Binchō-tan or white charcoal is a traditional charcoal of Japan. It dates to the Edo period, when during the era, a craftsman named Bitchū-ya Chōzaemon began to produce it in Tanabe, Wakayama. The raw material is oak, specifically ubame oak, now the official tree of Wakayama Prefecture. Wakayama continues to be a major producer of high-quality charcoal, with the town of Minabe, Wakayama producing more binchō-tan than any other town in Japan. The fineness and high quality of binchō-tan are attributed to steaming at high temperatures. Although it is often thought that binchō-tan burns hot, it actually burns at a lower temperature than ordinary charcoal but for a longer period of time. It does not release smoke or other unpleasant flavors. From Wikipedia.