Japanese cuisine, washoku, is known as healthy meal. Its key seasonings miso, soy sauce, and vinegar, mirin, sake are all fermented products. In addition, we eat various kinds of pickles such as tukemono (salted pickle), nukazuke (rice bran pickle), narazuke (sake lee pickle), umeboshi (plum pickle), ... and so on in our daily life.
It is said that daily intake of these fermented products enhances microbial activities in our intestine, which brings various health benefits such as nutritive value, probiotics properties, antimicrobial, antioxidant, etc. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and koji (asperguillus olyzae) are among them.
Through fermentation experience by staying with local fermenters, I hope you learn Japan's deep wisdom inherited over generations to generations, and hope to utilize a part of it in your daily life after getting back home, too.
There are several types of koji (rice, wheat, bean, mixed), and it will take 3 days to experience whole process. You can also learn about fundamental theory and experience only some parts of if you time is limited to 1 day. I recommend staying at least one night.
Rice and miso soup are basis of Japanese washoku cuisine in our daily life. So conservative families make our own miso at home every year after soy beans are harvested and getting lower temperature from December to February. It is possible to make miso other than this season, however, I recommend you to experience miso making during autumn and winter, till early spring. Otherwise, macrobial functions are getting more active in higher temperature, if you do not control well, it will go bad soon.
We typically visit one of the family-run small scale nukazuke pickle factories in Kyoto. You can take 1 box back home and make your own nukazuke in your daily life after learning this.
Making soy sauce
It will take a long process to make soy sauce. Generally, we just visit soy sauce brewery and learn how to make soy sauce. Experience options are limited: mixing koji and water, and filtering.
We are working with local fermenters. Please let us know if you would like to stay with a local fermenters in Japan and learn about deep history and daily culture of utilizing fermentation.