About Tamba Sasayama Black Soybeans
Tamba Sasayama black soybeans are a local specialty product of Sasayama. While soybeans with black skin have been cultivated all across Japan, the Tamba Sasayama black soybeans are a top-quality product with distinct features. The beans have a large grain that is delightfully sweet and a beautiful, lustrous color.
Sasayama, a valley situated at an elevation of 200 – 300 meters, has dramatic temperature differences between day and night. Moreover, the climate is hot in the summer and cold in winter. The region’s clay-like soil is suitable for growing high-quality black soybeans and the locals have continued to cultivate the beans since long ago.
The main variety of black soybeans grown in the region is called “Tamba Black” and is cultivated both in Hyogo and its surrounding prefectures. Although the origin of the soybeans in the region is not certain, it is believed that they were brought to the region during the Warring States Period (end of the 15th century - end of the 16th century).
This is when it was discovered that the climate and features of the region were appropriate for cultivating black soybeans. It became a gift that was presented to the shogunate (the military government) during the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). Since then, Tamba Sasayama black soybeans have thus spread across Japan as a specialty product.
The Nutritional Value of Tamba Sasayama Black Soybeans
Black soybeans, nicknamed “meat of the field” due to their high protein and nutritional value, are utilized in various types of cuisine. Black soybeans made sweet with sugar and boiled until puffy are a staple dessert in Japanese homes. This dish is part of osechi, a type of cuisine that is eaten during New Year celebrations in Japan.
Black soybeans are believed to help to prevent increased cholesterol absorption and fatty acid peroxides. In addition to cooked soybeans, processed goods made with black soybeans such as seasonings, confections, and sake are also sold in Sasayama. Black soybean products can be enjoyed regardless of the season.
If you visit Sasayama, be sure to choose black soybeans as a souvenir. We also recommend going to a café for a break from exploring the area and taste the excellent local black soybean desserts.