This month A Taste of Home is taking a field trip to Oizumi, Gunma Prefecture. Oizumi, an otherwise ordinary town, is home to roughly 4,000 Brazilians — about one-tenth of the local population. Most of them work in nearby factories (Subaru is a big one). But some of them are working to make life a little more comfortable for their compatriots, by running restaurants and shops that sell Brazilian food. Alighting at Nishi-Koizumi Station, I was there for the food.

My first stop was OPS (Oizumi Popular Shopping), a shopping center that looks like a warehouse. Inside is restaurant/grocery store Casa Blanca (4-18-1 Sakada, Oizumi-machi, Ora-gun, Gunma-ken; 0276-655-3284;, a beautician and an electronics store — all Brazilian-run.

"It's a popular hangout for Brazilians on the weekends," Eriko Saito at the Oizumi Tourism Association told me.