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Konjac Park is a theme park of all things konjac (konnyaku), a Japanese food product made from potatoes. Low on calories, while being filling, it has been a part of the Japanese diet for ages. Learn how konjac is made, workshops, and about the free all-you-can-eat buffet at the Konjac Park in Gunma!
Konjac Park – A Theme Park Dedicated to a Japanese Health Food
In the western side of Gunma prefecture, the town of Kanra that is known for its production of konjac (“konyaku” in Japanese). 92% of the konjac distributed in Japan is harvested in Gunma.
Konjac Park is located inside a konjac factory, part of the Yokoo Daily Foods company. The factory has gone under renewal as the locals wished to spread the culture and flavors of konjac to more people. Being part of the Japanese culture for ages, the factory has many fun activities for everyone to enjoy.
It is a popular spot in Gunma where visitors can enter for free and see how konjac is made, along with visiting an all-you-can-eat konjac buffet. Continue reading to learn about this unique, delicious, and healthy amusement.
What is Konjac?
Konjac is a food product made from the konjac potato, part of the taro plant family. For a long time in Japan, it has been a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisines such as oden stew, miso dengaku, and nimono stew. It has a jelly-like texture and konjac itself doesn’t have a distinct flavor, so it goes well with a variety of seasonings.
Due to being low in calories but filling, it has gained the spotlight as a dietary ingredient. Zen Pasta and other low or no-calorie noodles and rice popular in Europe and the United States is made out of a type of dried konjac noodles.
Why does Gunma Produce Konjac?
92% of konjac potatoes distributed in Japan are cultivated in Gunma Prefecture. So, why are there so many producers here?
Konjac was formally monopolized by the Mito domain (current Ibaraki Prefecture) during the Edo period. However, storage and transporting because easier and spread throughout the nation.
Theories say that the reason why the konjac became produced majorly in Gunma, was due to its soil that repels water and the temperate climate that was fit for producing konjac potatoes.
Things You Can Do at Konjac Park
1. Factory Visit
Upon your visit, head to the factory to see and learn about the steps of konjac making. For those who like to visit factories, it would be fun to see how the konjac paste gets packaged or how the shirataki noodles are made up close.
Along the way of the exhibition, you can see the history of konjac or small trivia about the konjac. There are many signs with plenty of images and illustrations set for you to enjoy the world of konjac.
Some activities Konjac Park requires a fee. Here, we tried making konjac from scratch at the Hand-Made Konjac Making Experience.
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