- ▼Agrifood / Miso
- ▼Citrus / Fruits
- ▼Noodles / Flour
- ▼Sauce / Oil / Vinegar
- ▼Spice / Tea / Herb
Agrifood / Miso
Kochi Prefecture is one of the major producers of green garlic in Japan. Rooted in this region, Earth Aid specializes in growing green garlic and other vegetables in their own farms as well as processing their harvest into products while using no additives. They are conscious of health and environment and are committed to producing organic items with no additives. They even avoid using synthetic detergents and chemical disinfectants in their processing facilities, always aiming to be environmentally-friendly and to contribute to a sustainable society.
Rooted in Ehime Prefecture, Enseki Aojiru specializes in aojiru (kale-baed green vegetable juice) powders and supplements. Committed to an organic farming and producing healthful items since their establishment in 1992, they grow kale, manufacture various kale products, and market them directly. They have a strong belief that people should take care of their health while they are healthy. Employing their original drying and pulverizing methods, they retain the maximum nutrients from the base ingredients. To contribute to a sustainable society and supporting people’s health, they develop a variety of products that include vegetable and fruit powders, tablets, teas, and beauty products.
Founded in 1946 and based in Tokushima Prefecture, Hikari Foods makes organic, natural, and non-GMO foods, such as citrus products, sauces, and dressings, all of which are free from artificial additives. While producing their wholesome and delicious food products. Hikari Foods strives to practice sustainable farming and ecosystem protect ecosystem. They have even brought abandoned farms back to life and their fruit and vegetables are grown organically as certified by JAS standards.
Houmoto Goma Tofu
Founded in Sasebo City in Nagasaki Prefecture, in 1952, Houmoto Goma Tofu has been committed to producing authentic Nagasaki-style gomadofu (sesame tofu) using traditional methods for decades. Made with house-roasted sesame and quality kudzu, Houmoto’s products are known to be particularly aromatic and nutritious. Today, the third generation president of the company personally roasts and grinds sesame to maintain taste and tradition. They also enthusiastically pursue modern ways of enjoying gomadofu and run their own cafe, serving original dishes, both savory and sweet, made with their exquisite gomadofu.
This farm was established by Kenji Ichikawa in 2011 in Toyosato, the smallest town in Shiga Prefecture. Ichikawa, who used to work at a soy sauce company, started product development in collaboration with local farmers, and the result is their Caramelized Onion & Soy Dressing, which is now regarded as one of the most appreciated soy dressings in Japan. By closely working together with the local farmers and developing high-value items, Ichikawa contributes to propelling the local economy forward.
Ikeichi Saika-en is a tomato farm in Tosa City, Kochi Prefecture. Located in the southern part of Japan, the area boasts a mild climate with an abundance of sunlight. Also, the nearby Niyodo River provides pristine water. Using these natural blessings, they grow the Ike Tomato, a premium brand tomato boasting a high sugar content (about 9-12°Bx). In order to achieve their standards of quality, they completely separate their 1.6 hectare farm land to improve their soil. They also manufacture various items using Ike Tomatoes, including tomato juice, ketchup, dried tomatoes, and sorbet.
Isle focuses on producing vegetable wrap sheets made using locally-sourced “imperfect produce” not usually sold on the market for aesthetic reasons. By producing healthy and tasty food items from this source, the company contributes to reducing food waste while being environmentally friendly. It also strives to create jobs for the local community, which has suffered from depopulation. The founder developed and perfected the inventive vegetable wrap over a period of 16 years, and in 2017 the product was ranked in the top 10 in the Food Action Nippon Awards, an effort organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
For over 70 years, at the foot of the Ou Mountains in Miyagi Prefecture, Kawaguchi Natto has been engaged in producing and marketing natto (fermented soybeans). With the company philosophy of “Quality First”, they strictly adhere to a traditional natto production method, source ingredients locally and from neighboring regions, and carefully pack their natto using materials that preserve taste and quality. Also, to allow consumers to enjoy their natto’s authentic taste, they do not bundle any sauces or condiments when selling it, unlike other common natto brands. Kawaguchi Natto, also contributes to local communities in ways that include growing vegetables and operating nursery schools.
Rooted in the Izumo region of Shimane Prefecture, Kenchanzuke, a tsukemono (Japanese pickles) specialty maker, sources freshly harvested vegetables from local farmers as well as other regions in Japan to make truly flavorful pickles. They employ traditional production methods that include handcrafting, small batch sizes, and pressing with heavy stones. Tsukemono is a tradition deeply embedded in Japanese food culture, but it can also be enjoyed with Western cuisines. Kenchazuke aims both to spread tsukemono culture to the world and to hand it down to generations to come.
Since its foundation in 1959, Kohsei Foods has been committed to promoting Japanese fermented food culture that contributes to the country’s healthy diet. The company produces numerous items that aid pickling and fermentation, such as vegetable pickling powder and paste, rice koji, yogurt culture, and amazake drinks. The company’s in-house research experts, who are well-versed in fermentation, develop products suited for a modern lifestyle while continuing to maintain tradition. Kohsei Foods also upholds a world-class standard of food safety and quality control, leading the fermentation food industry in Japan.
