Torn from Bettei Senjuan ryokan and brought to Utsunomiya, about an hour north of Tokyo, it was time to experience the French-Japanese cuisine of Otawa.  The town itself is gritty and has depth that museum cities, like Kyoto or Venice or Luzern, miss–tough looking streets.  It was on 7/12/45 that the city was destroyed by U.S. bombings, and rebuilt now it hosts Canon optical and a number of light manufacturing companies.  Sister city in U.S.: Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Utsunomiya is also known as “the gyoza capital of Japan,” but we didn’t learn this until after lunch.  Lunch was very good: Simple bowls of kitsune udon.  For $4.50 each, we ate very well.

In the evening, it was upscale.  After interviews with the chefs, beautiful local ingredients, including gobo and Tochigi Prefecture beef.

Soon, through rain, a brief stop in Tokyo for lunch and then on to Asaba.

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