The ever present Japanese mayonnaise Kewpie has made waves since it’s first introduction to Japan in 1925, and their factories allow visitors to see how the famous baby-branded sandwich cream is made.
This baby doll themed mayonnaise, with art inspired by Rose O’Neill, has made it’s way deep into the culture of modern Japan. Osaka, known for it’s food and friendly locals, has mayonnaise topping three of it’s well known dishes: takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and yakisoba. (respectively, grilled octopus balls, grilled Japanese cabbage pancake, and grilled noodles). Want to see how this delicious stuff is made? You’re in luck! The Kewpie Mayonnaise factory in Itami provides free tours!
Ever seen a river of egg frothing after it’s release from the shell? Well, here’s your chance. The factory makes more than mayonnaise, but Kewpie Mayo is the star of the show. No matter the product being manufactured though, the signature visage of the Kewpie doll is never far from sight. The tour is in Japanese, but still quite enjoyable without knowledge of the language.
There are endless things to see and do while visiting Japan, but visiting a mayonnaise factory is one of those experiences that will make your time here unlike any other.
Update 2017: Kewpie offers tours of a number of its factories, but Itami is not among them anymore; the Kobe factory is near Itami, and four other factories can be toured.
Know Before You Go
Use a translator tool to help guide you through the reservation process for each factory. From Inadera Station on the Fukuchiyama line, walk past the baseball field and take a right at the main road. The factory, and entrance, will be on your left. Find the automobile entrance and look to the small grey building on your right. The guard will give you security passes and provide you with instructions from there.