Rooted in Fukui Prefecture, Komego has crafted artisanal miso with traditional methods for 185 years. Their craftspeople’s passions, commitment, skills, and the natural kobo yeast inhabiting their brewery, all contribute to the supreme taste of their artisanal miso. The quality of Komego’s miso has been prized for over a century, and it is the only miso purveyor permitted to deliver miso to Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple, the historic Zen temple founded by Zen Master Dogen in 1244.
Since its establishment in 1962, Kosyo has been engaged in producing tsukemono (Japanese pickles) mixes. They have developed various types of tsukemono mixes in accordance with changes in lifestyle and people’s taste preferences. From nukazuke (rice bran pickles) to takuan (dried and salt cured daikon pickles) to asazuke (overnight pickles), Kosyo’s tsukemono mixes are easily incorporated into every day cooking without the typical pickling processes. They are also committed to holding lectures and events to promote the benefits of tsukemono.
In 1886, Monshichi acquired an oil machine from the British and founded Kuki. Since then, Kuki has been applying the “continuous pressing method” to make a sesame oil without using any chemicals or enhancers. With just one taste of Kuki’s sesame oil, you will discover and experience the pure earthy fragrance of the sesame seeds and know why the Kuki family is famous for its sesame oil.
With the strong belief that “your health comes from what you eat”, Maeda has manufactured various food products by using ingredients grown mainly in Japan without using any additives. The company started as Maeda Wasaku Shoten in 1927 in Ehime Prefecture and was incorporated in 1961. Their popular products include mochi flour, kinako soybean flour, ready-to-use anko (sweet bean paste), dried anko, and pre-cooked, ready-to-use rice, all of which allow you to skip some preparation steps yet produce genuine homemade tastes. They maintain their own online shopping site, Wasaku-ya.
Okada family has been producing small-batch organic fermented foods in Kurashiki, Okayama. The family is passionate and dedicated to spreading top quality, healthy foods all over Japan. Currently, their white miso, amazake, and rice koji products are favorites of those who seek healthier foods in European and Asian countries. The products are also now beginning to be introduced in America.
The Nakata family started brewing miso in the southern part of Nagano in 1888, pursuing the highest quality of Shinshu region style miso making. Since then, the Nakata family has made significant achievements in the development of innovative methods that shorten the fermentation period and also enables the making of miso without any food-additives. True pioneers, the Nakata family has influenced many other miso breweries.
Maruya Hatcho Miso
Maruya Hatcho Miso’s origin dates back to as early as 14th century when the founder established a brewery. Since the early Edo Period around 17th Century, they have specialized in producing traditional “hatcho miso”, a unique type of miso made entirely from soybeans, salt, and water. The miso is extremely regional and is produced in the designated area called Hatcho town (approx. 38 acres) in Aichi Prefecture. They have maintained their natural production methods, which have been handed down for centuries, and use them to brew and age the robust miso in wooden barrels. In addition to producing their traditional miso, they currently make various hatcho miso-based items, including condiments, sauces, ramen and udon noodles, curries, and snacks.
Minami Foods is located in Hirono-cho, the northernmost town in Iwate Prefecture, known for its rocky coastline. Since its establishment in 1981, the company has produced quality yuba (tofu skin) by taking full advantage of its regional features—the fertile soil, the soft spring water that gushes out of rocks, and the cold air. They are constantly exploring and developing safe-to-eat, tasty, and healthy food items that capture local flavors.
Surrounded by vast and beautiful lotus fields, Nakano processes local agricultural harvests, such as lotus and burdock roots, and also sells its own merchandise. Nakano’s home prefecture, Tokushima, is known for producing high quality lotus roots grown in a mild climate, with pristine water and fertile soil brought by the Yoshino River. Tokushima’s lotus roots are prized as premium ingredients due to their bright color, crispness, and plentiful nutrition.
Ohara specializes in healthy food items made by exploiting the power of konnyaku, commonly known as konjac or devil’s tongue in the U.S. As konnyaku experts, they are concerned that the consumption of konnyaku in Japan is decreasing. With the aim to reverse this trend and promote this superfood to the world, they are committed to developing easy-to-use and versatile konnyaku items. Ohara’s konnyaku products are truly healthful and especially good for those who are diabetic and allergic to gluten.
Okuizumo Rose Garden
Okuizumo Rose Garden is an artisan rose producer based in the beautiful Oku Izumo region. It is operated by the Fukuma family who devoted themselves to high quality organic and pesticide-free edible rose products, ranging from dried petals to rose syrup. Its unique rose cultivar “Sahime,” developed by Atsushi Fukuma, exhibits more floral notes and a fruity-sweet aroma. Its deep red petals contain more anthocyanin and polyphenol than other cultivars.
Shimane Organic Farm
Shimane Organic Farm grows, processes and manufactures organic food products in the unspoiled countryside in Shimane Prefecture in Western Japan. Surrounded by mountains and located near the major Gonokawa River, the company can easily source raw materials from their farms nearby. They specialize in organic methods and strive to make high-quality, healthy, delicious products such as tea and powdered vegetables.
