Food

20+ of the Best Craft to Big Bottle Japanese Soy Sauces (Shoyu) You Can Buy Online

From craft soy sauce (shoyu) to big bottle producers such as Kikkoman produce a wide range of organic, raw, smoked, non-GMO, reduced sodium, to double-fermented shoyu.

There are countless numbers of craft/artisanal soy sauces available in Japan. Well, good for Japan because I only care about the products I have access to or if it will not cost me more in shipping than the product cost. Which is why I am only listing the vast range of shoyu available to us Americans. From Amazon, Walmart, and American to Japanese companies online.

The Objective of This Post

To provide you an easy one-stop directory of all the strictly Japanese soy sauces you can purchase online and locally (primarily for U.S. buyers, but international sellers are also provided below). Also, if you are wondering, I do not make a single cent directly from this post which means all the products listed below are based upon relevancy, pricing, and availability.

The Basics and Why Buy/Try the Different Varieties of Japanese Shoyu

  • Japanese word for soy sauce is “shoyu.”
  • Japanese soy sauce primarily contain only four ingredients: soy beans, wheat, koji/Aspergillus (fermentation), and salt.
  • The inclusion of wheat is what also gives Japanese soy sauce its depth of flavor.
  • Honjozo is the traditional and naturally brewed method stipulated by Japanese law (as opposed to chemically produced).
  • Even large producers like Kikkoman produce non-GMO, naturally brewed, and additive free soy sauces.
  • The most commonly used types of soy sauce in Japan are koikuchi and usukuchi (regional variety/preferences).
  • Low sodium soy sauce is “genen,” do not get it confused with usukuchi (not the same and almost the opposite).
  • Tamari is soy sauce which will often be comprised of 100% soy to very little to no wheat.
  • Tamari is also the least popular, making up only 1-2% of the market share in Japan (regional popularity, Tokai region).
  • The opposite of tamari is shiro shoyu which comprises primarily of wheat.
  • Many non-Japanese soy sauces are chemically produced, contain additives such as caramel color, MSG, syrup to sugar, and are typically 100% soy.

The Various Uses of Shoyu

Depending on which soy sauce, they will differ in their suggested usage from:

  • Dipping: sashimi to sushi
  • Marinating: from chicken, steaks, to beef/kalbi.
  • Flavoring: from soups, hot pot, to ramen.
  • All-purpose: from eggs to you know… you types that use it on rice.

General Rules of Thumb

  • I always have a koikuchi (general purpose shoyu) on hand but an usukuchi (I prefer Kikkoman) is a must if you are doing soup bases/hot pot.
  • If you are doing a ramen tare or a yakitori sauce, a double fermented (saishikomi) sauce is for you.
  • For dipping as a accent to dishes, I highly recommend the smoked (soy sauce+smoke=perfect) or truffle soy sauces (I’m not a fan of synthetic or real truffle flavors, but this list is not just for me).
  • The best soy sauce for sushi and sashimi are the koikuchi shoyu’s that are either fresh, organic, to whole bean (marudaizu). You can also use this shoyu to produce a nikiri which also includes mirin, dashi, and sake.
  • If you are going to make your own teriyaki sauce, you will want to use a koikuchi.

Online Sellers of Shoyu

If you are like me when purchasing online, I care about where the product is being shipped from because that will often impact the turnaround times and more importantly the shipping costs.

  • Amazon, various locations.
  • The Japanese Pantry, SF Bay Area, USA
  • Japan Taste, Amagasaki, Japan
  • MTC Kitchen, New York, NY, USA
  • Umami Insider Store, SF Bay Area, USA
  • Walmart, various locations.

Please Support Your Local Japanese Markets

Aside from your local specialty Japanese markets, many mainstream markets carry a number of Japanese brands from Kikkoman to Yamasa, so you might want to get off the couch and shop like the olden days in your sweats and wife beater.

Photo Description: Fundokin naturally brewed Japanese soy sauce is a glass bottle with a white label and a gold lid.

