Even from far away, the large dome catches your eye. For this article, I visited the Otafuku Sauce museum and experience facilities at Wood Egg Okonomiyakikan in Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture. Here, visitors can learn, watch, and make okonomiyaki through various experiences and lessons.
Let’s start off the day by learning at the okono museum!
Huh? It looks like a restaurant, but it is indeed a museum exhibition. It is a true replica of the okonomiyaki restaurants that started gaining popularity back in the 1950s. Some of the utensils on display are authentic.
The okonomiyaki on the teppan (large iron plate) looks steaming hot, but it is actually a replica. This half moon-shaped dish was called issenyoshoku (one-cent meal) back in the day, and is the origin of today’s okonomiyaki.
Next up are the panel exhibitions.
This enormous okonomiyaki sauce bottle is 1.8m tall. The sauce is made using vegetables from all around the world, and it contains as many as 20 different spices as well. Okonomiyaki sauce is in fact quite healthy.
Onwards to the factory to watch. It’s located only a short walk from The Wood Egg Okonomiyakikan.
The bottles are filled at an unbelievable speed. On busy days, the machine can pump out a whopping 100,000 liters!
I got to hold a freshly-made bottle of sauce. As Otafuku sauce does not contain any preservatives, it is therefore sterilized at over 100℃. It was still steaming hot when I held it. After bottling, the sauce is packed into boxes. Everything is done by machine, but every single bottle undergoes a strict quality check, and only those that pass the test are packed and shipped.
These slightly weird-looking robots pick up the boxes that are ready for shipping and stack them neatly on pallets so they can easily be loaded onto trucks. The robots used to be pretty bland and functional, but after visitors asked for them to be livened up, they were painted to resemble various animals. I must admit I was pretty impressed by Otafuku’s sportiveness.
“In Hiroshima, there are about 1800 okonomiyaki restaurants – twice the number of convenience stores, so we opened the Wood Egg Okonomiyakikan to tell the world about our great okonomiyaki culture,” says Naoyoshi Sasaki, president of Otafuku Holdings Co, Ltd. With the recent increase in overseas visitors, this is one step in the right direction for the future of okonomiyaki.
This was learn and watch. Last but not least is Make! Am I able to correctly flip an okonomiyaki? Read No.2 to find out!
Okonomiyaki – Learn, Watch & Make! Otafuku Sauce’s『Wood Egg Okonomiyakikan』No. 2【Cooking Lesson】(Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture)【PR】
Wood Egg Okonomiyakikan
Address: 7-4-5 Shoko Center, Nishi Ward, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Open: 9:00 – 17:00
※ Booking required for tour and lesson. Sign up at the homepage below
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, end-of-year, Obon-holiday, Nov.1st
Tel: 082-277-7116 (Wood Egg Okonomiyakikan information department)
Admission: Tour Only – free-of-charge. Okonomiyaki Cooking Lesson – Hot plate 700 yen, Teppan 1000 yen https://www.otafuku.co.jp/corporate/woodegg/
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa
Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!
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