Learn About Konnyaku and How to Make Them at This Theme Park in Japan
You can also buy their products as pasalubong.
Konnyaku is a traditional Japanese food which is made of konjac with a jelly-like texture. All over Japan, Gunma Prefecture produces most of the konnyaku products. There is even a theme park called Konnyaku Park which happens to be one of the places featured on Terrace House: Opening New Doors.
At this park which is run by Yokoo Daily Foods, one of the biggest konnyaku manufacturers in Japan, you can enjoy factory tours, experience hand-made konnyaku, and free all-you-can-eat buffet. Feel the new allures of konnyaku, a traditional Japanese food at this theme park!
Let’s go to the theme park where you can taste delicious konnyaku and experience its culture!
Learn about the manufacture process, history, and trivia of konnyaku
You can see shirataki manufacture from above.
About 800,000 servings of konnyaku are made in this factory every day. In here, you can see the manufacturing lines of konnyaku, shirataki, and jellies made from konnyaku for free. Each step of the manufacturing process is introduced through videos where you can also learn about the history and other trivia of konnyaku through exhibits. You don’t need a reservation to experience the factory tour. Each manufacturing line runs from Monday to Friday. (There are days between September and February when there is no production.)
The details you can only see from nearby are also shown in the videos step by step.
You can have fun learning about the history and trivia about konnyaku with panels.
Adults and children can have fun at the Experience Kitchen
There are 3 handmade experience courses you can try in the Kitchen. Each course takes about 30 to 60 minutes to make. You can either eat the food there, or you can also choose to take home what you made. These are for those older than 1st graders in elementary school only and you would need to make a reservation prior to the day of your visit.
Also, those who participate in this activity get to be a priority for the konnyaku buffet. With this, you won’t have to wait in line for the buffet.
Make fresh jelly at Handmade Konnyaku Jelly Fruit Experience!
There are several courses available.
Course A: Handmade Konnyaku Jelly Fruit Experience
Top your favorite fruit and enjoy freshly made konnyaku jelly.
Time required: about 30 minutes
Fee: ¥880 for junior high school students and older, ¥440 for elementary school students and older
Course B: Konnyaku Color Magic Experience
You can try the konnyaku colored with bright-colored vegetables.
Time required: about 30 minutes
Fee: ¥660 for junior high school students and older, ¥330 for elementary school students and older
Course C: Handmade Konnyaku Experience
You can enjoy fresh konnyaku made from konnyaku powder.
Time required: about 60 minutes
Fee: ¥1,100 for junior high school students and older, ¥550 for elementary school students and older
All-you-can-eat konnyaku dishes are free!
After watching and experiencing how to make delicious treats, go to the popular buffet and fill your tummy up. Here you can try various konnyaku dishes that are arranged for free. These foods are also available at their souvenir shop so make sure to try them out before shopping!
You can enjoy various konnyaku arranged dishes at the free buffet.
There are about 15 kinds of dishes made with konnyaku, and they are low in calories which makes them healthy. Try various kinds of dishes from the classic miso dengku to sashimi konnyaku and other arranged dishes such as curry rice and ramen. They even have dessert like jelly.
There is also a corner of sweets made from konnyaku kanten jelly which contains a lot of dietary fiber.
Nomu Onigiri and Pudding that is popular on social media are available here
Unique sweets and processed food made from konnyaku powder are available at the souvenir shop. We asked the staff about their recommendations out of all these products and here are some of their best picks.
Recommendation 1: Genen Nomu Onigiri (¥140)
Genen Nomu Onigiri (¥140) can be kept at room temperature and is also good to preserve or for emergencies.
With this nutritious supplement, you can help boost yourself during busy mornings and nighttime meals. It is packaged in a pouch so you can take it with you for various occasions like hiking, camping, and watching sports games. A new type of this product with less salt came out last year and there are also ume katsuo flavor and shio kombu flavor available.
Recommendation 2: Custard Flavor Pudding BIG 280 (¥130 yen)
Custard Flavor Pudding BIG (¥130) has a custard flavor and is satisfying.
This has a chewy texture and is very satisfying at 280g! You can enjoy it without feeling guilty about eating something sweet when you are a little bit hungry too.
Recommendation 3: Noko Shoyu Ramen (¥500/3 servings)
Noko Shoyu Ramen (¥500/ 3 servings) is ramen made from konnyaku powder that has a texture like fresh ramen noodles.
We also recommend Noko Shoyu Ramen to those who are on a diet because it contains 0 sugar and is low in calorie. It’s also very easy to make. You only need to wash the konnyaku noodles a little with water, pour soup and water, and heat in the microwave.
Put in as many konnyaku jellies you can in a plastic bag! It only costs ¥500 no matter how many you fit in!
At one corner of the shop, you can try putting in as many konnyaku jellies as you can for ¥500. It’s okay to put a lot unless they fall out of the bag. The key to packing them is to spread the bag and push the product in without leaving any space. Why don’t you give it a try?
Freshly picked vegetables are mainly lined up.
There is also a food market nearby where you can get locally produced seasonal vegetables and fruits. Fresh vegetables produced in Gunma are perfect for souvenirs too.
Refresh and relax at the foot baths inside the park when you are tired
If you want to take a break, the 5 free foot baths are the best place to go. There are various types such as Emerald 100 people Bath which is 17 meters long, and Ocean Blue Bath which is designed so that those on wheelchairs can also easily use the bath. The water is drained from Ogawazeki, one of the most famous 100 water which is in Kanra Town and is heated by the vapors produced by the factories. Make sure to bring handkerchiefs and towels with you.
Ocean Bath is a Hawaiian Resort style bath with blue tiles.
This park is also full of photo spots. Don’t miss the spots where you can take a picture with the Konnyaku Ambassador in the factory tour zone!
Tomioka Silk Mill, a world heritage site, and Safari Park are also nearby.
There is a parking lot for 400 cars, and you can get here in about 10 minutes by car from Joshin-etsu Expressway Tomioka IC. You can also get to JR Takasaki Station in about 1 hour from Tokyo by shinkansen.
From JR Takasaki Station, change trains to Joshin Dentetsu Railway and get to Joshu Fukushima in about 30 minutes and take a taxi for about 10 minutes to get here.
Tomioka Silk Mill, a word heritage site, is only about 15 minutes away while the Gunma Safari Park is about 20 minutes away by car. Since a lot of nice places are nearby, it’s nice to go sightseeing around the park too.
To avoid the spread of COVID-19, the facilities and staff are taking infection control measures while visitors are requested to wear masks all the time and practice social distancing.
Article by Hiromi Akitake based on information acquired in June 2020.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokyo Walker™ (18 June 2020)