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Feb 7, 2010 04:20 PM

Shoyu question

Any home cooks around - do you have a recommendation for an awesome Saishikomi or Tamari? Also, are there any especially great places to buy shoyu in Tokyo (Minato / Chuo / Chiyoda - ish preferred but will travel for a good bottle..) Thanks.

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  1. The prefectural "antenna" shops are good places to find a wide variety of nice and interesting shoyu. These shops are generally in the Ginza/ Yurakucho area but can be spread over town. Aichi Prefecture is historically associated with tamari production so that might be a good one to check for that....The nicer depachika should also have decent selections. The only pure shoyu specialist places I have come across are online.

    8 Replies
      1. re: Silverjay

        How are those antenna shops in general? When I lived closer to Shinjuku, I always noticed the busy one on Shinjuku Station's Southern Terrace.

        1. re: lost squirrel

          There are two there I think - Miyazaki and Hiroshima. The Miyazaki place has some good grilled chicken.

          Years ago there was a building next to Tokyo station that had dozens of prefectural shops, and that was fun to explore. I heard it was located there so that people coming back on the Shinkansen could pick up souvenirs that they forgot to buy while traveling.

          1. re: lost squirrel

            I spent an entire day last year visiting a bunch of them and grabbing all sorts of things. They are very fun and like the ultimate for Japanese food otaku. But I would have to add a caveat that you'd better be pretty good at reading Japanese to really appreciate them as they aren't geared toward foreigners in any way. It's generally a good idea to know what the prefecture is known for and also have some kind of context for understanding some stuff. Of course, anyone's eyes, hands, and nose can, I suppose, take it all in reasonably enough... Honestly, I had done a bunch of research that I was going to post here but lost the USB drive it was saved on.

          2. re: Silverjay

            Antenna shops are a good idea! I remember finding some good shoyu in Ishikawa-ken, but I don't know where their shop is. Oh, here's one:

            1. re: Robb S

              There are a bunch in a mall next to Yurakucho Station on the east side. The Ishikawa one, which is on the west side of the station, is small and kind of elegant. Some of the other ones are a bit more down to earth. The Kagoshima one, also on the west side, has a satsuma age counter.

              1. re: Silverjay

                Ok, the Japanese wiki page just happens to list them all by ~ken and location in Tokyo.... Not sure why the link looks so goofy:


                Seems like a cool project would be to do one of those Google maps with pushpins in English for foreign visitors...

                This site is also dedicated to them:


                And this is a link to an Excel spread sheet that some real hardcore otaku wrote up:

                1. re: Silverjay

                  Hardcore indeed! Thanks for all those links.