I had been eyeing Japanese knives since my first visit. So glad that I finally took the plunge and can finally call some of their ‘artwork’ my own. This little store was a TOTAL gem. As a cooking enthusiast, this store visit is an orgasmic must do in Kyoto.
Like many artisan stores in Japan, they are serious. Crazy categories for each knife and no detail was too much e.g. wave shape pattern on the edge of the blade, customised engraving, 11 different steels to choose from, different quality handles etc.
These type of serious cooking knives exists thanks to the ‘samurai sword’ ban in the 1800’s AND the philosophy that better knives make better food. Well, that and the fact that these blacksmiths needed work. Plus, throw in the classic Japanese obsession for perfection… tadum!! Japanese blacksmiths create the most beautiful kitchen knives.
There are quite a few of these knives stores in Kyoto. I am not knowledgeable enough to know which one is the “best”. I find them all fascinating.
Basic knifes vocabulary (Japanese)
Yanagiba 刺身包丁 – Sashimi Knife
Deba 出刃包丁- Cleaver
Usuba 薄刃包丁 – Professional vegetable knife
Gyutou 牛刀 – Chef knife
Sujihiki すじひき- Slicer
Nakiri 菜切り包丁 – Home use vegetable knife
Santoku 三徳包丁 – General purpose knife
Petty – Utility knife (Sorry, I have no idea how to type this in Japanese text)
It was frowned upon to take photos. These guys had lots of knives… not a good idea to not comply with their request? 😉
Where was I?
Cutlery Kikuichimonji Ltd (since 1208)
14 Ishibashi-cho,Higashi-iru,Teramachi,Sanjyo-dori,Nakagyo-ku,Kyoto Japan
They spoke some English 😀
Camera: Canon 5D mark 3
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When selecting an excellent Bushcraft knife, the handle is a vitally important consideration. Select the wrong one and your hands are likely to pay the cost.
I’m shocked my SO didn’t insist we go into these when we were in Kyoto. We did go into a sword store but didn’t buy anything. XD I noticed a lot of shops in Japan don’t like tourists taking photos.
I was totally in that Sanjo area in Kyoto! SO left me to go wandering around. I only got lost once… 😛
Ja, I agree. Many actually put up a sign as well. Sigh.
Wow, you’re good with direction. I go to Sanjo and I’m trapped ????
Thank you for dropping by, Ava ????
Your very welcome:D I love your blog????????
I would definitely listen to the men with knives if they don’t want you to take photos. We have one sashimi knife and I love cooking with it!
Wahaah yes, they’re fully ‘armed’. Exactly! Great kitchen knives make such a difference to cooking experience!
Great story and images Joyce. I would love to have a couple of these for the kitchen but the prices…………
You can select different steel grades, that changes the price greatly. Their shop has some knives listed online. Prices are quite reasonable for a lifetime product ???? I use mine daily, really worth the money. It makes cooking a pleasure