Shio vs Shokuen vs Shokutakuen vs Ajishio: Japanese Salt

Shio (塩), also spelled as Sio, is the Japanese word for salt, and here in Japan, salt is usually made by boiling down seawater, as there are not enough natural resources for rock salt.

As with other countries, Japanese salt comes in various varieties, and the commonly used type includes Shokuen (食塩), Shokutakuen (食卓塩), and Ajishio (アジシオ). 

Types of Japanese Salt 

Shokutakuen and Ajinomoto Ajishio

But how do these salts differ from one another? Today, I researched their definitions and meanings for those curious.

Shio (塩)

First and foremost, based on Goo’s Japanese Dictionary, Shio (塩), literally salt, is a seasoning staple with a salty taste, whose main component is sodium chloride.

Shokuen (食塩) 

Next, based on Goo’s Japanese Dictionary, Shokuen (食塩), literally salt meant for eating, refers to the salt refined for edible use, whose main component is sodium chloride.

Shokutakuen (食卓塩)

And based on Weblio Dictionary, Shokutakuen (食卓塩), literally table salt, is a refined salt with magnesium carbonate added as a dehumidifying agent. But more than 99 percent of the component is sodium chloride.

Ajishio (アジシオ)

Lastly, Ajishio (アジシオ) is actually a brand of salt from the Japanese food company Ajinomoto. The product has been around since 1960 and contains monosodium glutamate (from sugar cane) as an umami ingredient.


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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