3 Traditional Shops with Exquisite Souvenirs in Tokyo Nihonbashi
In the past, we have introduced Nihonbashi’s vintage shops that have goods with excellent quality. This article is the same concept, but we introduce Japanese food. Similar to the goods article, we have selected a high quality Japanese food content. Furthermore, this time, we have carefully chosen shops that allow you to bring the food items home as souvenirs; therefore, please feel free to consider this article for your shopping in Japan.
This is the select shop which Kokubu opened under the name ROJI. Kokubu & Co. Ltd. is a company established in 1712. From its western style appearance, you might easily pass by it without noticing it. However, there is actually THAT exquisite item inside the store…
Yes, it is the can. Don’t think of it as just a simple canned food! The taste of Japanese canned goods has a great reputation even overseas, and many foreigners highly praise the taste of tuna cans. This time at Kokubu, they offer not just the regular canned tuna, but other varieties of exquisite canned foods, branded as K&K.
Within the canned foods, one group that stands out is a series called “kan-tsuma”. “Kan-tsuma” is an abbreviated word to say “kan”-zume (canned food) that can be enjoyed as o-“tsuma”-mi (finger food) in Japanese. Nowadays, this phrase is spread widely even to the regular population. The kan-tsuma series now has 80 varieties, the most premium grade called the “kan-tsuma kiwami” (kan-tsuma extreme) is priced at an amazing 10,800 yen per can. Although it is set at quite a high price, it is a can that exceeds the level of all other cans, so it can be an interesting memory to even just go and take a look. Information: Map
10,800 JPY: Abalone (Wild abalone picked by nuns)
10,800 JPY: Shark Fin
3,000-5,000 JPY: Sea Urchin (Produced in Hokkaido), Matsuzaka Beef (A5 Rank)
Yamamotoyama, established in 1690, created a super famous phrase in a commercial saying “It is Yama-moto-yama if you read it from top to bottom; it is also Yama-moto-yama if you read it from bottom to top”. It is an old shop that any Japanese will know.
Japanese people really love seaweed, and it is something that cannot be taken out of their regular diet. It is used in a variety of famous Japanese cuisine. For example, sushi, onigiri (rice ball), rice cake (Isobe yaki – grilled rice cake), senbei (rice crackers), ramen topping. See? There are lots of examples.
If we were to suggest the seaweed for souvenir, then it would be the seaweed called, “Kyu-dai-me” (9th Generation). Although there might be lots of foreigners who are not big fans of seaweed, the scent of the seaweed from the traditional shop, Yamamotoyama, is the best; therefore, one might learn to love it after all. If you ever have the chance to make sushi or onigiri in your own country, you should definitely try to make it with the best seaweed suggested here! Information: Map
The most classic item in the shop is the Eitaro Original Sweets. This is a set with 4 kinds of candy, the brown sugar candy, umeboshi (sour plum) candy, green tea candy, and black tea candy. Within the 4 types, the umeboshi candy is especially famous. On the containers, the new & old Nihonbashi Bridge is drawn on the one with black candy (yellow container) and umeboshi candy (red container). The Nijubashi of the Tokyo Imperial Palace is drawn on the container (green) of the green tea candy, and the Tokyo Station is drawn on the container (purple) of the black tea candy. Looks great, right?
When you hear the word umeboshi, you would think of the actual sour plum; however, it is not a sour candy. It is named “sour plum” due to the triangular shape when it is made. Even now, the shape is maintained as triangular, just like how it was produced historically, in the Edo era. Furthermore, there are no additives, so you can enjoy the natural sweetness. This is a shop which you can trust.
Finally, we have one more suggestion for you, which is a Japanese confectionery called the Takadono. The dents represent a building’s base and foundation stones, which can be seen at Japanese castles. The red bean paste and sweet chestnuts inside is a perfect match. It is said that it is good luck to bring it as a gift to your business partner, because it can represent building a strong relationship; strong like the foundation of a castle. Please try the taste that comes from the traditional skill of the Japanese confectioners that have been handed down for over 150 years. Information: Map