Japanese Knife : Kanetsune Knives : A Harmonious Blend of History, Craftsmanship, and Function

Japanese Knife : Kanetsune Knives : A Harmonious Blend of History, Craftsmanship, and Function

A Journey Through Time: Kanetsune’s Rich Legacy

Founded in 1948, Kanetsune is named after a famous sword-smith who flourished in the Muromachi period around 14-15th centuries in Japan. The city of Seki, where Kanetsune is located, has a rich history of being the heart of the Japanese cutlery industry for over 800 years. This historic backdrop nurtures the production of Kanetsune knives, integrating traditional sword-making techniques with modern technology.

Kanetsune’s knives are meticulously crafted, embodying the spirit of ‘monozukuri,’ a Japanese term encapsulating a dedication towards manufacturing and craftsmanship. Each knife showcases the brand’s commitment to producing blades that are not only superior in performance but also aesthetically pleasing. Their range includes various types of knives, from the versatile Gyuto and Santoku, to the precise Petty and Sashimi knives, catering to a wide range of culinary needs.

Spotlight on Signature Series: Kanetsune VG10 Damascus and KC-900 series

Kanetsune offers an array of collections, each reflecting unique characteristics and advantages. Among these, the VG10 Damascus series and the KC-900 series stand out.

The VG10 Damascus series features knives with a core of VG10 stainless steel, known for its excellent edge retention and durability. The core is layered with multiple layers of stainless steel, creating a beautiful Damascus pattern on the blade. These knives not only deliver superior performance but also add a touch of elegance to any kitchen.

On the other hand, the KC-900 series focuses on the fusion of functionality and comfort. These knives are constructed with a core of Aogami steel, renowned for its exceptional sharpness and edge retention. The handle, made from a durable and moisture-resistant material, offers a comfortable grip, making the knife a joy to use.

Kanetsune’s dedication to excellence, steeped in a rich history of craftsmanship, has carved out a distinguished place for the brand in the world of cutlery. Whether you’re a professional chef or a culinary enthusiast, Kanetsune offers an exceptional tool that not only meets your cutting needs but also brings the spirit of traditional Japanese craftsmanship to your kitchen. The brand is more than just about creating knives; it’s about preserving a legacy and celebrating the art of fine cutlery.

Deba Knife: Explaining How to Choose the Blade Length and Other Key Points

Deba Knife: Explaining How to Choose the Blade Length and Other Key Points

Deba knives are a traditional Japanese knife designed primarily for filleting fish and breaking down poultry. With their thick spine and single-beveled edge, Deba knives offer exceptional cutting power and precision. Selecting the right Deba knife can be challenging, given the variety of options available. This guide will help you understand the key factors to consider when choosing a Deba knife, including blade length, materials, and craftsmanship.

Blade Length

Deba knives typically have blade lengths ranging from 105mm (4.1 inches) to 210mm (8.3 inches). The optimal length depends on your personal preferences and the tasks you frequently perform in the kitchen. A 165mm (6.5 inches) blade is a versatile choice for most users, providing a balance between control and functionality for filleting fish and breaking down poultry.

Blade Material

Like other Japanese knives, Deba knives are usually made from either carbon steel or stainless steel. Carbon steel offers a sharper edge and easier sharpening but is more prone to rust and requires extra care. Stainless steel is more resistant to rust and low maintenance but may not hold its edge as long. Choose the blade material based on your preferences and willingness to maintain the knife.

Blade Profile

Deba knives typically have a single-beveled edge, which allows for precise cuts and easy filleting. Some Deba knives also feature a “yo-deba” design, which incorporates a double-beveled edge for more versatile cutting techniques. Consider your preferred cutting style and the tasks you frequently perform when selecting a Deba knife.

Craftsmanship and Quality

To ensure the longevity and performance of your Deba knife, pay attention to craftsmanship and quality. Look for knives made by reputable manufacturers or artisans, such as Masamoto, Aritsugu, and Nenohi. Hand-forged knives often have higher quality, but they can be more expensive. Inspect the knife’s fit and finish, as well as the sharpness and polish of the blade.

Handle Type

Deba knives are available with traditional Japanese “wa” handles or Western-style handles. Wa handles are lightweight and well-suited for precise cutting techniques, while Western-style handles tend to be heavier and may offer more balance. Choose the handle style that feels most comfortable in your hand and suits your cutting style.

