One great thing about fishing different parts of Japan, and having a little of the language, is the chance to sample the local produce. One of my current projects is to compile a book detailing my fishing trips to every single prefecture in Japan (I have fished about a fifth so far) whilst indulging the local specialties. Fishing for herabuna is largely game (although the more eccentric may eat them; it’s on my to do list) so without an ice chest stuffed with fish to encumber me, on my way home I wandered about in search of Kazo city’s famous udon. The region is also well known for pork and traditional Japanese mochi-based sweets. I bought a pack of fresh udon and also the cakes/sweets known as kashiwa-mochi and shio daifuku (the tenpura is made from fillets of cutlassfish I had to hand in my freezer). Although I am generally sceptical of packaged ‘famous local specialties’ – many of which are adulterated, not produced with any local ingredients or made elsewhere – I have to say the udon was really quite excellent; I think I prefer this kind of thin-cut variety anyway, and the noodles themselves were genuinely tasty. The sweets were very agreeable but they suffered from the long train ride back home, and in my opinion, one of my fishing buddies who is a confectioner here in Tokyo makes them better.