Shimanto Domeki is a consortium formed by nine food producers and farmers in Shimanto City, Kochi Prefecture. The area stretches around the Shimanto River that is renowned for its pristine water and for quality produce such as rare wild eel, sweet fish, and river prawn. By using this produce, the company manufactures original products and adds new value to the rich food culture in Kochi. Furthermore, they bring their additive-free, safe-to-eat food items to the world.
Sugi Bee Garden
Three beehive boxes are the humble beginning of Sugi Bee Garden in Kumamoto Prefecture. Over 70 years, it has committed to natural methods for raising bees and harvesting honey in harmony with the environment while upholding the philosophy of “Wholesome ‘Apiriculture’” (coined from apiculture and agriculture). Today, they have grown into one of the most productive beekeeping companies in Japan and have also found success overseas in countries like Canada, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Brazil. They also maintain high standards of quality and safety control, utilizing management strategies based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) guidelines.
Rooted in the Takachiho-go region in the Kyushu region, Sugimoto specializes in producing sustainable forest-grown, dried shiitake mushrooms. To ensure traceability and to protect the environment, they have an exclusive agreement to work with 600 local independent mushroom growers who use authentic cultivation methods and use no additives or pesticides. The shiitake they use are grown in the deep forests of Takachiho-go on Sawtooth Oak stumps, which regrow into trees every 15 years as the forest’s lifecycle continues.
Founded in 1969, Takaaki has specialized in producing konnyaku, which is also known as konjac or devil’s tongue in the U.S. With the aim to promote this fiber-rich superfood to the world, they have developed various konnyaku items that are easily incorporated into everyday cooking. These items include konnyaku desserts, pre-cut & ready-to-use konnyaku, and dried konnyaku. Takaaki’s unique konnyaku items are not only perfect for Japanese dishes but can also work harmoniously with many other cuisines.
In 1974, the founder of Tanaka Shoku, a former farmer in Kochi Prefecture, ventured into a tofu manufacturing business, maximizing the potential of ionized water. The company ionizes water sourced from a 30-meter deep well and uses it in their tofu production processes. In addition to their commitment to producing tasty and healthful tofu, they are also enthusiastic about developing new tofu snacks, like Tofu Jerky made with locally sourced Muroto deep sea water.
Edible flower grower and manufacturer, Tom, is rooted in Okuizumo in Shimane Prefecture, which is blessed with pristine water, clean air, and fertile soil. They cultivate edible flowers without chemical fertilizers or pesticides and manufacture high-quality and safe dried edible flower items that are sought after by chefs, patissiers, bartenders, and cooking instructors. They also export their dried edible flowers to premier hotels in Europe and Hong Kong.
Based in Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture, Toyohashi manufactures a variety of barley products, including rolled barley, flour, cereal, cereal bars, vitamin-fortified barley, and precooked rice with barley. With the aim of promoting the benefits of barley and contributing to healthy society, they have developed nutritious and tasty barley products in accordance with changes in lifestyle and diet trends. They are committed to food safety as well, and they were granted ISO9001 certification in 2011 and ISO22000 in 2019. Also, they produce livestock feed from grain.
Citrus / Fruits
Bando is the only certified organic farmer in Japan that conducts the entire process of growing and manufacturing citrus goods on-site. They are located in Kamikatsu, known to have one of the highest precipitation averages in Japan. Abundant in greenery and pure water with a huge temperature difference between day and night, this unique environment is perfect for growing particularly aromatic yuzu and sudachi. These citruses are handpicked and also carefully processed by hand in small batches, which result in the highest quality products.
Fruits Farm Itoh
Fruits Farm Itoh grows premium grapes, peaches, apples, and other fruit in their 2-hectare orchard in Fukushima Prefecture. In addition to supplying fresh fruit, they process this fruit into products like dried fruit, jam, and juice without using any additives, aiming to provide tasty and safe-to-eat food items. Their high quality fruit and other products are esteemed as gift items as well.
Fukami is a fourth-generation family business growing and manufacturing ume plum products since 1940. The Fukami family have committed themselves to growing organic Nanko ume, the highest-regard variety of ume, in their own farms without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Their organic Nanko ume plums, due to limited yields of this premium variety, are harvested in extremely small batches—the family treats each plum with care as they craft their delicious ume goods.
Shikoku / Chugoku Region
The English meaning of KANKITSU is Japanese Citrus. KANKITSU LABO launched with the mission to become the bridge connecting with the US by assisting the growth of community farmers and manufacturers in Japan, and introducing new flavors have yet to be discovered by many.
Kishida has mastered the art of growing natural Japanese citruses and making perfect citrus-based goods. Working closely with local farmers of daidai (Japanese bitter orange), yuzu, and other citruses in Yamaguchi and neighboring Shikoku Island, Kishida oversees all operations, from harvest to packaging to distribution. With its expertise in Japanese citrus, even 5-star chefs in Japan are eager to work closely with Kishida to master the use of Japanese citrus.
Deeply rooted in the Kito village in Tokushima Prefecture, known for its abundant rainfall and rich forest, Kitomura produces food items made with sustainable and ecologically-friendly methods. The region grows a brand of high quality yuzu called Kito-Yuzu that has been awarded numerous prizes. The company only uses Kito-Yuzu, locally harvested without using pesticides, herbicides, chemical or animal-based fertilizers. From the tools used in the production processes to the packaging used for the products, they are careful only to use materials that are environmentally-friendly and harmless to human health.
