two announcers standing in front of an Olive Japan logo, one of them holding a book

Olive oil company representatives and international judges appreciate the professionalism, integrity, and consumer outreach of Olive Japan International Olive Oil Competition. Now in its 12th year, the largest olive oil competition in Asia and Oceania enables extra virgin olive oil producers to connect with Asian consumers and buyers in and beyond Japan.

Japan is the fourth largest market for olive oil imports worldwide, importing more than 62,300 metric tons of olive oil in 2021-22, according to the International Olive Council. As eating habits change in Japan, and popular restaurants there that specialize in Mediterranean cuisine purchase substantial quantities of olive oil, olive oil companies are seeking ways to gain the attention of Japanese chefs and food lovers. More than 800 samples of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and flavored olive oil from dozens of countries were entered in Olive Japan, a major sponsor of, in each of the last two years.

Professional olive oil judges have praised Olive Japan for

•    transparency
•    professionalism
•    attention to detail
•    a collegial environment
•    avoiding conflicts of interest
•    efforts to promote olive oils that will please consumers
•    sharing of judges’ specific comments to help producers improve their oil
•    dedication to allowing enough time to judge each olive oil on its own merits 

To help enable judges to provide carefully considered evaluations, there are breaks between tasting sessions, and no more than 35 olive oils are tasted each morning. Tastings take place only in the morning.

Greek olive oil companies enter the Olive Japan competition for a number of reasons. For example, Laconiko’s Diamantis Pierrakos says his team is “grateful for the customers we have in Japan, and it is important to have our olive oils in the Japanese market.

Konstantinos Papadopoulos of Mediterre Eurofood reports, “without a doubt Olive Japan is considered to be among the biggest and most important EVOO competitions. Being awarded in this contest is certainly an honor and a significant success for our company, and it gives us the opportunity to make our products known in the Japanese market.”

Antonios Tirpintiris, owner of Falcon S.A.’s Ol’eve brand, considers Olive Japan “one of the most prestigious competitions for olive oil in the world. We want to make our EVOO known to many people around the world.”

As Terra Creta’s Emmanouil Karpadakis explains, “our participation in the Olive Japan IOOC is related to the respect we have for the competition and our goal to further examine the Japanese market.”

Professional olive oil judges mention that Olive Japan’s marketplace event is an excellent opportunity for award-winning olive oil companies with distributors in Japan to reach out to Japanese consumers and buyers through face-to-face interactions, exhibits, tastings, and events.

Featuring extra virgin olive oils awarded in the competition, the Olive Japan Show (Olive Japan Marche) is a market event and trade show for consumers and traders where olive oil distributors and importers in Japan can exhibit. This year, it will take place May 4-5 at Courtyard Marriott Ginza, Tokyo, showcasing some of the world’s best olive oils in the Japanese marketplace.

For its 2023 edition, Olive Japan has a special “Buy 4 & get 1 free” offer: a producer entering 5 of her/his own entries with the same entry form will pay for only 4 entries. No chemical or sensory analysis report is required. The entry deadline is April 2, and samples must be received by April 6. Winners will be announced on the Olive Japan website on May 1.

Olive Japan is organized by the Olive Oil Sommelier Association of Japan (OSAJ), Japan’s only professional organization for training and certifying olive oil experts. OSAJ is independent from all olive and olive oil companies.

To enter Olive Japan and pay in euros, click here.  

To enter Olive Japan and pay in US dollars, click here.  

Olive Japan is a major sponsor of Thanks to Olive Japan for the photos that appear with this article.

All businesses, organizations, and competitions involved with Greek olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and/or agrotourism or food tourism in Greece, as well as others interested in supporting Greeks working in these sectors, are invited to consider the advertising and sponsorship opportunities on the Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil website.  The only wide-ranging English-language site focused on news and information from the Greek olive oil world, it has helped companies reach consumers in more than 220 countries around the globe.

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