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Sasayama in the Wintertime: Botan Nabe & More

I’ve talked about the vivid landscapes of autumn leaves before, but Sasayama City, Hyogo Prefecture is known for another seasonal specialty: its winter botan nabe, a hotpot stew made with local wild mountain boar meat arranged delicately in the shape of a botan (tree peony) flower.Traces of botan nabe’s popularity are all across the town,…

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Hyogo’s Top Delicacies: Crab and Tajima Beef

Some of the best beef and crab in the world comes from Hyogo Prefecture, served up as Japanese cuisine ranging from lightly-grilled Tajima-gyu to fresh crab sashimi.  Kobe Beef is the world-renown grade of beef that, among other things, apparently became the source of Laker’s basketball star Kobe Byrant’s name (albeit pronounced differently that the…

Kinosaki Onsen: Mikiya

More beautiful views and things to do in Hyogo’s best onsen town! For this trip, we stayed at Mikiya. With over 300 years of history, Mikiya is one of the oldest ryokan in all of Kinosaki. Mikiya is also famous as the lodging that notable Taisho period novelist Shiga Naoya stayed at for months at…

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Oysters in Aioi

Well, winter is finally drawing to a close here in Hyogo – and we’re all very thankful! But before winter is over, I thought I should let you know about one must-eat winter delicacy that you need to try while it’s still around: Aioi oysters. Now, I wasn’t a big oyster fan before, but this…