Shio vs Shokuen vs Shokutakuen vs Ajishio: Japanese Salt

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

As with other countries, Japanese salt comes in various types and the common variety 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, for people who are curious, I researched their definitions and meanings.

Shio (塩)

First of all, based on Goo’s Japanese Dictionary, “Shio (塩)”, literally “Salt”, is a basic seasoning with a salty taste whose main component is sodium chloride.

Shokuen (食塩) 

Based on Goo’s Japanese Dictionary, “Shokuen (食塩)”, literally meaning “Salt meant for Eating”, refers to the salt refined for edible use whose main component is sodium chloride.

Shokutakuen (食卓塩)

Based on Weblio Dictionary, “Shokutakuen (食卓塩)”, literally “Table Salt”, is 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 the 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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