Nozawana is a leafy vegetable popular in Japan. The name nozawana literally translates to Nozawa leaves and derives from the fact that these green edibles have been cultivated around Nozawa Onsen for generations. Nozawana is most commonly consumed pickled and you’ll often find the Japanese eating nozawana-zuke (Nozawana pickles). The salty pickles complement white rice well and various forms of nozawana-zuke are often served in restaurants and households alike. Around Nozawa Onsen, nozawana-zuke are sold at gift shops and are a common omiyage or souvenir.
Got the munchies? Try the onsen manju – a regional snack usually filled with homemade azuki bean paste. Among those in the know, onsen manju from Fukiya are bestsellers. Since 1904, the onsen manju have been made using the same recipe and maintained the same taste since they began making them over a hundred years ago.
Onsen manju may be offered in different flavors of paste – don’t be too shy to try the popular chestnut paste before they sell out!
All the eating has to be paired with some hydration! Nagano just happens to be one of the best places in Japan to taste delicious sake to quench your thirst. With the second highest number of sake breweries in the country, the Japanese rice wine made in Nagano is not only some of the best you’ll find but even the naysayers will enjoy the refined flavors!
High quality sake relies on crystal clear waters and Nagano’s sakes are made using the clear spring waters from the prefecture’s mountains, including those surrounding Nozawa Onsen. In addition, the nutrient-rich soils, fresh mountain air, and the pure waters combine to deliver conditions well-suited for cultivating rice. Together, Nagano’s waters and rice combine to develop some of Japan’s tastiest sakes – don’t miss the opportunity to sample local sakes at Nozawa Onsen!