In profile: Interview with Kizara's Satoshi Koike

If you’ve ever picked up one of our wooden Kizara memo pads, you probably know they’re very different from the legal pads you’re used to scribbling on. Unlike the usual notebooks, Kizara memo pads contain thin wooden pages shaved directly from blocks of sustainable Japanese pine. Known as kyougi, these traditional wooden sheets were once commonly used to wrap and preserve food in ancient Japan. By that fact alone, it’s become one of our most beloved products. But a Kizara memo pad is more than a cool memo pad; it’s a movement to reclaim the Japanese forest for future generations. Behind its simple design, there’s a long history of craftsmanship and sustainability.  

From the Source: A Day in the Life of a Fifth Generation Tea Farmer

High atop a plateau at the foot of the imposing Kirishima Mountains sits the organic tea garden of the Hayashi family. Since 1897, five generations of tea farmers have managed these fields and pioneered the art of organic tea cultivation. time-consuming endeavor, and as a result, less than one percent of teas are considered organic.By eschewing chemical fertilizers and pesticides, producers like the Hayashi family accept smaller yields in favor of higher quality.

Whisk Away: How To Brew Matcha

Despite matcha’s growing popularity, many people are intimidated by the thought of making it at home. While it does require a few specialized tools, we think that with a bit of practice anyone can make tea ceremony-quality tea. The act of making an energizing cup of matcha is a meditative experience that we think you will begin to look forward to. Follow along and learn how it's done.

Steep Learning: How to Brew Japanese Green Tea with a Kyusu

To get the most enjoyment out of your Japanese green tea, we always recommend brewing with a kyusu. Simply meaning “teapot” in Japanese, the word is often used to describe a small side-handled teapot that is traditionally used to prepare green teas. These teapots fit comfortably in your hand and allow you to extract the best possible flavors from your tea.

Savor the Season: Soba Noodles with Hojicha Broth and Shiitake Mushrooms

The calming effects of sipping a hot cup of tea on a cold day allows you to slow down and take a moment for yourself. When many of us are at risk for getting sick or feeling run down during the holidays or during the change of seasons, a daily cup of green tea can have powerful effects on both your health and mental well being. A known superfood, green tea is said to be high in antioxidants, and its low levels of caffeine are said to help improve your mood, mental clarity, and focus. But for some, the grassy taste and vegetal aroma of green tea is not appealing to their taste palette. As an alternative, we have prepared a green tea soup that has all the benefits of green tea but in a delicate vegetable broth.

The Science and Beauty Behind our Chikuno Cube

Originally harnessed by Japanese craftsmen over four hundred years ago for its natural purifying properties, activated charcoal has recently undergone something of a renaissance. What was once a little-known secret has transformed into a popular resource with hundreds of users and just as many uses. Its most creative interpretation may just be the Chikuno Cube, an ingeniously designed miniature air refresher that uses the properties of charcoal to banish odors and humidity around the house. In this special Deep Dive series, we explore the Chikuno Cube, from its origins in the charcoal kilns of Kyoto to the science behind its unusual honeycomb structure.  

Eating In: Cooking Japanese Food at Home

For the inexperienced Japanese food fan, preparing flavorful and impressive Japanese dishes in the comfort of ones home might as well be impossible. After all, to make it properly you need to master its subtle flavors and use techniques that could take years to master... right? As our Wholesale Manager Lisa learned, this couldn't be further from the truth. She shares her thoughts on Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking by Masaharu Morimoto and her learnings while preparing a few select recipes and presenting them in Gato Woodworks.

Spotlight On: Gato

Since 1908, Gato Mikio Co. Ltd. has been at the leading edge of more than 400 years of Japanese lacquerware. Experts at their craft, their collaborative style combines craftsmanship, heritage, and innovation like few of their contemporaries. Their collection showcases some of the best qualities of Japanese craftsmanship and, as such, has earned Gato a place as a Morihata favorite.

How To Fold A Towel Like A Designer

Towel folding technique is something that most people give very little thought to, but by our count, there are more than a dozen ways to fold a bath towel. With a little planning, you can fold photoshoot ready towels that fit your space perfectly. Below, we look at five of our favorite folds.

The Japanese Towel Buyer's Guide

Shopping for towels can be difficult, especially when you’re looking for something different but still reliable and long-lasting. Japanese towels are consistently rated amongst the best towels in the world, but industry jargon and lack of transparency can make them tricky to navigate for beginners. Here is our guide to picking the perfect Japanese towel, from the most absorbent fabrics to the craftsmanship details to look for.

The World of Japan's Towel Sommeliers

If we asked you to picture a sommelier, you’d probably conjure up an image of well-dressed man or woman with a bottle of cabernet propped over their forearm; a tiny pin glinting on their lapel. However, should you swap the cabernet for, say, an absorptive cotton and linen blended hand towel what you’d have instead is a towel sommelier.

Spotlight on Daitou Shingu: Why Wazarashi

As a revered futon maker for almost a century, there is perhaps no one who understands the power of a good night’s sleep quite like Daitou Shingu. The Kyoto-based brand is led by a team of craftsmen and experts from a variety of specialties - sleep consultants, architects, textile designers and more- whose main goal is to provide a comfortable, effortless sleep. You may recognize Daitou Shingu pieces from the Morihata collection by their distinct marigold piping, but their most noteworthy feature is the brand's traditional approach to textile manufacturing.