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Workshop and Sampling the Bonito Flakes of Mie Prefecture
Maruten Co., Ltd. • Mie
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"Considered one of the “Foods of the Gods,” see what goes into making the best bonito flakes (katsuobushi) in Mie prefecture."
The coastal city of Shima in Mie prefecture has been recognized for its high-quality foods that make up a collection known as “Foods of the Gods.” These foods are traditionally used for offerings at temples to kami (gods), and are also typical ingredients used in Japanese cooking. One of these ingredients that has been recognized worldwide is katsuobushi.

Katsuobushi—also known as bonito flakes—is skipjack tuna that's been smoked, fermented, and shaved into flakes. Many famous chefs have traveled to this site in Mie to sample this particular katsuobushi, and now you can too.

Take a step back in time and into a traditional katsuobushi workshop. You’ll be welcomed by a warm and hospitable staff who’s passionate about sharing this traditional food. The wooden building is full of the rich, smoky smell of decades of making high-quality katsuo. You’ll get to learn how the 6-month process produces this truly exceptional ingredient. Sample some dashi (broth made of katsuobushi), highlighting its pure flavor. You’ll also get a chance to make your own bonito flakes, by shaving flakes using a special katsuobushi grater box.

Finally, you’ll get to have a full katsuobushi meal featuring rice made in a pot unique to Mie. The key to this rice is to listen—and smell—to know when it’s ready to eat, a skill they’ve perfected through practice. Fresh bonito flakes are added to the rice, which appears to dance around as the flakes react to the heat of the rice. This simple but flavorful meal demonstrates the quality of this famous katsuobushi.

Highlights

  • Taste the world-class bonito flakes
  • Sample the clear and light broth made from the highest quality katsuobushi
  • Have the opportunity to make your own freshly shaved katsuobushi

Inclusions

  • Meal of Mie-style cooked rice and freshly shaved bonito flakes
  • Explanation of the katsuobushi making process
  • Tour of the katsuobushi workshop