Kagawa’s Food Culture Derived from Soy Sauce

  • text : Kazu Sasaki from GOOD NEWS
  • photo : Masahide Nakamura from Setouchi Camera
  • edit : Seiji Takeuchi from

chapter 6「Shoyu mame (broad beans simmered with soy sauce) that is loved internationally」


Ritsurin Garden is a garden that received three stars in the Micheline Guide. This garden is visited by many overseas tourists. Located next to the entrance of this garden, Ritsurin-an offers products of Kagawa. Inside the shop is decorated with traditional but modern-interpreted Japanese design, with many souvenirs and products of Kagawa on display. Amid novel and traditional souvenirs and products, such as sweets, food ingredients, crafts, sundry items, and olive products, 10 different types of Shoyu mame beans secure a special place by their presence.


Why such a traditional food like Shoyu mame beans can still remain popular now? “Well, I don’t know why,” so said and smiled Megumi Fujisawa, a store staff member. She told us that development of new products is one of the reasons why Shoyu mame beans are still popular. According to her, not only traditional products based on broad beans, but also new products with white lupine beans and peanuts have been developed. She analyzes, saying: “The tastes of these products have been changed along with the sense of modern people.” Learning how tasty Shoyu mame beans are when they are served at the inns they are staying, many people visit this store to get Shoyu mame beans as a souvenir. Interestingly, Shoyu mame beans are widely accepted by many overseas people. It seems that Shoyu mame beans are tasted and enjoyed across cultural and country boundaries. Fujisawa was raised locally. When overseas tourists come to the store, and ask her about Shoyu mame beans using broken Japanese, “Shoyu mame arimasuka?” (Do you have Shoyu mame beans here?), she feels happy and warms up as she responds to them. “We can serve Shoyu mame beans in a wide variety of daily life scenes. We can have them as accompanying side dish or a side dish for sake. In Kagawa, we serve them as a snack for children,” so said Fujisawa. The store members hope to make Shoyu mame beans much more popular.


Megumi Fujisawa, a staff member, says that Shoyu mame beans are popular as a souvenir


1-20-16 Ritsurin-cho, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture (Next to the east gate of Ritsurin Garden)
Tel: +81 87 812 3155
Operating hours: 9:00am - 5:30pm
Closed on: None

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