Hatcho Miso Factories & Okazaki Park
Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
48Trip End May 17, 2013
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Okazaki was famous for its speciality miso paste (Hatcho miso) and one of the national heroes Tokugawa Ieyasu. The miso paste is made at only two factories on the Hatcho Street at the present: Maruya and Kakukyu. Guided tours (only in Japanese) were available free of charge in both factories and I joined them. Just because Maruya was a bit closer to the train station, I tried its guided tour first. After waiting until its starting time, I realized that I was the only one participant of the tour at the time. The guide was a young girl and the tour was very short, but she sincerely answered my questions and gave me plenty of time to take pictures after the tour
Maruya Hacho Miso
Hatcho miso has been developed in Hatcho Village of Okazaki. It is red miso made from only soy bean, water, and salt. Their red miso is a mixture of soy bean miso with umami and rice miso with sweet.
Kakukyu Hacho Miso
They are proud that the Imperial Family uses their miso paste
Then I headed for Okazaki Park. In 1873, Okazaki Castle was demorished by the Meiji Government and it was turned into Okazaki Park in 1875. Now the park contains the reconstructed castle keep, the symbol of Okazaki. Because Tokugawa Ieyasu was born in the castle, the commemorative festival is held in the castle on December 26th. It was the day after the day I visited Okazaki and it was a pity. Come to think of it, few Japanese know Ieyasu's birthday. Few Japanese know Buddha's birthday either, but most Japanese know Christmas. It is also a pity. Anyway, as soon as I arrived at the park, I found Ieyasu and Mikawa Bushi Museum. It seemed that I had visited the museum roughly 30 years ago, but I didn't remember even the fact that I had visited the museum. However, because I had a commemorative picture taken in front of the museum, I was 99% sure that I had been to the museum. So I hoped that something in the museum would remind me of the first visit. In the museum, my hope was dashed. I just confirmed that I had forgotten 100% about the museum by visiting the museum. Most of the captions of displays were only in Japanese, but a detailed English guide booklet was available for free
Tokugawa Ieyasu Dancing Noh - Wind-up Doll of Okazaki Park
The clock tower with the wind-up doll is placed near the museum and you can watch its performance on the hour every hour.
When I got out of the museum, it was almost two, and I found a crowd just in front of the museum. Actually, a show of Great Ieyasu-ko Aoi Busho Troupe was scheduled to be performed there. Nowadays there are a number of local Busho troupes all over Japan and because Ieyasu was born in Okazaki, you can see actors of Ieyasu and his vassals in Okazaki Park. They were not serious but nice and funny with hospitality and showmanship, so I liked them. After a short stroll in the park, I finally reached the castle keep. Because I knew the inside of the keep was just like a museum, I didn't enter it, but the appearance was fine.
Great Ieyasu-ko Aoi Busho Troupe Performance