Miso (fermented soybean) paste is indispensable to Japanese cuisine. However, miso in Aichi, with its deeper flavor, is a little different to that in other parts of the country. Often referred to as Hatcho Miso, after the Hatcho area in Okazaki city, the paste matures for approximately 2 years in large cedar wood vats before it can finally make its way onto our tables. After touring the Hatcho Miso Factory and tasting some of its products, we went to Okazaki Castle, where the famous Tokugawa Ieyasu (the first shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty) spent his childhood years. What a delicious and informative tour that was!