Fundokin – Naturally Brewed Japanese Soy Sauce

Price: $18.00
Size: 500 ml
Shipping from: Japan Based / Amagasaki, Japan
Seller: Japan Taste

  • This is a naturally brewed Japanese soy sauce made by carefully selecting and fermenting high quality whole soybeans, wheat, and salt into wooden barrels made from Yoshino cedars.
  • The soy sauce is naturally fermented and aged at natural temperature for over 1 year.
  • Enjoy the rich fragrance, clear reddish brown color, and mellow umami taste without saltiness.
  • Made in Japan
Photo Description: Higashi Maru premium usukuchi is a small plastic bottle with yellow and black graphics with red and blue accents.

Higashi Maru – Premium Usukuchi

Price: $7.90
Size: 16.66 fl oz
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: Umami Insider store

  • This premium soy sauce is made with naturally soft water streaming from the Ibo River, fatty soybeans cultivated in the outskirts of the Chugoku Mountains, and sea salt from the Seto Inland Sea. What all this means is that this soy sauce delivers an amazing flavor that is unsurpassed. It’s mild and rich and serves to accentuate the original flavors and umami of various foods. Part of the secret of this amazing premium soy sauce is that amazake is added during the fermentation process, which results in a mellower flavor to the finish. Usukuchi is also lighter in color than other soy sauces, and so can be added to many dishes without darkening them, preserving the original color of the foods.
  • Water, Soybean, Salt, Wheat, Rice, Fermented Rice Seasoning.
Photo Description: a cool looking bottle that is black and white. It is a stubby bottle with a white label and white wrap for the top. The black Japanese kana make this bottle distinctively cool looking.

Ito Shoten – Tamari

Price: $18.00
Size: 200 ml
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: The Japanese Pantry

  • Produced from only Japanese-grown soybeans and natural sea salt, slowly aged for three years in cedar casks, the tamari has a thick, caramel-ish, smoky, meaty, deep umami flavor that is well balanced, not very salty. We recommend that you do not cook with this special brew, just use as a dipping sauce and/or brush on meats, fish or whatever you prefer. Please refrigerate after opening.
  • Ingredients: water, soy beans, salt.
  • Made in Aichi, Japan.
Photo Description: Kikkoman double fermented soy sauce has their iconic Kikkoman shaped bottle with a blue wrap and their Kikkoman logo with the words "double fermented."

Kikkoman – Double Fermented Soy Sauce

Price: $6.99
Size: 6.8 fl oz.
Shipping from: various locations.
Seller: Walmart

  • All of Kikkoman Soy Sauces are made using a centuries old brewing process. Kikkoman Double Fermented Shoyu is made by using Kikkoman Traditionally Brewed Soy Sauce instead of salt water at the second fermentation to create a more complex umami flavor: double umami and double savory.
  • Kikkoman BPA-free Plastic Bottle Barrier Technology prevents oxidization and preservers savory flavor.
  • The double-layered bottle allows “squeeze control at your fingertips”.
  • No artificial preservatives added.
  • Ingredients: water, soybeans, wheat, salt, alcohol.
  • Product of Japan
Photo Description: Kikkoman fresh soy sauce is of a white wrap with purplish blue colored accents with an illustration that illustrates that the bottle is squeezable.
This one left a lasting impression, a good one.

Kikkoman – Fresh Soy Sauce (Fresh for 90 Days)

Price: $12.00
Size: 450 ml
Shipping from: Japan Based / Amagasaki, Japan
Seller: Japan Taste

  • Unlike regular soy sauces this Japanese soy sauce from Kikkoman has not been simmered so it has a smoother taste and brighter colour.
  • The soy sauce is preserved inside an innovative packaging that does not deform and can be used with one hand. With this bottle you can control the flow or even drops of soy sauce you want.
  • Made in Japan.
Photo Description: Kikkoman organic soy sauce bottle.

Kikkoman – Organic Soy Sauce

Price: $10.39
Size: 25.40 fl oz
Shipping from: various locations.
Seller: Amazon.com

  • Organic whole soybeans combined with organic wheat, salt and water—that’s exactly what goes into Kikkoman Organic Soy Sauce, nothing more, nothing less. Our soy sauce is naturally fermented—creating a clean, fresh, and balanced taste refined by months of aging. This preservative-free soy sauce is ideal for vegetarian, fusion and traditional Asian dishes and it complements raw foods by bringing out their natural flavor. Certified organic by QAI and the USDA, Kikkoman Organic Soy Sauce is made with premium quality GMO-free whole organic soybeans, GMO-free wheat and salt.
  • Ingredients: Water, Organic Soybeans, Organic Wheat, Salt.
  • Product of Japan
Photo Description: kikkoman usukuchi bottle with the golden and light yellow accents.
I use this one all the time.

