Shokutsuten Mall Singapore
During our recent trip to Singapore, we decided to drop through Shokutsuten, a Japanese street food mall in Jurong West Central. Offering an authentic feel for Japanese food, and particularly with a Kansai twist, find everything you want from yakitori, sushi and ramen, to Japanese breads, snacks and confectionary. Enjoy!
More photos available here.
Check out the mall here.
Singapore BT Fort by Maison Ikkoku
We recently had the opportunity to get down to Singapore - what a fantastic country filled with beautiful food and people! Our first stop was to see our good friend Ethan of Maison Ikkoku and Fort. Meeting at his very trendy Fort bar in the Fort Canning Arts Center, we had the opportunity to catch up on a range of topics we have been collaborating on. But business aside, if you ever find yourself in Singapore, be sure to hit Fort or the flagship Maison Ikkoku bar and cafe. Together they create a tantalizing taste of Japanese fusion cocktails and food.
More pix here
ITO APPLE FARM
As a part of our recent trip to Toyama, we made a special visit to our local apple supplier in the quaint town of Uozu. A fantastic little farm, Ito Ringoen (Ito Apple Farm) is over 100 years old and currently in the hands of a 3rd generation apple farmer. With the fuji apple as the mainstay, the farm produces around 7 varieties of Toyama apple throughout the year. These little beauties are just starting to fruit, but as soon as they are ready they will become the key constituent in our Ringo no Hana apple pie and 100% juice range; not to mention in their innate form for eating as is!
More photos available here.
TATEYAMA CRAFT 2017
During our trip north last week, we made a conscious effort to head out to the Tateyama Craft Festival held at Tateyama Machi Sogo Park on the 26th & 27th of May. This year commemorates their 3rd year and among the many handicrafts on exhibition including ceramic, wood, metal and glass makers, was our very good friends from
Kaneaki Sakai Pottery keenly showing the public their lovely creations. Check out some photos of the festival here.
We highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in Toyama around this time next year, but get in early as the traffic starts to pile up for parking just before lunch.
Information in Japanese can be found here.
Last week we paid a visit to the picturesque SAYS FARM located in the beautiful city of Himi, Toyama. A glance at the photos, you will come to appreciate the breathtaking views the farm commands while overlooking the scenic Toyama Bay and Tateyama Alps. Here, you can enjoy a variety of local wines, dairy, jams and other treats made on site. SAYS FARM also offers cozy cottages for people who wish to stay overnight, or you can pop in for a tasty lunch or evening dinner at their attractive restaurant on top of the hill. See all the amazing photos taken here.
More info here (Japanese only): http://www.saysfarm.com
Hiratsuka Local Fish Market
Last week we had the opportunity to check out the Hiratsuka local fish market and enjoy buying some great local produce direct from the local fishermen who fish Sagami Bay. We ended up buying some mahimahi, horse mackerel, scorpion fish and whiting, which we either turned into sashimi, tempura or steamed. Who knew that mahimahi would be so good as sashimi! Absolutely delicious! More photos available here.
Located at the Hiratsuka Fishing Port, the Hiratsuka Fish Market is open to the public once per month. It is free and parking available for those that wish to drive. More information here (Japanese only).
Made the Move
So we have officially moved into our new office. Located a minute or two from the north exit of Chigasaki station. We are still located in Motomachi, just a different part of Motomachi. In brief, a short move to a bigger and better place. Offering some navigation, head out the north exit and look for Starbucks and Tsutaya located towards your right. Head straight down the stairs located on the right of Tsutaya, and continue to follow the road which will veer left and a Mini Stop convenient store will come into view. No need to cross to that side of the street, simply continue following the road and we are located about 30 meters ahead, above a traditional Japanese confectionary store called Murataya, which you will find on your left next to Azzurro Hairdressers: use door located to the right side of Murataya to get to our office upstairs.
Back at Kaneaki Sakai
After visiting several partners in the area, and also sneaking in a quick look at a museum and gallery along the way, we made our way back to the key pottery for a guided tour around the premises before heading out to dinner. Though the workshop was not operating (it being a Saturday and all), one of the talented young craftsmen was kind enough to explain some of the machines and moulding techniques used. Enjoy more pictures here !
Out to Nagoya
After our final meeting at Kaneaki Sakai we headed to Nagoya to stop through an art gallery who was run by a friend of our CEO. It was a great way to finish our Gifu trip as this gallery had a beautiful collection of fine Japanese crockery; we even left with a magnificent vase which will find a new home in our new office opening later this month. Beyond the selection of pottery on display, we were lucky enough to find ourselves arrive a little after a musical which was performed in unison with live Japanese calligraphy. Though we didn’t get to view the live performance, we were able to enjoy the great display of work exhibited in the gallery. If you ever find yourself in Nagoya or close enough to drop by, be sure to check out Gallery Yu. Find them here http://gallery-u.net/. More photos of our visit here.
