Tochigi #3: Gyoza (餃子)

I had a huge crisis deciding which Tochigi post to write first. On one hand, the fall colors of Nikko are probably pretty much over by now, and I wanted to post about the colors when you could still see them, but on the other, the Gyoza festival was last weekend and it is definitely over even though I’m posting about it now. Decisions, decisions. I finally went with Irohazaka since you can only see fall colors for a short time, but can eat Gyoza any time.

So now, let’s talk about gyoza! Gyoza (also called dumplings or potstickers) are indeed originally from China but carry a unique flavor that is popular all over the country. Tochigi Prefecture’s Utsunomiya City is doing its best to be called the “Gyoza Capital of Japan”, and there is a gyoza restaurant on every corner. There is also a fun Gyoza Festival held the first weekend of November every year, where you can try gyoza from restaurants all over the city.

I’ve always been a big fan of gyoza, and visited the Gyoza Festival in Utsunomiya two years ago, at the same time I went to see the fall colors of Nikko.

Gyoza and postcard

Entrance to the festival

Trying some different types of gyoza at the festival

If anyone is interested in more information about the festival, you can read my trip report about it here on Japan Guide, and the official Utsunomiya Gyoza website is here (Japanese only).

Happy Gyoza Eating!