Kikkoman – Usukuchi Soy Sauce

Price: $19.08 (Pack of 3, $6.60 each)
Size: 33.8 fl oz
Shipping from: various locations.
Seller: Amazon.com

  • Japan’s answer to light soy sauce, not to be confused with Chinese light soy sauce. Usukuchi is lighter in colour and saltier than the regular Kikkoman soy sauce. The bright amber notes are reflecting a rich umami flavor. Used primarily in western Japan, namely the Kansai region (Kyoto/Osaka). Usukuchi is used to enhance dishes without darkening the ingredients. Ideal for seasoning steamed vegetables, udon noodles and broths and enhancing the flavor of light colored sauces.
  • Ingredients: Water, Salt, Soybeans, Wheat, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Rice, Alcohol To Preserve Freshness. NOTE: I did not know till now that both Yamasa and Kikkoman both use high fructose corn syrup in their usukuchi.
Photo Description: probably one of the most notable packaging design because3 of the white wrap and the hang tag.
I had to a do a side by side taste test to taste a discernible difference.

Kishibori Shoyu – Premium Pure Artisan Soy Sauce

Price: $28.90
Size: 720 ml/24 fl oz
Shipping from: US Based / New York, NY
Seller: MTC Kitchen

Kishibori Shoyu – Premium Pure Artisan Soy Sauce

Price: $24.99
Size: 720 ml/24 fl oz
Shipping from: US Based / New York, NY
Seller: Amazon / Mercado JP (Yoshihiko Kato)

  • Kishibori Shoyu is an artisanal soy sauce manufactured by Takesan Company, located on the small island of Shodoshima in the Seto Inland Sea, between the main Japanese island of Honshu and neighboring Shikoku. This soy sauce is made from high quality whole soybeans, wheat and sun dried sea salt. It is best enjoyed raw, but can also be used in cooking applications.
  • Steamed soybeans, toasted wheat, salt, mineral water and koji are left to ferment in old cider barrels for one year. The barrels themselves are very well seasoned and have been in use for over 100 years. The mild winters in the region (the temperature does not go below 50°F) encourage active fermentation throughout the year. This slow fermentation process results in the production of a very large number of complex organic acids. These components contribute to the umami and depth of flavors.
  • Artisinal Soy – Kishibori soy is balanced and unlike any soy sauce. Best enjoyed raw with seafood or your favorite dish
  • No preservatives or alcohol – No alcohol allows for a cleaner and richer flavor
Photo Description: Marukin koikuchi bottle is a glass bottle with light brown label.

Marukin – Koikuchi Raw Soy Sauce

Price: $8.90
Size: 6.66 fl oz
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: Umami Insider store

  • Made from fermented soybeans, salt, and water, soy sauce is an essential condiment in Asian cuisine. This dark soy sauce is carefully fermented with ancient methods and made only with carefully selected soy beans, wheat, and salt cultivated in Japan. This raw soy sauce is painstakingly brewed in century-old aged wooden barrels made of Japanese cedar trees with Marukin’s artisan techniques. As a result, this unpasteurized dark koikuchi soy sauce exhibits a wonderfully fragrant aroma and rich flavor with a deep yet gentle umami. It’s a must for almost any type of Asian cuisine.
  • Water, Soybean, Wheat, Salt, Alcohol(Retain Freshness).
Photo Description: another soy sauce with a golden cap, the Marukin premium koikuchi soy sauce bottle is plastic and resembles a lot of the big soy sauce producers packaging.

Marukin – Premium Koikuchi Soy Sauce – 50% Reduced Salt

Price: $7.80
Size: 16.66 fl oz
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: Umami Insider store

  • This all-purpose premium koikuchi soy sauce is made with the same ingredients as regular soy sauce but contains 50% less salt. It’s the perfect substitute for regular soy sauce for anyone who needs to have less salt in their diet or those who are just seeking to reduce their salt intake. 
  • Water, Soybean, Wheat, Salt, Alcohol(Retain Freshness).
Photo Description: the Marunaka is completely wrapped in a paper wrap like the Kishibori packaging except this bottle wrap is a light brown.

