Series: Carefully selected quality items! Get “Japanese hashi (chopsticks)” that fit in the hands
Although there are other countries that also use hashi (chopsticks) when eating, it is said that Japan is the only country that relies solely on hashi when having a meal. For the Japanese, the hashi is one of the important daily items. There is the “meoto-bashi (a couple's hashi),” where the length of hashi is different for a man and a woman, and there are children's hashi that fit the age of the child. At home, many families enjoy their meal with their own hashi. They come in various designs, colors, patterns, materials, shape, weight, and more. In Japan, you can be particular about the details when looking for hashi that fit your taste. Why not find your very own hashi not merely as a tool, but something just for yourself you can grow to be attached to?
”Japan's hashi” has an array of functions, not only for picking things up
Many Japanese grew up being told, “Be grateful to the farmers, and be sure to eat every grain of rice.” Japanese hashi are somewhat pointed, making it possible to pick up every grain of rice. When eating fish, you can use the hashi to remove the bones, tear the skin, slice the meat and put it into your mouth using just your hashi. Other uses are push, put on top, tear off, support, wrap, mix, etc. Japanese hashi has many functions.
There are various theories, but it is said that the hashi culture came from China in 600 A.D., then independently evolved into a Japanese hashi different from any other country in length and shape. If you learn the correct way to hold the Japanese hashi, you will be able to use them skillfully. You may want to use the kyosei-bashi (hashi that corrects the way of holding it) or other kinds of hashi to practice. You'll have an easier time eating Japanese food.
Hashi that make your hands look beautiful, and also easy to use. How to find hashi that suit you
The length, width, and the shape of the tip are important points you need to know when looking for hashi that suit you. It is said that the length should be “hitoata-han,” which is 1.5 times the length between the tip of your thumb and index finger when the fingers make a right angle. It is also said that for people with thick fingers, thick hashi is better, and for those with slender fingers, slender hashi should be easier to hold. For the tip, they shouldn't let food slip away such as having a polygon shape, grooves, or a rough surface are recommended.
Further, Japanese hashi come in an array of designs in color, pattern, shape, material used, etc. Some hashi have local characteristics, and some can be called traditional handicrafts. Japanese patterns and raden zaiku* (mother-of-pearl work) are popular among overseas tourists. Some shops will print your name on your hashi (this service is not available for some hashi). Having a wide variety of designs is also a characteristic of Japanese hashi. Hashi in various designs are displayed in hashi specialty shops and the hashi area in department stores, and it is difficult to decide which to choose. From affordable ones to expensive luxury types, prices come in a variety, too. Some are high-quality hashi, each hand-made by Japan's famous traditional craftsmen, priced at tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of yen. If you are a couple or a married couple, how about getting “meoto-bashi (chopsticks for husband and wife)” as memento? A set of Hashi oki (chopstick rest) and hashi with a unified design is also recommended.
*Raden zaiku: A hashi artifact made by using a method of cutting out the pear layer from the inside of a shell into a plate, and fitting it into the surface of lacquer or carved wood.
Stop by during your sightseeing tour! Tokyo's hashi specialty shop where you can have your name printed on them
“Nihonbo,” a directly-managed store of Hyozaemon, a brand-name hashi specialty shop that has a selling area in famous department stores all over Japan.
Hyozaemon is a well-established lacquered hashi shop that started business 98 years ago and has a main office in Obama City, Fukui Prefecture. They have their own displaying area in famous department stores such as Takashimaya, Isetan, and Tobu in Tokyo. At Hyozaemon's directly-managed shop “Nihonbo,” you can choose your hashi with the advice of staff who are hashi professionals. At the Gransta Shop inside JR East Tokyo Station, they will personalize your hashi by easy printing (324 yen, tax included), finishing on the same day (until 16:00) in hiragana, katakana, and alphabets in capitals. They have a wide variety, with some designs that are originals of the shop, so you may want to buy their hashi as a memento.
Popular hashi are meoto-bashi priced at 5,000 to 10,000 yen. This is a picture of a Maruhachi-bashi meoto set (5,400 yen, tax included). Great for souvenirs.
“Nihonbo Gransta Shop”
●Inside Gransta, B1st Floor, JR East Tokyo Station, 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
●9:00-22:00 (Monday-Saturday, national holidays), 9:00-21:00 (Sunday, last day of consecutive holidays)
* You can have your name printed at their Hiroo Shop as well
* The time of the easy printing may differ depending on congestion. Please ask for the details beforehand.
At the hashi specialty shop “Ginza Natsuno Tokyo Skytree Town SOLAMACHI,” you will find over 1,000 kinds of hashi
It has a main shop in Ginza, and at the Skytree Town SOLAMACHI Shop, they regularly have about 1,000 kinds of hashi and seasonal hashi oki (chopstick rest). The hashi on display are made by traditional craftsmanship using carefully selected materials. Especially popular are hashi made by Tokyo's craftsmen who used carefully selected material, and shaped the hashi in a well-thought out way so that they are easy to use, and many of these on display. Name printing in Japanese or alphabets can be finished on the same day of order (432 yen, tax included). You may be able to order before you go sightseeing, and receive the finished product when you stop by after your tour.
The snakewood Nanakaku Rikyu-bashi (75,600 yen, tax included) is hashi made from a rare kind of wood that has a beautiful snakeskin pattern. It is said that Nanakaku bashi can only be made by skilled craftsmen.
This is a Natsuno's original hashi (1,080 yen, tax included), using the Tokyo Skytree that stands beside the shop as a motif. It is a popular item that is dishwasher-safe, and makes a good souvenir.
“Ginza Natsuno Tokyo Skytree Town SOLAMACHI”
●4F, Tokyo Skytree Town, 1-1-2, Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
●Ginza Natsuno Online Shop https://www.e-ohashi.com/
*Name printing can be finished within the same day if it is ordered by 17:00, but it may depend on the numbers ordered, time, and how crowded it is. Please ask for the details beforehand.
*The above information was last updated March 5, 2018. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
"Like" if you think this article is interesting