Choosing the perfect Deba knife involves understanding the importance of blade length, materials, craftsmanship, and other key factors. By carefully considering these aspects, you can find a Deba knife that not only enhances your culinary skills but also serves you well for many years to come.

Japanese Delicacies: Knife Types for Sushi and Sashimi

Japanese Delicacies: Knife Types for Sushi and Sashimi

Is it wrong to have a favorite dish that you can eat multiple times a week and still not get tired of? Well, Japanese food lovers, gourmets, and diners from all parts of the globe have just the same problem once they encounter the challenge of making a decision to just turn their heads away from sushi and sashimi. As Japanese delicacies like Fatty Tuna sushi, Salmon sashimi, and Sea bass are what diners swoon over, the fame and popularity of Japanese food goes beyond the borders of diversity.

As gourmets love the exotic blends of supreme-quality raw ingredients with delicate flavors of cooked Japanese rice mixed with vinegar, sugar, and salt, it can’t be denied that the unique and original flavors wake the tastebuds like no other. Thus, Japanese food restaurants are almost everywhere to be found for its fame and popularity. Japanese delicacies like sushi, are very much loved by diners of all ages – it has been found that most Japanese students and kids eat sushi during breakfast, as they are also available in the form of convenient foods which are proved to be healthier than other alternatives to start a day or have a morning meal.

One of the reasons why Japanese delicacies are loved by their diners and gourmets, is the intricate food preparation processes and the cooking of original, authentic dishes. Behind the techniques required in the crafting of Japanese delicacies lies the importance of the mastery of the blades. Just similar to that of a Samurai’s blade, instead of acting like a weapon, the use of a Japanese knife makes tasks a lot easier for little-to-less-complications. Yanagiba knives are sleek and thin, original in style, and are very much essential for both general and professional uses. Thus, to make Japanese delicacies like sushi and sashimi, it is required to learn the functions of each knife prior to the cooking processes.


Also known as the ‘Sashimi Knife’, a Yanagiba knife has a thin and sleek blade design. Yanagiba knives are usually thin and long; however, it is best to purchase the ones that can be kept for professional use and ones to have in collection.


Gyuto is another knife type that has among the highest sales since it is also called the ‘General Kitchen Knife’. However, a Gyuto knife is a multi-tasking knife that works very well with all kinds of processes in the kitchen. Be it slicing, cutting, chopping, or dicing, a Gyuto knife can handle the basic techniques. Another similar knife is the Santoku knife, also a multi-tasking knife used in the kitchen for the general skills.


Deba knife is a Japanese knife used for cutting fish and for light mincing of ingredients. The knife has a thick blade body, with wide blade surface, making it more suitable towards the cutting of fish and the handling of ingredients with bones. As the blade is thick and dense, Deba knives are very much suitable for cutting through ingredients or meat with bones (for example: chicken bones). Although it is not recommended to cut through frozen ingredients, it is among one of the Japanese knives suitable to handle dense ingredients when needed.
For sushi and sashimi dishes that involve the use of a vast variety of ingredients coming from all places, most Japanese knives are required in the kitchen as standbys to perform whatever task is thrown to them. Despite Santoku’s, Gyuto’s and Yanagiba’s popularity and capabilities, other knife types like Deba and Sujihiki are as well essential for the cooking of wonderful Japanese delicacies.

Sakai Takayuki 45-Layer Damascus Goldish Tsuba Japanese Chef's Gyuto Knife 210mm

Sakai Takayuki 45-Layer Damascus Goldish Tsuba Japanese Chef’s Gyuto Knife 210mm

img by : hocho-knife.com

Sakai Takayuki is among Japan’s top-tier, premium-quality cutlery brand that has introduced tons of superior Japanese knives to the world. Best known for its supreme quality blades equipped with extreme sharpness, longevity, durability, rust resistance, and fine selections of handle materials, Sakai Takayuki and its long history of over 600 years have guaranteed users high success rates in the crafting of Japanese delicacies served at high-end, luxurious and authentic Japanese specialty restaurants known as ‘Omakase’ restaurants.

Japanese chefs, culinary experts, and professionals put Sakai Takayuki up on a pedestal, for its wide array of knife series and models are forged with top-tier hard steels through the traditional Japanese knife-forging techniques passed on from generation to generation. To ensure that all knife models will fulfill all the duties and tasks required to craft sushi and sashimi dishes loved by diners and gourmets from all the world, Sakai Takayuki and its highly-skilled blacksmiths are always coming up with new knife series with high performance.

