Located in Nishiawakura village, “ablabo.” is a shop that sells specialist cooking oils. "A good oil tastes reaaaally good!" says Ms. Yuka Obayashi, the sparkly-eyed founder.
This is the story of how the sweet-looking young lady resolutely started her business in the scarcely populated Nishiawakura village.
While still studying at Osaka University, Ms. Obayashi did an internship at Nishiawakura & Mori-no-gakko Co.,Ltd., and after graduating she stayed on. "I thought the kind of work I was doing was more important than the location," she says. For 3 years she learned all she could at the Mori-no-gakko venture company.
During this time period, at Shodo Island, Ms. Obayashi came into contact with a shockingly delicious olive oil, and apparently thought about how oil can make people happy.
After becoming interested in oils, she travelled all over Japan searching for the best… During one of those trips, she met with her fated oil.
This is how an oil shop was founded in a village with a population of 1600.
Kamiya Oil and Fat Refinery plant is located around an hour and 15 minutes by car from Nishiawakura village, in Tsuyama city (Okayama prefecture).
All of Japanese origin, this is rapeseed oil carefully pressed by the soon to be 94-year old Mr. Kamiya at Kamiya oil plant.
Pressed with methods used since ancient times, the oil has both the mellow fragrance of rapeseed and all its nutrients.
However, Mr. Kamiya didn't have a successor.
"I can’t allow an oil as good as this to disappear!" thought Ms. Obayashi, and became Mr. Kamiya's apprentice.
Loving oil is one thing, but to become an apprentice… Ms. Obayashi wants to enjoy the delicious oil meant for making delicious food and wants to share it with everyone else.
With this in mind, she searches for delicious oils, produces them independently.
If you visit Nishiawakura village, how about choosing ablabo.'s love-filled, carefully made oils as souvenirs?
For a more conscious daily life, when choosing oils for cooking, choose fine quality.
Hompage: http://ablabo.org/ (Japanese)
Dealer (Yobi no Nichiyohin): http://youbi.me/ (Japanese)
43 Sakane, Nishiawakura village, Aida district, Okayama prefecture
Open: 10am – until evening
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Asami Asai / Katsutoshi Asai (Kokohore Japan)
Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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