Discover Japanese Food and Learn All About Japanese Food Culture at WA-VISON

Discover Japanese Food and Learn All About Japanese Food Culture at WA-VISON

VISON in Taki Town, just outside of Matsusaka City, is a 54-hectare commercial resort that offers a unique experience by showcasing the best of Mie Prefecture and Japan in one location. This hidden gem is set amidst the picturesque mountains of central Mie only a short distance from the Seiwa Taki Interchange. VISON is home to a farm-to-table market, sweets village, state-of-the-art spa, various types of accommodation, dining, and food areas such as WA-VISON, which are designed to impress and educate visitors about Japanese food culture.

Written by John Asano 

-Table of Contents-

・The Three Concepts of VISON 


​・Kuranoya Miso Store 

​・Ise Soy Sauce Honpo 


​・Hayashishouten Pickle 

​・Additive-free Store Okume

・Wrap Up

The Three Concepts of VISON 

The Three Concepts of VISON 
The picturesque setting for VISON in Taki Town 

VISON was developed with the primary goal of revitalizing the region, and it focuses on three key areas. The first area is gastronomy and food culture. The second area focuses on medicinal herbs, emphasizing their role in preserving the health of the body and mind. The third area is the smart city concept that makes full use of technological innovations to optimize city services and infrastructure. 


Wa is short for Japan, and washoku refers to the traditional cuisine of Japan. This area is home to an array of workshops and specialty stores that focus on Japanese ingredients such as soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice wine used in Japanese cooking), bonito broth and miso.  

One of the specialty stores at WA-VISON

The shops regularly host a variety of events and workshops to allow visitors to observe the manufacturing process firsthand, experience mirin cooking or miso making, and learn about different types of bonito flakes and kelp. 

It is a place where visitors can not only learn about Japanese food but experience Japanese food culture and the traditional ingredients used in Japanese cuisine.  

In addition to the specialty stores, visitors can enjoy the tastes of Japan at world-class Japanese restaurants offering diverse menus such as sushi, tempura, eel, sukiyaki and soba noodles.  

Japanese tea shop at WA-VISON


This miso specialty store has an amazing line-up of miso from all over Japan. As you step in the store, the first thing that catches your eye is the miso on display, which resembles an assortment of ice cream flavors. They looked so delicious that I wanted to try them all.  

Outside Kuranoya

Miso and more miso inside the store 

Locally produced miso from all over Japan  

Kuranoya holds daily miso-making classes, where participants can learn all about this traditional Japanese ingredient in a fun and educational way. I was surprised at how easy it was to make my own miso paste. The ingredients are simple, steamed soybeans, rice koji mold, salt, and a little water. The hardest part is mashing the soybeans into a smooth paste, which takes a little bit of time and effort. The end product is a fantastic souvenir, which I can enjoy in the comfort of my own home at the perfect level of miso maturity for me.  

Mashing the soybeans into a smooth paste

  Carefully blending the ingredients for my miso

Proudly showing the finished product

Ise Soy Sauce Honpo 

This shop is run by a soy sauce brewery and serves various dishes using Ise soy sauce such as tofu pudding, freshly made Ise-yaki udon noodles, and spring rolls. The shop sells seasoning, sweets and food all made with Ise soy sauce.  

Some of the specialty stores at WA-VISON


This traditional mirin cooking sake brewery was established in 1910 in the Mikawa area of Aichi Prefecture, which is known as the “Home of Mirin'' in Japan. VIRIN VIRIN de ISE uses rice grown in Taki Town as well as rice koji and homemade rice shochu (distilled liquor) to produce the finest mirin. Visitors can see how it is made from preparation through maturation to the finished product.  

A customer talking to the shop staff

After talking to the shop staff and sampling some of the mirin, I couldn’t resist the urge to buy a bottle. To my delight, the shop staff also generously shared some interesting recipes to use the sweet mirin which included Mirin Apple Pie, Mirin Pudding, and Mirin Brownies.   

A selection of the mirin at VRIN VIRIN de ISE

Tourist attractions covered by this article