tourism

A World of Spice in Kagoshima

Create Your Own Yakuzen Blend from Local Ingredients (1hr)

Grinding spices creates a fresh aroma
The chenpi tangerine peel harvested in Sakurajima has an exceptional fragrance
Yakuzen shichimi spice can be enjoyed with a variety of dishes
Yakuzen Komachi's workshop is equipped with fire-roasting equipment
Shigehide Shimazu compiled an ecology of medicinal herbs and edible remedies into the Shitsumon Honsou

Yakuzen is a culinary tradition that combines food and natural medicine to match the seasons and physical condition of those who eat it. In fact, Kagoshima has had a deep connection with yakuzen since the time it was governed as the Satsuma feudal domain several hundred years ago. The clan’s 25th ruler, Shigehide Shimazu, compiled an ecology of medicine herbs and edible remedies across mainland honshu Japan to the Ryukyu Kingdom (modern Okinawa) into the Shitsumon Honsou (“Inquiry of Herbal Medicine”) — this text serving as a foundation of modern yakuzen practice. In this program, learn about the history of Kagoshima while making original yakuzen shichimi using local spices.

  • Make an original yakuzen recipe using ingredients from Kagoshima
  • Grind ingredients by hand to make an amazingly fragrant shichimi blend
  • Learn about the medicinal functions of each of the 7 ingredients
  • Unravel the relationship between the Shimazu clan, Satsuma feudal domain, and yakuzen
  • Take home the shichimi spice you have made as a souvenir
Shinichi NagamineYakuzen Komachi Organizer / International Yakuzen Master
The organizer of Yakuzen Komachi, Shinichi Nagamine, studied agriculture and fermentation at Kagoshima University while working as a farmer. After working as a certified SCAJ Coffee Meister coffee bean roaster, Nagamine obtained licenses as a Chinese Medicine Yakuzen Specialist, International Yakuzen Master, and International Yakuzen Cook, after which he opened Yakuzen Komachi.
Workshop Details

Yakuzen Komachi: A New World of Medicinal Food

The Satsuma feudal domain has a long history of maintaining herbal gardens to contribute to the clan’s finances, such as Yamakawa, Yoshino, and Sata Yakuen. Tensho-in (Atsuhime), the official wife of shogun Tokugawa Iesada, was said to have particularly loved the longan fruit of Sata Yakuen. Some of the remedies in the pages of the Shitsumon Honsou (“Inquiry of Herbal Medicine”) compiled by the 25th Satsuma clan ruler, Shigehide Shimazu, are similar to contemporary yakuzen. Amidst this backdrop steeped in rich history, Yakuzen Komachi proposes a new world of yakuzen through products made from carefully selected ingredients grown in their own farms held by a pesticide-free standard, blended and roasted through original methods by international yakuzen masters. Stocked with an immense variety of spices, yakuzen tea, and ingredients to make yakuzen liquor, the shop will keep you wanting more and more.

A beautifully minimalist shop interior
A wide variety of products such as seasonings and medicinal tea
Program Details

Experience the Fresh Aromas of Yakuzen

Begin the program by enjoying herbal tea while learning about the relationship between Kagoshima and yakuzen, along with Yakuzen Komachi’s approach to yakuzen. Afterwards, head to the workshop where Yakuzen Komachi blends their yakuzen, and make your very own shichimi spice from local chili peppers and other carefully selected ingredients — all while learning about the medicinal functions of each herb. Grinding each ingredient with a special tool releases surprisingly fresh aromas. The main ingredients are as follows (subject to change depending on availability):

  • ・Chili Peppers (in-house): warms the body and helps fight colds
  • ・Chenpi Sun-Dried Orange Peel (Kagoshima): regulates the stomach
  • ・Sansho Pepper (Wakayama): relieves itchiness
  • ・Sea Lettuce (Kagoshima): eliminates phlegm and throat inflammation
  • ・Sesame (Kagawa): nourishes the blood
  • ・Hemp Seed (China): encourages sweating to heal illness
  • ・Roasted Chili Peppers (in-house): promotes digestion
Grind ingredients to your desired coarseness
Blend spices to your liking
Tour Code GGKS01
Dates Monday to Saturday 14:00~ by request
※The tour will not be held on dates marked with (-) on the reservation form.
Duration About 1 hour
Schedule
14:00

Gather at Yakuzen Komachi, reception. While drinking herbal tea, learn about yakuzen and the region’s history through a lecture by Yakuzen Komachi owner, Shinichi Nagamine.

