Locals’ Recommendations | Visit Chiba | Latest update:2022/03/22
There is something incredibly charming about the Takanashi Teyaki Okaki snack shop that can be traced to their earnestness in making rice-based snacks from scratch. I am sure many people interested in Japanese snacks are well-aware of senbei, the staple of the traditional Japanese rice crackers. However, I would like to introduce two more treats for your snacking consideration: arare and okaki.
While the dough for senbei is made with regular rice, arare and okaki are made with mochikome— a special type of rice that is used for mochi and other Japanese confections due to its chewy texture. Mr. Takanashi explained to me that this not only affects the final texture of the okaki and arare, but it lends a natural sweetness to these snacks that isn’t present in regular senbei. These snacks are also not a standard shape like most senbei tend to be. The process of cutting the dough and letting it dry and rest causes a wider variety of shapes and sizes for arare and okaki.
Takanashi is a rarity among rice snack makers in Kamogawa as their products are made completely from scratch. Each year, they reserve a yield of the rice crop from local farmers. Once a dough from this rice is made, it is set out to dry in the sun and open air. The whole process ends in an addictive snack and their selection truly has something for everyone; with flavors including curry, sesame, sugar, a simple salted version, and more. The full process from start to finish can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a full month to complete.
I have to admit that my personal favorite is the karashi, mustard flavored arare. The size of the arare is the perfect small bite and the heat from the mustard is pleasant without being too overbearing. I have recently also discovered the shimiteru arare, which are made with a healthy dose of soy sauce and dashi broth. These arare showcase the sweetness of the mochikome and give a really complex flavor palette in a wonderful little crunch. It is honestly hard to go wrong with any of the choices available at Takanashi’s.
In talking with Takanashi’s owner, he highly suggests that everyone try the genkotsu. This is a type of okaki special to the shop that retains a lot of its original shape without puffing up. In combination with the Takanashi specialty sauce, it is a quintessential must-try for anyone wanting to get a true taste of what this shop has to offer. I tried these for the first time after my last visit and I have to say, I may have found a new favorite! The bigger size of the okaki gives a really satisfying crunch and the sauce blends with the cracker’s natural flavor for a richer rice cracker experience. Blending local materials and age-old snack making know-how, there is certainly something for any Japanese snack fan at Takanashi Teyaki Okaki snack shop.
1653 Yokosuka, Kamogawa City(Yokosuka Branch)/3-3 Maebara, Kamogawa City(Maebara Branch)
(5 minutes by car from JR Awa-Kamogawa Station(Yokosuka Branch)/ A 6-minute walk from JR Awa-Kamogawa Station(Maebara Branch))
+81-4-7093-5225(Yokosuka Branch)/+81-4-7092-1384(Maebara Branch)