where to find bulk, inexpensive nuts, seeds, spices and dried fruits

As I prepare for my weekend trip to Hakone (Kanagawa Prefecture), I thought I would leave with a brief post, before updating about Hakone sometime next week. (And yes, it is finally cherry blossom season! Note picture.)

In a post last week, I mentioned an online retailer for nuts and seeds, though I omitted the name until I received the products and could give it a proper review. My box from Ohtsuya arrived within a few days, as per the wonderful norm of shipping in Japan. True to size, I pulled out one kilogram bags of raw almonds and walnuts, and 500 gram bags of kabocha (pumpkin/squash) seeds, coconut slices and raisins. All the goods were in great condition and delicious in the homemade granola. Being that I'm quite satisfied with this purchase, I will be ordering more - soon. So, if you have a hankering for nuts, but don't wish to spend a fortune on them, or want them raw so you can roast them yourself, I would recommend checking out Ohtsuya. I also discovered that they carry a wide selection of dried spices and herbs, on tops of the dried fruits, seeds and nuts. Ordering spices in bulk? Easier on the wallet, and the environment.

So, a few tips concerning Japanese for using Ohtsuya (aside using your trusty dictionary and Google translate of course).

ナッツ (nattsu) - nuts
スパイス (supaisu) - spices
ハーブ (haabu) - herbs
ドライフルーツ (dorai furuutsu) - dry fruits
シー ド (shiido) - seeds
実 (み, mi) - seeds

Another thing to keep in mind when looking up spices or some of the other products: though most names will be taken from English and thus sound similar, some will have completely different names. So, for example, almonds are アーモンド (aamondo) in Japanese. They sound similar. However, bay leaf or leaves, are actually ローリエ (roorie) or ローレル (rooreru)  in Japanese.

And now, I must finish packing. Hakone adventures start bright and early in the morning!

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