UTSUNOMIYA, Japan - Which Japanese city spent the most on "gyoza" dumpling in 2013?
Utsunomiya has regained the coveted mantle of "Japan's No. 1 'gyoza' dumpling city," municipal officials said Friday, after central government data listed the Tochigi prefectural capital as having the nation's highest average household spending on the food item in 2013.
City officials and dumpling restaurant managers, who gathered at the city hall ahead of the 8:30 a.m. release of internal affairs ministry data, applauded and shouted banzai after confirming that the spending in Utsunomiya was larger than in Hamamatsu, which was the biggest-spending city on the dumplings in 2011 and 2012.
Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo, had billed itself as the No. 1 dumpling city to attract tourists with the spending data remaining at the top of Japan's major cities for 15 straight years until 2010.
The city government was thus shocked when the Shizuoka Prefecture city surpassed it in expenditures in 2011 and again in 2012. In an effort to urge citizens to spend more on dumplings, a dumpling song was used in promotional events.
The ministry's spending data for the dumplings cover purchases at supermarkets and other stores and do not include costs for dining at dumpling restaurants.
According to the city, the average household spending on the item came to 4,919 yen for the whole of 2013 in Utsunomiya, followed by Hamamatsu at 4,155 yen and Kyoto at 2,874 yen.