In this edition, we welcome Mr. Masaya Konaka, President and CEO of Daiko Co., Ltd., exporter/importer of ingredients for incenses, home fragrances and mineral water. Often welcoming suppliers and clients in Ginza, he guided us to the locations he takes his guests to when they visit him.
Our first stop was a pottery class “Ginza Crafts Yeeyo.” Konaka-san and the owner share the hobby of Japanese tea ceremony. Konaka-san is also currently working on a piece at the studio. Walking into the studio, we found student’s works on display. Having been created from scratch, each piece is one-of-a-kind.
A beginner at pottery, Konaka-san allowed us to watch him at work, making a tea cup. Using a method called “tebineri,” where the clay is rolled into long strings that are compiled layer by layer on the base of the cup, after which the shape of the cup is carefully adjusted.
Each class comprises a maximum of six students, allowing even beginners at pottery to focus on their works.
Ginza Crafts Yeeyo offers lessons for children, those for parents and children, and those offered in both English and Japanese for tourists from overseas. The lessons are very popular and must be booked in advance. After the clay is molded, the instructor fires the pieces. Works can be shipped abroad and therefore make wonderful souvenirs.
Why not indulge in a creative Japanese experience in Ginza?
Our next stop was Yamada Heiando, a lacquerware maker with a store in GINZA SIX.
Established in 1919, Yamada Heiando is a royal warrant holder specializing in lacquerware. Carefully preserving the traditions and techniques passed down from the past, they carry products that match modern lifestyles – not only plates and utensils but a variety of very unique and modern lacquerware. Yamada Heiando won the Premium Gift Award in 2016.
A popular “Japanese souvenir,” produced by Yamada Heiando, is the “Bonbonier” (caramel box, 5,000 yen excl. tax), a round pretty box that can be used not only for sweets and other foods, but for jewelry. They come in a variety of different designs including ladybugs, well as traditional motifs
The sandalwood series is also highly recommended during this time of year. The series features deep and shiny colors.
The beautiful contrast of the modest “ame-iro (dark orange)” and jet black color is very popular in autumn and has become one of Yamada Heiando’s major series.
Yamada Heiando’s lacquerware has been appreciated across generations. With English instructions on how to care for the products, they are perfect souvenirs from Japan. I invited you to come see Japan’s unique traditional crafts.
Our last destination was “Tempura Ten-asa”
Konaka-san has been enjoying seasonal foods in the relaxed atmosphere of this tempura bar for many years.
The restaurant has ten seats at the counter shaped in the form of the letter “L.” The large window creates an open and rich atmosphere.
Tempura Ten-asa only serves a Recommended Seasonal Course, that allows the diner to watch the chef at work and enjoy freshly deep-fried tempura, made mainly with seasonal ingredients.
Japanese “omotenashi” can be felt in the seasonality of the foods. The scallops and sea urchin wrapped in shiso (Japanese basil) are crisp on the outside and medium rare and juicy on the inside. Each tempura is fried to perfection so that the original savor of each ingredient can enjoyed.
The tempura is served with salt, lemon and “tentsuyu” sauce. Please help yourself to plenty of grated daikon radish for the tentsuyu.
Tempura Ten-asa offers a wide variety of wines and sake to enjoy with your meal. At the end of the meal, you can choose between a “kakiage” (mixed tempura) “tendon” (rice bowl with tempura) or “tencha” (tea on rice with tempura). Konaka-san ordered a tendon with small shrimp “kakiage.”
Watching the chef at work, tasting the artisan tempura and feeling Japan’s seasonality, would also surely be an inspiring experience for foreigners as well.
2017ミスアース群馬代表・全国大会4位ミス・ファイアー受賞。同年2017Miss Tourism queen of the year世界大会へ日本代表として出場し、各国の出場者達の投票によって決まる、ミスフレンドシップ賞を受賞。現在はモデル・MCとして活躍中。