As Japanese dishes require the use of Japanese knives to slice, cut, chop, and fillet a wide variety of ingredients, specifically raw fish, seafood, and poultry, Japanese chefs and professionals only trust a few brands – among those, Sakai Takayuki tops the charts. Sushi and sashimi dishes will need professional cuts, even chops, and long strokes to successfully pull out both subtle, delicate flavors and exoticness of rawness. Therefore, no brand can best perform this special technique other than Sakai Takayuki.

Its superb Gyuto knife models feature varying hard steels and selections of handle materials to fulfill the duty of being a multi-purpose knife for everyday use and general kitchen tasks. Due to all knives being delicately crafted and forged with a dedicated heart to accomplish just the best results, Sakai Takayuki is widely praised for its supreme quality Gyuto knives. Although a Gyuto knife is often used as a multi-purpose, general kitchen knife, some professionals also use it as a beef cutting knife, which was its initial use when it has been first introduced back in the old days.

Among Sakai Takayuki’s top Gyuto knife models

‘Sakai Takayuki 45-Layer Damascus Goldish Tsuba Japanese Chef’s Gyuto Knife 210mm’ is best known for its limited production line, which is crafted out of the famed ‘45-layer Damascus Stainless steel’ with AUS10 Alloy Core. This makes the blade highly durable – equipped along with excellent edge retention. Sakai Takayuki’s 45-Layer Damascus Goldfish Tsuba Gyuto knife is well-loved and highly recommended by professional users for its extreme blade sharpness and the light center balanced feel it provides. Comfortable grips and simple strokes are as well the pros of this 45-Layer Damascus Goldfish Tsuba Gyuto knife, marking it a unique Gyuto knife model that comes in a reasonable price and an original design that is worth having in possession.

Sakai Takayuki 45-Layer Damascus Goldish Tsuba Japanese Chef’s Gyuto Knife 210mm features half-rounded octagonal Ho wood (Magnolia) handles with beautiful, unique collar for the best experience in professional use. Hand forged, crafted, and sharpened to ensure extreme blade sharpness and pointed tips, be aware that this knife is razor-sharp and new out of the box.

Manufactured by Aoki Hamono, the AUS10 Alloy core maximizes the efficiency of Sakai Takayuki 45-Layer Damascus Goldish Tsuba Japanese Chef’s Gyuto Knife 210mm and makes it among just the best double edge (both left and right-handed) Gyuto knife models out there. Highly recommended by culinary experts and professionals alike, Sakai Takayuki 45-Layer Damascus Goldish Tsuba Japanese Chef’s Gyuto Knife 210mm is just the right blade companion that will guide you through all kitchen tasks and processes with ease.

Yu Kurosaki R2 (SG2) Hammered SHIZUKU WA RS8P Series

Yu Kurosaki R2 (SG2) Hammered SHIZUKU WA RS8P Series

img by : https://www.hocho-knife.com/

The beauty of crafting delicate pieces of culinary art can only be seen with the heart, not only through the eyes. Well, tasting subtle, yet exotic flavors of your favorite mouth-watering sushi pieces may be the best way to describe happiness, but sometimes, opening your heart to understand the components of your favorite dish will make you see through the cute Caviar crystals, ordinary-looking seaweed, and the vivid orange-colored Salmon slices.

Understanding a Japanese dish might seem like a complicated game of guessing; however, a huge fan of Japanese cuisine will learn to love their favorite dishes a little more as they open their hearts to understanding what makes these dishes so special and extraordinary.

Through this perspective, a huge crowd of Japanese food lovers and diners are gradually becoming more interested in the process of Japanese food making. Why is sushi so popular?

Why is everyone swooning over sashimi than the fast-food king, burgers?

Apart from its healthier ingredient choices and also offering an option to be vegetarian-friendly, sushi and sashimi dishes are becoming the healthier versions of the famed fast foods, with their names on top of the list of the ‘most-searched’ and the ‘most-enjoyable’ convenient dishes. Despite its convenience, most diners are fond of their ‘intricacy’ and ‘delicacy’ expressed through the fine selection of premium quality ingredients, the artsy aesthetics, and the placement of culinary components in a plate.

