Utsunomiya Gyoza (宇都宮餃子)

    Beautiful picture of Utsunomiya Gyoza

    If local cuisine from Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture interests you, consider trying Utsunomiya Gyoza. This dumpling type, filled with minced meat and vegetables and wrapped in thin dough, offers a variety of flavors and styles such as pan-fried, boiled, or deep-fried. Utsunomiya City, known for the highest per capita consumption of gyoza in Japan, takes pride in its Utsunomiya Gyoza. This article presents the history and features of Utsunomiya Gyoza and recommends shops where you can savor this popular dish. Seize this opportunity to experience the taste of the Tochigi region and uncover the secrets of this long-loved delicious dish.

    Utsunomiya City’s Famous Gyoza Dumpling

    Utsunomiya, known as the town of dumplings, boasts numerous restaurants that sell gyoza dumplings, with some specializing solely in dumplings. In Japan, Utsunomiya gyoza ranks among the most famous gyoza dumplings. Utsunomiya hosts an annual Utsunomiya gyoza festival to celebrate these famous dumplings. Visitors can sample gyoza dumplings from a variety of local restaurants. If you find yourself near Ustsunomiya Castle Park on the first Saturday of November, make sure to check it out.

    A gyoza statue even stands in Utsunomiya. This abstract stone statue depicts a goddess in a gyoza dumpling.

    What are Utsunomiya Gyoza

    These dumplings, thinly wrapped and pan-fried, make your mouth water from the sizzling hot filling when you bite into the nice and crispy skin. Restaurants typically make them with ground pork, garlic chives, and mixed vegetables, but many put their own spin on it. You can also find Utsunomiya dumplings baked or boiled. The variety is so vast that everyone can find something they like. The ingredients that can go inside Gyoza are also diverse. Its variety ensures you never get bored of it, and some people even eat it multiple times a week.

    Utsunomiya Gyoza

    History of Utsunomiya Gyoza

    Utsunomiya Gyoza

    The gyoza’s origins come from China. Some Japanese soldiers that have returned from the Second World War brought back recipes of Gyoza and opened restaurants in Utsunomiya. They created an association for Utsunomiya Gyoza and the popularity just grew from there, making Gyoza a great source of revenue for the city and the biggest city in Japan for Gyoza consumption. People often say that the inland climate contributed to the popularity of dumplings. They believe dumplings boost stamina, making them ideal for both hot summers and cold winters.

    Where to eat Utsunomiya Gyoza

    There are many places you can eat Utsunomiya Gyoza throughout the city. Around 30 shops specialize in gyoza specifically and many more having them on their menu. All these options can be overwhelming, but here are some places that would be a great choice.

    Min Min

    Our first choice is actually one of the most famous places for eating Utsunomiya gyoza. They have many branches throughout and a nice convenient location that is just a 2 minute walk from the JR Utsunomiya station’s east exit. You can tell how good their gyoza is by how busy the place is. There is always a crowd flocking to these stores. They have many styles of gyoza with reasonable prices. Try the boiled dumplings that will slide into your mouth with delicious juice in every bite.

    For the convenient JR Utsunomiya Station location:
    Address: 1-13 Miyamirai, Utsunomiya, Tochigi
    Phone number: 81 28-651-6810
    Hours: Opened every day except Thursday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

    Main shop:
    Address: 4 Chome-2-3 Babadori, Utsunomiya, Tochigi
    Phone number: 81 28-622-5789
    Hours: Opened every day except Thursday from 11:30 am to 8:00 pm
    Search up a Minmin location closest to you!

    Utsunomiya dumpling association rairasse (main store)

    There is a place where you can try dumplings from all different shops. Relish the experience of comparing and gobbling up different daily dumplings from various shops registered with the Utsunomiya Dumpling Association. Participate in the gyoza fair, where you have the opportunity to make your own dumplings or observe the process. There is plenty of merchandise to take home as well.

    Address: 2-3-12 Baba-dori, Utsunomiya-shi MEGA Don Quixote Lapark Utsunomiya B1F
    Phone number: 81 28-614-5388
    Hours: Open all year around from 11:00 am to 8:30 pm
    Website: http://www.gyozakai.com/society/kirasse.html

    Utsunomiya Gyoza-kan Kenta Gyouza

    Enjoy one of the 12 varieties of gyoza here or try them all at once in an affordable platter. The great varieties and flavors are what bring customers to this store. Enjoy combo sets, serving variety of Gyoza at a nice price. It is a great feast, deserving of a spot in the city of gyoza. It has a convenient location with a minute walk from Utsunomiya station. The place also opens early for anyone seeking a morning snack.

    Address: 3-1-5 Ekimaedori | Tsuchiya Bldg. 1F, Utsunomiya 321-0964, Tochigi
    Phone number: 81 28-627-1000
    Hours: All week long, 6:30 am to 11:00 pm
    Website: https://www.gyozakan.jp/shop/ekimae_tyuuou/%E9%A7%85%E5%89%8D%E4%B8%AD%E5%A4%AE%E5%BA%97/

    Aogen Paseo Store

    Wander into this amazing gyoza restaurant at the Utsunomiya station where they specialize in a miso sauce. It is a unique gyoza experience. Especially try out their most popular miso-grilled dumplings that are covered in spring onions. The taste of the gyoza in miso soup is very unique and a must try for any gyoza fan.

    Address: 1-23 Kawamukocho | Utsunomiya Station Bldg. Paseo 1F, Utsunomiya 321-0965, Tochigi
    Phone number: 81 28-627-8464
    Hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
    Website: http://www.aogen.co.jp/paseo


    A cute little place with amazing Gyoza. It is conveniently opened early and into the late hours of the night. The gyoza here uses mochi powder that makes the skin nice and chewy. It is affordable and you should try their pan-fried and boiled gyoza. Their special green colored gyoza is made from spinach. It is also recommended to eat the baked dumplings with their special mayonnaise and cinnamon pepper. Also conveniently located from the west exit of Utsunomiya station.

    Address: 3-3-2 Ekimaedori, Utsunomiya 321-0964, Tochigi 
    Phone number: 81 28-614-3805
    Hours: On Sunday opened from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm and every other day it is 10:00 am to midnight.

    Utsunomiya Minmin

    They serve unique gyoza that is beautifully cooked with wings. Delicious and popular to eat with a gravy. They are another great restaurant for your gyoza desires.

    Address: 4-2, Baba Street, Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture
    Phone number: 81 28-622-5789
    Hours: Closed Mondays, opened 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Sundays, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Saturdays, Tuesday to Friday they are opened from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm then 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
    Website: http://www.minmin.co.jp/index.php

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