Marunaka – Shoyu Naturally Brewed Japanese Soy Sauce

Price: $29.00
Size: 300 ml
Shipping from: Japan Based / Amagasaki, Japan
Seller: Japan Taste

  • The Marunaka shoyu or soy sauce is made of high quality natural ingredients and following traditional ancient techniques.
  • The soybeans and wheat are sourced domestically in Japan and the cellars where the soy sauce is fermented have a history of more than 200 years.
  • Ingredients: whole soybeans, wheat, salt
  • Made in Japan.
Photo Description: a very distinctive bottle which is wrapped completely in a golden wrap that has a graphical circular element.

Morita – Truffle Infused Soy Sauce

Price: $10.50
Size: 100 ml
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: Umami Insider store

  • With the combination of soy sauce and truffles, you can bring deep and earthy flavors from Europe into your Japanese pantry lineup with this amazing fusion of flavor. The truffle-infused soy sauce is brewed using a 350-year-old refined technique, resulting in a magical harmony between one of the most traditional Japanese condiment and black winter truffles famous for their deep, earthy character.
  • Packaging may vary from image shown.
  • Soy Sauce (Water, Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Millet Jelly, Seasoning (Wheat, Soy), Salt, Rice Vinegar, Black Truffle, Yeast Extract, Alcohol (Retain Freshness), Flavor, Xanthan Gum.
Photo Description: Suehiro usukuchi soy sauce bottle.

Suehiro – Usukuchi Soy Sauce

Price: $24.00 $21.60
Size: 1 L
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: The Japanese Pantry

  • Usukuchi (light colored) shoyu is not your typical soy sauce, meaning this is not the one you use for dipping your sushi into. This style of shoyu is a seasoning and is made for cooking. Think of it like you would salt. This wonderful light bodied brew from Suehiro has a complex aroma of fruity umami and the taste is much of the same with a slightly caramel umami.  Produced from only Japanese-grown soybeans, wheat and natural sea salt.  Use this to season soups, simmered dishes, etc.
  • Please refrigerate after opening.
  • Ingredients: water, soybean, wheat, salt, alcohol
  • Made in Tatsuno City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Photo Description: a very attractive bottle with a gold accents from the label to the cap. The black label provides a lot of contrast for the text to make this one of the best looking soy sauce bottles.

Yamaki Jozo – Organic Soy Sauce

Price: $26.00
Size: 500 ml
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: The Japanese Pantry

  • Yamaki Jozo is located at the foot of a beautiful mountain where they get the pristine spring water for making their shoyu.  Produced from only Japanese-grown soybeans, wheat and natural sea salt.  This beautiful, light, almost rose-colored shoyu delivers in every way. It is extremely well balanced, has mild saltiness, sweet fruitiness and is deep with umami. Please refrigerate once open.
  • Ingredients: water, organic soybeans, organic wheat, sea salt, koji
  • Made in Saitama, Japan
Photo Description: this is one of the most unique out of a all the soy sauces because it's a blend with Hokkaido kelp. This would make a great soy sauce for sushi.
1 out of 3 that I have not tried, and I really want to try this one.

Yamasa – Hokkaido Kelp Soy Sauce

Price: $43.35 (this is the 18th listing, and I originally did not have it listed due to price and availability).
Size: 1000 ml
Shipping from: Not available
Seller: Amazon/K’s Trade, Satoshi Shiokawa

  • Raw materials (including wheat, soybeans) soy sauce, fructose glucose liquid sugar, seaweed extract, sugar, kelp / seasoning (such as amino acids), alcohol, sweeteners (stevia). 
Photo Description: the Yamasa marudaizu soy sauce bottle has a small image of the whole soybeans.

Yamasa – Marudaizu Soy Sauce

Price: $12.99
Size: 34 fl oz.
Shipping from: various locations.
Seller: Amazon/WoW Smarti

Yamasa – Marudaizu Soy Sauce

Price: $7.10
Size: 1000 ml/33.8 fl oz.
Shipping from: New York, NY
Seller: MTC Kitchen

  • Created using Marudaizu (soybeans without degreasing process) that are not genetically recombined and sea salt created under natural sunlight
  • A mild taste and flavorful aroma that stands out from all other Yamasa products
  • Ingredients: water, soybeans, wheat, sea-salt.
  • Imported from Japan.
squeeze me.

