Japanese Cheese in Print


Japanese bookstores are filled wall to wall with uniformly sized books. These never-ending shelves of manga, special-interest books, study guides, and novels draw the Japanese in. Each enthusiast can find a section with their chosen niche to delve into. 

Cheese is definitely included in these enthusiast genres. However, most books focus on European cheeses or the basics of cheesemaking, cooking with cheese, or preparing a cheese plate. There is almost nothing on cheese made in Japan. This is why “The Enjoyment of Cheese: Learning through Flavor and Aroma” was an exciting find at the Queen’s Isetan in Shinagawa Station. 

A glimpse into the array of domestic Japanese cheeses

The cheese guide primarily focuses on Western style cheeses with a significant section on cheese made in Japan. There are 37 profiles of Japanese cheeses, from Okinawa to the far reaches of Hokkaido. Each page includes the cheese’s place of origin, maturity, shape, season produced, and the type of rind or skin. Below a Japanese description is a short summary of the cheese in English, with interesting facts about how and where its made. 

“The Enjoyment of Cheese: Learning through Flavor and Aroma” gives a wonderful glimpse into the possibilities of Japanese cheese. It is the only book found so far with a significant section dedicated to cheese made in Japan, in either Japanese or English. With the information provided on each producer, it is easy to start learning more about the amazing cheese being made across the country.