Here is a list of the Kitchen Nippon Autumn Festival market participants and what they’ll have on offer.
By Suteki na Kamoshingu* Members
3552 Restaurant – DIY Kamoshi-nigiri Set – Everything needed to make your own delicious onigiri from select sun-dried rice, premium Matsumura katsuobushi, and artisanal Wajima Sea Salt.
As a chef, my mission is to prepare food that delights the palate and is good for the body. At my restaurant in the city of Fujimi, in Saitama Prefecture, I make dishes from produce grown at organic farms and farms minimizing the use of artificial chemicals. The flavors in our dishes come from ingredients and seasonings with as few artificial elements as possible. I use no white sugar, and serve only organic sun-dried brown rice. My goal is to make food that people can look forward to with excitement, savor as they eat, and be confident is good for the body.
T.sweets.labo – Toro-Toro Pudding and Chestnut Roll Cake
T.sweets.Labo is dedicated to the creation of confections with flour made only from rice. And wheat and other non-rice grains are not the only things that don’t make our ingredient list – we also use no refined sugar and no artificial flavorings or preservatives. The sweetness of our products comes from our use of kōji amazake, a non-alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice. The sugar formed naturally in kōji amazake is said to be better for the body than the refined sugar ordinarily used in foods. It also imparts a delicate sweetness that is one of the defining characteristics of confectionary by T.sweets.Labo.
Yamashin Shokusan – Edo Kuzumochi
For 60 years, Yamashin has been making kuzumochi – traditional Japanese confectionary that dates back to the Edo Period. We make our kuzumochi with wheat starch that has been fermented for at least a year and a half. Kuzumochi is the only type of traditional Japanese confectionary that is made through fermentation and is available only in Tokyo, Chiba, and at Heikenji – the grand temple better known as Kawasaki Daishi. To help kuzumochi live on in modern times, we offer it in traditional as well as colorful heart-shaped forms, and as a beverage we call the Kuzu-Kuzu Shake. Our kuzumochi is cute, delicious, healthy, and a delight for all five senses. It’s also one bit of Edo you can still experience.
Bimi & Kenko – Wajima Sea Salt, Wajima Liquid Salt, Tsubu-tsubu Salt Crystals, Strawberry Salt, Ishiru Fish Sauce, Mori-Shio Salt Assortment, Crystal and Salt Talismans
Our company is located in the city of Wajima in Ishikawa Prefecture. We make salt from seawater collected from near Hegurajima, an island about 50km north of the tip of the Noto Peninsula, in the Sea of Japan. Our salt has a mineral balance that makes it well-suited for fermentation, and easy on the body. It’s also very tasty on its own. In addition to Wajima Sea Salt, we make and sell processed salt products and products made with ingredients harvested from the sea surrounding the Noto Peninsula. At the Kitchen Nippon Autumn Festival, we’ll be offering these and pan-broiled squid – fresh from the Wajima Morning Market – that you can enjoy with your choice of shiokōji (a salt-fermented rice sauce), ishiru fish sauce, or miso.
* Suteki na Kamoshingu is a group comprised of food industry production, preparation, development, and communication experts with a keen interest in fermentation. The name “Kamoshingu” comes from the Japanese word “kamosu,” which means to brew.
Uyoka – Japanese eggplant preserved in olive oil, green shiso Genovese sauce, roasted green onion pickles, jams, bamboo-flour cookies, and more
Uyoka is comprised of people who live in, love, and want to promote the town of Motegi in Tochigi Prefecture. Motegi is a small agricultural town where daily life and farming are undertaken with mindfulness that produces a palpable beauty in the atmosphere of the community. A touch of that beauty goes into in the fresh vegetables and vegetable products we’ll have on offer at the Kitchen Nippon Autumn Festival.
Bonz farm – Tenderstem Broccoli, Potatoes, Kabocha Squash, Komatsuna (Mustard Spinach), Mizuna (Potherb Mustard), Baby Turnips, Red Mustard, Carrots, and more
I am Nobuhiro Ōnuki and I run Bonz farm in Hanyu, Saitama. My focus is to produce small amounts of a large variety of vegetables, without the use of greenhouses or artificial chemicals. This is my first year of operation and I have had my hands full understanding the characteristics of the soil, dealing with bad weather, and handling lots of other things that are especially challenging for a new farmer to contend with. But my mission is to produce the best-tasting vegetables I can, and I’m not giving up!
