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Shoochuu Liquor


Distilled liquor (shoochuu)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All summer
***** Category: Humanity


shoochuu 焼酎 (しょうちゅう)
shochu, strong distilled liquor

awamori 泡盛(あわもり)from Okinawa
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kasutori shoochuu 粕取焼酎(かすとりしょうちゅう)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

imojoochuu 甘藷焼酎, 芋焼酎 (いもじょうちゅう)from sweet potatos
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kibijoochuu 黍焼酎, きび焼酎(きびじょうちゅう)from kibi millet
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

CLICK for more photos


Shōchū is an alcoholic beverage of Japan, most commonly distilled from barley, sweet potato or rice. Typically it is 25% alcohol by volume, making it weaker than whisky, but stronger than wine and sake.
Shōchū is produced everywhere in Japan, yet the home of shochu is Kyūshū island.
Shōchū should not be confused with sake, a brewed rice wine. Its taste is usually far less fruity and depends strongly on the nature of the starch used in the distilling process. Its flavour is often described as "nutty" or "earthy".

The exact origin of shōchū is unclear. Originally alcohol the strength of shōchū was called araki (arak) or rambiki (alembic) in Japan; arak is a generic term for a variety of distilled alcoholic drinks throughout the Middle East. Shōchū likely first arrived either in Kyūshū through Thailand and Ryukyu (Okinawa) or in Iki Island from Korea which adopted it from the Mongols who themselves acquired the distillation process from Persia.

As far as can be determined from Japanese historical record, shōchū appears to have been made since at least as far back as the 16th century. For example, when the missionary Francis Xavier visited Kagoshima Prefecture in 1549, he recorded that
"the Japanese drink arak made from rice [...] but I have not seen a single drunkard. That is because once inebriated they immediately lie down and go to sleep."

Further, at Kōriyama Hachiman shrine in Ōkuchi, Kagoshima, the oldest existing direct reference to shōchū in Japan can be found. There, two carpenters working on the shrine in 1559 inscribed the following graffiti on a wooden plank in the roof:
"The high priest was so stingy he never once gave us shōchū to drink. What a nuisance!"

honkaku shōchū
moromitori shōchū
黒糖焼酎,lurotoo joochuu kokutōjōchū from brown sugar
そば焼酎, sobajoochuu, from buckwheat

kasutori shōchū (粕取り焼酎 is made by distilling the sake lees left over from the fermentation of sake.
Seichō kasutori shōchū (正調粕取焼酎)

hashira shōchū (柱焼酎)
sanaburi shōchū (早苗響, sanaburi)

(混和焼酎, konwashōchū)
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


A lot of shochu is brewed in Kyushu.
Sweet potato liquor is most famous from Kagoshima, second from Miyazaki.

Shochu from Miyazaki
The alcohol content is only about 20%, since this was cheaper to sell right after the second world war. Now this gentle liquor is a favorite of ladies.
In the southern parts near Kagoshima, there is sweet potato liquor.
In the central parts, both sweet potato and rice liquor.
In the western parts near Kumamoto, rice liquor.
In parts near Oita, liquor is made from soba buckwheat, mugi wheat, toomorokoshi corn or kibi millet.
CLICK for more photos
Liquor from Miyazaki comes in glass bottles or ceramic bottles, a favorite souvenier of the prefecture.



CLICK for more Daruma shochu photos

CLICK for the Daruma Museum Shochu site
Daruma Shochu

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

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. 九千坊河童 Kyusenbo kappa - Kusenbo Kappa .
from - Tanushimaru 田主丸 Fukuoka, Kyushu

Schnaps with the Water Goblin, Kappa san
- KAPPA - 河童 / 合羽 / かっぱ / カッパ - ABC-Index -


shoochuu no aji o mamoru ya onnatachi

they keep the taste
of sweet potato liquor ...
these women brewers

For the female shochu brewers of Nichiman Village in Miyazaki, Kyushu.
In the third generation, the ladies keep the secret of the family brew.
Together with other women from the town they have developed some soft liquor for ladies, called NAOYAKA NARI
The earthen containers are more than 120 years old and not produced any more. The brewers have to be very careful when blending the ingredients with a bamboo pole not to break a pot, since only 50 are left.
日南焼酎, 古澤醸造

Gabi Greve, December 2008

嫋なり【たおやかなり】Naoyaka Nari


A shochu from Miyasaki prefecture,
called KIGO.

The name is taken from the season word for haiku

made from sweet potatoes, a mix of three different kinds of original schnaps.

The mix originated in the year 1834, when an English taster テイスター experimented with the liquor.
For additional "hidden" flavor, a bit of grated mikan peel, cinnamon, blossom fragrance, dried grapes and others are added.

You can enjoy this taste in all the four seasons!

source : sakashodouraku


. from friends on facebook :

kigo -
a summer drink
for all seasons

Hortensia Anderson

. . . . .

We have a bottle
of Kigo and share
our haiku

Angelika Bygott

. . . . .

Kigo's scent
never fades while reading
Santoka,s verses

Massih Talebian

"Taneda Santoka(1882-1940) was very poor and he used to drink SHOCHU beacuse it is cheaper than SAKE but feels AWFUL the next day. In October 1930 Santoka has drunk a lot of Shochu and therefore he couldn,t leave the bed in the morning and he writes this haiku:

chill chill of the earth
I give up
my feverish body to it"

. Santoka and Sake 種田山頭火


morning moon
Kigo still lingers
on his breath

Chen-ou Liu


the slurring voice
of a kigo

Don, SH

出羽鶴 本格焼酎 - なまはげ Namahage Shochu Liquor

. Namahage なまはげ Demons of Akita .

