Utsunomiya

Utsunomiya (宇都宮市 ) is the capital and largest city in Tochigi Prefecture, as of October 2010, the city has an estimated population of 510,416 . 

Utsunomiya is approximately 100 km north of Tokyo. It is the stop before Nasu on the Shinkansen train and quite a few of my colleagues live there.  Its a much bigger city than Nasu/Otawara, but I don’t often go there, I usually go into Tokyo if I want more… 

It is famous for its Gyoza and allegedly has over 200 Gyoza style restaurants in the city ! Apparently in the 90’s the local council realised that Utsunomiya residents consumed more gyoza per head that anyone else in Japan. This discovery led to the creation of the Utsuomiya Gyoza Association, which promoted a new wave of gyoza culture. Their work culminated in the commission of the Gyoza Statue — an impressive work of a stylized Venus emerging, not from an oyster shell, but from a giant gyoza wrapper. (Only in Japan!)
I was obliged to try some of course and whilst I think more research needs to be done, the reputation as Gyoza town is well deserved!


Thanks to Wikipedia & Travelcnn.co for specifics

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