Japan’s 3 Best and Most Famous Shichimi Togarashi Shops

Shichimi Togarashi (七味唐辛子) or Shichimi (七味) is a traditional Japanese seasoning consisting of ground red chili pepper and six other aromatic spices that vary depending on the maker.

The seven-spice blend is an essential condiment for soba and udon noodle soups and goes well on various foods, like miso soup, beef bowls, and grilled chicken skewers.

Shichimi Togarashi

Many Japanese people have at least one canned or bottled Shichimi Togarashi at home, and most of those products are from the two major modern food companies, S&B and House Foods.

3 Best Shichimi Togarashi Brands

But the origin of Shichimi Togarashi dates back to about 400 years ago, and several long-established spice shops have become famous for the spice mix.

Among others, the ones generally known as Japan’s 3 Best Shichimi Brands are Yagenbori (やげん堀), Yawataya Isogoro (八幡礒五郎), and Shichimiya Honpo (七味屋本舗), about whose shops I talk today.

1. Yagenbori (やげん堀)

Yagenbori AsakusaImage: tabelog.com

Shichimi Togarashi has another name Yagenbori because the birthplace is an area called Yagenbori (薬研堀) that existed in Edo (present-day Tokyo).

The originator founded in 1625, Yagenbori (やげん堀) now has its shop in Asakusa, Tokyo, by the way.

Their seven-spice blend features a well-balanced taste, accompanied by the pleasant aromas from dried mandarin orange peel called Chinpi (陳皮) and Sansho pepper.

Ingredients (7 Spices)

Yagenbori Shichimi Togarashi

According to the official website of Yagenbori, the seven spices used in their Shichimi Togarashi are

  1. Red chili pepper
  2. Roasted red chili pepper
  3. Black sesame seeds
  4. Chinpi
  5. Sansho pepper
  6. Hemp seeds
  7. Poppy seeds

Shop Information: Yagenbori (やげん堀)

  • Address: 1-28-3 Asakusa, Taito-Ku, Tokyo (MAP)
  • Open: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Open throughout the week

2. Yawataya Isogoro (八幡屋礒五郎)

Yawataya Isogoro NaganoImage: sanada-tabi.com

Yawataya Isogoro originates from a merchant named Kanemon (勘右衛門).

He began to sell Shichimi Togarashi in 1736 in the precincts of Zenkoji (善光寺), a nationally famous Buddhist temple located in the city of Nagano.

The seven-spice blend of Yawataya Isogoro is slightly hot compared to other traditional Shichimi and has a pronounced ginger taste.

Ingredients (7 Spices)

Yawataya Isogoro Shichimi Togarashi

According to the official website of Yawataya Isogoro, the seven ingredients used in their Shichimi Togarashi are

  1. Red chili pepper
  2. Ginger
  3. Sansho pepper
  4. Shiso (perilla) leaves
  5. Black sesame seeds
  6. Chinpi
  7. Hemp seeds

Shop Information: Yawataya Isogoro (八幡屋礒五郎)

  • Address: 83 Daimon-Cho, Nagano City, Nagano Pref. (MAP)
  • Open: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Open throughout the week

3. Shichimiya Honpo (七味家本舗)

Shichimiya Honpo KyotoImage: small-life.com

The rest, Shichimiya Honpo, lies in one of the approaches to the Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto.

The shop initially sold straw sandals and medicines by the name Kawachiya (河内屋) but changed it to Shichimiya in 1816.

Afterward, around the middle of the Meiji period (Meiji: 1868 to 1912), it began to sell Shichimi Togarashi and became a spice shop.

The seven-spice blend of Shichimiya Honpo is not spicy at all. Instead, it is excellent in aroma featuring a pronounced taste from Sansho and Ao-Nori green seaweed.

Ingredients (7 Spices)

Shichimiya Honpo Shichimi Togarashi

According to the official website of Shichimiya Honpo, the seven spices used in their Shichimi Togarashi are

  1. Red chili pepper
  2. Black sesame seeds
  3. White sesame seeds
  4. Shiso (perilla) leaves
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Aonori
  7. Sansho pepper

Shop Information: Shichimiya Honpo (七味家本舗)

  • Address: 2-221 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Pref. (MAP)
  • Open: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm (During wintertime, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm)
  • Open throughout the week

Tomo

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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