Related words




. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

- reference : nichibun yokai database 妖怪データベース -
14 legends to explore





Senbei Arare


rice crackers (senbei 煎餅)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


CLICK for more Japanese photos CLICK for more English Information

There are many specialities with the name ... senbei.
Some are made from rice flour, some from mochigome rice flour and others from wheat flour.

age senbei 揚げせんべい deep-fried crackers
chibimaru senbei ちび丸せんべい, for Chibi Mariko Manga
ebisenbei, ebisen えびせんべい with shrimp
goma senbei 胡椒せんべい with sesame seeds
haatogata senbei ハート型せんべい shape of a heart
oshiage senbei 押上せんべい
shoyu senbei with soy sauce 醤油せんべい (しょうゆせんべい)
shio senbei with salt 塩せんべい
tai senbei 鯛せんべい with sea bream
teyaki senbei 手焼きせんべい handmade senbei

ebisenbei from shiba-ebi, Aichi prefecture


- - - - - other types are made from glutinous rice:
arare あられ
okaki おかき (御欠き)
kakimochi 欠き餅(もち)

Arare (あられ "hailstones") is a type of bite-sized Japanese cracker made from glutinous rice and flavored with soy sauce. The size and shapes are what distinguish arare from senbei.
CLICK for more photos There are many different sizes, colors, and shapes of arare. Some are sweet, and others savory. One, called norimaki arare (nori meaning an edible seaweed foodstuff in the form of a dried sheet; maki meaning roll shape) is wrapped with dried nori seaweed. Another, kakinotane (柿の種, kakinotane), takes its name from its resemblance to a persimmon seed. (Kaki is Japanese for "persimmon".) Kakinotane are often sold with peanuts, a combination called kakipī (かきピー, kakipī. These are a popular snack to accompany Japanese beer.

Japanese typically consume arare to celebrate the Doll Festival (Hinamatsuri), on March 3, Girls' Day in Japan. The arare made during the festival are very colorful - pink, yellow, white, brown, light green, and so on. Regular arare can be bought throughout the year, but the colorful ones are only available around January to March in anticipation of the Doll Festival.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. arare ochazuke あられお茶漬 Arare with green tea
from Mie prefecture

- - - - - My Photo Album - - - - -


Senbei (irimochi) (煎餅, せんべい)
are Japanese crackers, made from nonglutinous rice. They come in various shapes, sizes, and flavors, usually savory but sometimes sweet. Senbei are often eaten with green tea as a casual snack and offered to visiting house guests as a courtesy refreshment.

Senbei are usually cooked by being baked or grilled, traditionally over charcoal. While being prepared they may be brushed with a flavoring sauce, often one made of shoyu and mirin. They may then be wrapped with a layer of nori. Alternatively they may be flavored with salt or so-called "salad" flavoring.

In China, senbei are called jiānbang (煎餅). There are varieties like Shandong Jianbing and Tianjin Jianbing. However, these are in actuality a different food. In China, they are more like wraps and pancakes, similar to okonomiyaki, whereas in Japan they are hard (not floppy), and are bite-sized snacks rather than meals.

Sweet senbei (甘味煎餅) came to Japan during the Tang dynasty, the first recorded usage in 737 AD, and still are very similar to Tang traditional styles, originally often baked in the Kansai area, of which include the traditional "roof tile" senbei. These include ingredients like potato and wheat flour or glutinous rice, and are similar to castella cakes. (Not like what people most think of senbei today).

What Japanese commonly refer to as sembei nowadays was popularized by a shop in the Edo Period, Sōkajuku, which spread salty soy sauce flavored sembei throughout Japan.
- Soka Senbei, see below -

There are several types of traditional Japanese senbei. They include the 2 categories, sweet sembei (over 15 types) and rice candy senbei (米菓煎餅),
and others, which include even fish senbei (魚せんべい), lotus senbei (蓮根煎餅) and bone senbei (骨せんべい) from fish bones.

Modern senbei versions are very inventive and may include flavorings can which range from kimchi to wasabi to curry to chocolate.

Kansai senbei tend to use glutinous rice and have a lightly seasoned and delicate in texture (saku saku). Kantō senbei were originally based on uruchimai, a non-glutinous rice, and they tend to be more crunchy (kari kari) and richly flavored.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Food vendors in Edo .

senbeiya, senbei-ya 煎餅屋 Sembei shop, Senbei shop
Senbei were very popular in Edo and sold at many shops.

Danjuroo senbei 団十郎煎餅
named after the popular Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro were especially popular. They were round and imprinted with the family crest of the Danjuro family, the 三升 Mimasu.

Asagao Senbei 朝顔煎餅 / 朝顔せんべい morning glory rice crackers
were mentioned in the Kabuki play
. Sukeroku yukari no Edo-zakura 助六由縁江戸桜 .
The funny clown actor was named 朝顔仙平 Asagao Senbei. The painting of the actor's face was related to various parts of a morning glory.

source :

The play has a long monologue about the various uses on senbei.
senbei zukushi せんべい尽くし


They were sold by Fujiya Seizaemon.
- reference source : -

and modern Kabuki Senbei 歌舞伎せんべい


. Kokeshi Senbei こけし せんべい .


Darums Senbei from Maebashi だるま煎餅 

Gunma Prefecture

Nanakorobi yaoki
seven times down, eight times up
- - - Daruma Lore

八起せんべい Yaoki Senbei


Asakusa Iriyama Senbei shop 入山せんべい

- reference source : -


Edo Daruma Hakkei 江戸だるま八景
Eight views of Daruma in Edo

Eight different flavors of Daruma Senbei!
だるまの形をした8種類のおせんべい。Nihonbashi Nishiki Horin
- reference source : 日本橋錦豊琳 -

. Hokusai, Great Wave and Tsunami
北斎 津波  .


Fish bones roasted "like senbei",
hone senbei 骨せんべい

If you grill fish at home, you can grill the big bones in a final round to produce your own. They are full of calcium and good for children and the elderly. They are sold as a snack.

