09 July, 2010

Visiting Fukusaki Town (Part 1 of 2)

Last month, I visited the town of Fukusaki!

Located in the southwestern part of Hyogo prefecture, it’s about an hour and a half by train from Kobe.

The town is known for being the hometown of Kunio Yanagita, the first person to extensively study Japanese folklore, and also for the beautiful Nagusa Waterfall. The town is also famous for its mochi-mugi, a popular type of wheat used for a variety of dishes in this town.

A gentleman from Fukusaki City Hall took us to the Kanzaki Historical Folklore Museum and Yanagita and Matsuoka Memorial Hall. Along the way, flowers were in full bloom and it was just one of those perfect days.

Birthplace of Kujnio Yanagita

Yanagita described his home as “the smallest house in Japan” but also said that growing up in that house was a big part of his life. It really seemed a bit too small for a whole family, but it had a very warm and welcoming feel to it.

                             Yanagita and Matsuoka Memorial Hall             Kanzaki Historical Folklore Museum 

After visiting the museum and the memorial hall, we visited the Mochi-mugi-no-yakata, or the house of mochi-mugi. I couldn’t wait to try the famous mochi-mugi dishes.

Mochi-mugi –no-yakata, or the house of mochi-mugi

At the mochi-mugi-no-yakata, we were able to see the making of mochi-mugi noodles. Visitors can also purchase souvenirs from here.

Mochi-mugi noodles

Mochi-mugi noodles aren’t like the popular udon or soba noodles. They’re much chewier. With all the delicious toppings to choose from, cold mochi-mugi noodles are prefect for a hot summer day.

Mochi-mugi ice cream

One bite of this ice cream and my mouth was filled with the pleasant taste of mochi-mugi. It wasn’t too sweet so it was very refreshing.

There are tons of mochi-mugi dishes that can only be found in Fukusaki. I’m looking forward to trying other dishes on my next visit.

To be continued…

Soo (Hyogo Tourism Association)