If you have no idea what konnyaku is, you’re not alone! However, if you’ve tried Japanese oden stew, then there’s a good chance you’ve eaten some before. This regional specialty of Gunma is made from the plant of the same name, a jelly-like ingredient made from a curious root vegetable. The low-calorie shirataki “miracle” noodles are made of konnyaku and over 90% of national production comes from this mountainous region.
If you haven’t quite wrapped your head around this strange ingredient yet, you will have done by the time you finish your visit to Konnyaku Park in Gunma. This is a temple to all things konnyaku, and also an active production factory for its production. On a visit here, you can sample all kinds of dishes featuring this distinctly Japanese ingredient.
There are also workshops where you can try your hand at making some, a buffet where you can eat your fill, and a shop where you can grab some konnyaku souvenirs to quell your cravings once you leave. Don’t be shy about eating your fill; konnyaku is one of the world’s favorite new foods, on account of its minimal number of calories.