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Ebisenbei from Hokkaido えびせんべい
ebisen えびせん

source :

かにせん kanisen with crabmeat
わかめせんwakamesen with wakame seaweed
うにせん unisen with sea urchins

えびせんべい・抹茶 ebisenbei macha .. shrimps with green tea
えびせんべい・かぼちゃebisenbei kabocha shrimps .. with pumpkin
えびせんべい・いかすみえびせんebisenbei ikasumi ... with ink from the squidえびせんべい・えびせんべい・わさびせん kawaebi ... with river shrimp

and many more !

Buson-An and Sakura-Ebisen 蕪村菴 さくらえびせんべい

Darume Ebiesn だるま海老せん



Kappa Ebisen かっぱえびせん

- quote -
Kappa Ebisen (かっぱえびせん) is a Japanese snack food produced by Calbee of Japan in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima. It is a crunchy, shrimp-flavored snack resembling Krupuk, Indonesian traditional snack food and It became very popular in Japan. The version produced by Calbee America is called Shrimp Flavored Chips.
The primary ingredients of Kappa Ebisen are wheat flour, vegetable oil, starch, shrimp, sugar, salt, baking powder, amino acid and sweetening.
Kappa Ebisen was first produced and sold by Calbee in 1964 and has gained wide popularity among Japanese consumers as a snack food. Its simplicity makes it a popular snack in many settings, and is often a popular choice for karaoke or as a bar snack. ...
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


. Ichiyo Senbei 一葉煎餅(いちようせんべい)  
In honor of the poetess Higuchi Ichiyo 樋口 一葉

. Ishida Mitsunari 石田三成 せんべい
In honor of the famous samurai


Jibachi senbei 地蜂煎餅, 地蜂せんべい
Wasp rice crackers

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In Omachi, 120 miles northwest of Tokyo, there is a fan club Omachi Jibachi Aikokai (Omachi digger wasps lovers group) that has teamed up with a local biscuit maker to create jibachi senbei, or digger wasp rice crackers.
Elderly wasp hunters from the village, who are mostly in their 80s, catch the insects in nearby forests, boil them in water, dry and sprinkle them over the cracker mix, which is then stamped by hot iron cracker cutters.
Five or six black digger wasps are added to the rice cracker each, clearly visible to the naked eye and while the senior citizens love them, young Japanese see the bugs and refuse to eat the senbei!
source :

Sold in a bag with 20 pieces.

More about
Konchu Ryori, konchuu ryoori 昆虫料理 Insects as food


- - - - - 18 types of senbei - - - - -

CLICK for enlargement to read
Imaya Senbei Store, Kanazawa 今屋のおせんべい 

burandii senbei, burandei senbei ブランデーせんべい / ブランデー煎餅
senbei with brandy flavor
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
from Tsukui Senbei Shop 津久井せんべい本舗
They even got an official prize 内閣総理大臣賞受賞.
They are normal senbei covered with a layer of flour mixed with real French brandy.
The owner was inspired by whiskey bonbons and tried his family trade, senbei, with various flavors. Now they create 30 different ones for example
koohii senbei 珈琲煎餅 senbei with coffee flavor
wain senbei ワインせんべい wine flavor senbei

There are also wine senbei in memory of Takeda Shingen from Yamanashi.
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karee senbei カレーのおせんべい sembei with curry flavor
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kootsuu anzen senbei 交通安全せんべい
senbei used in campaigns for safe driving

. Masakado Senbei 将門煎餅 .
for Taira no Masakado 平将門 / 平將門 (? – 940)


Nanbu senbei, Nambu senbei 南部せんべい
from Morioka, former Nambu province

Nambu Sembei, waffles from Nanbu
Made from wheat flour, salt and water. The dough is pressed into round waffle molds with long handles and baked over charcoals. The overflowing baked dough is cut off and also sold as "ears" mimi to put into soup.
They come in variuos flavors. Originated in Hachinohe, where there are many local brands in the shelves of the supermarkets.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

senbeijiru せんべい汁 senbei soup
Make soup with vegetables, mushrooms and meat and add Nanbu senbei just before eating.
There is a special senbei brand which does not dissolve in hot water.

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senbei aisu せんべいアイス Senbei filled with ice cream !

- - - - - Nambu-Waffeln
Die berühmten Nambu-Waffeln kommen aus der Stadt Hachinohe, die in der heutigen Präfektur Aomori liegt, einst die Domäne Nambu. Früher dienten die Waffeln als haltbare Nahrungsmittel für die langen Wintermonate.

In den Supermärkten von Hachinohe finden sich endlose Regale mit über 40 Sembei-Sorten, allein zehn davon mit Sesam. Meistens werden sie in kleinen Familienbetrieben von Hand gebacken, sodass jede Sorte ihren einzigartigen Geschmack erhält.

Bei ganz einfachen Waffeln besteht der Teig lediglich aus Weizenmehl, Salz und Wasser. Die Sembei werden in Waffeleisen mit langen Griffen über glühenden Holzkohlen oder in einem elektrischen Heizgerät gebacken. Die Temperatur für Waffeln ohne Füllung sollte 130 °C betragen. Der Bäcker muss darauf achten, sie ständig zu wenden, damit sie nicht anbrennen. Mittlerweile wurden auch spezielle Maschinen zur Waffel-Herstellung entwickelt, die in Kleinbetrieben bis zu 3000 Waffeln täglich backen können. Die Bäcker allerdings müssen stets wachsam sein, da gleichzeitig Teig in die Formen gegossen und Waffeln aus den Formen herausgenommen werden mussen.

Zur Geschmacksverfeinerung wird häufig schwarzer Sesam mitgebacken, der den Waffeln einen unverwechselbar aromatischen Geschmack gibt. Einige Hersteller bestellen das unverzichtbare Salz für den Teig sogar aus den Hochebenen von Tibet, weil dieses Natursalz dank seines Mineralgehaltes dem Gebäck überraschenderweise eine gewisse natürliche Süße verleiht.