14:15

Learn about the benefits and unique properties of yakuzen spices, and make your own original blend. Finally, taste the shichimi you have created by adding it to a yakuzen soup.

15:00

Program conclusion.

Languages JapaneseSupplementary explanations in English via translation device or lecture board can be provided upon request. Please make a note in the message box during registration to request this service.※An English interpreter can also be arranged for an additional fee. Please contact UNA Laboratories for more details.
Participants Minimum 2 / Maximum 6
※Up to 10 people can be accommodated in a single group. Please consult UNA Laboratories to reserve for groups over 6 people.
Meeting Place
Yakuzen Komachi
1983 Makizonocho Shukukubota, Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture
Reservation Deadline 3 days before the start of the tour (for example, please apply by October12th for a tour that starts on October 15th)
Payment Method Advance payment at the time of reservation (VISA, Mastercard, Amex, JCB)
Attire Please feel free to wear whatever you like.
Tour Conductor None
Note about Tour Conductors There will be no tour conductor from UNA Laboratories accompanying this program. Customers are responsible for managing their own itineraries.
Please Note
  • The tour will be held even in the event of rain, barring cases of inclement weather such as heavy rain or a typhoon.
  • All photos displayed on the website are for illustrative purposes only. As the workshop is not a tourist attraction, please note that the degree to which guests may enter the workshop may differ from day to day.
  • Guests who are under elementary school age may attend the tour accompanied by a parent or guardian. However, UNA Laboratories and Yakuzen Komachi shall not assume any responsibility for accidents/injuries that occur in the parking lot and/or during the tour. Especially during the workshop visit, please keep an eye on younger guests as to not touch the equipment.
  • We advise taking out domestic travel insurance when participating in this tour.
Cancellation Policy 3 to 1 day(s) preceding the tour start date: 50% of the tour fee
Before departure on the tour start date: 100% of the tour fee
After the start of tour or no-show: 100% of the tour fee

UNA Laboratories COVID-19 Policy

UNA Laboratories is committed to ensuring the safety of our customers, staff, and community. In accordance with municipal, national, and industry guidelines for the prevention of infectious diseases, UNA Laboratories is implementing the following measures:

  1. 1. Guides will wear a face shield during tours.
  2. 2. Guests are requested to wear a mask.
  3. 3. Hand-sanitizing alcohol will be provided.
  4. 4. We will check your temperature and general physical condition at the start of the tour. UNA Laboratories reserves the right to refuse tour participation if a customer’s temperature is over 37 degrees Celsius.
  5. 5. We strive to maintain adequate social distance throughout the tour, so the maximum number of participants will be capped at six.

Travel Planning: Implementation

  • UNA Laboratories Inc. (Fukuoka Prefectural Governor Registration #2-951)
  • 3-12-22-302 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture 810-0022
  • TEL: 092-982-7956E-MAIL: tour@unalabs.jp
  • Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors:
    Aya Tamura, Noriko Yahata, Rei Watanabe
  • Business Hours:
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays)
  • *Requests received outside of business hours will be processed the following business day.
  • *Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors are responsible for transactions held at the sales office that processes customers’ travel. Please do not hesitate to contact the aforementioned Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors with any questions or concerns regarding the travel contract.

Tour Information

Duration
Monday to Saturday 14:00~ by request
※The tour will not be held on dates marked with (-) on the reservation form.
※This program is scheduled to begin Spring 2021. If you would like to be notified when registration opens, please fill out the form below.
Duration
About 1 hour
Recommended Age
Suitable for All Ages
Price
4,500 yen (tax included)