One of the proudest products of Japan; Japanese knives. For their sharpness and handiness, the Japanese knives continue to receive exceptionally high reputations. In fact, many professional cooks from all over the world come visit Japan to buy their favorite knives. Today, we will introduce you the 10 long-standing Japanese knife shops.
1. Kanesoh (Tokyo)
Kanesoh is a long-standing knife shop established in 1873. Their shop is located near the Nakamise Shopping arcade in Asakusa Kaminarimon area. All of their products including those for home-use and those for professional-use are exclusively hand-made using copper. It is said that many professional cooks are in love with the Kanesoh knives for their fine quality and cutting sharpness. The popular “Moroba (two blades) Knife” (7,500 JPY (incl.tax)) is a modern type of a “Nakiri Knife (the kind for cutting vegetables) and their cutting sharpness is superb. If you have a chance to explore the Asakusa area, make sure to stop by at the shop.
2. JIKKO (Osaka)
Jikko, with their shop in Sakai City, Osaka was established in 1901. The wide selection of products in variations and quantity available at the shop makes them one of the nation’s largest carries of Japanese knives. In their hands-on showroom, you will find as many as 100 kinds of knives on the display. Here, the chances are, you will most likely find “the one” that you like while going through some of the knives hands-on making sure of their weights and feels. For those who are not sure of where to start, don’t worry since there are knife advisors available to help you. The all-purpose “Santoku (three virtues) Knife” (starting at 10,800 JPY (incl.tax)) , which is good for cutting anything including meat, fish and vegetables, is especially recommended for those who are Japanese knives beginners. Please do visit the shop and find your own favorite product that will last a lifetime.
3. Tsukiji Masamoto (Tokyo)
The history of “Tsukiji Masamoto” started around 1930 (early Showa era) in Tsukiji area, and now they are considered as one of the nation’s most notable Japanese knives shop. In their shop, their showcase is packed with the wide varieties of knives including a "Yanagiba Knives", "Deba Knives" and "Petty Knives", which are all different in purposes and sizes. The shop is also a popular destination for international tourists visiting the area. The price for their home-use “Sashimi Knife” starts at 6,696 JPY (incl.tax), and it is considerably reasonable. So if you have a chance to explore the Tsukiji area, make sure to check out the shop!
4. Hamonoya Sanshu (Gifu)
Seki-City in Gifu prefecture is famous for their tradition of blade blacksmithing for over 700 years, and that is where “Hamonoya Sanshu” is located. The knives produced in Seki City are highly valued for their superb quality not only in Japan but also in overseas. One of the bonuses of visiting “Hamonoya Sanshu” is that you will be able to buy such fine quality knives for direct sales prices. The company’s original brand, “Seki Yoshihide” is their realization of the pursuit of the finest materials and sharpness. Among many products available, the “Santoku Knife” is especially recommended. With this knife, your cooking experiences will be even more enjoyable.
The history of “Aritsugu” dates back to the year 1560. They are said to be one of the finest knives brand in the country, and their products have been loved and valued by countless professional cooks. In their main shop in Nishiki Shijo in Kyoto, there are more than 400 knives on the display and you can watch how their knives get sharpened live as well. Their knives make perfect souvenirs of the trip since they offer services to engrave a name on a blade. The prices for the knives start at several thousand yen (please be careful to pay by cash. No credit cards are accepted).
6. Togen Masahisa (Tokyo)
“Togen Masahisa”, which opened in 1872, is located in the biggest wholesale market in the world, Tsukiji. Though, in general, the majority of knives in stores now are mass-manufactured by machineries, at this shop they are committed to preserving the hand-manufacturing processes without using molds. The knives that are made one by one with precise attentions to details have remarkable sharpness. What’s more, they are resistant to rust and their edges rarely get nicked. For all these features, the knives by the company are proven to be extremely dependable by countless professional chefs. For those looking for a knife for a home-use, the original all-purpose knife made with low carbon alloy steel is highly recommended (starting at 8,500 JPY (incl.tax)). Though available at a reasonable price, the knife has a cutting sharpness enough to satisfy professional cooks. You will not regret your purchase of this knife!
7. Kiku Ichimonji (Nagasaki)
“Kiku Ichimonji” in Nagasaki prefecture has a history of over 700 years. They specialize in various cutleries including those for cooking and those for gardening. According to its fans, this is "the" place to find superb quality cutleries. Their “Yanagiba Knife”, which is long and good for cutting sashimi starts at 38,693 JPY (incl.tax). Also, their “Deba Knife”, which is useful for cleaning fish with forces starts at 17,500 JPY (incl.tax). So, care for trying Japanese cooking with the traditional Japanese knives?
Was there anything that you liked? Depending on places of productions, Japanese knives show wide variety of features. Moreover, many people are attracted to Japanese knives since they are all hand-manufactured by craftsmen, and therefore each of them comes out slightly different from each other. So, why don’t you take a step into the world of deep Japanese knives’ world yourself?
*Please note that the prices and other information in the article may not be the most up-to-date information