- Main lore areas
Oyama area, Isehara City
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
Oyama, located 1,252 meters above sea level and part of the Tanzawa Oyama National Park, is famous for its tofu, which makes use of the good quality water of the Tanzawa mountain range. Tofu is very soft with high water content and has a light flavor. Because it can be easily combined with any ingredients, a variety of tofu dishes are served in local households, but the two most popular are "chilled tofu" and "yudofu," which allow the flavors of the ingredients to be enjoyed as they are.
Because Mt. Daisen receives steam from Sagami Bay and is prone to rain, it is also called "Mt. Since it was possible to make a round trip from Edo (Tokyo) in three to four days without passing through a barrier, many commoners visited the mountain during the Edo period to pray for rain and prosperous business. When the population of Edo was 1 million, as many as 200,000 people visited Oyama in a single summer.
Daisen's tofu was first made using soybeans donated from various places and local fresh water. There is an anecdote that in the old days, visitors to Mt. Oyama during the height of the hot summer would slurp tofu in the palm of their hands as they walked around the mountain. Tofu dishes were also served to worshippers at nearby inns, where they were greatly appreciated and eventually became a local specialty.
In 2016, the Agency for Cultural Affairs recognized the " Oyama Pilgrimage" as a Japanese Heritage Site, and tofu cuisine is one of the components of the Japan Heritage Site.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Tofu can be enjoyed regardless of the season. Oyama Tofu has become an indispensable ingredient in the daily diet of households throughout the city, and a wide variety of tofu dishes are enjoyed. In addition to "chilled tofu" and "yudofu," other popular dishes include "shirato (tofu paste)," in which tofu is mixed with seasonal ingredients such as local wild vegetables and persimmons, and "tofu dengaku," in which drained tofu is grilled and served with miso sauce.
- How to eat
For "chilled tofu," tofu is sliced and placed on a plate. For "yudofu," tofu is placed in a pot of boiling soup stock and other ingredients of your choice. Both are served with soy sauce, ponzu (Japanese citrus juice), or other seasonings and condiments of your choice.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Oyama Tofu is produced mainly by local independent tofu stores and consumed mainly locally. In addition to being consumed on a daily basis in every household, a wide variety of tofu dishes are served at local inns and restaurants.
Every year in mid-March, the " Oyama Tofu Festival" is held, where visitors are served hot tofu made in a large pot 4 meters in diameter, and a variety of tofu-related events are held, such as a quick-eating contest and a handmade tofu-making experience.