Japanese food isn’t just any ordinary convenient food, but quite the opposite – an intricate cuisine which expresses the authenticity of Japanese traditions through subtle slices of fresh, caught-from-sea fish, hand-formed and cooked Japanese rice, as well as the exotic combinations of flavors that melt the hearts of diners. With this being the specialty Japanese food holds, the mastery of the skills required to craft them remain somewhat a mischievous task and a mystery to many cordon bleus.

The art of crafting delicious Japanese food like sushi and sashimi rely upon the mastery of the Japanese blades. Similar to that of a Samurai’s sword, a Japanese knife is also a culinary expert’s companion, leading all cooking processes to its next stages with ease. Slicing, cutting, and chopping may sound like ordinary skills any house-wife can perform as she cooks her favorite fried rice; however, the three ordinary cutting skills earlier mentioned are different to that of the typical ones when it comes to Japanese food. With this being a highly essential part of Japanese food which also led to the introduction of delicate dishes like sushi and sashimi, the production of Japanese knives has become an interesting topic among culinary professionals in the food industry. As Japan is home to a wide selection of knife brands, Yu Kurosaki is no doubt making its way to the top of the charts.

Yu Kurosaki is a famous blacksmith and also a famous Japanese knife brand that makes finest quality blades equipped with excellent steel hardness, great edge retention, amazing rust resistance, and most of all – beautifully unique blade designs. Known for the continuous makings of new Japanese knife series and models, Yu Kurosaki is famed for original knives forged through the traditional Japanese techniques. Among the best models, ‘Yu Kurosaki R2 (SG2) Hammered SHIZUKU WA RS8P’ knife series is made out of the Super Gold 2 Micro Carbide Powder stainless steel – which guarantees extreme hardness. The unique handle is also expressed through the octagonal-shaped Rosewood with White Packer wood ferrule, further establishing its fine beauty alongside durability and long-lasting feature.

For knife collectors, this series of knife is among one of the stunning models to collect, while various knife types are available as follows: Santoku, Gyuto, Bunka, Nakiri, Sujihiki, and Chef’s Petty knife.

A Scan Through of Japanese Knives You Need to Know

A Scan Through of Japanese Knives You Need to Know

Japanese knives are definitely distinct and very different from the ordinary kitchen knives. A Western knife is much wider in its own blade surface space, while a Japanese knife is known to be much narrower, thinner, and longer. Highly exotic, unique, and extremely sharp, Japanese blades are forged and made specifically to handle and support the traditional techniques required to craft culinary art pieces like Sashimi and Sushi. The delicacy of Japanese dishes is presented in a much refined, subtle way that requires the mastery of the blades in order to accomplish what we call the ‘ideal Japanese aesthetic’. With this being one of the most important components, the selection of Japanese blades is highly essential in the crafting of authentic Japanese dishes, as the accurate slices, chops, and cuts determine the final touches of savory blends.

Despite its rising fame and popularity among domestic and international culinary experts, the selection of suitable Japanese knife still leaves questions among users as there is still a lack of understanding upon which knife to choose. As there are a wide variety of knife types that perform distinct tasks, it is indeed a must to learn about all common Japanese knives before deciding on a model to purchase or own. To adapt to the needs of your personal kitchen tasks, scanning through the most common Japanese blades will help you through the selection process with ease.

Gyuto Knife

Also known as the Japanese chef’s knife, Gyuto is a long, narrow bodied knife perfect for the mincing of ingredients and the slicing of various meats. A Gyuto knife is considered a ‘multi-purpose’ knife and a must-have essential item for all chefs and culinary experts alike. It is a helpful blade that makes all tasks simpler, forged to aid in all preparation processes. Its average length is around 20 cm – its narrow body makes it a perfect knife for all kinds of ingredients; however, it definitely works best with fish and meats of all kinds.

Santoku Knife

Known as the Japanese traditional knife, the Santoku knife is a multi-tasking blade forged to especially perform three kinds of motions: slicing, mincing, and dicing. A Santoku knife equips three advantages in its mere body, allowing chefs to perform all kinds of tasks with ease. Usually forged in between the range of 16-18 cm, its shape is slightly curved. Most Santoku knives come with mysterious dimples – the dimples are present on the blades to prevent food and ingredients from sticking onto the blade surface while cutting or slicing.

Yanagiba Knife

A Yanagiba knife is indeed a must-have knife for Sushi chefs and Sashimi lovers. Especially forged and made to perform all techniques and skills required to craft delicious sushi pieces, ultra-thin slices of fish and seafood are the final results of the perfect motions a Yanagiba knife can perform.

