Updated: November 06, 2018
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Shichimi: The Seven Flavor Japanese Spice!

What comes up to your mind when you hear the word "Japanese spice"? Wasabi? Karashi? These are great Japanese spices too. But, have you ever heard of "Shichimi"? Shichimi is a traditional Japanese spice which can easily be translated to "seven flavors" in English. This post will introduce shichimi itself, what foods you can use, and where to purchase them.

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First, give it a look!

The most traditional and enjoyable way of selling shichimi is by food stalls. You can see them around Asakura. They compound shichimi right in front of the audience and you have a chance to get the freshest spice.

What shichimi(七味) is

"Shichimi" can be easily translated to "seven flavours" in English. The common 3 spices of 7 are chilli pepper, sesame, and hemp seed. The other 4 spices differ by food stall.

There are unique products such as yuzu shichimi, which has a fresh scent of yuzu.

Shichimi is also called as Yagenbori, the name of the originator. Yagenbori is very popular with tourists for its unique way of selling their product. They compound the shichimi's base with the consumer's favourite.


"Ichimi" is another name for a chili pepper. Usually, the spiciness is stronger than shichimi. You can also get one at food stalls or any grocery store.

Foods you can add shichimi


Adding some shichimi will give your udon some spicy essence. Be careful not to add too much!


Yakitori is another food which you can enjoy adding some shichimi. The crispy taste of yakitori and the spiciness of shichimi match very well. Definitely worth a try!

Where you can purchase shichimi

Yatai(屋台): Food stall

If you want to get the real, traditional shichimi, better visit the food stalls around Asakusa in Tokyo, or Gion in Kyoto. You get to enjoy the performance of the shichimi maker as well.

Compared to products you can buy at grocery stores, their products are usually expensive but are better in flavour.

Grocery stores

Since shichimi is not a special product, you can easily get it at any grocery stores in Japan. Instead of hemp seed, some products have used ginger to add some freshness to its taste.
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