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Meet Our Foodmakers

Agrifood

Two farmers standing in the middle of rice field

Akitakomachi Company

Akita

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).

Organic farm surrounded by mountains

Hikari Foods

Tokushima

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.

Three farmers standing in the middle of onion farm

Ichikawa Farm

Shiga

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.

A farmer picking up a tomato

Ikeichi Saika-en

Kochi

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.

A plate of two vegetable wraps next to paprika

Isle

Nagasaki

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.

Women stirring steamed rice with a large stick

Kohsei Foods

Gifu

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.

Three craftsmen standing in front of wooden miso barrel

Komego

Fukui

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.

Craftsman gazing at roasted sesame seeds

Kuki

Mie

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.

A bowl of sweet red bean soup with mochi

Maehara Seifun

Hyogo

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.

Three farmers standing in the middle of rice field

Marukura

Okayama

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.

Miso paste in wooden barrel

Maruman

Nagano

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.

Soybean sprouts

Minami Foods

Iwate

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.

Craftsman gazing at dried tea leaves

Morihan

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.

Man picking up lotus root in field

Nakano

Tokushima

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.

Two farmers standing in the middle of rose garden

Okuizumo Rose Garden

Shimane

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.

Man holding tea bags at tea store

Sanko-en

Shimane

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.

Two farmers standing in the middle of rice field

Sennari Vinegar Brewery

Hiroshima

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.

Nine farmers standing in the middle of mulberry fields

Shimane Organic Farm

Shimane

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.

Mountain view of Aso region in Kumamoto prefecture

Sugi Bee Garden

Kumamoto

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.

Shiitake mushrooms growing on sawtooth oak trees

Sugimoto

Miyazaki

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.

Man holding a edible flower planter

Tom

Shimane

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.

Man standing in the middle of green tea fields

Tousui-en

Shimane

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

Seven green-colored citrus fruits

Bando Farm

Tokushima

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.

Farmer picking a bunch of grapes

Fruits Farm Itoh

Fukushima

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.

Farmer family standing under ume plum trees

Fukami

Wakayama

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.

Two farmers grabbing yuzu citrus

Kishida

Yamaguchi

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.

Man picking up a yuzu fruit

Kitomura

Tokushima

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.

Farmer standing under persimmon trees

Marufuku Farm

Shimane

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.

Man gazing at sun-dried ume plums

Nakata

Wakayama

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.

Farmer picking orange fruits

Shigeharu Shindo Shop

Ehime

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.

A man cutting off a yuzu fruit from tree with scissors

Takahashi Shoten

Fukuoka

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.

Noodles

Two craftspeople holding noodles

Gobun

Akita

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.

Overhead shot of various ramen ingredients

Hakubaku

Yamanashi

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.

Storefront of Hanbey-fu in Kyoto

Hanbey-Fu

Kyoto

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.

Craftsman holding a package of soba noodles in front of factory

Honda Shoten

Shimane

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.

Craftsman cutting konjac with knife

Ishibashiya

Fukuoka

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.

Women stretching inaniwa udon noodles by hand

Ogawa

Akita

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).

Sun-dried somen noodles hung in front of ocean

Shodoshima Tenobe Somen Co-op

Kagawa

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.

Two kinds of noodles

Toa Foods

Hyogo

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.

Buckwheat fields

Yamamoto Kajino

Nagano

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

Two craftsmen stirring soy sauce in barrel with wood sticks

Daitoku

Hyogo

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.

Man holding a bottle of soy sauce in front of factory

Higashimaru

Hyogo

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.

Historical building with a sign written in Japanese

Igagoe

Mie

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.

Craftsman stirring soy sauce in wooden barrel

Igeta Shoyu

Shimane

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.

Four craftspeople standing in front of kettle

Kageyama Seiyusho

Shimane

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.

Two craftsmen standing in soy sauce brewery

Marukin

Kagawa

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.

Wooden barrels stored in factory

Morita

Aichi

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.

Okonomiyaki pancake on hot plate

Otafuku

Hiroshima

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).

Various vegetables put on field

Papaya

Kyoto

“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.

Man holding a bottle of soy sauce in front of soy sauce store

Shibanuma Soy Sauce

Ibaraki

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.

Two craftspeople standing in soy sauce brewery

Takasago Soy Sauce

Shimane

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.

Man holding a hen

Yusaido

Kyoto

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.

Seafood

Various kinds of dried seaweeds

Kurakon

Osaka

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.

Sunset over bay

Nagai Nori

Aichi

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.

Two men standing in front of bay

Oiso

Shimane

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.

Dried fishes and seaweeds

Sky Food

Osaka

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.

Craftsman inspecting dried bonito

Yamaki

Ehime

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.

Spice

Various kinds of spices

C&A Amari Spice Foods

Kyoto

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.

Farmer picking sansho peppercorn from sansho tree

Izumo Hachi Sansho

Shimane

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.

Man gazing at Japanese horseradish plant in farm house

Kameya

Shizuoka

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.

Horseradishes being soaked in bucket

Kaneku

Tokyo

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.

Store front of Japanese spice shop

Maruya

Kyoto

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.

Three farmers standing in the middle of red pepper fields

Yawataya Isogoro

Nagano

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.

Two farmers holding bucket filled with red pepper

Yoshida Furusato-Mura

Shimane

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.