One of the most famous gyoza dumplings in Japan
Utsunomiya Gyoza is an important part of the culinary culture of Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture, where a large number of gyoza dumpling restaurants can be found. The locals have their favourite ones that they visit frequently. Most of these restaurants serve gyoza dumplings only, and some of them are even ‘pan-fried dumplings only’. Among the various stories behind how gyoza became so popular in the region, one says that the dish provided the locals with good nutrition to survive the harsh inland climate - hot and humid in summer and bitterly cold and snowy in winter - while another says that Utsunomiya had a base for an army division that previously operated in north-east of China and brought back and shared the Chinese dumpling recipe with the local people.