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TAKE A PEEK INTO A JAPANESE PANTRY: Japanese Wooden Cutting Board

hinoki cutting board, wooden cutting board, Japanese cypress Culture, Etiquette

Despite the longing for wooden cutting boards, lots of cooking enthusiasts(including you!) may hesitate to use them because you have heard about more maintenance processes required compared with plastic boards and also concerns about bacteria.

You’ll know today wooden cutting boards not only add stylish to your kitchen but are also they are safe and clean to use more than you think.

It is a fact why Japanese professional chefs prefer to use wooden cutting boards because the moderate elasticity of wood helps their knife skills and performance that they are required all the time.

So, let’s dive into the benefits of wooden cutting boards and how to maintain them to keep your wooden cutting board in good shape longer if you change your mind about switching your plastic cutting board to these boards.


Wood cutting boards are safe if you maintain them properly every time use them. Although you think they are harder to sanitize, and can’t go in the dishwasher, wood has natural anti-microbial activity.

Unlike knife marks on plastic boards that hold bacteria in their crevices, bacteria will be killed by the wooden anti-bacterial activity.


Since wood contains natural compounds that are effective at killing bacteria.

It sometimes describes that the antibacterial activity is related to the phytoncide effect.

Phytoncide is a general term for substances released by plants and wood to protect themselves from bacteria and other organisms.

*More about phytoncide, read this post.

It’s also important to choose the type of wood that you like to use. Some kinds of wood are better at resisting bacteria.

Regarding the antibacterial properties of cypress, a national university has announced the results of a study showing that extracted cypress oil inhibits the growth of MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus).

Among popular wooden cutting boards in Japan, the most mold & bacteria-resistant qualities cutting board is made of AOMORI HIBA.

HIBA wood is known for its excellent durability and resistance to water, especially Aomori Hiba, which is grown in Aomori.

Because it is rich in honokiol, which has strong antibacterial properties, it can be expected to perform a high antibacterial effect as a cutting board.

It has a moderate hardness, not too hard and not too soft, but it is also expensive because the genuine AOMORI HIBA is rare.

hinoki cutting board, wooden cutting board, Japanese cypress

HINOKI, considered the highest quality building material in Japan, is highly durable and resistant to water.

The wood surface is beautiful, the grain is dense, and the wood has moderate hardness.

It is often used as a cutting board material because it is a comfortable surface, resistant to dryness, and drains well.

It also has excellent insect-repellent and antibacterial properties, making it difficult for bacteria to grow.

The HINOKI cutting board is recommended for those who are thinking of starting a wooden cutting board.

Hinoki has a unique scent, it is a good idea to try HINOKI essential oil to find whether you like it or not.

Wooden Cutting Board Is Knife Friendly

Wooden cutting boards are softer than hard materials such as plastic, glass, or stone, and absorb shock, making them gentler on knives and wrists.

Using a wooden cutting board can reduce the impact on your wrists which means reducing the risk of hurting your wrist.

It also reduces the time of sharpening knives.

If you have a favorite sharp knife, you may want to try replacing your cutting board with a wooden knife.


The most appealing point of the wooden cutting board is its durability.

With proper maintenance, the wooden cutting board can last for decades.

It can be renewed and the beautiful and hygienic surface comes back when it is sanded.

The wood absorbs excess water and liquid from food on the board so it can be stable without slipping.

It’s a good idea to teach children how to safely cut food using a wooden chopping board, as it can reduce accidents.

Up Your Kitchen Style

Well, it is important, right???

Wooden products bring natural warmth to your kitchen no matter what.

The wooden cutting board can be used as a serving plate for an appetizer so you don’t need to buy another board.

It needs natural dry but it will not bother kitchen interior design because of natural material even if it is on the counter.

The Best Japanese Wooden Cutting Board

There are various Japanese wooden cutting boards.

  • Ginkgo
  • Hinoki cypress
  • Hiba Tree
  • Paulownia
  • Bamboo

Among them, wooden cutting boards made of Ginkgo and Hinoki cypress are recommended for beginners.


  • Knife-friendly
  • Excellent water and odor resistance
  • Antibacterial
  • Durability

A Ginkgo cutting board is softer than HINOKI, HIBA, or bamboo, and has a comfortable touch to a knife so that your wrist won’t get tired even if you are busy cutting the ingredients. Since Ginkgo wood is rich in oil, it also has excellent water & odor resistance.

Ginkgo wood has tight fine grains in the wood so knife marks will relatively not be retained. Besides, the Ginkgyo cutting board likely last longer because it is hard to warp and crack.

It has the natural restoring power so small scratches will be less noticeable as you use it.

Because of its fine grain and smoothness, it is hard to warp as I said. So, Gingkyo wood is often used for kitchen counters in Japanese restaurants, shogi or go boards.

Besides, it is enough reason that the ginkgo cutting board will last long.

However, ginkgo wood is not considered to have the same excellent antibacterial effect as Hiba or Hinoki wood.

To prevent the cutting board from mold and bacteria, it needs more frequent washing and drying compared to the cutting board made of Hina or Hinoki.


  • Beautiful color And Grain
  • Knife-friendly
  • Antibacterial
  • Rich wood tar
  • Nice woody scent

Hinoki cypress has excellent water resistance and dries quickly which are considered to keep hygiene and keep away from mold.

Besides, Hinoki cypress is known for its strong antibacterial and deodorant activity and releases a natural refreshing wooden scent that eases and boosts your mood even while cooking.

Hinoki wood is moderately soft and gentle to a knife and your wrist.

Since Hinoki wood is a popular cutting board material, there is a wide variety of products available at reasonable prices.

It is a perfect Japanese wooden cutting board to start for yourself or as a gift.


Hiba contains ingredients with strong antibacterial properties and has the highest level of resistance to mold, bacteria, and odors.

However, because Hiba wood takes a long time to grow, it is also an extremely rare wood material. Therefore, they tend to be more expensive than cutting boards made of cypress or ginkgo wood.

Paulownia “KIRI” WOOD

Japanese Paulownia called “KIRI, 桐” is the most lightweight and softest domestically produced wooden material in Japan.

Easy to handle, easy to care for, and very quick to dry.

Since the KIRI wood is comfortable and soft, knife marks can be easily retained.

Its lightweight is appealing but it likely lacks a sense of stability.

When cutting something hard and heavy, you may need to take some precautions, such as placing a wet cloth underneath.


Bamboo cutting board is lightweight, easy to handle, and easy to clean. It is also durable and has a hard surface that protects from knife marks. Bamboo can also be expected to have antibacterial and deodorizing effects.

Yet, because of hardwood, you can’t avoid the “clanky” sounds, so it may not be suitable for people who want to enjoy the comfortable cutting sound characteristic of wooden cutting boards.


Although the wooden cutting board is attractive with those benefits, it will not last longer even more be unhygienic under improper maintenance.

It’s actually fun and relaxing when you take care of your comfort kitchen tool.

Let’s learn proper maintenance and some tips for the daily care of a wooden cutting board.

Here is the ultimate guide on how to care for wooden cutting boards using the Hinoki cutting board as an example.

Culture, Etiquette
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