LET'S LEARN ABOUT HOSHIIMO

In recent years, the variety of Dried Sweet Potatoes, Hoshiimo, has become more diverse. Inquire from curious customers are also increasing. Questions such as; “What kind of Hoshiimo is it?”, “How does it taste?”, or “What is the Texture like?” have become more prevalent. We would like customers to know more about the product and enjoy it, so we introduced it easily. We are hopeful that this information will be helpful when choosing to make a purchase.

TAMAYUTAKA

TAMAYUTAKA

This Raw styled potato has a strong taste in both cold and hot weather. And it has a white or pale pink skin. It is often eaten during the winter months and has been loved over the years in Ibaraki. Generally when one speaks of Hoshiimo, one is referring to this variety. It is characterized by a refreshing sweetness which makes it extremely popular.

BENIHARUKA

BENIHARUKA

The name originated from the obvious excellence in taste and appearance. “BENI” means “red”, while “HARUKA” means “far superior”. The amount harvested annually is the same as, or slightly larger than the TAMAYUTAKA variety. More potato farmers are increasing their production in this variety because of it has popularity due to the high sugar content. It has a Sticky- like texture, bright yellow skin, and a strong sweetness to the taste.

IZUMI

IZUMI

This is rarer variety because it has growth tends to be in smaller size batches. The production yield is approximately 80% of the TAMAYUTAKA variety totals. In the process and production of the IZUMI Hoshiimo, accuracy and expertise are necessary in the peeling stage because the skin is thicker and therefore more difficult to peel. The successful result is a dark yellow and amber color, having a high sugar content and a special rich taste.

HOSHIKOGANE

HOSHIKOGANE

The harvest amount of the HOSHIKOGANE variety is the roughly the same as that of the TAMAYUTAKA variety. The skin is a red purple, the inside is pale and yellow, while the shape tends to be perfect. It's main drawback however is it's weakness to cold weather which makes it difficult to preserve long term during the winter months. It is characterized by an elegant sweetness that is not persistent.

SILKSWEET

SILKSWEET

This variety is becoming more popular as a baked sweet potato. The skin on this variety is a brilliant reddish brown, and it's the most notable characteristic is the smooth surface. This is in part due to it having fewer shoots than the BENIHARUKA variety. You will enjoy the light taste and smooth texture.

HOSHIKIRARI

HOSHIKIRARI

It has been developed for the exclusive use as Hoshiimo. The harvest amount is more than the IZUMI variety. The inside of the potato is brighter than TAMAYUTAKA variety. It is easy to preserve but there is a difficulty in managing the thermal control of the seedlings, thus there are few producers at present. The aftertaste tends to be light, so is quite easy to eat and enjoy.

How to make "Hoshiimo"

Sweet Potato Cultivation and Harvest

Sweet Potato Cultivation and Harvest

From April to October, sweet potato is cultivated every year. From October to November, sweet potato is harvested and stored in storage with keeping proper temperature to make sugar slowly.

Steam

Steam

After making sugar sweet potato is steamed for 60-90 minutes.

Peeling

Peeling

Skin of steamed sweet potato is peeled off at hot temperature by hand made.

Slice

Slice

After peeling and cool off steamed sweet potato is sliced.

Dry

Dry

Sliced sweet potato is arranged to blind and sun-dried for 4-5 days depend on weather and variety.

Completion

Completion

Dried out “Hoshiimo” is condensed with sweet potato tasted and local nature.

KOUTA's manufacturing

Nature’s bounty with Sincerity

Traditional manufacturing which has been taking over through the ages. We are committed to manufacturing that make the most of nature’s bounty. Ibaraki prefecture is the best land for making HOSHIIMO with rich soil and sea breeze. We have been taking over traditional manufacturing which make the best use of ingredients. The ingredient of HOSHIIMO is sweet potato only. It is bringing out sweetness and umami with cold and processing technique. “KINAKO” utilizing natural materials tells you about your healthy days and wealth of food. Not only HOSHIIMO, we create products that think about customer’s health.

Own sweet potato farm

Own sweet potato farm

Whole dried HOSHIIMO

Whole dried HOSHIIMO

Amber HOSHIIMO

Amber HOSHIIMO

HOSHIIMO cake

HOSHIIMO cake

Sincere company culture

We make progress sincerely

We are aiming to become a company that gives priority to food safety and security, also take care of the local environments. We value to the attitude to work on various things sincerely. We will provide better products with a lot of capacity as a company, from production based on traditional techniques that taking over through the ages to management system making full use of most advanced technology. We are aiming for manufacturing with firm belief, have received good feedbacks.

Ibaraki Prefecture Food Hygiene Association, Certificate of “HACCP” Spread Promotion Project

Ibaraki Prefecture Food Hygiene Association, Certificate of “HACCP” Spread Promotion Project

METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) Promotion Project, IT management support team Certificate of Excellence award of the top 100 IT management companies

METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) Promotion Project, IT management support team Certificate of Excellence award of the top 100 IT management companies

Ibaraki industry awards Grand Prize

Ibaraki industry awards Grand Prize

Selected 'The Driving Company for the regional future' by METI(Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

Selected 'The Driving Company for the regional future' by METI(Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)


Our Factory

Own sweet potato farm

Shop information

Company shop at Excel Minami Mito station building

We’re selling HOSHIIMO, KINAKO, sweets made with HOSHIIMO etc. We are really looking forward to your coming.

Own sweet potato farm

About shop

Address Excel Minami 3F, 1-7-31 Miya-machi, Mito-shi, Ibaraki, 312-0015
Phone +81-29-228-1137
Shop hour 10:00-21:00
Regular holiday none-except New Year’s Day-Business day
7days a week -except New Year’s Day-

Access map

Mito Station South Exit, Excel Minami 3F near the escalator. *exit the Mito Station ticket gate and walk 1minute on the left side.

