I really like the Japanese 'Gotochi' postcards but don't actively collect them - this would be way too difficult as most people will only swap the cards for other cards from the same series, or for other cards that are really hard to get and/or expensive. I was lucky enough to swap for two with Sayaka earlier this year, though. This one is making me hungry! :D
Kampyō, are dried shavings of calabash, a type of gourd. Kanpyō is an ingredient in traditional Edo style Japanese cuisine, and cooked and flavored kanpyō is commonly used in Futomaki sushi roll. Kanpyo was originally grown in the Osaka region, but now is a specialty product of Tochigi Prefecture. The gourd is harvested between late July and September. The white flesh of the gourd is cut into strips 3 cm wide and 3 mm thick, then either dried in the sun or dehydrated.
Sayaka also attached a photo she had taken of sushi rolls she had made using kampyo. Mmmm...! I'm not sure if I've ever tried it but it does look delicious. I'm quite fond of sushi but hardly ever get to eat it as there are no decent sushi places around where I live, and they are always really expensive anyway.
Tochigi Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshu, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya. Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture. Nikkō is approximately one hour by train from Tokyo, and approximately 35 km west of the capital Utsunomiya.
Other famous parts of Tochigi include a region called Nasu known for onsen and local sake and ski resorts. The Imperial family has a villa in Nasu. Nasu-Shiobara is a major Shinkansen station.