Miso (??), a Japanese paste made from fermented soy beans is quite popular, I think anyone who has spent more than a week in this country will have had at least a passing acquaintance with Miso Soup. One kind of Miso is Hacho Miso (????) which is “made” here in Okazaki.

Kiyomi and I managed to visit the Hacho Miso factory this morning and take a guided tour (free) of the place.

Before the tour we assembled in the front shop and perused the various hacho miso products for sale: regular hacho miso, hacho miso biscuits, crackers, sweets, jam, etc. The list of hacho Miso this or that was pretty much endless. Unless you’re a real miso freak you’d get a kick out of the various hacho miso products but wouldn’t buy it just because it had hacho miso in it.

The tour started with a quick history of Hacho miso then it was explained how miso is stored when it is aged. The miso is stored in these huge vats which are 180cm in diameter and aged for three years.

The miso used to be taken by two men to the top of the vat (each bucket weighed about 40kg) and tipped in. Now it’s taken to the top by a conveyor belt, everything else however is the same.

We then were taken through where the vats of miso were stored, each vat as mentioned before was 180cm in diameter, weighed 6 tonnes and has 3 tonnes of rocks placed on top (heavy no?) where it is aged/fermented for three years.

The tour took about 45 minutes, we were then escorted back to the miso shop for a free drink of, you’ve guessed it, hacho miso, way too salty IMO. After that we were free to walk around the shop again if we so desired or go. 45 minutes of my time spent doing something harmless and with the tour price being right, I couldn’t really complain.

You can see pictures of the event in our photo gallery.

— David

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