Exploring Shizuoka with International Students Part 3
Indulging in Unaju (Grilled Eel over Rice) in Shizuoka, Home to a Long History of Eel Farming

Over 100 years ago, during the Meiji era, eel farming began in Shizuoka Prefecture. Particularly around Lake Hamana, the region is renowned for its flourishing eel farming due to factors such as abundant clean groundwater essential for cultivation, a plentiful supply of eel fry and feed, and a warm climate throughout the year.

By the 1960s, Shizuoka Prefecture accounted for 70% of the total national eel production, showcasing the prominence of eel farming in the region. Even today, Shizuoka remains a renowned producer of eel, with numerous delightful eel restaurants scattered throughout the prefecture.

With Li Jiang Hua, a graduate student at University of Shizuoka, we set out to savor the delectable eel cuisine that Shizuoka has to offer.

On this day, we enjoyed a delightful dish known as 'Unaju,' featuring grilled eel placed atop rice in a tiered Japanese lacquer box. As we lifted the lid, a tantalizing aroma wafted through the air, revealing the sweet and savory glaze enveloping the perfectly grilled eel.

Li: "Wow, it smells amazing! It's delicious! This is my first time trying eel since coming to Shizuoka. While cities like Hamamatsu and Mishima are particularly famous for eel, there are also many delicious eel restaurants right here in Shizuoka City”.

While enjoying the Unaju, I inquired about Li's life in Shizuoka.

Li: "It's been seven years since I started living in Shizuoka, and it's a very comfortable place. There are many hills around my university, so I usually commute from home to university on a motorbike. It's convenient for traveling longer distances as well.

In the last two years, I've been working as an ambassador for The Consortium of University & Local Communities in Shizuoka, using social media to introduce the life of international students and participating in events of promoting university education for Japanese language school students.

Shizuoka Prefecture has many sightseeing spots like Nihondaira Yume Terrace and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine. I've visited there alone or with various people, including friends and family, and every time there's something new to discover. I think it is a great charm of Shizuoka. For prospective international students thinking of coming to Shizuoka, I'd like to convey, 'Once you're here, you'll surely understand the goodness!'"

Li truly enjoys life in Shizuoka, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share these experiences. Thank you for joining us today, Li!

Graduate student, University of Shizuoka Li Jiang Hua

From China. She came to Japan in 2017. After studying Japanese for two years at a Japanese school, she entered the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Shizuoka. Currently a first year graduate student at the University of Shizuoka. In graduate school, she is studying international society and culture.