Event – Hatsumomiji Sake Festival

Shunan city sake brewery Hatsumomiji Shuzo, makers of popular brand Harada, held a small festival on November 16th and 17th to celebrate their 200th anniversary. Since I'm a fan of not only their sake, but the brewery staff as well (I've toured it twice and have met many of them several times at events), I... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Gokyo Mison

I love the fact that this sake exists. Gokyo maker Sakai Shuzo is an old, respectable sake maker that excels at making sake. Sakai isn't a marketing powerhouse like Dassai's Asahi Shuzo or Ohmine. Sakai makes sake, and makes it well. Even Gokyo fustsushu is good. They tend to avoid most fads pretty well, but... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Hinoshita Muso Junmai Koshu

Murashige Shuzo of Iwakuni is gaining attention with a wide range of new products, mostly in their Kinkan Kuromatsu label. The Hinoshita Muso label is a bit more adventurous, and this bottle is a particularly adventurous one. Hinoshita Muso Kimoto Junmai 60 Saito no Shizuku This is a junmai kimoto with a 60% seimaibuai, already... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Abu no Tsuru Goya

Abu no Tsuru is a little sakagura on the Sea of Japan side of Yamaguchi, and it produces some wonderful sake. This one is a very nice junmai with a seimaibuai of 58%. The King of Visual Pun Labels The new kuramoto and toji, Ryutaro Miyoshi, was formerly a designer and brings those skills to... Continue Reading →

Event – Jizake Yokocho

Shunan City's Jizake Yokocho 2019 October 12, 2019 saw the third annual Jizake Yokocho, when Shunan City hosts sake brewers from all over Japan in the area near Tokuyama station in an open-air event. This year saw sakes from 50+ breweries lining the covered arcade street of Minami-ginza. Sake from all over! The system is... Continue Reading →

Event – Hiyaoroshi no Kai

After a long hiatus, I am back, and I have oh so much to share! Autumn has come to Japan, finally, and with it the opposite end of spring's Shinshu events. This is the season of Hiyaoroshi (aka Akiagare, etc.), which is sake that has been left to age over the summer after the spring... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Nishinoseki Tekishu

On my recent trip to Oita prefecture, I went into a local liquor shop and asked for the most "Oita" sake they had, and this is what was recommended. Nishinoseki, from Kayashima Shuzo in eastern Oita, is apparently the top-selling sake brand in the prefecture, and can be found all over the place in northern... Continue Reading →

Fun with Koshu

Koshu, or aged sake, is a tricky thing. It's a big, popular topic right now, and everyone is talking about how amazing it can be, but it's also kind of a mixed bag. It can be funky, and off-putting, and sometimes downright undrinkable. One I tried was described as having notes of soy sauce, earth,... Continue Reading →

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