Nakiri Knife

A Nakiri knife is also known as a Japanese vegetable knife. From its name, it is a special knife made to cut and chop vegetables gracefully. Although it is a vegetable knife, users can also use this knife to cut through herbs and fruits of all kinds. However, it is not recommended to be used for the slicing, cutting, or mincing of meats of all kinds due to its blade body and shape. Usually forged to be around the range of 14 to 18 cm, a Nakiri knife’s rectangular blade surface also makes it a great knife to crush fresh garlic.

These are all the common kinds of Japanese knives – the essential must-haves most chefs have in possession. If one owns all the knives mentioned above, crafting delicate pieces of Sashimi and Sushi would definitely be more than possible.

Sakai Takayuki GINGA ZA-18 69-Layer Damascus 165 mm Nakiri Knife

Sakai Takayuki GINGA ZA-18 69-Layer Damascus 165 mm Nakiri Knife

img : https://www.hocho-knife.com/

Regarded as one of the finest culinary tools, Japanese knives earn its honor and respect from worldwide professionals in the culinary world. As Japanese food is greatly known for its unique application of traditions in its intricate food preparation processes, diners and gourmets are in awe of the beautiful complexities it portrays. The expression of a wide range of emotions, feelings, and thoughts can be poured into fine works of culinary arts in the world of Japanese food – be it the plain-looking Ebi sushi with no vivid hues of bright orange like that of Salmon sushi, yet delicacy, simplicity, and plain flavors of cooked shrimp wins the hearts of diners from different parts of the globe.

The addition to plain cooked shrimp topped on rice includes the popular slight dabs of spicy Wasabi paste to add up to the spice and little dips of Japan’s traditional sushi sauce. As these complex processes make Japanese cuisine one of the world’s most intricate foods to prepare, the value of these hand-crafted dishes is indescribable, and can only be measured when tasted. With all the respect Japanese cuisine carries on its shoulders, it is highly important to master the skills of the blade.

Unlike just any ordinary knife, a Japanese knife is also referred to a ‘Hocho’ in Japanese. Japanese knives have a world-renowned reputation for excellence, efficiency, quality, and their artisanal craftsmanship in which explains why Japanese chefs look for the finest blades to master their techniques, and knife collectors dream to have them in their possession. If Japanese knives are similar to that of the general kitchen knives with nothing special, professionals wouldn’t be looking passionately for top-quality knife brands even if it requires them to go through hassles of pre-orders and pre-reservations. Quality Japanese knife makes a difference in cooking – be it the chops or cuts of simple ingredients, the materials and techniques used to forge Japanese specialty knives are distinct compared to the general knives.

Finding just the right Japanese knife for a specific task might take time and appears to be daunting. However, once you find the right brand and know what you need the knife for, then you’re all set to own one.

The Not-So Simple Vegetable Knife

Japan is home to culinary tools and quality kitchen equipment for its long history influences the making of crafts ages ago. Since Japan’s Nara era, Japanese knives were used for ceremonies and rituals, also known as “Hocho-shikis”. In the present time, Japanese knives are well adapted in becoming one of the world’s most efficient culinary tools – a great selection for the crafting of intricate dishes like sushi. Japan’s traditional Samurai swords, otherwise known as “Katanas”, are known to be strong blueprints for the adaptation into culinary blades or knives still in use today.

One of the best quality knife brands in Japan is ‘Sakai Takayuki’. Sakai forges countless numbers of fine-quality culinary blades, of which most are for multi-purpose use and those intended for sashimi. However, Sakai Takayuki’s vegetable knives or Nakiri knives are also famous for material quality, grip comfort, balance, and efficiency.

Among the Nakiri knife models, Sakai Takayuki GINGA ZA-18 69-Layer Damascus 165 mm Nakiri Knife is an extremely sharp knife that performs perfect tasks cutting, chopping, and slicing vegetables in accordance to our needs. The eye-catching mirror-finish Damascus version of the blade is crafted out of a 69-layer Damascus stainless steel with a core made up of ZA-18 Alloy. Sakai Takayuki GINGA ZA-18 69-Layer Damascus 165 mm Nakiri Knife also equips extreme hardness of around 61-63 HRC, has high edge retention, has a light center balance when gripped, and owns the finest quality handle materials perfect for professional use.