Marufuku Farm grows Saijo-gaki, a high quality variety of persimmon known for its high sugar content, in their 1 hectare (about 2.5 acre) farm. They also manufacture products like dried persimmon and persimmon vinegar from their harvest. Their premium persimmon items are well sought after in the market, and clients include the esteemed luxury fruit specialty store, Senbiki-ya Sohonten, in Tokyo. Marufuku Farm established the Saijo Persimmon Processing Research Institute, in collaboration with professors in The Univ. of Shimane, where they further explore the possibilities of Saijo-gaki.
Miyamoto Orange Garden
Miyamoto Orange Garden, based in Yawatahama City in Ehime Prefecture, grows citrus fruits in their terraced orchards by the ocean and manufactures products by using their harvests. Their mikan (a small sized orange similar to tangerine or clementine) is highly regarded for its quality. They commit themselves to building a sustainable society, contributing to the local community, maintaining a high level of food safety, and bringing joy to everyone through their mikan production. They are the first citrus fruit farm in Japan to obtain a GLOBALG.A.P. certification.
Deeply rooted in Seiyo City in Ehime Prefecture, Muchacha-en, Inc. is a regional management organization that manufactures and sells their local harvests, both from land and sea, including various citrus fruits, vegetables, seafood, and pearls. They also develop original items using local harvests. By contributing to a self-sufficient and sustainable society, while improving the lifestyle and working environments in local areas, they aim to help strengthen the connections between local industries to the future of society.
Since its foundation in 1897, Nakata has produced artisan umeboshi (pickled ume fruits) by working closely with local ume farmers. The farmers have been rooted for over a century in Kishu region in Wakayama, the sole area of production of premium Nanko Ume. With an increasing desire from people to pursue a healthy lifestyle, Nakata continues to further the potential of this unique fruit by developing more delicious and versatile ume products.
Originally started as a food wholesaler in Ehime Prefecture, Ozaki has grown into a food and lifestyle product manufacturer today. The turning point came right after World War II when the founder of the company invented a vinegar-related product that has powerful preservation effects. Since then, they have developed many vinegar products, including a popular drinking vinegar brand made using locally grown citrus fruits. The company has dedicated itself to producing items that enrich every day life.
Rooted in Yanagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture on the Island of Kyushu, Takahashi Shoten was once a sake brewery. In 1946, the 12th president of the company started the use of sakekasu (sake lees), a byproduct of making sake, to produce innovative food items. Since then, the company has brought various creative products to the market. Their inventive spirit continues to run strong in their veins, even now. In 2018, they developed Yuzusco (Yuzu Hot Sauce) by using yuzu citrus grown in Kyushu. Their extraordinary yuzu citrus hot sauce became a huge hit, that has since contributed to the promotion of Kyushu food culture around the world.
Tosa Tsukasa is an esteemed restaurant group founded in 1917 in Kochi Prefecture, a region formerly called Tosa. They serve local Tosa cuisine—best represented by “sawachi ryori” (party platter with multiple and plentiful small dishes) and “katsuo no tataki” (seared bonito)—and sell their original food items such as their signature dishes and seasonings. They serve tasty food by using sustainably produced and harvested ingredients, aiming to support the food industry and to protect the environment and ocean in Japan.
Noodles / Flour
Akitakomachi Company is rooted in Ogata Village in Akita Prefecture, whose vast fields produce high quality rice. They are constantly exploring the possibilities of rice. In addition to harvesting quality rice, they strive to develop innovative food items with high added-values, such as gluten-free pastas and rice puree. They employ advanced technologies in each aspect of their production process to ensure complete quality control. Their gluten-free products meet the highest gluten-free standards set by GFCO (Gluten-Free Certification Organization).
Gobun is an artisan producer of Inaniwa udon noodles, which are a local version of udon noodles in Akita. This producer is only known to those who crave superior quality and authenticity, as Gobun utilizes a traditional hand-made process when making their noodles. With every bite, it is evident that Gobun’s expertise and refined skills go beyond any machines to deliver real craftsmanship.
Since its foundation in Yamanashi, Hakubaku has been deeply involved with 5 grains; Barley, Rice, Millet, Wheat, and Soba (Buckwheat). The company continually strives to explore new possibilities for these grains by providing innovations in grain products and processing technology. Hakubaku’s focus on what makes a tasty and nutritious staple food makes it unique, as is its lineup of sensational grain, flour, and noodle products.
For over 330 years, Hanbey-fu has produced and sold fu (wheat gluten) in Kyoto. The founder, Hanbey Tamaoki, learned how to make fu while he was serving as a chef at the Imperial Palace and subsequently launched the business in 1689. Once appreciated only by the royal and aristocratic classes and monks in Buddhist temples, it first spread to high-end restaurants and now fu is enjoyed by everyone, even outside Japan. Hanbey-fu, as a purveyor of this unique food, continues to make it using Kyoto’s mild soft water and carefully selected wheat, using traditional methods passed down for centuries.