Für andere Sorten werden klein gehackte Erdnüsse mit etwas Zucker eingebacken. Andere Mischungen ergeben sich aus Äpfeln und Kürbissen, Süßkartoffeln und Shiso-Blättern. Auch verschiedene Getreidesorten werden beigemischt. Für einen herzhafteren Geschmack kommen Zwiebeln, Sojasauce, Chili, Tintenfisch oder Jakobsmuscheln mit in den Teig.

Der bei der Herstellung am Rand herausquellende Teig wird nicht entfernt, sondern mitgebacken, und in Körben gesammelt. Viele Kunden lieben diese von den Japanern »Ohren« genannten Reststücke als Zutat für die tägliche Suppe. Sie kommen daher auch in den Verkauf. Ebenfalls als Suppenzutat, und zwar für Eintöpfe im Winter Senbeijiru, werden weiße Sembei gebacken. Sie sind sehr hart und lösen sich im heißen Wasser nur langsam auf. Weitere Zutaten dieses Eintopfs sind Hühnerfleisch, Wintergemüse, Pilze – und alles, was der Familie schmeckt.


ninniku agesenbei ニンニク揚げせんべい
fried senbei with garlic

from Northern Japan, Fukushima
also with cheese flavor


Soka senbei, Sooka senbei 草加せんべい
Soka (Sooka), Saitama, a famous senbei city
CLICK for more photos

A Senbei (Rice Cracker) is the traditional confectionery of Soka. There are, however, many people make a mistake that it is Tokyo's specialty product. For this reason, we would like to let you have a correct understanding that how our local special product "Senbei" has been made and has become famous in all over Japan. Also, in February 2006, Soka Senbei was specified as " regional food brand (the genuine product made at the genuine place)", and in June 2007, it was registered as "regional organization trademark". For such the situation, Soka Senbei has been recognized as the brand name nevertheless there are many similar products being manufactured and sold. Here, we would consider how we should make more popular the brand name value of the real genuine "Soka Senbei"

Origin of Soka Senbei
When Town Soka was busy as the post town point on Nikko Kaido (Nikko Highway leading to Nikko) during the era of Edo, Ms "Osen-san" was selling dumpling cakes. One day, under suggestion from a passerby "samurai", she made a sort of Senbei in the shape of a baked rice cracker by crashing dumpling cake to flat and keeping it dry under the sun heat. It has been told that she, then, began making and selling it.

History of Soka Senbei
With regard to the history of our special product "Soka Senbei", we would herein introduce how it has finally become popular all over Japan as follows.
Hard Baked Rice Crackers were changed to Flat Salty Senbei during the era of Edo.

The Soka region was the typical village for cultivation of rice and in order to store surplus rice, people made Senbei, initially called Kata-Mochi (Hard Rice Cake).
When the Soka Post Town was set up during the era of Edo, there were many teahouses and food shops along with Nikko Kaido Road and this preservative food were being sold to travelers, which finally became very popular. At the early stage, salt was mixed into the Senbei rice cracker, but after the end of Edo era, it changed to put soybean sauce (shoyu) on a flat shaped Senbei after baking. At the beginning, some shops were called Salt Senbei Shops.

Turning Point was when the Senbei was presented to the Emperor
-- Eras of Meiji to Taisho

From the later of Meiji era, Soka Senbei shops had been gradually increased but many of them handled the Senbei as the side job in addition to sell other general merchandizes.
At the time of Taisho (after the era of Meiji), the Japanese army had a comprehensive military practice in Kawagoe and Soka Senbei was presented to Emperor Taisho, who was, then, the general commander of the Japanese army. This fact became the good turning point to expand the Senbei business.
The Soka Senbei was specified and expanded to all over Japan because "the emperor family purchased the delicious senbei". The local Soka Senbei Industry has been established, which was further expanded around that time and begun to enjoy making the product as the Soka's specialty product. It, then, continued making a prosperous progress for expansion.

Time of Sufferings, Glory and Fog
-- From Eras of Showa to Heisei
The Soka Senbei industry had made a good progress when entered to the era of Showa. However, during the Second World War, it had become very difficult time to obtain the material - i.e., rice - due to the severe control by the government on rice, so that many Soka Senbei Manufacturers (shops) had to discontinue the business one by one. Some of them, however, continued business obtaining the rice material somehow under the severe control by the authority (police). That time was the most difficult time for the Soka Senbei industry.

But only the good thing was Soka Senbei Manufactures maintained the manufacturing method (technique) under the dangerous situation (by police and military group). This was very good and lucky because the police authority is controlling rice distribution at the black market very severely, but some shops obtained the material (rice) somehow. Under such situation, the industry kept the traditional technique to make the Senbei, which is now greatly contributed for the industry and the market.

During the time of 1960s, the rice control was discontinued and the industry could follow the way of the high degree economic growth as the same as other main industries. Again, the name of Soka Senbei had been well known through special sales campaigns at department stores and big railway station's shopping areas.

However, in a proportion to rising of the well-known product name as "Soka Senbei", Senbei makers of other regions had begun making similar products even under different production methods. They began selling under the name of Soka Senbei at many places in Japan nevertheless the quality and taste were not good as the genuine Soka Senbei. As the result, although the name of "Soka Senbei" could obtain the good popularity, its reliability was deteriorated and the definition of "Soka Senbei" could badly become vaguely. The tendency has been continued to today.
source :


Takabe Jinja Senbei 高家(たかべ)神社煎餅
In honor of the God of Cooking,
God of Iwakamutsukari no Mikoto 磐鹿六雁命

. Tokyo Sky Tree Senbei 東京スカイツリー .
May 22, 2012 - Grand Opening


Unzen yusenpei ゆせんぺい senbei from hot spring water
Nagasaki, Mount Unzen

. Urashima Taro 浦島太郎 Ebisen えびせんべい .