Japanese Knife Techniques for "Shoshinsha"

Japanese Knife Techniques for “Shoshinsha”

Japanese food is renowned for the intricacy it values – the delicacy in Japanese dishes like sushi and sashimi is a profound essence and is what truly introduces the world ‘authentic’, traditional-styled dining experiences. In Japanese, we call someone who is a beginner or a novice ‘Shoshinsha’. And of course, every one of us has gone through that stage of being a starter at something, specifically at a technique or a skill in which requires the grasp of concepts, practice, and strong-willed dedication to succeed. Whatever skill it is, beginners or ‘shoshinsha’ will have to master the required techniques in order to reach the definite goal of becoming a professional – being good at something with great confidence.

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, the important skills required not only revolves around the ability to season the veggies, marinate the meat, or cook the authentic Japanese rice, but also the mastery of cutting skills. Japanese knives are known to be designed specifically for the making of sashimi dishes – one of the first authentic Japanese dishes that emerged in both the East and the West. Japanese food requires dedication – strong passion and understanding of every little detail each ingredient or process holds. The use of a specialized Japanese knife to slice, cut, and chop fine ingredients to create wonderfully hand-crafted delicacies is therefore highly essential and involves a great deal of concentration.

To correctly use a knife, especially if you’re a ‘shoshisha’ as they call novices in Japan, there are some tips and tricks that would serve as the awesome hacks you could use to appropriately hold a Japanese knife of your own and prepare the dishes efficiently without any worries. You may not be able to hold a knife professionally or perform the master-style slicing techniques featuring the swift blade motions like top-ranked Japanese chefs, but practice makes perfect. Now, we will now be looking into the basics, including some Japanese knife usage techniques to help out all beginners and novices out there.

Basic Preparation and Safety Tips

For beginners, find easy vegetables to practice the simple chops and cuts – cucumber, spring onions, or celery. It is recommended to position the cutting mat around 3 centimeters away from the counter’s edge for safety. However, once you are done using the knife, place it on the side of the cutting mat that is opposite of you and make sure the side with a sharp blade faces outwards away from you, the user.


Ensure that you are positioned away from the counter for around 5 centimeters and not more; face your hips towards the counter and make an angle of 45 degrees to the counter or the cutting mat. This way, your hands and fingers would be positioned away from the cutting mat and will prevent the extinction of your knuckles resulting from accident knuckle-chop offs. Stand tall facing towards the cutting mat with your left foot pointing towards the counter. On the opposite, position your right foot a little bit to the right, ensuring that it makes a 45-degree angle.

Holding the knife

Although people have different preferences when it comes to holding a pen or a pencil, holding a Japanese knife needs a decent positioning, a good grip and a healthy hand gesture that will allow the sashimi pieces to be cut cleanly without wriggly lines and edges. The most typical way to hold a multi-purpose Japanese knife is to hold the knife in a way where your index finger’s knuckle would touch a side of the blade. Your thumb must be facing outwards to the sharp end of the blade, while the rest of the fingers follow the grip. If you are not familiar with that position, you can also adjust the position of your index finger, laying it on the spine of the blade to allow more control at the tip (it is a great position for delicate slicing).

Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa

Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa

credit : https://www.starchefs.com/

Japanese cuisine is famous for the intricate cooking processes and meticulous preparation. The fine selection of ingredients sparked divine flavors and new, delightful tastes. Although Japanese cuisine and delicacies like sushi and sashimi are popular as convenient foods in certain areas, the traditional sushi and sashimi dishes are challenging to make. As a result, there are only a few Japanese professional chefs and culinary experts in Japan.

Tokyo-based chef Yoshihiro Narisawa is a famous chef known for his French-inspired cuisine. Narisawa has been awarded two Michelin stars and his restaurant, Narisawa, has also been voted Best Restaurant in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. His food is all about reconnecting us with nature, and his unique brand of ‘innovative Satoyama’ cuisine has made reserving a table at his restaurant in Minami-Aoyama one of the most sought after in Japan. The chef is an environmentalist and preserving the environment is of upmost importance to him. You’ll find his dishes invoke the thoughts of Japan’s fields, forests, mountains, and oceans

Narisawa’s father and uncle owned a bakery and tea salon, and as a youngster he enjoyed watching them spread happiness through their business and through food. He wanted to become a chef, and this desire and ambition led him to move to Europe at the age of 19 to pursue a culinary career. Narisawa would spend eight years working in some of the toughest kitchens in Italy, France, and Switzerland, picking up invaluable knowledge along the way. Some of the restaurant’s he would work in belonged to Frédy Girardet, Joël Robuchon, and Paul Bocuse. He was also inspired by Michel Bras, Pierre Gagnaire, and Alain Ducasse, chefs that created unique ‘nouvelle cuisine’ with the freshest local ingredients.

