Hagiwara Koujiya, where you can newly taste the fermentation culture of ancient Koji

The store, which has continued for 130 years on the old Tokaido Highway in Okabe, will be renovated in 2021. It received the Fujinokuni Attractive Individual Shop Special Award in 2023, and continues to pass on the taste that has been handed down from generation to generation.

Kōji refers to various molds of the genus Aspergillus sp., which are traditionally used in East Asian cuisine for the fermentation of food.


Three generations of a family continue to carry on the traditional methods and flavors.

The store is located in the shopping street of the former Tokaido Highway Okabe-juku, and the 130-year-old building will be rebuilt in 2021, giving the store a warm and beautiful interior.

The owner Nobuaki Hagiwara, the sixth generation, and his father make the Koji. Mr. Hagiwara’s wife and daughter stand at the store, and four people from three generations of the family work together to run the store.

Everyone in the family has a desire to carry on the sweet and tasty Koji that has been produced in the past, and one of the main characteristics of Hagiwara Koujiya is that they value the traditional production method without using machines, even if it takes time and effort.

The owner, Mr. Hagiwara, aims to create a store where men and women of all ages can come, and I feel that the strength of the three generations of his family is being utilized here as well.

A new taste of the ancient fermentation culture of Koji

The traditional raw Koji, rice Koji miso, and Kinzanji miso are the staples of the store. Kinzanji miso is made of rice, barley, and soybeans with eggplant and ginger, and is a perfect accompaniment to rice.

In addition to this, after the renovation, thanks to the ideas of the wife and daughter, new products that were not available at the store before, such as fermented bean paste, gochujang (red bean paste), and amazake drink, have been added to the lineup.

They have added products that women and young people can enjoy and become familiar with Koji, and the number of such customers is increasing.

I had a bit of trouble with the unique sweetness of the amazake I drank at other stores, but the amazake banana milk I tried here did not bother me at all, and I was able to enjoy it and gulp it down deliciously.

I am glad to be able to enjoy amazake in this way, which is full of nutrients and is said to be a drinkable intravenous drip.

Making Sustainable Choices in Food

Today, we are talking about SDGs and sustainable society, and I think fermented foods that utilize the function of microorganisms can also be considered sustainable foods.

Koji, or malt, is a product whose sweetness and flavor are enhanced by fermentation, in which steamed rice is decomposed by microorganisms called koji bacteria, which change its components. However, these Koji bacteria are quite delicate, and it is very important to control the appropriate humidity and temperature for them to work well. If this does not go well, delicious Koji cannot be produced.

At Hagiwara Koujiya, we control the temperature and humidity in the koji room (muro) where this is done by using a skylight, charcoal fire, and hot water in a pot. Electricity is only used for lighting, not for controlling the temperature and humidity in the room with air conditioning. During the process, they check the conditions every three hours, even in the middle of the night.

It is very time-consuming, but when I asked him why he continues to do it, he replied, “I could see for myself that there was a good Koji,

He replied, “I am happy when I see for myself that good Koji has been produced. It looks as if the Koji fungi are blooming on the rice. It is really rewarding when I hear directly from customers who bought the koji made in this way that it was really delicious, or that they enjoyed making amazake. It’s very gratifying. Mr. Hagiwara said.

The store’s operation was highly evaluated and received the 2023 Fujinokuni Attractive Individual Shop Sustainable Design Award from Shizuoka Prefecture’s Fujinokuni Attractive Individual Shop.

Taking over the family business with his family

In fact, it was only a year ago that Mr. Hagiwara devoted himself to the store. Until then, he had been working at a company where he could expect a stable income to support the family, and he had been helping out at the store.

A few years ago, his father, the fifth generation who had been running the store for a long time, finally became old, and the future of the store became uncertain.

If things continue as they are, the Koji shop will cease to exist. The wife wanted to leave the Koji shop somehow, but she couldn’t do it alone, and she couldn’t ask her husband to take over the business, and there were times when she cried in the midst of her hesitation.

Even so, his daughter’s willingness to help and his wife’s feelings were conveyed to the husband, and he finally made the decision.

He said, “My father has been doing this for a long time, so I guess it’s fate now, and I have to do it. Everyone in the family feels the same way, and we should do it in a way that connects us all. The husband told us how he felt at that time.

Why don’t you visit Hagiwara Koujiya, which is run by a family with such feelings?

Store Information

Name: Hagiwara Koujiya

Menu:Rice Koji miso (small) 440 yen, amazake yogurt 430 yen, etc.

Business hours:9:00-17:00 (9:00-18:30 on Thursdays only)

Closed: Sunday and Monday

Phone:  054-667-0107

Address: 94-2 Uchitani, Okabe-cho, Fujieda-shi, Shizuoka

Parking: 2 spaces in front of the store, 1 space diagonally across the street

Seating: 3 seats

Official website: Hagiwara Kojiya (external link)

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