Get close to water

"For ideal flavor, the blessing of abundant water is essential," say those who put their shops and rice fields in places with abundant pure water. We visited three establishments that left an impression on us for the way they live close to water and give thanks for it.


Taste the renowned water of the Koza-gawa River in the pure ice of these shaved ice desserts This shaved ice shop with a simple appearance insists on using only the purest ice. It makes its ice by filtering the high-quality raw water of the Koza-gawa River and freezing it for 72 hours, longer than usual for pure ice. The resulting ice is hard and absolutely transparent. It takes on a surprisingly fluffy texture when shaved while being filled with air, and has an impressively clear flavor when it melts on the tongue.

TEL:0735-21-5300 551-12 Shingu, Shingu City 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Winter period: 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
Holidays: None scheduled Budget: Matcha, milk and red bean paste shaved ice ¥600

Shaved ice with homemade red bean paste or jabara juice in Kitayama Village. The flavorless ice accentuates the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Hirai Wasabi Noen

Long years and an environment blessed with good water produce high-quality wasabi This is a wasabi farm that has been operating for some 130 years in Kawamata, where the rare Mazuma variety of wasabi originated. Mountain spring water with abundant nutrition and of a temperature suited to growing wasabi constantly flows into the wasabi fields. It takes an incredible 1.5 years to grow a single wasabi plant. The wasabi, made with great effort, has a refined pungency and freshness. In a word, it is first-rate.

TEL:0738-46-0038 550-2 Kawamata, Inami Town, Hidaka-gun *Tours available. Inquire in advance.

The fourth-generation owner Ken Hirai. While mainly growing a variety of wasabi called "Daruma," he also is working to revive the difficult-to-grow "Mazuma" variety.

Marushosu Jozomoto

In the Temma area, underground water from Mount Nachisan wells up, and the brewing industry flourished there. Marushosu Jozomoto has been making vinegar continuously since its founding in 1879 with an old brewing method that uses cedar tubs. Its motto is "high-quality soft water and malt are the most important elements of delicious vinegar." For generations, the owners have prayed to a well in their garden every morning for what they consider "the water of the gods."

TEL:0735-52-0038 271 Temma, Nachikatsuura Town, Higashimuro-gun 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Closed on Sat., Sun., holidays, during Bon period and new year holidays Budget: Korai Jozushi Vinegar ¥702 for 300 ml

Marushosu Jozomoto gets a lot of orders from overseas for its cooking vinegar that brings out the flavor of dishes with its mild sweetness and full body.