CLICK for more photos

Lucky Waffles with Toys inside, fukutoku senbei 福徳せんべい


Yaotsu Senbei 八百津町 せんべい
From Yaotsu Town, Gifu.
They produce about 100 different kinds of senbei with many flavors.
The latest is a huge one of 1 meter diameter, made for events to share with the kids.
sauce yakisoba senbei ソース焼きそばせんべい is loved by younger people.
Senbei as containers of local ice cream, eaten with a senbei formed like a spoon.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Worldwide use

Reiskräcker, Waffeln, Nanbu-Waffeln

Things found on the way

- - - Naschen erlaubt: Sembei
Unter Sembei fasst man in Japan verschiedene Gebäck-, Waffel-, und Kräckersorten zusammen, die entweder aus Reismehl, Mochigome-Klebreismehl oder Weizenmehl gebacken und flach gepresst sind. Sie können süßlich oder salzig schmecken. Eine Sembei-Dose ist in jedem japanischen Haushalt zu finden, denn Sembei bilden das Mindestmaß an Gastfreundschaft. Kommen Gäste ins Haus, wird als erstes grüner Tee gekocht, gleich darauf werden Sembei aus der Dose genommen, auf einem Servierteller angerichtet und vor die Gäste auf den niedrigen Tisch gestellt. Der grüne Tee folgt unverzüglich. Sembei sind nicht nur für Gäste ein beliebter Snack, sondern auch für die ganze Familie. Sie werden zu jeder Tageszeit gegessen.

Das Gebäck gibt es in unzähligen Geschmacksrichtungen mit Sojasauce oder anderen Zutaten gewürzt. Sie sind rund oder viereckig, sternförmig oder wie ein Dachziegel geformt. Am beliebtesten ist die flache, runde Sembei-Sorte aus einfachem Reismehl mit dem Geschmack von Sojasauce. Sie verbreitete sich ab dem 17. Jahrhundert von Edo (heute Tokyo) aus über ganz Japan. Diese Sembei sind besonders knusprig und werden durch weitere Zutaten im Geschmack variiert.

In vielen Städten mit Sehenswürdigkeiten gibt es Geschäfte, die gleich am Ortseingang oder Bahnhof frische Sembei herstellen und einzeln verkaufen. Der verlockende Röstduft zieht die Kunden schon von weitem an, die hier Reisemitbringsel (meibutsu) aus der Gegend erstehen können. In Japan ist es üblich, von einer Reise etwas für die Daheimgebliebenen, insbesondere Arbeitskollegen, mitzubringen. Sehr gern werden Sembei, die zusammen in der Pause genascht werden können, nach einem Urlaub verschenkt.


senbei o inu ga kamu oto hana no ame

the sound of senbei
when my dog crunches them...
rain on the cherry blossoms

Hoshino Tatsuko 星野立子
Tr. Gabi Greve


long autumn rain -
the smell of senbei and
smoked cheese

These senbei, rice crackers, have a very typical smell. They are called mame mochi with roasted soybeans, from Tokachi, Hokkaido. Each one is wrapped in an extra pouch and when you open one, the rich fragrance of rice emerges from it.

Gabi Greve, September 2009

Related words

***** WASHOKU : General Information


- #senbei #sembei #ricecrackers #kappaebisen #ebisen -


Ameyoko Kappabashi Ueno

. 河童 The Kappapedia .

Ameyoko Street in Ueno

***** Location: Japan
***** Season:
***** Category: Humanity


Ameyoko あめよこ (アメ横) is a famous shopping street running from Ueno station to Okachimachi in Tokyo.
Ameyoko street market.Ameyoko shopping alley.

It is a MUST for the shopping for New Years items, everything is cheap ...
After WWII it was a place for smuggled itmes, and also a famous sweet shop, ameya 飴屋 was in the area. AME also was an abbreviation for AMERICA in these days.

There is also a lot of other discounted stuff there. There is second-hand fashion, super bargains and a lot of candy! It is a heaven for bargain shoppers.

CLICK for more photos

Officially the name is Ameya Yokocho, ameya yokochoo アメ屋横丁.
yokochoo is the normal name for a small alley.

CLICK for more English information !

Ameyokoyaki アメ横焼き Ameyoko-style pancake
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Close to Ameyoko is the famous

Asakusa KAPPABASHI 東京都 かっぱばし/ かっぱ河 / 合羽橋

where you can buy all kinds of wax or plastic replica food.
They are used by restaurants and shops to decorate their windows and inform customers about their dishes. This is very useful for foreigners to see what is served in a restaurant.

CLICK here for more photos

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Kappadera かっぱ寺 Kappa temple - 曹源寺 Sogen-Ji .
and the legend of Kappa Kawataro Kihachi.

道具街, the kitchen district
In Kappabashi, they also sell all the equipment and utensils you need for a restaurant and kitchen, pots and pans, chopsticks and plates ... you name it.

Gujo Hachiman Town 郡上八幡 in Gifu is a famous producer of these food replicas. There are still four factories which produce these plastic items.
Iwasaki Mokei in Gujo was one of the first to produce these sample foods since 1932.

Kappabashi-dori, also known just as
Kappabashi (Japanese: 合羽橋) or Kitchen Town,
is a street in Tokyo between Ueno and Asakusa which is almost entirely populated with shops supplying the restaurant trade.
- reference - Kappabashi -

source : R on facebook
Seen by a friend in Kappabashi

. Asakusa Kannon Temple 浅草観音 .
Temple Sensooji 浅草寺 Senso-Ji


Asakusa and the Kaminari Okoshi sweets
"waking up the thunder"
made by Tokiwadoo

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Kaminari-okoshi is a snack popular for its crispy texture. It was originally sold by street venders near the Kaminarimon gate in Asakusa sometime in the mid Edo period. Kaminari-okoshi is made by roasting steamed sweet rice to pop, mixing them with other ingredients such as peanuts, and forming them into a shape with sugar and mizuame. It is believed that the name "okoshi" came from a Japanese verb "okosu," which means "to establish" a family or a name, and therefore the snack was considered as a good-luck item. It is known as one of popular Asakusa souvenirs today.
source :

Further Reference


Asakusa nikomidoori 浅草煮込み通り street with shops of nikomi stew in Asakusa


CLICK here for PHOTOS !

