In Hiketa, Higashikawaga city, Kagawa prefecture, there is an area that flourished from the Muromachi period (1333-1568) as a harbor town where ships would wait for favorable wind.
Standing in row along the road, old western-style houses, sake breweries, and soy sauce breweries among other ancient townscape landmarks, retain their original appearance.
Among them, there is one in particular that will draw your attention with its bright red walls.
This is Kamebishi-ya, a soy sauce shop that was established in the 3rd year of the Houreki era (1753).
As you get close to the brewery, an unbelievably strong soy sauce aroma fills the air. Even though I love soy sauce, I was on the verge of being knocked out by the scent. Oh my gosh! I’m drooling…
While most other soy sauce makers have introduced machines, Kamebishiya is the only one that holds onto the traditionoal “mushiro-koji* production method”.
*Mushiro-koji refers to the bamboo and rice straw mats onto which koji mold applied soybeans and wheat are laid for part of the fermentation process.
Across the road from the brewery, a shop sells various soy sauce related products including novelties such as soy sauce salt and soy sauce chocolate.
There is a tasting corner where visitors can try, among a wide variety of others, Koikuchi and usukuchi soy sauce, dashi soy sauce, and ponzu soy sauce.
Though there are quite a few different types of udon noodles on offer, we recommend “Moromi udon”. There are numerous shops offering Sanuki udon noodles, but Moromi udon can only be enjoyed here.
On top of the light bonito stock there is some Kamebishiya produced moromi (fermenting mash used in making the soy sauce). You enjoy the dish while melting the mash into the soup stock. Allowing you to customize the dish to your personal taste, extra moromi can be added according to preference.
Moromi is a jet-black paste, but as there is no unpleasant saltiness, it’s delicious even if you add quite a lot.
And finally, the last soy sauce dish we’d like to introduce is mitarashi dango (skewered rice dumplings with sweet soy sauce glaze).
This dish may look salty, but actually it isn’t. For those who love sweets and soy sauce, the aromatic flavor of the soy sauce combined with the sweetness of the glaze creates an irresistible flavor.
If you make an advanced reservation, you can take a tour of the moromi storage area and also try your hand at making soy sauce.
An absolute must-see for soy sauce lovers!
Location: 2174 Hiketa, Higashikagawa city, Kagawa prefecture
Closed: New Year’s Holidays
Admission: Free of charge
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
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