2nd moulder of the day
As the day wore on and temperature started to drop, we arrived at our 4th stopover. Though substantially larger than the mouler we visited earlier in the day, this too was located in the Toki area. Not to make the same mistake as earlier, we made a point of taking a few more photos while at this place. Looking at the photos you would be forgiven for thinking the windows were left open during a snow storm – this characteristic nevertheless creates a rather rustic beauty you can definitely appreciate.
Go ahead and take a look at the shots taken at this moulder here.
Family run pottery in Toki
Back to our Gifu trip, the 3rd visit was to a family run pottery in the ceramic producing district of Toki. Here ceramics are moulded to spec and dried via conveyor before glazing. Only a few snaps were taken this time but please feel free to enjoy.
More photos available here .
Trip to a moulder
Our second stop of the day was to a quaint ceramic moulder located in the Toki district of Gifu; moulder is the term used for someone who makes moulds. This operation was once again a family run business of which the eldest son guided us around the ins and outs of making moulds for ceramic production. As one may expect, the main workshop was completely covered in white dust, somewhat resembling a white Christmas that made things quite surreal at times. Click here to get a glimpse of what one of the workshops looked like; enjoy.
Trip to Gifu - "home of minoyaki"
Over the weekend, we found ourselves visiting the Kaneaki Sakai pottery and several collaborative craftsmen and their workshops in the Toki area of Gifu. As you may know, Toki if famous for its Mino ware, a traditional Japanese ceramic dating back to the Azuchi-Momoyama Period in the 16th century. Our first tour was at a long-established ceramic glaze manufacturer to learn about the process of glaze production. Located deep in hills lined with stretching-rivers, we had a bit of trouble finding our destination but finally arrived to be welcomed by the owner and his family. A truly educational tour, we hope you enjoy some of the photos taken on the day; click to see more. Other photos of our trip will be added during the week.
Exhibiting at Japan Brand Festival
One might say that it is possible to convey expansion and depth through developing networks and broadening the types of activities conducted at home and abroad. Japan Brand Festival was established with this precisely in mind and creates a level-grounded arena without the constraints of corporate construction or individual status. Understanding that traditional Japanese industry is an important regional industry for Japan, SAY36 supports traditional craftsmen by working with a variety of experts to generate new value in traditional crafts and ensure sustainable regional economies.
On this occasion, we chose to exhibit the exquisite minoyaki “flat square” plate made by Kaneaki Sakai Pottery. This particular pottery is renowned for quality and style and comes in a variety of colours that provide a myriad of opportunities to exhibit any Japanese delicacy. With that in mind, we are very excited to be working with Kaneaki Sakai to offer their unique products on the international market this year. Watch out for updates as these fantastic items become available.
Check out the event here www.jbfes.com (Japanese only)
82nd Tokyo International Gift Show
We are happy to announce that we will be exhibiting at the Tokyo International Gift Show again this year!
Until quite recently, SAY36 mostly concentrated on products deriving from Toyama Prefecture, the home city of our CEO, but with the new year directly in our path, we are very excited to expand deeper into other regions across the country. With this in mind, last year we had the privilege of being invited onto a project that sought to have Gifu Prefecture team-up with Kaneaki Sakai Pottery. Working on several events with these two distinguished parties, we are very proud to say that we have been designated as an authorized Kaneaki Sakai dealer as of this year. It is worth nothing that Kaneaki Sakai Pottery has taken a keen interest in employing young craftsmen and encourage them to make a living in the rural town of Toki City. In fact, we are now in the middle of developing new consumer products with them. One of the most recent designs is the very modern square-flat dish (see left pic). In fact, you can see this very product at the gift show! Though we will only have the 15cm version on display, other sizes are available so feel free to inquire about other sizes, designs and colors we can accommodate!
Dates: February 8 – 10
Where: Tokyo Big Site, East Hall 4, Booth No. East 4-T32-40
Working with Tokyo Disney Resort
2017 kicks-off with an interesting project that is going to allow us to work with Ikspiari, a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex located in Tokyo Disney Resort. For a limited-time from January 16 to 31, we will be operating a food stall (Kazumi Apple Market) boasting an array of delicious foods based on the famous fuji apple from the renowned Kazumi district of Uozu, Toyama. Besides the many other recommendations, a must-try is our amazing apple pie created by master patissier Katsuaki Fujii. This stall will be operated for a very limited-time so we hope to see you there.
Dates: January 16-31
Weekdays: 11:00am to 9:00pm
Weekends & Public Holidays: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Location: Food Selection, The Courtyard, Ikspiri 1F