Ginjo Comparison – Tasting

There is a large hotel not 2 minutes' walk from my house, and their restaurant is what I like to call "Bubble Fancy." It's a remnant of Japan's heady days of high wealth in the 80s and 90s, with furnishings that were once clearly the height of luxury...but now with 30 or so years of... Continue Reading →

Fukucho Cosmos – Tasting

This is a lovely Junmai Ginjo from Imada Shuzohonten in Hiroshima. The brewery has attracted some attention because they have one of the few women Toji in Japan. Miho Imada was recently profiled in Sake Today, in fact, so one can hope that this great kura will be getting more attention in the future. And... Continue Reading →

Chomonkyo Natsujun – Tasting

I picked this special summer junmai from Chomonkyo brewers Okazaki Shuzojo at a roadside plaza in Nagato, not far from the Hagi brewery itself. Usually when I think of summer drinks, I think of light, refreshing things like lemonade or barley tea. So my assumption was that this would be a light, fruity sake as... Continue Reading →

Wakamusume Koshu – Tasting

Today's sake is a rarity: Koshu, aka Aged Sake! I picked this bottle up at tiny Ikedaya Liquor shop in Hofu, Yamaguchi, the only place you can get Takeuchi sake these days. It was just hanging out in their cooler, and it stood out because I've seen a lot of Wakamusume sake before, but never... Continue Reading →

Five blue – Tasting

Today I've got something from Iwakuni powerhouse Sakai Shuzo, makers of Gokyo. Sakai has a reputation as a very staid, traditional kura but they've recently been trying some more modern things with labels designs and such, and this is clearly one of them. There is a whole line of "five" branded sakes, of different colors.... Continue Reading →

Kojo no Homare – Tasting

This sake presents an odd situation. I bought it when I noticed the "sub heading" Sugihime. That's the main label for Yamaguchi city brewery Yamashiroya, and indeed Yamashiroya is listed on the label...but, on closer inspection, as the "sales point." Huh? Indeed, the maker is listed as Yamagata Honten of Shunan, the first brewery I... Continue Reading →

Nishiki Sekai – Tasting

The next brewery to take off my list from the Great Yamaguchi Sakagura Project is Takeuchi Shuzojo (Japanese link to sole online seller). This is a small, old brewery in Hofu, Yamaguchi, about 50km away from me here. It's got very limited distribution, and I literally know of only one shop that carries it: Ikedaya Saketen,... Continue Reading →

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