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Kiso Sawara Ohitsu Rice Chest



Kiso sawara cypress wood, copper

Made in Japan


  • 2go: ⌀18 x H12.5cm
  • 3go: ⌀20.5 x H14.5cm
  • 5go: ⌀23 x H16.5cm

(*1go/1合 = about 6oz)


*Hand wash only

*This item is not qualified for free shipping.


SKU: AZM18826 Categories: , , , Tags: , ,

Handcrafted in Nagano prefecture, only made from over 100 year-old Kiso Sawara, straight grained cypress wood, this wooden rice chests are absolutely stunning. Functional and timeless, Azmaya inherits its sublime design from traditional “Ohitsu” rice containers, perfected over hundreds of years of use in homes and professional kitchens alike. Using an Ohitsu rice chest will keep your perfectly cooked rice fluffy and delicious throughout the day. 


Each rice chest is produced using handpicked Sawara cypress by master Japanese wood artisans. Similar to Hinoki wood, Sawara cypress offers a natural antibacterial quality, incredibly resilient against moisture accumulation. Sawara has the advantage of being less likely to impart unwanted flavour into cooked rice, making it an ideal material for food preparation tools and utensils. Sawara wood is said to ‘breathe’ and absorbs excess water, naturally regulating moisture while extracting the intrinsic yet enhanced sweetness of the rice kept safe inside. In the process, the wood helps balance the firmness of high quality rice grains, and maintains these natural flavours long after the cooked rice has cooled. It is precisely this quality of wood and craftsmanship that has made traditional Ohitsu rice containers popular for so long.


The Ohitsu (rice chest) is meant to be used between the moment your rice has been cooked and when it is served. It should also be kept at room temperature as sudden cooling effects of refrigeration may cause the wood to contract and shrink. 

Kiso Sawara 木曽椹 :  kiso sawara apanese cypress

Similar to hinoki (Japanese cypress) wood, kiso sawara offers a natural antibacterial quality and is incredibly resilient against moisture accumulation. Kiso sawara has the advantage of being less likely to impart unwanted flavour onto cooked rice, making it an ideal material for food preparation tools and utensils. 


Before use, we recommend using the method “Aku-nuki” to remove “Aku”, the remaining dust particles and astringent tastes from new products.

Pour starchy rice water in and leave it for about 2-3 hours to block and prevent water leaks. Afterwards discard the rice water, wash with water, and dry fully in the shade. 


  • Wash with salt or use a Tawashi scrub brush and rinse with water along the grain. Avoid using harsh soaps and synthetic detergent.
  • Drain the water and dry it thoroughly in a well-ventilated shady place. If your product has a lid, make sure to leave the lid open when storing.
  • Avoid using in direct sunlight or excessively dry places as it may shrink the wood and cause cracks.
  • When not in use, wrap it in a thin cloth and store in a dry and well-ventilated place. 


Oil stains may appear on the surface of the wood, which is a natural resin generated from cypress and is harmless to the human body. This resin benefits the wood, containing water resistant and sterilisation properties. If you are concerned about the stickiness, it can be wiped off with rubbing alcohol.

Copper band: 

When cypress wood is exposed to direct sunlight or not in use for long periods of time, the copper band that wraps around the surface may come off due to shrinkage. Place the copper band back to its original position, then fill the product with lots of water for a while to help the wood expand again.


Since 1997


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Making the best use of skilled Japanese craftsmanship, Azmaya collaborates with artisans, designers, and small local manufactures to revive an old Japanese aesthetic sense.

From beautifully crafted tableware and functionally calculated kitchenware, their specialized housewares are made with a consistent commitment to using traditional techniques and only the highest quality materials found in Japan.  While respecting the traditions of Japanese craftwork, Azmaya creates something new by modifying the design to match tested Japanese “tools” with the present age. The collection features minimalist design reflecting the high level of skill and superior techniques of the artisans today.

Easy to use, made to last. Our new standard in everyday life.


Living within Tradition

Shop Location


279 East 6th Ave

Vancouver, BC V5T 1J7



Phone: 604 423 3679

e-mail: info@itsumo.ca




Shop Hours


Tue ~ Sat: 11:00 ~ 18:00

Sun: 12:00 ~ 17:00

Mon: Closed


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