- Sheet-Metal-Smithing Specialists
- Sanjyo-City, Niigata
Francis Arcena Arnaiz
Business Development Dept. Chief
Pretty ＆ Useful (kawaii & Tsukaeru)
A natural born creator originally from the Philippines, Francis Arcena Arnaiz began to work in Sanjo City in 1997. The city, located in the center of Niigata Prefecture, is legendary in Japan for the creation of top quality metal goods.
Arcena developed his metalworking skills over a 15 + year period under the highly skilled craftsmen of Tsubame and Sanjo cities. Using modern metal processes and specialist techniques, Arcena designed and created a handmade Stiletto Ring Tab Opener. Extremely well crafted, decadent and delightful, his designs offer practical assistance to people with long fingernails and delicate nail art, not to mention seniors who may have difficulty opening beverage can pull-tabs．
Tsubame / Sanjo City
Sanjo City built a reputation as a center of fine metalworking during the Edo-period (1603~1867), and is still renowned today for its high-quality metal goods. Surrounded by beautiful mountains of the Japan Alps, Sanjo is a modern city located at the heart of Niigata prefecture roughly a two-hour Shinkansen (bullet train) ride from Tokyo. Rich green forests extend east to the Fukushima prefectural boundary from where the Ikarashi River begins and then crosses the Sanjo City limits. From the northwest, the Shinano River (Japan's longest) provides a rich farm belt for peaches, pears, and other fruits, and for the cultivation of rice.
Tsubame City is a splendid balance history, industry, and nature. Well known as a prominent metal manufacturing center, the city’s workshops create interior metal goods (tableware, etc.), specialty fabrication and industrial pieces. Tsubame is also famous as being the home of legendary 18th century Buddhist monk, Ryokan (1758 ~ 1831), as well as being graced with one of the top hundred sakura (cherry blossom) viewing locations.
Along the cherry blossom covered banks of the Ohkouzu Bunsui tributary to the Shinano River, the elaborate Oiran Dochu, a famous reenactment of the ancient ‘Courtesan's Journey’, takes place each spring. (Oiran were high-level courtesans, attended to by many servants.)
On the cuisine front, Niigata Prefecture is famous for five kinds of noodles; Sanjo-City’s ‘curry-ramen’ and Tsubame-City’s ‘boiled-pork-ramen’ being of particular note.
Some other Niigata delicacies:
Uonuma Koshihikari rice
Shoyu (soy sauce) and Yofu (western-style) katsudon
Wappa-meshi (seafood and rice steamed in a bamboo basket)
Sasa-dango (mochi balls filled with red bean paste, seasoned with mugwort and wrapped in bamboo leaves)
Poppo-yaki (steamed bread flavored with brown sugar)
Hegi-soba (soba from the Uonuma and Ojiya areas, which uses a special kind of seaweed)
"Tsubame-Sanjō ramen" (ramen made using thick udon-style noodles)
Tochio aburage (aburaage is called "aburage" in Tochio)
Kirazu (dishes using okara)
Kakinomoto (edible chrysanthemums)
Kanzuri (a special seasoning from Myōkō made by leaving chili peppers exposed on snow, then adding flour, salt and yuzu)