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 →

Tasting – Kinsuzume

Kinsuzume from Horie Sakaba in Iwakuni is getting a lot of buzz from local sake lovers, but the only reason I can get from anyone is that it's good. It is good! But I don't know why everyone is excited over goodness anymore. There is a ton of good Yamaguchi sake these days, so it... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Nakasu Sake

It makes me sad how difficult it will be to explain the pun behind this sake's name in English. But we'll get to that. No need to cry. Nakasu sake is is from Hatsumomiji, the makers behind Harada sake. It's a local favorite, and a kura I've visited a few times. I like their sake,... Continue Reading →

Yamaguchi Sake Awards 2019

The Yamaguchi Sake Awards 山口県新酒鑑評会 is the prefectural step on the way to the Japan Sake awards 全国新酒鑑評会 and this year they were held on April 14. I was able to go to the awards dinner on the evening and got a chance to taste a gathering of all the best sakes in the prefecture,... Continue Reading →

Ohmine Yukionna – Party Tasting

Suobijin on the Left, Yukionna on the right (junmai, seimaibuai 58%) On February 23rd, we hosted a goodbye party for a friend moving to Fukuoka, and I prepared a whole range of sakes to help celebrate. However, my plan was thrown slightly awry when a friend showed up with a whole isshobin (1.8 liters) of... Continue Reading →

Hatsumomiji Kaiten – Tasting

This sake is one of Hatumomiji's most premium brands. The name is a reference to the Kaiten "manned torpedoes" planned at the end of World War 2, and built and tested at a base on a small island off the coast of Shunan city. It's a sad local story, and one that lingers over the... Continue Reading →

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