This piece is the opening act of a series of articles relating to Kyoto. In the series, we will introduce local people with refined taste and their favorite items from the area.

Today, we introduce Ms. Noriko Okamoto, who manages 200-year old Kyoto kimono store “Okazen.” The store handles maiko (apprentice geisha) kimono as well as Kyo Yuzen kimono and Nishijin silk fabric.

She comments, “For gifts, I select items which represent Kyoto. Dried sardines are easy to carry so it is perfect for gifts.”

Ms. Okamoto’s favorite ones are made by Izawa Seibee. 2 types are available: “Black” boiled with seven flavored black chili pepper from Hara Ryokaku, Gion and “White” with dried bean curd from Hanbey, Gojo Ohashi.

“When you open the ‘Black’ pouch, the sharp aroma of the black chili pepper wafts away and it makes you hungry. The bean curd of ‘White’ becomes soft when mixed with rice, and it is ideal for making rice balls. Since no chemical seasonings and additives are used, it is very tasty. They come in a zipper bag for easy keep.”

【Store Information】
Izawa Seibee
Address: 296 Oikeno-cho, Oike agaru, Muromachi-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Hours: 11 am to 6 pm (closed on Wednesdays)