For five generations, since its establishment in 1913, Honda Shoten has been devoted to making authentic Izumo soba, buckwheat noodles enjoyed in the Izumo region in Shimane Prefecture. They employ a traditional method called “hikigurumi” that mills the whole buckwheat grain, unlike other types of soba that use only the inner part of grain. They strive to express the ultimate taste of buckwheat, and in doing so, they use carefully selected ingredients and freshly house-milled soba without any food additives or preservatives.
Blessed with clear groundwater running under the beautiful Omura region in Fukuoka, Ishibashiya plants high-quality konjac (konnyaku), a famous Japanese superfood. Since its foundation by Kamejiro Ishibashi in 1877, Ishibashiya has been producing premium konjac products with the unique handmade method called Bata-Neri, which creates random bubbles in the konjac, serving to enhance the flavor.
Since its establishment in Gamagori City, Aichi Prefecture, in 1917, Kintobi. has been engaged in milling grain and making noodles. As a true expert in grain milling, they understand the condition of harvests each year and adjust their milling style to maximize the aroma, flavor, and other qualities of the wheat. In addition to using the flour they mill for their own noodles, they provide flour to many professionals, such as noodle manufacturers and restaurants, as well as general consumers. They not only produce quality items, but are also committed to food safety. They are certified in ISO9001 and HACCP standards.
Since the early 1900s, the Maehara family has put their heart and soul into Japanese flour production under the Himeji Castle, which is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Their passion for ingredients inspired Maehara to travel throughout Japan to find farmers that shared his passion for high-quality glutinous rice and beans. So that he could make traditional and delicious Japanese flour, mochi and red bean paste.
Inaniwa udon noodles were born in the 17th Century in an area surrounded by mountains and locked in by heavy snow in winter. Located in the heart of the birthplace of the udon, Ogawa specializes in producing the esteemed noodles by using a traditional production method and carefully selected ingredients without additives. They respect craftsmanship and also maintain strict quality and safety controls—all factories are certified with JAS (Japan Agricultural Standards).
Established in 1885 in Handa City, Aichi Prefecture, Owari started as a company that produced confectionery ingredients. They have expanded their business, and now they specialize in producing various types of flour, noodles, roasted barley, wheat bran, and more. In order to provide high quality items to both professionals and consumers, and maintain a high standard of food safety, they are committed to superior quality control management. They have achieved ISO22000 standard certification.
Shodoshima Tenobe Somen Co-op
While Shodoshima Island is only a small island located in the Seto Inland Sea, it has played a vital role in the Japanese culinary world due to its unique and vibrant food culture. Local noodle makers brought their skills and knowledge to the co-op to make their masterpiece hand-made somen using high-quality ingredients, combined with the natural blessings of the ocean, sun, and a mild sea breeze. Click here to watch how it is made.
Toa Foods was established in 1945 in the Banshu region in Hyogo Prefecture, long respected as the center of noodle production in Japan. From somen to udon to soba, Toa Foods has produced various types of high-quality noodles for decades. They proudly employ a traditional slow-drying method for their products. This gentle process ensures that their noodles boast a rich aroma, exquisite taste and ideal texture. Their products received several Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Prizes.
The Yamamoto family started their business making equipment for local buckwheat farmers in the Shinshu region. Masao, a member of the family, had a dream to make soba noodles with only buckwheat flour and water—no wheat, salt, or additives. Back then, nobody in the country believed it was possible. But in 1969, this former engineer invented a specially designed flour-mill, and the history of fully nutty, delicious noodles began.
Sauce / Oil / Vinegar
Located in the northern part of Hyogo Prefecture, blessed with rich water from Mount Hyono and mineral-rich, fertile soil brought by the Maruyama River, Daitoku Shoyu has been making soy sauce for over a century using traditional brewing methods. They source all of their ingredients—soybeans, wheat, and salt—from reliable farmers in Japan. They also avoid using artificial flavoring, seasoning, preservatives, and genetically modified produce when crafting their soy sauce products.
Higashimaru has been brewing Usukuchi soy sauce for 350 years in the Harima region, where Usukuchi soy sauce (a type of soy sauce with lighter in color but saltier and sweeter) was first developed in 1666. The history of Usukuchi soy sauce and Higashimaru go hand in hand, and this flavorful sauce plays an indispensable role in Kappo cuisine and the traditional food culture in Kyoto and Osaka.
The Iga region is famous for its historical Ninja culture. It is also where Igagoe is based. The company has been painstakingly brewing tamari soy sauce using natural methods since its foundation in 1873. The majority of tamari soy sauces currently in the market are brewed with a heating process that serves to fasten its fermentation. However, Igagoe’s fermentation process lasts 300 days, throughout Japan’s four seasons.
Founded in 1912, Igeta Shoyu has committed to producing soy sauce using their natural brewing method. Their soy sauce is mainly made with local ingredients, and particularly they are proud of using spring water sourced from Hamayama Yusuigun in the Izumo region, one of the best 100 water sources in the Heisei Era, as recognized by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. They also produce one of the highest-quality gluten-free soy sauces in Japan. No artificial flavorings are used in their products.
Kageyama Seiyusho is the only Japanese cooking oil maker approved to put “domestic rapeseed oil” on their products. The company obtained the right to use the non-GMO Nanashikibu variety rapeseed developed by a national research and development organization. Using the rare seeds grown in their contract farms in Shimane Prefecture, they carefully perform the entire process of roasting seeds in kettles, pressing them, and filtering the resulting oil. Rapeseed harvested by their contract farms is stored in separate tanks allocated to each farm, and the pressing process is also conducted separately according to the origin of harvest. Therefore, each product has its rapeseed grower’s name on the label.
Rooted in the historic castle town of Ozu in Ehime Prefecture, Kajita Shoten has been committed to producing natural soy sauce and miso for over 140 years. They are particular about using local ingredients (soybeans, barley, and salt) as well as traditional methods and techniques to brew their premium quality products—they even use 100-year-old wooden barrels for brewing. Also, they are one of the rare soy sauce breweries that handle all of the processes, from sourcing ingredients to production to sales, in-house. By manufacturing natural, healthful, and tasty soy sauce and miso, which also represent the passions of the farmers and fishers, they aim to bring joy and happiness to their customers.
Based in Shodo Island (literally "The Island of Small Beans"), Marukin has been producing premium Japanese soy sauce using traditional methods dating back to 1907. In addition to creating a wide range of traditional soy sauces, Marukin also continuously explores new flavors of soy sauce-based seasonings as well as further developing their century-years brewing methods and spirits.
Started as a vinegar producer in 1893 in Ehime Prefecture, Moribun has produced brewed items, including soy sauce, miso, and ponzu, for over 120 years. While committing to traditional production methods, they are also passionate about developing new products that meet current trends and people’s needs. With the belief that “Truly Good Items are Timeless”, using their expertise, they have created innovative, healthful products, such as “Oishii Sutamago” (a drink made with egg, rice vinegar, papaya vinegar, acerola, and royal jelly) and “Wafu Sauce” (a thick sauce made with various vegetables and fruits).
Morita is committed to cultivating the Japanese culinary scene with its 350 years of brewing expertise. Their basic seasonings such as mirin and cooking sake can be found in both home kitchens and the kitchens of top culinary professionals in Japan. Morita’s passion for showing the full potential of traditional Japanese seasonings has resulted in innovative and highly versatile condiments.
Since its foundation in 1922, Otafuku has been passionate about introducing Japanese “Konamon(o)” both domestically and internationally. Konamon(o) refers to flour-based dishes such as Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, and Yakisoba. Over the years, Konamon(o) has become a large part of the culinary culture in Japan, and Otafuku dreams of continuing to spread the joy of Konamon(o) culture worldwide with their extensive lineups and love for Konamon(o).
“Papaya” means the number 888, which is considered a lucky number in Japan. But instead of making a sweet papaya sauce, Papaya has been brewing savory vegetable sauces for over 40 years! Utilizing unique methods to make signature sauces such as Worcestershire sauce and Tonkatsu sauce. Papaya sauces exhibit a hint of surprisingly deep umami. This is why Papaya has been a standout among many other sauce makers.
Sennari Vinegar Brewery
Authentic, pure rice vinegar is made only of organic rice and water. To better find the perfect ingredients for brewing a pure rice vinegar, Sennari moved its brewery to the mountainside of Hiroshima. This ensured the best natural water. Sennari then partnered with select organic rice farmers that cultivated a specific rice culver. Today, Sennari is known as one of the best small-batch pure vinegar breweries in Japan.
Shibanuma Soy Sauce
Founded by Shozaemon Shibanuma in 1688 in Ibaraki Prefecture, Shibanuma Soy Sauce has specialized in producing soy sauce for over 330 years spanning 18 generations. They use locally sourced ingredients and traditional brewing methods to make their superb soy sauce which is known to exhibit a pleasant, rich and complex flavor and aroma. Natural microbes in their decades-old wooden barrels help produce unique flavors as well. Today, Shibanuma’s products are available in more than 35 countries around the world.
Taisho-ya, rooted in Yasugi City in Shimane Prefecture, has produced and sold shoyu (soy sauce) and miso ever since its foundation in 1926. They believe that brewed items like soy sauce and miso very much reflect regional tastes because their production, brewing and aging processes are inseparable from the surrounding nature. In particular, Taisho-ya’s soy sauce is known to exhibit a round flavor that comes from their slow and lengthy maturation in traditional cedar barrels. They are also passionate about listening to the needs of their customers, which led them to develop Junmai (Pure Rice) Soy Sauce - Gluten Free for those who are allergic to gluten and soy.
Takasago Soy Sauce
Takasago Soy Sauce is a family-owned soy sauce manufacturer founded in 1877. They have used a traditional brewing method passed down in the family and produce premium soy sauce, carefully brewed and aged in the natural environment of the Izumo region in Shimane Prefecture. They also contribute to activities to preserve Japanese traditional food for posterity, such as food education in primary schools and product development in collaboration with local educational organizations.
Tsuji Oil Mills
Tsuji Oil Mills was established as an oil processor in 1947 but today, they have branched out into manufacturing original, innovative food items using agricultural produce and harvests from the ocean. They actively incorporate advanced technologies to improve energy efficiency. Teamed up with other companies and farmers, they continue to challenge themselves to develop innovative and unprecedented products and production systems, aiming to maintain eco-conscious farming and support sustainable energy for the next generation.
