Matsuno Shouyu

Taste of Kyou, carried down from the Edo period

Inside a building that had been built in the 2nd year of Kaei period (1849), one shall be greeted with the aroma of soy sauce. Matsuno Shouyu had been making their soy sauce since the 2nd year of Bunka period (1805) and are now situated in the street approaching to Koetsu-ji Temple. 46-IMG_0033 Since soy sauce is a fermented product, the temperature management is quite critical. There are many companies that are doing this by machine. But at Matsuno Shouyu, temperature management is still handled by human hands. The storehouse where huge wooden barrels are kept has a high ceiling, keeping the place cool even during the hot summer of Kyoto. The ceiling windows are opened during those season. The head of the company, Mr. Matsumoto explains that 'sometimes the moromi (the mash) is stirred to help the fermentation. We, the human, only helps them out'. 40-IMG_0002 Since the successive heads had inherited the name Shinkuro there are some customers that still calls the company head Matsushin san. There are customers that have had long relationship with them, some even hundred years. While keeping their business in the community, they have also started national mail orders recently. 27-IMG_9962 34-IMG_9985 is loved for its mildness, softening the taste of salt. I tried their 'Saishikomi Sashimi Shouyu' (extra fermented soy sauce for sashimi) on a cold tofu and was just amazed by how tasty it was. Rich taste and aroma, slight sweetness, it had transformed the usual tofu into such a delicious food. Their ponzu (mixture of soy sauce and citrus juice) is becoming popular lately, especially during winter to complement many of the winter dishes. Fresh flavor of yuzu citrus jumped out when opening the lid. The combination of tasty soy sauce and refreshing citrus needs no question in why it is so popular. 25-IMG_9953 Their soy sauce comes in variety of kinds, Koikuchi (heavy taste), Usukuchi (light taste) and Saishikomi Sashimi. Small sizes are from 180ml, perfect as a souvenir from Kyoto. Why don't you try out the traditional soy sauce to explore the Japanese food culture. Address: 21 Takagamine Tsuchi Tenjo-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto (map) Phone: +81(0)75-492-2984 Hours: 9:00-18:00 Holiday: Thursday Web: