Looking for something quintessentially Japanese for that perfect gift or souvenir? Each month, we round up some of our favorite artisanal items, with August being all for the foodies.
Blissful Peach Sorbet by General Incorporated Foundation Koori Town Promotion Corporation
This sorbet is made with nearly 75% fresh peach juice from Fukushima Prefecture, letting you savor the same natural sweetness and famous aroma of northern Japan’s peaches. This ultimate peach sorbet is not only a great summer snack, but it also supports local farmers who were hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
¥278 for one, ¥3,241 for a gift set, www.town.koori.fukushima.jp
Gifu Pudding in a Mino-yaki Mini-Pot by Agemiya Co., Ltd.
Produced by a historic Japanese restaurant, this Japanese-style pudding is made from locally sourced ingredients and comes in a beautiful piece of Mino-yaki pottery from Gifu Prefecture. Topped with steamed black beans and a gold leaf, this luxurious, melt-in-your-mouth dessert is the epitome of Japanese quality pudding with a twist.
¥830 per item, ¥2,800-¥4,500 for gift boxes, agemiya.jp
Kakuouzan Soy Milk Gelato by Sasaki Shouten
Stemming from the Kakuouzan area of Nagoya, Sasaki Shouten produces high quality tofu using only selected ingredients such as subterranean water, beans and bittern. In an attempt to bring the fresh flavor of tofu to the world, the company has now turned its famously smooth tofu into soy milk gelato, condensing the sweetness of soy milk and the fine texture of tofu into an unparalleled level of deliciousness.
Vinegan 4 Pattern Set by Aoyagishouyu
Enhance your Japanese cooking game with these ponzu vinegars made with ingredients from Kyushu. Using plum syrup, a historic folk medicine that has been passed down from generations, each of the four distinctive flavors (ume, akaume, mikan and yuzu) will add that little extra sophistication to your meals. All without artificial preservatives, coloring agents or chemical seasonings.
¥760 for one, ¥2,889 for a set, aoyagi.tv
Japanese Eel Sashimi by Totoichi Co., Ltd.
Unagi, or Japanese eel, is usually served cooked in the popular kabayaki and shirayaki styles. Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture, however, is putting a new spin on this old tradition and has created a novel way of enjoying this popular summer specialty: eel in the form of sashimi (served raw in thinly sliced pieces).
Cacao Mizu Yokan by Ovale liaison Co., Ltd.
Indulge in this marriage of chocolate and Japanese confectionery which fuses the aroma of chocolate beans with the smooth texture of mizu yokan, a traditional Japanese dessert made from red beans. Carefully created by one of the world’s few bean-to-bar manufacturers, Cacao Mizu Yokan is a new type of confectionery that will make dessert lovers’ hearts race.
¥450 for one, ¥1,450-¥4,440 for a set, www.palet-dor.com
Kanjuku Juro Umeboshi by Shojuen
Kanjuku Juro Umeboshi is made using the highest quality Juro plums from Kanagawa Prefecture. Characterized by its delicately thin skin, voluminous flesh and high concentration of citric acid, the Juro plum is only harvested when the ripened plums fall naturally to the ground. They are then pickled in salt to reveal their full flavor.
Cobon Marvel N525 by Daiichikobo Corporation
Consuming yeast from fermented foods has long been one of the secrets of Japanese longevity. Cobon Marvel N525 was developed to promote the intake of natural yeast as a substitute for traditional fermented foods, and combines the natural yeast from Mount Amagi in Izu into an additive-free, honey-like sweet drink that can be enjoyed by both adults and children.
Shokumio Premium Select by Maishoan Co., Ltd.
Seen as a quintessential part of Japanese cuisine, rice has always held a prominent position in Japanese culture, but has seen a gradual decline in consumption since the 1960s. Hoping to help people rediscover the value of the grain, Shokumio Premium Select lets you create a personalized rice gift box, with rice from 35 of Japan’s best producers available. This way you can not only sample some of Japan’s highest quality and rarest types of rice, but you can also create an original gift that lets you share a part of Japanese culture with the world.
All featured products are part of Omotenashi Selection, a project that brings together fine handcrafted items from around Japan and shares them with international audiences.
For more info, go to omotenashinippon.jp/selection/en