Company information

Top Message

KOUTA SHOUTEN & CO.LTD President & CEO

We are processor and developer of fresh agricultural products that harvested in Ibaraki and think that it would be glad if we could provide the richness of food and the good taste of agricultural products to everyone. Especially, Hitachinaka farmers began processing HOSHIIMO in the Meiji era (1868~1912), and now account for 90% domestic share. We are constantly improving the development and manufacturing methods of new varieties as a specialized manufacture. We will continue our efforts to improve quality to provide it that you can impress. In addition, we have challenged products in new fields such as “KINAKO with black sesame” which is soybean processed food since several years ago, been receiving good reviews from many retailers like drugstores. Health consciousness of food is increasing, that is why we will continue to make efforts to develop products as soon as we can according to customers request. We kindly ask for your long and continued use.

KOUTA SHOUTEN & CO.LTD President & CEO
Hiroyuki Onizawa

Corporate Philosophy

  1. We will continue to provide richness of food and customers’ health promotion by processing and distributing agriculture products such as potatoes, beans, barley.
  2. We contribute to keep up the environment with lot of greenery by raising and processing local crops especially potatoes, beans, and barley.
  3. We create workplace in which all of members can work vitality with taking greater advantage of their capabilities.
  4. We all make efforts to create company culture that is opened and honest, fair, faithful for everyone.

Company Profile

Company Name KOUTA SHOUTEN & CO.LTD
Representative President & CEO Hiroyuki Onizawa
Contact Address 【Head Office】1113 Hiraiso-chou, Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki
【Factory&Office】11848 Karasugadai, Hitachunaka-shi, Ibaraki
【Phone Number】+81-29-263-3737
【Fax Number】+81-29-263-3430
Founded 1948
Incorporated 1974
Capital 11Million Yen
Major trading financial institution Joyo Bank Hiraiso Branch

* When you come to our company, please come to the address of "Factory & Office". The reception desk is the second floor.
* We do not sell products at the head office and factory in principle.

Company History

Origin of company name

Aki Onizawa (former name is Aki Kouta) who is grandmother of current president, was a midwife in Hiraiso-chou the place of founded. It is not too much to say that most of babies of those days in Hiraiso-chou were delivered by her, because she was a hard worker. As a result, “Kouta” became famous rather than “Onizawa” and we were called “Kouta” as business name without realizing. When we opened a shop, “Kouta shouten” was adopted because the name that be well known by everyone is best to business.

Origin of company name


History

1948 Kiyoshi Onizawa (Ex-chairman) founded fertilizer shop in address 1113 Hiraiso-chou.
1958 Established trust from farmers by selling fertilizer and started collecting and selling HOSHIIMO.
1965 Got the permission of rice and barley collector designated by government. Built a first rice and barley storage warehouse in Jyuusanbugyou.
1966 Built Jyuusanbugyou factory (Current rice and barley warehouse, barley tea roasting factory) adjoining freezer warehouse of HOSHIIMO.
1967 Built second rice and barley storage warehouse in the Jyuusannbugyou factory.
1968 Built starch factory and started selling.
1969 Started selling rice bran.
1970 Started making and selling barley tea.
1974 Founded KOUTA SHOUTEN & CO. LTD
1980 Kiyoshi Onizawa became the chairman of “HOSHIIMO cooperative society” and served as chairman until 1990.
1988 Built office in Toohara factory, relocated head office.
1994 Hiroyuki Onizawa (Current president) joined.
1997 Built HOSHIIMO packing center.
1999 Hiroyuki Onizawa became the president and started selling HOSHIIMO made in china.
2000 Built powders packing center, extended freezer warehouse of HOSHIIMO
2003 Built HOSHIIMO processing factory at Qingdao in China
2004 Built new office and distribution center and bean roast factory.
2008 Built processing factory for HOSHIIMO made in Ibaraki.
2010 Established KOUTA FARMER &CO.LTD, and entry sweet potato cultivation in earnest.

Questions from customers and Answers

Questions about HOSHIIMO

When is manufacture period?
We can manufacture only in the cold season. So, we are manufacturing from November to April. We harvest sweet potatoes in October and process it from November. HOSHIIMO which are sold in warm time, those are thawed things that be processed from November to April then frozen and preserved.
What is the white powder?
It has been explained that it is maltose crystallized. Since maltose is difficult to combine with moisture and easy to crystallize, if it is stored for a long time, drying will proceed and white powder will gradually increase.
What is the difference between white powder and mold?
The mold has a shape fluffy soft ball like dust ball. Sometimes there are white molds when mold grows on HOSHIIMO, but many cases are red mold and blue mold. Individual differences are there, mold has unusual smell.
Preservation method
Even if within expiration date, please enjoy as soon as you can after opening. Please keep in cool place not exposing to direct sunlight. If you tightly seal plastic bag and store in a freezer, you can prevent mold and keep quality for a long time. (about three months as standard)
some HOSHIIMO has black part, what is it?
When pealing skin after steamed sweet potatoes, if thin skin was left it is cause of turning black. Taking it does not impair health, but we are making effort to not make products lake that.

Questions about domestic HOSHIIMO

About residual pesticide
We are carrying out residual pesticide tests twice, before processing and after processing.
Where is production district of ingredients?
We are using sweet potatoes that harvested in Hitachinaka city, Naka city, Tokai village in Ibaraki and so on.
What kind of raw potatoes do you use for HOSHIIMO?
We are using TAMAYUTAKA, Izumi13, BENIHARUKA, Quick Suite.

Contact us

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And please note that we will be available after the next business day in Saturdays and Sundays, Year End and New Year holidays, Summer season.