The tour offers an opportunity to learn about the history of “katsuobushi" (dried smoked skipjack tuna shavings) from the Nakiri District, which has long been presented to the Imperial Court and the Ise Grand Shrine as a food offering. Unlike mass production methods, the ancient manufacturing method – which requires more effort, such as adding wood to the fire by hand, piece by piece – is worth seeing.
Visitors are invited to taste the “ichiban dashi" (first stock), which does not contain any additional seasonings, and which fascinated famous chefs who came to learn about Japan’s dashi stock culture.
“Okaka gohan,” or rice with freshly shaved flakes, is also served. It is so delicious that a famous chef from Tokyo ate several helpings and now uses Maruten’s katsuobushi in his restaurant.
Maruten’s katsuobushi is smoked and heated through an ancient method until the moisture content is reduced to 18%, and the katsuobushi is then carefully matured to achieve a concentrated umami flavor. Visitors can also experience shaving it for themselves.