Based in Kyoto, one of Japan’s major culinary centers, Yusaido produces quality condiments such as mayonnaise and dressing utilizing natural ingredients and traditional methods of fermentation. Yusaido has become a famous brand in Japan, known for an additive-free mayonnaise made of fresh eggs of hens raised on additive-free food, and using the vacuum emulsifier pots to prevent oxidation during the production process.
Founded in Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture in 1901, Ishimaru has specialized in trading and manufacturing dried seafood and other items made from ocean harvests, such as iriko (dried sardine or anchovy), shirasu (whitebait), and hijiki seaweed. The company boasts expertise in finding truly the best ingredients, mainly from their local ocean, the Seto Inland Sea. In order to consistently provide high quality, reasonably-priced, and tasty products, they source seafood directly from the fishers in the area and manufacture and pack them in-house, which ultimately benefits producers, consumers, and their own wholesale business.
Izuri Kombu was established in the same year as the Meiji Restoration, in 1868. Ever since then, as premier kombu kelp experts, the company has supported Japan’s food culture for over 150 years, by producing kombu items that are staples of Japanese cuisine. Their skilled craftspeople continue to produce high quality items by using kombu kelp harvested in Japan and with no additional additives. The shortage of kombu craftspeople is a serious problem in Japan, but Izuri has a solid training system and strives to pass down kombu culture to future generations and to spread it to the rest of the world.
Kurakon has become one of the most beloved seaweed brands in Japan since its establishment in 1921. In addition to producing a variety of kombu (kelp) other seaweed products, Kurakon also dedicates itself to spreading its century-year knowledge and passion for seaweed all over the world. The company is eager to collaborate with chefs and producers to further explore the potential of this nutritious and tasty seaweed.
Muroto Deep Sea Water Co.
Muroto Deep Sea Water Co., established in 1998, is one of the pioneers in Japan’s deep sea water industry. They source the water from 374 meters below sea level, offshore from the Muroto Horn in Kochi Prefecture, to produce various items such as salt, drinks, and nigari (concentrated salt solution). Since its establishment, the company has always been conscious of health and the environment. These efforts include a drastic cut to their CO2 emission and also energy consumption optimization at their salt production factory, which, in 2016, was given the Commissioner's Award by the Energy Conservation Center, Japan.
Nagai has access to a nationwide supplier network as do other seaweed producers, but Nagai is also significant in the market due to its commitment to the quality of ingredients. Nagai purchases nearly half of the entire production of nori seaweed grown in the Mikawa Bay in Aichi, which is ranked as one of the highest grades, yet accounts for only 0.4% of domestic production of nori seaweed in Japan.
Oiso was established in 1973 in Hamada Port, one of the best fishing ports in the Sea of Japan. Located right next to the port’s auction market, the company has engaged in seafood processing, manufacturing, and sales ever since. Every day, amidst the lively voices of the auctions, Oiso’s skilled craftspeople handle and process fresh fish harvested in the Sea of Japan and make them into tasty seafood products.
Since its launch in 1981, Sky Foods has been supporting the healthy diet in Japan with its unique and easy-to-use condiments, including its beloved MSG-free or additive-free powder dashi series. In addition to promoting the health benefits of their condiments, Sky Foods is also focused on visiting and talking with each local fisher and farmer to ensure the quality, safety, and traceability of the ingredients.
Yamaki is one of Japan’s most popular dashi brands with 100 years of expertise producing high-quality Katsuobushi (smoked and dried bonito that has been shaved into flakes thinner than paper). With its craftsmanship inherited since its foundation in 1917, Yamaki’s commitment to its quality oversees the entire process, from hand-selecting bonito at fishing ports, to preparing, boiling, smoking, drying, shaving into flakes and packaging.
Yoshitora is a food wholesaler deeply rooted in Shimane Prefecture. The company history dates back a hundred years, and it has provided food and daily goods to both local communities and neighboring prefectures since their establishment. They have developed numerous systems in order to distribute items quickly, cost-efficiently, safely, and consistently, adapting to changes in society over time. They aim to continue staying close to and enriching their local communities.
Spice / Tea / Herb
C&A Amari Spice Foods
Since 1932, C&A has a nearly 90-year history of stable quality and hygiene management processes, from importing to distribution. C&A is dedicated to producing “Clean Spices” with a groundbreaking low bacterial count thanks to superior technical skills and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), as well as a Pharmaceutical Manufacturing License for the highest level of safety. The dedication is evident in the flavor and freshness of the spices.
Launched by a mother-and-son team in Ehime Prefecture, Ehime Herb produces and sells original herb products, including tea, seasonings, jams, sweets, aroma oil, and household goods. Their products are hand-crafted with carefully selected herbs, mainly home-grown, without using pesticides. They are committed to bringing safely-made, quality products to the global market from their home base of Ehime.
Hakata Salt, based in Ehime Prefecture, emerged from a consumer movement that aims to provide safe and tasty salt, and has committed to special production methods to achieve this mission ever since its establishment in 1973. They dissolve the imported solar salt in local seawater, and remove unwanted substances before boiling down the concentrated brine to a crystal salt. Then the salt undergoes a natu-ral drying process for several days. Their sea salt is prized for its mild flavor with a pleasant bitterness and umami. Hakata Salt currently produces a variety of salt and salt mixes.
