Sembikiya is the oldest fruit parlour in Japan, known for selling high-end fruits of exceptional quality and taste. Apart from fruits, it offers fruit ice cream, jellies and more.
||Toward the end of the Edo Period, the founder of Sembikiya, Benzo Ohshima, who was then a samurai in Senbikinogo, Saitama-gun, Musashinokuni (today’s Senbiki in Koshigaya-shi, Saitama), set up a store, putting up a sign which read Mizugashi Yasuuri Dokoro, which literally means “fruits discount store,” in Fukiya cho (today’s Ningyo-cho 3-chome in Nihonbashi) and began selling fruits and vegetables. This was the origin of Sembikiya.
At that time, being located at the origin of Gokaido, the five main travel roads, Nihonbashi was a vibrant city and was the center of trade and finance. A number of other well-known venerable stores, such as Mitsukoshi and Yamamoto-Noriten, still have stores in this area to this day.
||The store was relocated to today’s Nihonbashi-Honcho (Muro-machi). There, the third generation of the founding family, Daijiro Ohshima, began importing fruits from overseas and focused his efforts on improving the quality of domestic fruits. As a result of his hard work, Mizugashi Yasuuri Dokoro became Japan’s first fruit shop and formed the foundation of Sembikiya. In 1887 (the 20th year of the Meiji era), Sembikiya opened a fruit restaurant that became the forerunner of Japan’s first Fruit Parlor, which is a Fruit Café.
Following the first restaurant, many new shops were opened in department stores and shopping buildings housing train stations, where many people gathered. In addition, during the time of Daijiro and his son, certain parties outside of the family were allowed to use the name of Sembikiya for their businesses and today’s Kyobashi Sembikiya and Ginza Sembikiya were born.
||Daijiro Ohshima, the fifth president, took the helm of the business. He put his focus on expanding the store network and in April 1971 (the 46th year of the Showa era) he built and opened the main shop, which remains the flagship store to this day.
Around this time, Sembikiya began operating restaurants and sweet factories in addition to their Fruit Parlors and truly became the largest general fruit shop in Japan. Over the past few years, new stores have opened in Tokyo Station, as well as in the main terminals of Haneda and other airports and today Sembikiya’s products are also enjoyed as a souvenir of Tokyo. Since the renovation and reopening of the Nihonbashi Flagship store in Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower in 2005, the store has been filled with even more customers than ever before.