Countless strings of shimimochi, or dried rice cakes, a preserved food popular among local residents, hang in a workshop in the village of Katsurao, in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima, on Feb. 5, 2019. The cold wind blows into the room through open windows and producers say the flavor and scent becomes stronger when dried slowly. Shimimochi are made by mixing ingredients like tansy into sticky rice and naturally drying the mixture for approximately 40 days. When the village evacuated in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, production stopped at the shimimochi manufacturer, but restarted in 2017. The shop plans to make 5,000 strings of the dried rice cakes this year, which are scheduled to be shipped around mid-March. One string contains 12 pieces of shimimochi.
(Japanese original by Yuki Miyatake, Photo Group)