Utsunomiya was once again crowned as the “gyoza capital” of Japan after losing the coveted title to Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, for the first time in 2011.
The Tochigi Prefecture capital’s gyoza consumption rose in 2013, surpassing Hamamatsu’s figure after falling behind in the last three years, according to Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.
The average household in Utsunomiya spent 4,919 yen on gyoza last year, beating Hamamatsu’s 4,155 yen and making it the nation’s highest average household spending on the food item, as shown by a household income and expenditure survey conducted by the ministry and released Friday.
The household survey is conducted in random sampling of households in the designated cities and prefectural capitals, but excludes the gyoza consumed while dining out.
Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo, had billed itself as the No. 1 dumpling city to promote tourism. It held the spot for 15 years from 1996, but lost the top spot to Hamamatsu for the first time in 2011 due in part to the closure of supermarkets after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
In 2012, city officials encouraged residents to spend more on dumplings to recapture the title, using promotion flags with the slogan “Let’s be No.1 in Japan again” and a campaign song.