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Tuesday, 2nd February 2016
In General Japan News,

Hamamatsu takes gyoza dumpling crown again

The coastal city of Hamamatsu in Honshu has been crowned Japan’s number one gyoza dumpling centre for the second year in a row.

It beat arch-rival Utsunomiya in the sheer volume of the pork and cabbage dumplings consumed by households throughout 2015.

Despite missing out on the top spot, Utsunomiya is still considered an important place for gyoza and is the perfect destination for those wishing to try the delicacy.

There are around 80 restaurants in the city that specialise in the dumplings, making it one of the must-do activities for those travelling to this part of Japan.

An annual festival in honour of gyoza is held in Utsunomiya and will go ahead as usual in May, bringing together regional varieties of the dumpling from across the country.

Akihiro Suzuki, secretary general of Utsunomiya Gyoza kai, a group that represents the city’s gyoza restaurants, told Japan Today: “We will join hands with other regions to further gyoza culture.”

Meanwhile, dumpling lovers from Hamamatsu celebrated their victory over the city that had dominated gyoza sales for 15 years up to 2010.

The Hamamatsu Gyoza Society said that the official figures showed that the citizens of the metropolis have a true love for the dumplings.

But Utsunomiya didn’t go down without a fight, as it has a long-running campaign to encourage people to purchase the delicacy, which includes playing a dumpling song to promote gyoza.

This approach apparently worked in 2013, when the city regained the title, which was lost again in 2014.

The official figures for spending on gyoza take into account those bought at supermarkets and other shops, but do not include frozen dumplings or those consumed in restaurants.

Average household spending for gyoza in 2015 stood at 4,646 yen (£27) in Hamamatsu; 3,981 yen for Utsunomiya; and 2,541 yen in Kyoto.

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Hamamatsu residents evacuate amid fears Typhoon Etau could make landfall (8th September 2015)