After seeing food and cooking as art and a way of expressing himself and his personality, Narisawa returned to Japan and opened his first French-inspired restaurant named La Napoule in Kanagawa Prefecture. It wasn’t until he opened his second restaurant, Les Creations de Narisawa, that he would really begin to develop the cooking philosophy that we know of him today.

Narisawa’s ‘innovative Satoyama’ is all about the relationship between people and the land.

In Japanese, Satoyama refers to the areas of human habitation between the mountains and grassland. In these areas, wildlife and plant-life is extensive, and Narisawa draws his inspiration simply from being near these areas. By simply being there, Narisawa can harvest his thoughts and feelings which allows his ideas to spring from the natural environment. At the core of his cooking concept is sustainability and responsibility. This is just as important to hi as the deliciousness of his food.

The chef’s ‘Bread of the Forest’ is a moist dough mixture placed into warm water that is gently heated at the table by candlelight. The natural forest yeast causes the dough to slowly rise, at which point it is transferred to a heated stone pot on a bed of twigs where the bread slowly cooks. Another unique dish is the Soil Soup, which is made with actual soil, burdoch root and water. The soil is filtered to remove impurities but the minerals remain present. One of Narisawa’s most luxurious dishes is his Hida wagyu beef rump roast, which is encased in a powder of carbonized leek to give it the appearance of a lump of charcoal. You see, every one of his dishes is reminiscent of something from nature. While you may associate this with poor tasting food, Narisawa’s creations are surprisingly tasty.

In 2013, Narisawa was voted Best Restaurant in Asia in 2013, and the chef himself was awarded with the Chef’s Choice award in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018. He has also been awarded with two Michelin stars. While highy decorated, Narisawa’s goal is not to add more accolades to his resumé, but to discover more about his local environment and how to preserve it for future generations.

Narisawa is committed to using only organic and wild foraged ingredients.

This commitment leads him out into the wilderness, where he will spend as much time as he needs to search for ingredients such as herbs, plants, and soil. The chef keeps a close relationship with the farmers he works with. A heavy emphasis on seasonality is placed on Narisawa’s menu.



Yakisoba is a typical commoner’s food and is not fancy at all. It is not expensive so everybody can afford it. We have it for lunch or snack sometimes.

Yaki means pan fried. In this case, the soba in Yakisoba is not buck wheat noodle. It is a Chinese style noodle in Japan which is also called Soba. It is thicker than Chinese Chow Mein. However, in Canada, I use Chow Mein here when I make Yakisoba.

I think the most important ingredient in Yakisoba is Japanese worchestire sauce.

Once, I bought worchestire sauce in Canada, but it is diferent from the Japanese one. Since then I have never bought the Canadian one. There are three kinds of Japanese worchestire sauce, varying in thickness. I use the light one. You can find Japanese worchestire sauce in Japanese or Chinese stores.

Yakisoba ingredients

The Ingredients of Yakisoba are noodle, cabbage, thinly sliced pork belly or squid which is cut into small pieces, pickled ginger (beni shoga, not gari), flaky dried green seaweed, ketchup and worchestire sauce. It is very easy to cook.

Cooking method

First, fry the meat and cabbage with a little bit of oil. You can add squid if you want. Take them out of the pan. Add a little bit of oil in the pan and fry the noodles. In Japan, each store has its own special sauce, but I mix ketchup and worchestire together for my sauce. Coat the noodles with the sauce, then mix with cabbage and meat. Garnish with flaky dried green seaweed and pickled ginger. When you eat, add more worchestire sauce to taste. I like to eat the noodles drenched in worchestire sauce. Pickled ginger will give it a nice bite.

I always think about the Yakisoba store in my home town whenever I have this dish. The store is located in the corner of the supermarket near by my house. It is basic, with only cabbage and noodles. You have to pay a little extra if you want to have meat or squid. The owner who was working at the front stood in front of a big iron plate, always barking commands to a lady who chopped cabbage at the corner of the store. If you went to the store just before lunch, they would cook in front of you or you could buy a pre-cooked one.

In Japan, you can often see plastic containers filled with Yakisoba at lunchtime.