On May 14, 2017, TJCS Cultural Committee organized a day trip to Okazaki to visit a traditional Miso factory and take part in a festival at a local shrine. A total of 19 people joined the event, hailing from all parts of theglobe including, Japan, Canada, Australia, France, Rosia, Mexico, Afghanistan and Vietnam.
The weather was sunny and we could feel the breath of spring. The first stop of the day was Kakukyu Miso factory. It was hot, many attendees tried Miso ice cream before starting the actual Miso factory tour. It was delicious, the perfect balance of salty and sweetness.
Kakukyu Miso factory is a kind of theme park where we could learn how Miso is produced. The method of producing Miso has not been changed since days of old. A huge wooden barrel and big stones are still used. The only ingredients for miso are soybeans, salt, and water. Factory workers put soybean paste in a huge barrel and put on a lid, then put big stones as weights on the lid. After that, the beans are allowed to ferment for up to 3 years! The quantities are huge with the Miso itself weighing 6 tons, and the stones weighing 3 tons!
At the end of the guided factory tour, we could try original Miso soup and sample original Miso dengaku. We also received a complimentary small pack of Miso. What a wonderful spot, and admission is free!
After the factory tour, we enjoyed lunch at an Udon noodle restaurant near the station. The restaurant has been featured on TV many times and is so popular that we had to stand in line for 30 minutes. Various kinds of noodles are available and the restaurant has a big tatami mat room where we could relax after lunch.
After lunch, we went to the local shrine to take in the festival where local people pull 8 different decorated floats through downtown Okazaki. Sometimes, the parade stopped so that watchers could see a little girl's Japanese dancing. We definitely experienced a lot of Japanese culture that day.
The end of the tour, we gathered at Okazaki Castle to take a group photo in front of the castle. Everyone was satisfied with such a great experience!
Our next Cultural event will be a Sake brewery tour in Handa. Be sure to check the TJCS event listings