CLICK for more photos
Ningyooyaki 人形焼, 人形焼き figure waffles


Akihabara, the Electric Town
Akibahara with Shrine Akiba Jinja at its center.

Some shops have Oden hodgepodge in cans.

Maid-Coffeeshops. They welcome you : O-kaeri nasai.
Maids write a greeting with ketchup on your omuraisu omelette.
meidokissa, メイド喫茶 maid kissa
meidokafee メイドカフェ
meedokissa メード゙喫茶
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

LaoX features a large store with items for tourists.

Bridge Manseibashi 万世橋
niku no mansei 肉の万世 the first to make kurokke, croquettes.

Agemanjuu 揚げまんじゅう / 揚げ饅頭
normal manjuu with koshi-an bean paste, deep-fried afterwards for a crispy taste.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Shotaro Ikenami (Ikenami Shootaroo) wrote about Mukashi no Aji in Edo/Tokyo, discribing the restaurants and eateries of the times.

Jinbocho jinboochoo 神保町 district with books sold.
Part of Kanda.

Inventer of Hiyashi Chuka ... gansoo hiyashi chuuka
from a Chinese who got the inspiration from the cold soba noodles of Japan. He arranged his noodles with vegetables and chicken meat like a Mount Fuji on your plate. His son now cares for the restaurant.
Chinatown in Jinbocho has disappeared, now Chinatown is in Yokohama.

Kanda Daruma 神田だるま
shop which sells taiyaki waffles in a wrapper with Daruma

Things found on the way


ameyoko ni matsutake tataki uri ni keri

at Ameyoko
they sell matsutake mushrooms
at such reduced price !

Umi no Ko san . 海の子 さん

tataki-uri, the vendor hits his board with a stick and reduces the price with every slab. It is a kind of backward auction and raises the attention of all other buyers around !


. Ueno 上野 Ueno district - Taito .

- - - - - Kobayashi Issa in Ueno -

yuusuzu ya kutabire ni deru Ueno yama

evening cool--
weariness sets in
on Ueno Hill

Tr. David Lanoue

- - - - -

tsuyu mi tsubu ueno no semi no nakidashinu

three drops of dew
and the Ueno cicadas
are crying already

Tr. Chris Drake

This humorous mid-autumn hokku was written in the eighth month shortly after Issa returned to the city of Edo on Sept. 23, 1812 after making a trip to his hometown to try to negotiate with his half brother about their mutual inheritance. Ueno was an area of Edo with many temples, ponds, and trees that was famous as a good place to hear birds sing, so presumably it was also a place where many insects could be heard. Perhaps the cries of the cicadas in Ueno seemed much stronger to Issa than the weaker cries of the cicadas he'd been hearing in his highland hometown, where the air was probably several degrees cooler than in lowland Edo.

The three drops of dew seem to be hyperbole. Adult cicadas drink tree and bush sap, but in East Asia it was widely believed that cicadas live by drinking dew on the leaves and branches of trees and bushes. In the hokku, almost as soon as the early evening dew begins to appear in Ueno, the cicadas drink it, gain strength, and begin to cry out vigorously and loudly. It's common for cicadas to begin crying intensely at the end of the day, but Issa is amazed by the way the vigorous Ueno cicadas suddenly and almost in unison begin to create loud, throbbing waves of sound even before the light begins to fade. Perhaps these lively cicadas, which still show few signs of weakening in autumn, remind him of the brash, loud, assertive way commoners in Edo live their lives.

Cicadas are above all a summer image, but there are many different types, and some appear in spring (haru no semi), while many others (aki no semi) continue to cry out vigorously until the end of the eighth month (September). Some cicadas were even known to cry in the tenth month (November). Lunar autumn starts with the seventh month, which usually begins in the first week of August, and many kinds of cicadas in Edo/Tokyo don't begin to cry loudly until late July, and they continue to cry loudly until mid-autumn or later. These autumn cicadas are not long-lived (they only live 1-2 weeks) but simply cicadas of types that mature and mate later in the year. Likewise, dew is primarily an autumn image, but spring dew (haru no tsuyu) and summer dew (natsu no tsuyu) are also fairly common, depending on the context in the hokku.

Chris Drake

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

- More about Ueno in the Edopedia

. Ueno 上野 (Taito ward) .

Related words

***** WASHOKU : General Information

- #ueno -


Kudamono Fruits Obst


Fruit used in Cooking

Since fruit grown in natural environment comes in its season, most of the fruit used in the kitchen are also kigo for haiku.
Nowadays, many fruit are grown in hot houses.

A lot of trees and plants bear fruit in autumn.
Their blossoms are kigo of spring or summer.

shuuka 秋果 (しゅうか) autumn fruits
..... aki no kudamono 秋の果物(あきのくだもの)
kigo for all autumn

Many are listed below.
Please check this list for more:


079 fruit display shelf

If you do not find your keyword here, please check the

. WKD : Berry, berries - Beeren .



. Anzu 杏 apricot .
Prunus armeniaca

. Banana, banana バナナ banana fruit .

biwa, loquat びわ 枇杷 
kigo for mid- or late summer

The original loquat (biwa) was a wild variety of fruit in Japan, but it is believed that the origin of the mogi loquat was a fruit brought from China on a Chinese ship between 1830 and 1840. A woman by the name of Miura Shio brought back the seeds for this Chinese loquat, and when she planted it in her brother's field in the village of Mogi, it thrived and bore sweet fruit. This was the first generation of the mogi loquat. Plant husbandry was later improved through grafting, and today the loquat, as the taste of early summer in Nagasaki, is a specialty in which the entire country takes pride.
This full-flavored fruit is small yet sweet and is not only eaten raw but also processed into many sweet products such as jelly candy, while the leaves can be used for loquat tea.
source :

Japanische Mispel. Eriobotrya japonica

kigo for mid-winter

biwa no hana 枇杷のはな (びわのはな) loquat blossoms
biwa saku 枇杷咲く(びわさく)loquat are blossoming
hana biwa 花枇杷(はなびわ) blossoms of loquat

. loquat leaves as medicine in Edo .
biwayootoo 枇杷葉湯 (びわようとう) biwa yootoo, biwa yoto
drink from dried loquat leaves
- - - - - biwa yootoo uri 枇杷葉湯売り
vendor of loquat leaves medicine


budoo 葡萄 ぶどう grape, grapes

. Grapes (budoo) and wine .

