year holidays


A: Nakatsui jinya  B: Create Sugedani  C: Marchen no sato Shinjyo’  D: Ajiwaino yado Shinjyo


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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。