If you’re a konnyaku lover, or want to try some, you must visit this Konnyaku Park in Gunma, Japan! Enjoy delicious konnyaku foods and desserts, learn about how it’s grown, and watch right in front of you how this starchy root gets turned into all kinds of foods!
Konnyaku is a starchy root largely grown in Gunma, Japan. Visit Konnyaku Park to see how this bulb gets turned into many kinds of healthy, tasty foods.
Eating Konnyaku for Health and Beauty
Konnyaku, aka Konjac, is one of my favourite Japanese superfoods: it is a super alkalising starchy root that is rich in a dietary fibre called glucomannan, that has many health and beauty benefits. Glucomannan has been found to help keep you full for longer, making it an effective weight-loss food as well as a helpful way to manage type-2 diabetes. It has been found to be as effective in treating acne as prescribed medications, effective in improving general skin health and even aid in wound healing by supporting the immune system.
That’s not all, the glucomannan found in Konnyaku significantly reduces cholesterol: not only does it reduce total cholesterol levels, it also specifically targets low-density lipoprotein, which is “bad” cholesterol. “Good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) absorbs cholesterol and helps the liver flush it out of the body; konnyaku helps us keep the good and lose the bad. Konnyaku has also been found to help constipation: by promoting healthy probiotic bacteria in the colon and adding extra fibre, digestive health and bowel movement improved significantly.
Konnyaku noodles are known as the “miracle noodle’ in the US, because they are a zero-carb, zero-calorie food that keeps you full.
Not to mention, Konnyaku is the second-highest alkaline rich food that naturally grows! If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know all about how important it is to alkalise our body and manage acidity levels. Cancer, heart and liver diseass have all been found to thrive in acidic environments, eating a highly alkaline food like konnyaku can help maintain a healthy bodily pH.
Visit Konnyaku Park in Gunma
Gunma is Japan’s largest producer of Konnyaku, so it makes sense that they’ve dedicated an entire park to this healthy food.
Regular readers also know that on my last Japan trip I visited many places in Gunma like the Daruma-ji Temple and Machida Ya yuba shop. However, this Konnyaku Park is the reason why I wanted to travel to Gunma in the first place! This “park” is really a factory where many konnyaku products are produced, from fresh konnyaku to noodles and jellies! Did you know that 90% of Japan’s konnyaku is grown and produced in Gunma? It’s no wonder they dedicated a whole park to this amazing food. I’ve been meaning to visit the park for a while now, so I’m glad my family agreed to come along with me, what a fun and unique experience it was!
Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet of konnyaku foods, totally free of charge! Eat as many noodles and desserts as you like at no cost! Be careful: not everything is vegan.
We enjoyed the buffet that featured many kinds of konnyaku noodle dishes, crispy fried konnyaku, and even konnyaku desserts like jellies and pudding. This all-you-can-eat buffet was completely free, no joke! There isn’t even an entry fee to get into the park! But be careful, not all of these foods were vegan.
As you walk around the factory, have a look at the videos and displays that tell you about the konnyaku life cycle, from farms to the production line. I learnt that it takes three years for a singular konnyaku plant to reach full maturity, before it is then harvested. At this point, it’s stalk will have grown to be up to 180cm tall!
Watch how the konnyaku root is treated, turned into noodles and then packaged to be eaten. There is even the option to go down and experience making some yourself.
Watch the factory workers turn these konnyaku roots into various kinds of noodles! It was so interesting to see the process in real time, from treating the fresh konnyaku, creating strings of noodles, to then sealing and packaging.
There are so many different kinds of konnyaku foods to try, all types of noodles, dried or fresh konnyaku and even deserts like jelly, cake and icecream! These signs say that for 500 yen, you can purchase a bag, in which you can take as much food as you can fit in!
Then, back near the buffet area, piles and piles of konnyaku products waited for us. Not only were there so many different kinds of konnyaku like noodles, dried konnyaku and even cakes and ice cream, but they were so cheap! My mum, sister and I ended up buying 4 boxes worth a total of $250 dollars. I got so much food that still, a year later, I haven’t tried everything!
The park also offers a delivery service, so you don’t have to carry 4 boxes of food home. My mum, sister and I ended up spending $250 between us, so much konnyaku!
I highly recommend if you’re travelling to Japan to visit Konnyaku Park in Gunma! It was such a fun and unique experience, perfect for any konnyaku lover, anyone interested in trying konnyaku and even families with kids: there were many kids activities, like making your own konnyaku.
204-1 Obata, Kanra, Kanra District, Gunma 370-2202, Japan
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