Some grapes are grown for wine, others for eating like this.

Yamanashi is famous for its wine production.
Grapes Yakushi, Budoo Yakushi 葡萄薬師 God of Wine
Temple Daizen-Ji

pioone ピオーネ blue Pione grapes
a very large tuff with grapes like cannon balls. Grown for eating like this.
Sugar degree of 18. Sourness medium. Concentrated sweet taste. Harvested end of September.
Grown in Okayama prefecture.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
European grape, ヨーロッパ・ブドウ Vitis vinifera
アメリカ・ブドウ (Fox grape) Vitis labrusca
マスカダイン (Muscadine) Vitis rotundifolia
ヴィティス・アムレンシス (Vitis amurensis ) Mostly grown in Mongolia. Strong in Winter.

Trauben, Pione-Trauben

Der Traubenanbau wird in Takamatsu bereits seit 1919 betrieben. Im Jahre 1960 begann man mit der Produktion von kernlosen Trauben, und seit dem Weinlesejahr 1973/1974 wird die Kyoho-Traube angebaut. Hier konzentriert sich das Know-how in Bezug auf den Anbau leckerer Trauben.
Auf der Japanmeerseite erstreckt sich eine ca. 170 ha große Dünenlandschaft, in der die qualitativ hochwertigen und süßen Arten Delaware sowie Kyoho hauptsächlich in Treibhäusern angebaut werden.
Mit der Produktion dieser Rebsorte in Takamatsu wurde begonnen, als im Jahre 1919 ein gewisser Herr Eijiro Ichimura im Gebiet des heutigen Sakuraimachi ein 70 Ar großes Grundstück für den Traubenanbau urbar machte.
source :


Hakutoo, white peach 白桃
..... momo, peach 桃
kigo for early autumn
Persica vulgaris

momo no mi 桃の実 (もものみ) fruit of the peach
hakutoo 白桃(はくとう), suimitsutoo水蜜桃(すいみつとう), tenshintoo 天津桃(てんしんとう)、nekutarin ネクタリン
yutoo 、油桃(ゆとう)
. . . CLICK here for HAKUTO Photos !

There is a Momotaro Festival Momotaroo Matsuri 桃太郎まつり in Okayama town.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Okayama is famous for this type of peach. See haiku below.

Momotaro Nabe ... Peach Boy Hodgepodge

Peaches and the Queen Mother of the West, Xiwang Mu or Hsi Wang Mu
Peaches for Immortality in Chinese Legend


samomo 早桃 (さもも) early peach
natsu momo 夏桃(なつもも) summer peach
kigo for late summer

. momo 桃 peach fruit art motives .


ichigo イチゴ 苺 strawberries
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Strawberries Cranberries kigo

. ichijiku 無花果 fig, figs .


Kaki 柿 persimmon Persimone kigo
kaki persimmon dishes


Kankitsu rui, かんきつるい (柑橘類) citrus fruit in general
mikan, ponkan, hassaku, sudachi, daidai, kabosu, iyokan, satsuma, sudachi, yuzu, oranges and others

Oranges, Mandarin Oranges, Tangerines kigo

kiiui furuutsu キーウィフルーツ kiwi fruit
kiui キウイ
Actinidia deliciosa
from Ehime, Fukuoka, Wakayama, Shizuoka, Kanagawa
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Mikan, mandarin orange, tangerine
mikan 蜜柑 (みかん)
tangerine mountain, mikan yama 蜜柑山(みかんやま)
field with tangerine trees, mikanbatake 蜜柑畑(みかんばたけ)
kigo for all winter

green tangerine, ao mikan 青蜜柑 (あおみかん)
early tangerine, wasemikan 早生蜜柑(わせみかん)
kigo for all autumn

Mandarinen, Zitrusfrucht


Nashi, Asian pear, Japanese pear
kigo for autumn
Pyrus serotina var. culta

nashi 梨子(なし) Nashi pear
nihon nashi 日本梨(にほんなし), aka nashi 赤梨(あかなし), ao nashi 青梨(あおなし)
choojuuroo 長十郎(ちょうじゅうろう)named after Tooma Choojuuroo, the grower
nijusseiki 二十世紀(にじっせいき)(from Tottori)
Sorte „Japanbirne aus Atago“ (Atago nashi) 愛宕梨(あたごなし)
Sorte Niitaka nashi 新高梨(にいたかなし)
yoonashi, western pear 洋梨(ようり)
shina nashi シナ梨(しななし)、
ari no mi ありのみ
vendor of nashi, nashi uri 梨売(なしうり)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Nashi Kaidoo 梨街道 "old Nashi Road" Nashi Kaido
市川市 Ichikawa, Chiba prefecture
Many nashi farmers are in the area and in autumn they carry their loads and nashi are sold everywhere.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Ishii wase 石井早稲 early blossoming sort, started by Ishii san from Ishikawa town.

kigo for late spring

nashi no hana 梨の花 (なしのはな) nashi blossoms
..... rika 梨花(りか), nashibana 梨花(なしばな)
nashi saku 梨咲く(なしさく)Nashi tree is blossoming