In pursuing his interest in food, Nobuhiro previously worked for Gurunavi, a web-based purveyor of restaurant information and reviews, and Roppongi Nouen, a Tokyo restaurant that made a point of using premium organic ingredients, purchased directly from producers. At Roppongi Nouen, he worked with outstanding producers from throughout Japan, saw the excellence of what they were creating and found a new direction for his life. After an apprenticeship in small-scale, robust agriculture with Hisamatsu Farm in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, he began farming on his own in Hanyu, Saitama, in April 2015. Nobuhiro focuses on producing small amounts of a large variety of vegetables, and sells directly to consumers and restaurants.
George’s Sun-Dried RICE – New-Harvest Rice and Award-Winning Uki-Uki Lemon Sake
Rice and Sake of Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture produces excellent rice and sake. A key reason for this is the outstanding quality of its water. Strangely, though, the quality of these products is about as near a culinary secret as it could be for people in eastern Japan. Why? In the case of rice, it’s a matter of quantity. Nearly all of the rice produced in Hiroshima is consumed locally and, in fact, additional rice must be brought in from other locations to meet excess demand. As for sake, quantity is not an issue. Hiroshima has an abundance of high-quality water, and ranks 8th nationwide in sake production. But with very good sake also available from the nearby Tohoku and Shin-etsu regions, in particular, people in eastern Japan find few opportunities to enjoy the bounty of brew masters in the more distant corners of western Japan.
George’s Sun-Dried Rice
For over 60 years, Jōji Sera, the namesake of George’s Sun-Dried Rice, has been farming in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture. His farm is small and like most farmers in Hiroshima, what he produces is consumed in the local market. Farming is Jōji’s lifelong passion and for every day of his life as a farmer, he has kept a journal to better understand how to address soil, temperature, rainfall, and myriad other variables, so he can harvest the best rice possible at the end of every season. For small-scale farmers, the reactions of consumers are a precious reward for the labor they invest in their crops, and for Jōji they have been the motivation for a life of farming.
Rice must be dried after it is harvested, and Jōji dries his by hanging rice stalks, one bunch at a time, on wooden frames, where sunshine and wind from the nearby mountains remove the excess moisture. Sun-drying is said to result in a more even distribution of moisture content in rice grains and to produce higher levels of umami for better aroma and flavor. Despite that sun-dried rice is appreciated for its superior taste, however, the work to produce it is performed manually and requires ongoing attention to the condition of the rice and the weather during the drying period. Most rice, therefore, is simply taken to a mechanical dryer which completes the process in no time, even as that prevents the rice from attaining its peak flavor. Avoiding such shortcuts, Jōji takes the time and makes the effort he knows from many years of experience is necessary to produce the rice his customers have come to look forward to year after year, for over six decades.
Uki-Uki Lemon Sake
Uki-Uki Lemon Sake is made with junmai sake and Ōchō lemons. The junmai sake is the product of the Sempuku Sake Brewery in Kure, Hiroshima, and made by only fermenting rice; it includes no artificial flavorings or added alcohol. Ōchō lemons are produced only in and around the Ōchō district of Kure and are free of artificial coatings, which means they are suitable for eating in their entirety. Combining the tartness of Ōchō lemons with the rounding savory flavor of Sempuku junmai sake, Uki-Uki Lemon Sake is surprisingly refreshing and delicious straight, on the rocks, or with soda. It’s great on its own but also with food. Uki-Uki Lemon Sake was recognized by the Sake Service Institute as an outstanding beverage selection for French cuisine in 2013, and Italian cuisine in 2014.
Jorinji Miso -・ Dark Red Miso , Chickpea Miso, Lima Miso
We are producing Premium hand-crafted unpasteurized, or Nama (生) Jorinji Miso in Portland, Oregon. Our Miso takes from 6 months to 3 years of natural fermentation (天然醸造）in the Portland climate. We use the traditional recipe passed down for over 1300 years in Japan to bring you quality not found in other standard brands of Miso.
We made our first batch of Miso over a decade ago because we could not find the unique Japanese dish in the US. Since then we have received many words of encouraging support from our customers, and while making Miso, we have also expanded our passion into a whole line of products. With each new hurdle we clear, we focus our passion and spirit on making a great product.