Connected by a fish – Get to know Hungary’s new partner in Japan

When you think of Japan, the first city that comes to your mind is probably Tokyo. But what if we told you that Hungary has set foot in a similarly vibrant Japanese city called Koriyama? The Embassy of Japan, JETRO and the city of Koriyama organised an event to promote this new and exciting partnership.

Koriyama is a city of circa 340,000 inhabitants found in the Fukushima Prefecture. It is considered to be a core city and functions as the commercial centre of the prefecture. Even though it is quite far from Hungary, the two regions have some common aspects – as Masato Shinagawa, the mayor of the city highlighted.

The main similarity is carp production. Koriyama is the biggest carp producer in Japan, and the fish has a similarly important culture in Hungary.

“There is an inseparable connection between the water and the fish. We wish that this will be true for the relationship between Koriyama and Budapest” expressed the mayor.

The partnership started in 2015, when the Hungarian Ambassador to Japan visited the city. Then, in the February of 2016, a delegation came to Hungary in order to get familiar with the region. Among others, they learned about carp and curly-haired hog (mangalica) farming and Hungarian viniculture.

Photo: Daily News Hungary

In 2017, the Hungarian Kaláka band performed in Koriyama, while the city celebrated Hungarian Days last year to popularise our culture. Hungarian swimmers also got the opportunity to train for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in the city.

Furthermore, both nations have exquisite cuisines. And the hosts knew that they can get to our heart through our stomach…Accordingly, the menu was truly extraordinary and put together using ingredients from Koriyama.

It featured quiche with mozzarella, soy bean and edamame jam; granola bars with different seeds; purple sweet potato waffle with green soy bean; chicken karaage marinated in koji-soy sauce served with miso bean; cold fish soup with carp ball and miso-sourdough bread with different jam variations.

Photo: Daily News Hungary

It turned out that another similarity lies in the love for making food through fermentation. Moreover, we got to learn about Japanese sake, Daruma figures and different ways of using soy bean, which is considered to be one of the healthiest foods in the world.

Photo: Daily News Hungary

The city of Koriyama also has a diverse touristic scene and is happy to welcome visitors from all over the world :)

Koriyama City Guide

Featured image: Wiki Commons By 藍原あおい