July 2022







Do you have such a taste that brings nostalgic memories or the faces of people you ate with come to mind when you take a bite?

When I was a student, I used to use Orio Station, and the kashiwa udon at "Tochikuken" is a true taste of memories for me. Even now, when I eat Tochikuken's kashiwa udon, I remember eating it with my friends on the way home after school when we were hungry. The standing-eating style of udon, which is brought to you as soon as you order and can be eaten quickly, is perfect for train stations where busy businessmen and students come and go. First-timers may be a little surprised by the sweetness of the dipping sauce, but the golden, clear broth will make you want to drink every last drop of it.

Kashiwa udon is, of course, famous, but what makes Tochikuken stand out is their kashiwa-meshi. Kashiwa-meshi is a local delicacy of Fukuoka Prefecture, consisting of cooked kashiwa (chicken), burdock root, carrots, and rice. The kashiwa-meshi was invented by Iwami Honjo, who was the director of the Moji Operation Office of the Japan National Railways (JNR), out of concern for the uniformity of ekiben in various regions, and to take advantage of the local flavor of Fukuoka Prefecture, where chicken is often consumed.

Upon opening the traditional Kyogi folding box, the aroma of wood and sweet, savory chicken aroma spread simultaneously. Chicken, egg, and chopped nori seaweed are balanced on top of the rice cooked in chicken broth, which is beautiful and appetizing to the eye. Many people come from all over Japan to seek out this kashiwa-meshi to accompany their train trip.

The wooden folded box is an ideal container for ekiben because its antibacterial properties keep food fresh and absorb moisture from the rice.

Kurikyu's magewappa bento boxes also remove rough heat and excess moisture, allowing you to enjoy delicious rice with the aroma of Akita cedar. Just like ekiben, opening a bento box is an exciting experience.

There is also a Tochikuken udon store at Wakamatsu Station, a 10-minute walk from the Wakamatsu Showroom. You can also purchase kashiwa-meshi, so why not stop by?

Kurikyu's Magewappa Lunch Box (Unpainted)
Wakamatsu Showroom
Tochikuken Wakamatsu Station Udon Store






[Sakai Uchihamono and Morimoto Hamono]

Of all the cutlery production areas in Japan, Sakai Uchihamono, made in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, is the cutlery favored mainly by professional chefs, and is said to account for nearly 90% of the market share.

The relationship between Sakai and cutlery dates back to the 5th century, when Nintoku-ryo, the world's largest burial mound, was built in Sakai, and craftsmen who made plows and hoes were gathered from all over the country. Craftsmen settled in Sakai and laid the foundation for forging techniques that have continued to the present day.

From the Heian to Kamakura periods, Kawachi founders were active in the manufacture of Buddhist ritual bells and other Buddhist implements, and are said to have participated in the casting of the Great Buddha statues at Todaiji Temple and Kamakura. In the Muromachi period (1333-1573), their skills were transferred to the production of swords and armors.

When guns imported from Portugal were brought to Sakai, the city succeeded in mass-producing them with its superior technology and quickly became famous as a production center of guns. Sakai received strong support from warlords such as Nobunaga Oda, and played an important role in the Warring States Period.

In the Edo period (1603-1867), demand for guns declined, and instead, cigarettes, which were also an imported product, became more popular. In Sakai, too, "tobacco knives" for chopping tobacco leaves began to be made, and this is the origin of today's Sakai Uchihamono.

The Tokugawa Shogunate, recognizing the high quality of these knives, granted the Tokugawa Shogunate the exclusive right to sell them under the "Sakai-kyoku" seal of approval, which led to the spread of Sakaiuchi cutlery throughout Japan. In the middle of the Edo period (1603-1867), Sakai's craftsmen developed kitchen knives such as the de-aberu knife, and it is said that almost all the types of kitchen knives in use today have been produced.

We deal in Bunka Knife and Nanakiri Knife made by Morimoto Hamono, which are Sakai Uchihamono.

Bunka knives, also called santoku knives, can be used for a wide range of foods such as vegetables, fish, and meat, while naikiri knives, as the name suggests, are ideal for chopping and dicing leafy vegetables such as cabbage. The surface of the nakiri knife has a black-plated finish, which makes it resistant to rust. The magnolia wood handle is comfortable to use in the hand, and both knives are double-edged, so they can be used by any dominant hand.

The manufacturing process of Sakai Uchihamono is divided into three parts: forging, sharpening, and handle attachment, and each part is made by a division of labor by craftsmen specializing in each.

Morimoto Hamono is in charge of blade attachment, and each knife forged by a forging craftsman is carefully examined, sharpened, and polished into the shape of a kitchen knife. In the hands of Koichi Morimoto, "Master Craftsman of Naniwa" and "Contemporary Master Craftsman," even the slightest distortion is accurately shaped. The finely sharpened skin of the knife has a beautiful luster peculiar to iron, and the blade pattern, like that of a Japanese sword, has a dignified appearance.

We hope you will use our Sakai Uchihamono knives, which are the culmination of the skills of our craftsmen, and have an outstanding cutting ability.

Morimoto Hamono's Bunka Knife
Morimoto Hamono's Nakiri Knife



[Corn Core]

There are many new things we have learned and many things we still don't know about the nutritional benefits of foods and how to prepare them. For example, burdock root skin is effective in preventing the accumulation of fat, and when the skin is peeled or the scum is removed, the nutrients and fiber are also washed away, which is a waste. To increase these nutrients, broccoli has nutrients that have antioxidant and cancer-preventive properties, and to increase these nutrients, broccoli should be cut off the stem and left for 4 or 5 minutes before heating to produce more nutrients. And apples, which are full of nutrients even around the seeds, are cut into star-cut rings so that you can eat the skin as well, which means you can take in all the vitamins E and C and fiber...the list goes on and on.

Then, corn, a summer vegetable, began to appear in the grocery stores. The "core" of the corn, which I had thrown away until now, was also found. The root of the kernel that remains in the corn core contains a large amount of B vitamins, and the core itself is so sweet that it is used to make xylitol, a sweetener. The core itself is so sweet that it is used to make the sweetener xylitol. It works on the kidneys to regulate water in the body. It seems to be good for improving swelling when the body is unable to expel water properly. Naturally, it is also involved in diuresis, so it is effective against cystitis and urethritis, and is even used in kidney-related Chinese medicine. Corn cores are also said to relieve stomachache and regulate the intestines.

This year, why not make a simple soup with corn kernels in a broth, seasoned with salt and pepper, or corn soup with the kernels in a blender? Corn tea made by slow-cooking the kernels is also a popular diet tea. I have made corn rice cooked with the kernels as well. The soup stock and gentle sweetness is extracted from the kernel, so it is delicious with just salt and sake seasoning. Ceramic Japan's do-nabe L can cook 3 cups of rice without spilling. Even a little bit of roasted rice can be washed without sticking to the surface. Unfinished rice can be made into grilled rice balls the next morning. Corn is in season, so let's make the most of it and get through the summer.

Ceramic Japan's do-nabe L