A behind-the-scenes look at how to make japan‘s favorite condiment
When it comes to condiments, soy sauce is undoubtedly one of Japan’s favorites. Its rich umami flavor and versatility in various dishes make it a staple in Japanese cuisine. But have you ever wondered how this beloved condiment is made? In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of the Fundokin Shoyu Factory in Oita, Japan, and explore the process of soy sauce production.
The Fundokin Shoyu Factory, located in Usuki City, Oita Prefecture, is known for its traditional soy sauce production methods. The factory offers a fascinating factory tour that allows visitors to witness the stages of soy sauce manufacturing. The tour lasts approximately 60 minutes and provides an in-depth understanding of the art of making soy sauce.
Upon entering the factory, visitors are greeted with the sights, scents, and sounds of soy sauce production. The air is filled with the aroma of fermentation, and large wooden barrels can be seen lining the walls. These barrels are essential for the fermentation process, which gives soy sauce its distinctive flavor.
During the tour, knowledgeable guides provide insights into the process of making soy sauce. They explain the importance of selecting the finest soybeans and wheat, as well as the crucial role of koji, a type of mold used in fermentation. Visitors can learn about the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail required to create a delicious soy sauce.
One of the highlights of the tour is the opportunity to witness the making of soy sauce in action. Visitors can observe the various steps involved, from steaming and crushing the soybeans and wheat to fermenting the mixture in the wooden barrels. The guides explain the significance of each stage and how they contribute to the final product.
The Fundokin Shoyu Factory is also famous for its Guinness World Record achievement. In 2002, the Oita Shoyu Cooperative, which operates the factory, set a record for creating the world’s largest wooden brewing barrel. This enormous barrel measures nine meters in height and diameter, with a capacity of 540,000 liters. Visitors can see this impressive barrel up close and learn about the craftsmanship behind its construction.
If you’re interested in taking a tour of the Fundokin Shoyu Factory, there are a few things to keep in mind. The tours are available for both individuals and groups from Monday to Friday. It is advisable to make a reservation in advance by phone and confirm it by fax, as the reservation process is conducted in Japanese. Additionally, the tours are conducted in Japanese, so it is recommended to go with a bilingual guide to fully understand the information shared during the tour.
However, please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the information on the factory tour may be subject to change. It is essential to check the latest updates and guidelines before planning your visit.
Getting to the Fundokin Shoyu Factory is relatively straightforward. The nearest station is Usuki Station, and from there, a taxi ride takes approximately 15 minutes. If you prefer to travel by car, it is about a 50-minute drive from Oita Station, which is served by the Kyudai, Hohi, and Nippo Main Lines of Kyushu’s train network.
Visiting the Fundokin Shoyu Factory is not only an opportunity to learn about the art of making soy sauce but also a chance to immerse yourself in the rich culinary heritage of Japan. Soy sauce plays a crucial role in Japanese cuisine, enhancing the flavors of dishes such as sushi, sashimi, and ramen. By understanding the process behind its creation, you can develop a deeper appreciation for this beloved condiment.
In conclusion, the Fundokin Shoyu Factory offers a fascinating insight into the production of soy sauce. From the selection of high-quality ingredients to the meticulous fermentation process, every step is carefully executed to create the perfect soy sauce. Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or simply curious about Japanese culture, a visit to this factory will undoubtedly be an enriching experience. So, the next time you enjoy a delicious Japanese meal, remember the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into making that bottle of soy sauce.
Address And Maps Location:
280 Imura, Usuki-shi, Oita-ken