Izumo Hachi Sansho
Sansho pepper specialty company, Izumo Hachi Sansho, is engaged in the entire process of growing and harvesting the pepper, manufacturing it into products, and selling them. With the well-drained soils optimal to grow sansho, the Izumo region in Shimane Prefecture claims a 1,300 year history of harvesting the pepper. The company picks ki-no-me (young sansho leaves), flowers, and peppercorns at their best and are used fresh. Izumo Hachi Shoten’s sansho products are enjoyed worldwide.
Kameya cultivates wasabi plants at its farm at the skirt of Mt. Amagi. The area is blessed with a significant amount of precipitation, and the abundant rainwater permeates the pumice layer and emerges rich in nutrients and oxygen. This water stays 12-13 degrees Celsius throughout the year, creating the perfect conditions for natural wasabi production and enabling Kameya to produce the highest quality wasabi products since 1949.
Kaneku is a wasabi specialty manufacturer in Okutama Valley in Tokyo. About a hundred years ago, the founders of the company, Mr. and Mrs. Iwata, daringly cultivated the deep valley for wasabi production. They created terraced fields on the slope of the valley and drew upon the mineral-rich spring water in the cold valley climate. Today, the company not only provides high-end wasabi but also innovative wasabi products that embody the pioneering spirit still flowing strong in their veins.
The company specializes in producing and marketing “kanzuri”, a togarashi chili pepper paste originating in the Myoko region of Niigata Prefecture. The local delicacy has been produced in the snowy region for about 400 years. In 1966, Kanzuri Co., Ltd. was founded with the aim to preserve and promote this special chili paste that is made through a unique “yuki-sarashi” process (exposing salt-cured chili to cold air over beds of snow for several days) and aged for three years. Today, kanzuri is coveted by prominent chefs around the world. The company further develops new products using kanzuri, such as pickles and rice crackers.
Maruya has always had a love for fresh Japanese peppers. This is likely because the founders grew up with Kyoto’s signature Kaiseki or Kappo cuisine. Today, Maruya grinds and compounds fresh Japanese peppers cultivated by local farmers who also love traditional Japanese spices such as shichimi, ichimi, and sansho peppers. Maruya is proud to offer its lineup online and at its brick and motor stores in its hometown, Kyoto.
Since 1836, Morihan has been producing a full range of tea products ranging from ceremony grade matcha to instant tea for daily use. Morihan has maintained its century-years tradition of providing the highest quality tea in the heart of Japanese tea center, Uji. Masaru Kikuoka, one of Japans’ top tea sommeliers, selects tea leaves for each product to ensure the quality and authenticity of pure matcha.
O-san, rooted in the central region of Shimane Prefecture, specializes in two dissimilar businesses, one is construction and the other is agriculture. Both of them contribute to their local community. The agriculture department focuses on producing Egoma (Perilla frutescens) seeds, which today are considered superfoods. They grow the plants themselves, produce food items from their harvests, and manage distribution and sales, as well. They are committed to healthy diets, and all of the egoma they use, including those from their contract farmers, are grown without synthetic pesticides.
Matsue City in Shimane Prefecture has a well-established green tea culture, which is esteemed as highly as Kyoto’s. Naturally, people in Matsue are fastidious about green tea. Loved by the locals, Sanko-en strives to manufacture superior tea products, such as gyokuro (high-quality, green tea grown in the shade), matcha, and herb tea, using raw materials carefully chosen by their master tea blender. They also perform the marketing and sales of their own products.
Matsue City in Shimane Prefecture has a long and rich green tea culture. Founded in the city in 1939, Sencha-so is an esteemed tea maker, known to have invented a popular style of tea, sencha blended with matcha green tea. They believe that tea has the power to connect people across borders and cultural differences, and they aim to contribute to harmonious society with their quality tea offerings. They not only manufacture green tea products but also operate their own tea shops, cafes and even a tea house to host tea ceremonies.
For over 110 years, since its establishment in 1907, Tousui-en has cultivated tea in their own 12 ha (about 30 acre) tea plantation, manufactured and packed tea products in their own factory, and sold them. When processing, their master blender and tea instructor supervises the entire process to bring the best tea to market. They are proud to bring their "Izumo Green Tea" brand to the world. Their tea processing factory has qualified for the ASIAGAP (Good Agriculture Practices) stringent accreditation. This indicates their prominent efforts toward sustainability and food safety.
Since 1736, Yawataya Isogoro has been producing shichimi togarashi (a mix of seven-kinds of spices) in the northwest part of Nagano, a region with easy access to locally grown ingredients. Yawataya has been thriving as a small batch producer of shichimi togarashi. The distinctive flavor reminiscent of the mountainous region makes it a standout spice among the many other shichimi togarashi products available in Japan.
Home of Yoshida Furusato-mura, Yoshida-cho in Shimane Prefecture, is a small village surrounded by deep forests with merely 1,600 residents. The village is known as the premier chili pepper producer in Japan thanks to its well-drained soil, perfect for growing the spice. Yoshida Furusato-mura cultivates various agricultural products in collaboration with local farmers, including “Orochi-no-Tsume” (Claws of Orochi, a Japanese mythical serpent) brand chili pepper, and manufactures high-valued products appreciated in both Japan and overseas.