Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Aritsugu Knives - Quality And Sharpness That Transcend Time
Aritsugu and Masamoto are two of Japan's representative brands of kitchen knives. This article introduces the Aritsugu store in Kyoto, a shop with a history spanning over 550 years, located in the famous Nishiki Market.
Written by Keishi Kawakami
Would You Like To Buy A Quality Kitchen Knife?
What kind of kitchen knives do you use? If you're interested in cooking and are particular about the quality of your kitchen knives, there's a Japanese brand you should know. It is the shop Aritsugu, a cutlery store in Kyoto, famous for its rich tradition.
Masamoto and Aritsugu are two very famous Japanese kitchen knife makers. Masamoto is the brand that is best-known in eastern Japan. Aritsugu, on the other hand, is the brand that is most famous in western Japan. Aritsugu’s main store is located in the Nishiki Market in Kyoto.
Fujiwara Aritsugu, a swordsmith, founded this store in 1560 and the shop is now lead by the 18th generation of store owners. Aritsugu boasts a history spanning over 550 years.
Aritsugu was one of the few selected stores to become a supplier for the Kyoto Imperial Palace. This is one aspect of their history which guarantees the excellent quality of their products. The power and the influence of their tradition can still be felt.
Aritsugu is now famous as a leading brand of Japanese kitchen knives. Usually, most knives are made from stainless steel, but Aritsugu knives are traditionally made from steel. This is another aspect in which you can feel the store’s history.
The Features of Aritsugu Knives
The Aritsugu knives have been praised for their good quality, durability and easiness to use. They are not only sharp but also very light in comparison to other types of knives.
The steel used for their blades is rust resistant and, if properly maintained, can be used for generations on.
The prices for Aritsugu knives range between 195 dollars for a simple Chef Knife and 420 dollars for a carbon steel professional knife. There are many good quality carbon steel knives to choose from within the 200 - 300 dollar price range.
At Aritsugu you will most surely find a knife that suits your needs. It is worth to tae the time to look around the store. Who knows, you may find the one kitchn knife you have always wanted!
Find All Kinds of Kitchen Utensils at Aritsugu
Aritsugu is located within Kyoto’s famous Nishiki Market, and the customers of the store vary from local families to visitors from overseas.
Let's take a look at the store. You will notice that they have a wide variety of kitchenware.
These cups are perfect for serving chilled sake in.
The knives are unarguably the representative product of Aritsugu.
These scissors, also counted as a cutting tool, can be used for various purposes, such as ikebana flower arrangements. You may notice that each pair of scissors has specific features depending on the ikebana school it will be used in, such as Ikenobo or Mishoryu.
Along with the sharp cutting tools, they also carry other items, such as a wonderful variety of molds for baking sweets.
If you look to the right side of the entrance, you will see pots everywhere! Aritsugu is brimming with all kinds of kitchenware, not just cutting tools.
In this store, you will be able to find pots for special dishes, such as tempura, but also multi-purpose types.
There are of course also good quality pots that can be used on a daily basis.
In addition to its great variety of cutting tools and pots, Aritsugu also deals in tea strainers, graters for vegetables such as Japanese radish and ginger, lemon squeezers, and gingko-nut crackers, as well.
As you may have realized by now, Aritsugu is the place to go in Kyoto for good quality kitchenware.
Looking around the store, you'll be able to spot the sharpening service counter at the back. If you have time, try to observe the sharpening technique of the professionals working at this store. You will be amazed at their skill and will also be able to pick up some hints you can put to good use in your own kitchen.
This sharpening service provides maintenance to the tools purchased by the customers and is the secret to why Aritsugu’s knives and cutting tools shine so bright. In fact, their customers, as well as retsaurant chefs in Kyoto, often send their knives to be sharpened at Aritsugu.
Beside the counter, you can have your name or initials engraved into the knife you purchase. It only takes a couple of minutes! Many customers choose to mark their knives in this manner, especially when they buy them as souvenirs from their trip to Japan.
Regarding the Payment Methods
One thing you need to be aware of when visiting Aritsugu is that the payment can be made in cash only. Credit or debit cards cannot be used, so please be careful.
The Aritsugu knives have been gathering attention from visitors from abroad, even from professional chefs. If these Japanese traditional knives have piqued your interest, how about buying a set of knives from Aritsugu?
Address: Kyoto, Nakagyo ward, Gokomachi, Nishikikoji-dori 219
Nearest station: Kawaramachi Station (Hankyu Line)
Access: 7-minute walk from the Kawaramachi Station. Aritsugu is on Nishikikoji street, between Shinkyogoku-dori and Teramachi-dori.
Business hours: 9 AM to 5:30 PM, no regular holidays.
Language: Japanese and English
Wi-Fi: Not Available
Payment: Cash Only
Price range: depends od the product. The Aritsugu Special Knife costs from 6,720 yen and up.