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

iwanashi no hana 岩梨の花 (いわなしのはな)
blossoms of Epigaea asiatica
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


arinomi, ari no mi ありの実 (ありのみ)
round Japanese pear

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

seiyoonashi, seiyoo nashi 西洋梨 (せいようなし)
Western pear, European pear

Pyrus communis

yamanashi 山梨 (やまなし) "mountain nashi pear"
..... konashi 晩秋 小梨(こなし)
..... inunashi 犬梨(いぬなし)
Pyrus pyrifolia.


kigo for all winter

okusankichi 晩三吉 (おくさんきち) Okusankichi
a variety grown in Niigata. The fruit is about 400 to 500g.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

fuyu no nashi 冬の梨(ふゆのなし) Nashi in winter


- found on the way

Nashinoki Jinja 梨の木神社 Shrine Nashinoki
京都府京都市上京区寺町通広小路上る染殿町680 - Kyoto

- quote
Nashinoki Shrine is located on the east side of Kyoto's Imperial Palace (Gosho), on Teramachi opposite Rozanji (Rozan Tendaikoji) Temple, both are a short stroll from Demachiyanagi Station or Kyoto Prefectural Hospital on Kawaramachi Dori.
Nashinoki Shrine was built in 1885 and enshrines Sanetsumu Sanjo (1802-1859) and his son Sanetomo, who were both imperial advisers in the late Edo Period, a time marked by political upheaval and violence.
Sanetomo was an ardent supporter of the sonnojoi (Revere the Emperor; expel the barbarians) doctrine and movement, a political forerunner of the Meiji Restoration, which saw the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868 and the Emperor leave Kyoto and take up residence in Edo (renamed Tokyo), which became the new capital of Japan.
Sanetomo was later to become a minister in the new Meiji state established from 1868.
- source :

- reference -


. natsume なつめ 棗 date, dates .
Ziziphus jujuba


. oriibu オリーブ Olive, olives .

. painappuru パイナップル pineapple .
ananasu あななす ananas

. papaiya パパイヤ papaya .

Ringo りんご (林檎) apple, apples
speciality of Aomori around Mt. Iwaki
リンゴ apples from Aomori

Hatoyama apples 鳩山 リンゴ Ocotber 2009

Fuji apple and other varieties
Apple (ringo) kigo

Apfel, Äpfel


Sakuranbo, sakuranboo さくらんぼう (桜ん坊)
cherry fruit

サクランボ, sakurambo ... also called
ootoo 桜桃(おうとう)(peach of the cherry tree) .
ootoo no mi 桜桃の実 (おうとうのみ)

speciality of Yamagata, Aomori and Yamanashi prefecture. Also grown in Akita.
The cherry tree is the symbol tree of Yamagata prefecture.
The "Western Cherry tree" seiyoo zakura セイヨウミザクラ has been introduced to Japan in the early Meiji period to Hokkaido by the prussian R. Gaertner R.ガルトネル, from Hokkaido they spread to other areas of Northern Japan.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Cherry trees are mostly grown for their beautiful blossoms in spring.

yusura 山桜桃 (ゆすら) Nanking cherry
..... yusura ume ゆすらうめ
Prunus tomentosa

sakuranbo matsuri さくらんぼ祭 (さくらんぼまつり)
cherry festival

CLICK for more photos
observance kigo for mid-summer
Yamanashi prefecture is known for its cherry fruit production. In the town of Sagae 寒河江市 there is a festival on the first sunday in June.
A haiku meeting is part of the festival.
sakuranbo haiku taikai さくらんぼ俳句大会


. Sumomo 李 "sour plum" .
Reneclaude. Prunus salicina

Ume, plums for umeboshi
Plum blossoms (ume) Japan.
Dried plums (ume boshi) and any related UME kigo.
Pflaumen, Aprikosen


yamanashi、yama-nashi 山梨 (やまなし) "mountain pear"
Malus sieboldii
kigo for late autumn

Yuzu, a citron fruit
Yuzu (Japan) a ctirus fruit
..... Yuzu citron dishes for autumn Japan
Yuzu products from Yufuin, Kyushu


. zakuro 石榴(柘榴)(ざくろ) pomegranate  

kigo for mid-autumn
Punica granatum. Granatapfel
mizakuro 実石榴 pomegranate fruit


Many fruits are packed into small paper bags when they begin to form on the branches, to prevent the rain and insects to spoil them. Shortly before the harvest, the first paper bag is taken off, then about two weeks later the last one to have them ripen in the sunshine for a short while.
Since this has to be done one by one the farmers are very busy, especially the apple and grape farmers.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

fukurokake 袋掛 (ふくろかけ) "packing fruit in paper bags"

kigo for all summer

Before the harvest they have to be unpackes. Often two different type of bags are used, one is taken off two weeks before harvesting, the next one in the next week.

. Kai Ichi no Miya monzen no fukurokake .
Oonishi Yasuo 大西八洲雄 Onishi Yasuo

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

kigo for late summer

inu biwa 犬枇杷 (いぬびわ) "loquat for dogs"
koichijiku 小無花果(こいちじく)
yama biwa 山枇杷(やまびわ), tensenka 天仙果(てんせんか)
Ficus erecta


hakutoo o suii yamaguni no sora nurasu

I suck on a white peach
the sky of the mountain province
becomes wet  

Sakai Hiroshi 酒井弘司

Maybe he is talking of the mountains of Okayama ...

hakutoo no enshuuritsu o omoi ku

I eat a white peach
thinking of its
circle constant pi π

Kappa 河童

source : 白桃 俳句


nashi moide aozora fuyasu kao no ue

as I pick nashi
the blue sky increases
above my face

Takahashi Etsuo 高橋悦男 (1934 - )


a baked peach-
yesterday a flower
in your hair

Alex Serban
Romania, July 2011

Related words

Peach blossoms (momo no hana) Japan

furuutsu somurie フルーツソムリエ fruits sommelier
somurie ソムリエ sommelier for wine, fruits, vegetables and other food
fuudo somurie フードソムリエ - food sommelier



***** . Nuts from the Forest .