Pufferfish Born and Raised in Landlocked Tochigi?
Experience the Taste of "Hot Spring Pufferfish"!

Have you tried "Hot Spring Pufferfish", a new local specialty in Tochigi? Sweeter and more chewy than those from the sea attract gourmet aficionados everywhere.
Can you believe this pufferfish was raised in landlocked Tochigi? A product of regional revitalization project in Nakagawa-machi, these fish are literally raised in hot spring water. The hot spring in Nakagawa-machi had similar salinity to normal salt water, so project sought to raise Japanese Pufferfish in it. The pufferfish became the symbol of the town, and some people are even said to have raised statues of it around town!
Pufferfish, Savior of a Depopulated Town
The project came to life looking for ideas that would get the people living Nakagawa interested in their town again and to attract new people to come live in the town. And so, the town suffering from depopulation due to declining birth rates and an aging population managed to become a tourist hit branding itself as the "Hot Spring Pufferfish Town". Having become a local specialty, it currently supplies pufferfish to over 100 restaurants and inns within Tochigi. The unique idea of combining the local hot springs and pufferfish brought success to this once faltering region.

Hot Spring Pufferfish (Tochigi Tabi Net) (link to external website)

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The People of Tochigi