Looking for something quintessentially Japanese for that perfect gift or souvenir? Or something different to add to your table as #stayinghome and #eatingin continue? Each month, we round up some of our favorite artisanal items made by local craftsmen and designers. This month, we’re delivering a few of the best food, beverage and kitchen goods from Japan to make the most of your #stayhome dining experience — while helping domestic businesses.
1. Ginza Lamb Shabu Kinnome By Golden Eye Spark Co., LTD.
Typically, to enjoy this fine course meal, you’ll need to stop by one of the five Tokyo branches of this popular shabu-shabu (Japanese hot pot) restaurant. The lamb served here has a subtle aroma, making it a perfect match for the restaurant’s original sauce. To offer their loyal customers a taste of this lamb at home, Ginza Lamb Shabu Kinnome is now also offering delivery services. Enjoy high-class shabu-shabu course meal in your dining room. G Course ¥4,860 (for 2-3 people) Order at www.kinnome.jp.
2. Tengujirushi-Edamame By Shiono Shoten Co., LTD.
This company has almost 60 years of experience in the growing of this izakaya staple. Based on the slogan “It’s just edamame, but it’s still important,” these edamame beans are produced in northern Gunma Prefecture using modern cultivation management and strict quality control. ¥398-¥798, edamame.co.jp
3. Kamome No Tamago By Saito Keika Co., LTD.
Kamome no tamago is a famous confection that dates back over 60 years. Each treat uses otebo beans, coarse white sugar and kitakami wheat from the Tohoku region as its main ingredients. Kamome no Tamago translates to “seagull’s egg,” inspired by the confection’s unique shape. ¥278-¥2,500, saitoseika.co.jp
4. Mikan Orchard Jelly Gift By Sowakajuen CO., LTD.
These mikan jelly gifts make full use of carefully cultivated Arida mikan. With a desire to deliver the fresh taste of Arida mikan from the Sowa orchard, 70% of the produced straight juices are solidified with natural agar and konjac powder to bring out the sweet citrusy flavor. ¥1,389, sowakajuen.com/smp
5. Green Juice Shutto By Sunao Pharma Inc.
The additive-free green juice shutto is made using only natural ingredients, including blueberry leaves and kamairicha (pan-fried green tea leaves), both of which are specialties of Miyazaki Prefecture. Each serving comes in a beautiful packaging, made with interior design in mind. ¥2,916, sunao831.com
6. Shimeharitsuru Junmaiginjou Jun By Miyao Sake Brewing CO., LTD.
Miyao Sake Brewing has a secret recipe book for its sake, which has been passed down for generations. The brewery combines tradition with innovation and specializes in tanrei umakuchi, a rich yet light sake. Its Jun brand has been ranked first place for 22 consecutive years in a local sake popularity ranking. ¥670-¥3,000. Available at Takashimaya Nihombashi and other liguor stores across Japan. For more details see shimeharitsuru.co.jp
7. Kyoto Takenoko Curry By Addplants Corporation CO., LTD.
Four types of curries – red, keema, green, and chicken and shimeji mushroom – made using bamboo shoots grown at the foot of Mount Nishiyama in Kyoto. A portion of the proceeds (¥50 per can) goes to environmental conservation activities to protect the city’s natural landscape. ¥900, kyoto-can.com
8. Wakarashi By Minokyu CO., LTD
The seeds used in wakarashi (Japanese mustard) are said to have been cultivated in the Ishimi region of Shimane Prefecture for centuries. To save the seeds from extinction, Minokyu is engaged in expanding cultivation areas. Wakarashi is characterized by its strong smell and fresh flavor. ¥950, www.minokyu.co.jp/wakarashi.html
9. Isaya’s Karashi Mentaiko By Isaya LTD.
This spicy pollock cod roe is made with carefully selected Alaskan pollock, which are then marinated in a high-quality kombu broth free of preservatives to ensure stability in flavor. Believing in the importance of quality, Isaya chooses to work only with the freshest ingredients. ¥4,000, isaya.com
10. Clear Soy Sauce By Fundodai Goyo INC.
Clear soy sauce? That’s right. Thanks to an original production method, this classic Japanese condiment is completely clear but maintains the rich flavor of a regular soy sauce. Infuses flavor without darkening your dish, making the most of ingredients’ true colors. ¥500, fundodai.com
11. Nori Of Wasabi Roasted Flavor By Norino Rinsyu CO., LTD.
Discover this new, luxurious nori seaweed seasoned with wasabi. The lineup includes a strong flavor, which has a rich wasabi fragrance and stimulating spiciness, and a mild flavor that has a concentrated umami and less spice. Try it by itself or enjoy with sashimi or rice. ¥1,650, norinorinsyu.com
12. Japanese Snow Crab Crackers By Takida Enterprise TK LTD
These senbei (rice crackers) are made with 65% snow crab meat, which is first kneaded using a unique production method, then mixed with dough before letting it age for 10 days. These crispy and flavorful crackers come in a beautiful golden can, making them a beautiful and delicious gift. ¥1,300 for five pieces, senbei.biz
13. Nakahora’s Pure Grass-Fed Butter Selection By Nakahora Dairy Farm
Nakahora Dairy Farm is a farm range located in Iwate Prefecture, where the cattle live on expansive open mountain pastures, feed on wild grass and tree leaves, and drink mountain spring water. The result? This set of three kinds of pure grass-fed butter. ¥7,500 for a set of three, nakahora-bokujou.jp
14. Blessing Of Koshu Jam By Kiyosatojam CO., LTD.
This range of jams is made from the best fruits found in the Koshu region: white peaches, edible Chinese lantern berries and rare blackcurrants (cassis). Made with care using a unique low-temperature concentration technology, this jam series boasts delicate, natural flavors unique to each fruit. From ¥527, kiyosatojam.com
15. Dover Pasteuriser 77 By Dover Distilleries LTD.
This pasteuriser’s 77% alcohol concentration makes it excellent for disinfection, mold prevention and food preservation. Made from distilled alcohol and pure water, it is safe to spray directly on food, making it ideal for home use. In addition, sustained antibacterial effects are achieved by blending catechins derived from green tea. From ¥880, dover.co.jp/special/pasteuriser
16. Nomadife Knife Case By Babachokanamono CO., LTD
Nomadife Knife case offers a new way to carry a knife stylishly and safely. The case’s magnet makes for a secure storage with little rattling. The antibacterial paulownia wood and aluminum cover makes it light and convenient to carry wherever you need it. From ¥12,800, www.nomadife.jp
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