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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shigeharu Shindo Shop
Based in the Ehime prefecture, which is known as the wonderland of naturally growing Japanese citruses such as Yuzu, Amanatsu and Iyokan oranges, Shigeharu Shindo has specialized in candying citrus peels for over a half-century. Working closely with local citrus farmers in the region, Shindo Shigeharu Shop ensures the best quality fruits available so that you can enjoy the natural citrusy flavor without any food coloring, artificial fragrances, and preservatives.
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 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.
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
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 Nanashibuki 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.