Kuro Shichimi: Kyoto’s Famous Black Spice Blend

Shichimi Togarashi is a traditional Japanese seasoning (condiment) made from 7 different aromatic spices.

Its first ingredient is a ground red chili pepper, whereas the other six spices vary depending on the maker or the specialty shop.


Shichimi Togarashi has about 400 years of history, and now, it has become a kitchen staple in many households in Japan.

We often use the spice blend to add a slightly spicy, flavorful touch to food.

Kuro Shichimi (黒七味)

Shichimi Togarashi comes in many varieties, as, today, many food companies produce it.

Long-established specialty shops have their own unique Shichimi Togarashi, and Kyoto’s Kuro Shichimi (黒七味: Black Shichimi) is one of the best-known.

Hararyokaku (原了郭)

Hararyokaku KyotoImage: tabelog.com

Kuro Shichimi was created by the Kosen specialty shop founded in Kyoto in 1703 named Hararyokaku (原了郭).

Kosen (香煎) is a traditional Japanese food made from roasted cereal powder mixed with spices like shiso (perilla) and sansho pepper.

Shop Information

  • Address: 267 Gionmachi-Kitagawa, Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Pref. (MAP)
  • Open: 10:00 am to 18:00 pm
  • Open throughout the year (except for January 1st and 2nd)

7 Ingredients (Spices) 

Regular Shichimi Togarashi

As mentioned above, Shichimi Togarashi consists of ground red chili pepper blended with six other aromatic spices that differ by manufacturer.

For your information, typical ingredients used in it include the followings.

  • Red chili pepper
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Sansho pepper
  • Ginger
  • Hemp seeds
  • Aonori green nori seaweed
  • Orange peel
  • Shiso (perilla) leaves
  • Poppy seeds

Kuro Shichimi by HararyokakuImage: wakabagenji

On the other hand, according to the official website of Hararyokaku, its Kuro Shichimi consists of

  • White sesame seeds
  • Red chili pepper
  • Sansho pepper
  • Aonori green nori seaweed
  • Poppy seeds
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Hemp seeds


Unlike regular Shichimi Togarashi, Kuro Shichimi is blackish, as the word in its name Kuro (黒), meaning black, suggests.

The black spice has a deep aroma from sansho and black sesame seeds. Because of its distinctive taste and spiciness, it is favored by adults rather than children.

The usage is the same as ordinary Shichimi.

Kyoto’s Black Shichimi goes well with miso soup, pickles, cold tofu, udon and soba, yakisoba, sukiyaki, mapo tofu, nabemono hot pots, and so forth.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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