Yamasa – Marudaizu Soy Sauce (90 days of freshness)

Price: $3.70
Size: 200 ml/6.7 fl oz.
Shipping from: New York, NY
Seller: MTC Kitchen

  • Yamasa marudaizu soy sauce is created using marudaizu or whole soybeans (soybeans without degreasing process) that are not genetically recombined and natural sea salt. This soy sauce has a mild taste and flavorful aroma that stands out from other soy sauce products.
  • Double-layered bottle prevents oxidation of soy sauce, keeping it fresh for 90 days after opening. Squeeze the bottle to adjust the amount.
  • Yamasa is one of the most famous shoyu producers in Japan.
  • Product of Japan.
Photo Description: the Yamasa shinmi soy sauce label which is white, goldish brown, and red.
“WTF is a “shinmi (new flavor) soy sauce”? I have never tried it (by Yamasa), but I want to.”

Yamasa – Shinmi Soy Sauce

Price: $4.90
Size: 1000 ml/34 fl oz.
Shipping from: US Based / New York, NY
Seller: MTC Kitchen

  • YAMASA makes all their products through traditional methods. Their soy sauce has a delectably rich flavor with a crisp, spicy aroma and brilliant red color. The preferred brand selected by many of Japan’s finest restaurants, YAMASA produces a slow-brewed soy sauce that is fermented and free of all artificial flavorings.
  • Ingredients: water, wheat soybeans, salt, alcohol, amino acid
  • Country of Origin: Japan
Photo Description: the Yugeta double brewed soy sauce bottle with a white label and a brownish cap.
You get a bottle…. you get what I just did there (joking aside, I also have this one).

Yugeta – Double Brewed Soy Sauce

Price: $22.50
Size: 1 L
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: The Japanese Pantry

  • A truly unique tasting experience is Yugeta’s double-brewed soy sauce (saishikomi). To make double-brewed soy sauce first Yugeta-san makes a ‘regular’ batch using soy beans, wheat, salt, water & koji. He then brews another batch of soy sauce, except he omits the salt and water and instead uses the first batch of soy sauce. This produces a soy sauce with a richer flavor and more viscous texture than regular soy sauce.  It is also surprisingly less salty than regular soy sauce.  Great for dipping, double brewed soy sauce can be used to make an amazing ice cream – yes, ice cream (think salty caramel…here’s the recipe). Produced from only Japanese-grown soybeans, wheat and natural sea salt.  Please refrigerate after opening.
  • Ingredients: water, soy bean, wheat, salt
  • Made in Saitama, Japan
Photo Description: a tall glass bottle with a purple label and an award label by "crystal taste."

Yugeta’s – Organic Soy Sauce

Price: $13.00
Size: 300 ml
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: The Japanese Pantry

  • Yugeta’s organic soy sauce is made from Japanese-grown organic soybeans and wheat. Traditionally aged in cedar vats for one year, this organic soy sauce has a yeasty, fermented nose and a light coffee color.  It is great for adding flavor to broths or for dipping.  Please refrigerate after opening.
  • Ingredients: water, organic soy bean, organic wheat, salt
  • Made in Saitama, Japan
Photo Description: a small plastic bottle with a greyish label with the text "smoked soy sauce, product of Japan, and 210ml"
I do not regret buying this one at all.

Yugeta – Smoked Soy Sauce

Price: $16.00
Size: 210 ml
Shipping from: US Based / SF Bay Area
Seller: The Japanese Pantry

  • This interesting soy sauce from Yugeta is smoked using cherry wood. If you taste this soy sauce on its own, you might be overwhelmed by the smoke flavor. Instead, this smoked shoyu is meant to be eaten with food…think a smoky dipping sauce. Perfect for all sorts of vegetables, meats, seafood, fruits (and even cheeses!). Whatever you want a smoky shoyu flavor on, this is your soy sauce!  Produced from only Japanese-grown soybeans, wheat and natural sea salt.  Please refrigerate after opening.
  • Ingredients: water, soy bean, wheat, salt
  • Made in Saitama, Japan

Oh, and if You Just Want to Know Who the Biggest Japanese Soy Sauce Brands Are

I have you covered if that is what you are looking for, and you just need to check out my previous post on the biggest and the major Japanese soy sauce brands,

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