"Tohoku Sake Awards in Fall"

By Kosuke Kuji

Sponsored by the Sendai Regional Taxation Bureau, last fall's Tohoku Sake Awards was held in Sendai.  Annual Japan Sake Awards was sponsored by the National Tax Agency many years ago, but now it is joint sponsored by Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and National Research Institute of Brewing.  The Sake Awards that is sponsored by the Regional Taxation Bureau is sponsored by each local regional taxation bureau like Sendai, Kanto Koshinetsu, Nagoya etc., and Tohoku holds their sake awards in the fall. 

The gold prize at the Annual Japan Sake Awards for Tohoku 6 prefectures was #1 in Japan for 6 years in a row, and considered to be an area with high percentage of breweries to receive the most gold prizes in Japan.

For the national average, the percentage to win the gold prize is about 20%, but if you do the math for Tohoku 6 Prefectures, it comes out to about 40% which makes them proud to be twice the percentage of the national average to receive the gold prize.  Tohoku is a region that undoubtedly has the highest level of technology in Japan, and this has continued to be the case for the last 8 years. 

For such a Tohoku's sake awards in fall, from a group of brewers that has received the most gold prizes in Japan, they must use even stricter judgements in deciding the gold prize which makes their sake awards probably the most difficult to win in Japan. 

This most challenging Tohoku Sake Awards has 2 large divisions of "Ginjo category" and "Junmai category", and the brewers that win the gold prize have the honor to be awarded the prize from the Sendai Regional Taxation Bureau Chief during a solemn ceremony.

Also, from the gold prizes, a "Grand Prize" for the most outstanding and a "Honor Prize" for the next outstanding is  awarded.

The grand prize means being No. 1 in Tohoku which has the highest level brewery in Japan and is also known as being "Japan's #1 Title."

At this fall's Tohoku sake awards, can you believe our company's Daiginjo received the "Grand Prize" in the Ginjo category!

Also in the Junmai category, our company's Junmai Daiginjo received the "Honor Prize!"  We reached the outstanding achievement of receiving No. 1 & No. 2 awards in both categories!!

It is just unbelievable that this means we were selected as the #1 brewery in Tohoku both in name and reality. 

I am most honored and thankful.  I have reached one of my goals in my life.
I will not let this get to my head and devote more efforts to this year's sake making and plan to work hard than ever before. 











#JunmaiDaiginjo #alljapannews #awards #sake #tohoku


Counter only small diner to enjoy creative Japanese cuisine, sake, and wine

Counter only small diner to en... Counter only small diner to en... Counter only small diner to en... Counter only small diner to en... Counter only small diner to en... Counter only small diner to en...
By Aya Ota

Brick walls, spacious wooden counter, tastefully decorated interior, and beautiful tableware---It is a space which looks like an art gallery, but actually a restaurant that magically makes you feel welcomed. The restaurant is “Rabbit House”, where you can enjoy creative Japanese style tapas dishes with sake and wine in a casual ambience. It is located in the middle point between the Lower East Side and China Town, where some changes have been seen lately with new comers of galleries and general stores, but still mainly occupied by Chinese restaurants and general stores. It is rather surprising to see such a sophisticated looking space hidden in such an area.

“I like to cook, but I like to eat even more. I also like to drink sake and wine. Nothing pleases me more than hearing people enjoy my cooking, and sake that I eagerly selected myself”, says Yoshiko Sakuma, the owner and chef. Rabbit House opened in March of 2016 to realize her extremely simple passion. Her grandparents were farmers, and her parents were both cooks. She developed the delicate sense of tastes in growing up surrounded by fresh and high-quality food ingredients. It must have been natural for her to grow up to be in the cooking world. She came to the United States 20 years ago, and built up experiences working in notable restaurants and bakeries, and in 2010, went to Italy and Spain to show off her skills in various restaurants.

As implied in her quote, “I want to offer our customers something that leaves an impression which nowhere else can,” the dishes Ms. Sakuma creates are full of originality and playfulness, which you don’t see anywhere else. The “Oyster Shot” in the Tasting Course offered as an amusement, is an oyster dish with dessert wine jelly and beer poured over it. You indulge yourself in tasting the superb harmony of freshness, sweetness, and slight bitterness while admiring the beautiful presentation. The “Addicted Spare Rib” has a volume that exceeds the category of an appetizer. It is a unique dish marinated in sake and soy sauce overnight, and flavored with curry spice. As the name indicates, the taste is addictive, and the regulars order this dish all the time. The “Trapped Rabbit” is a dish of extracted umami. Shiitake mushrooms and baby carrots are rolled up with rabbit meat caul fat. Every dish gives you a surprise and an impression when delivered in front of you, and again when you taste it. The carefully selected line of alcoholic beverages is also unique by her extensive knowledge in sake as a sake sommelier, and wine knowledge she acquired in Spain and Italy, which you do not see anywhere else. You cannot help keep pairing with every dish you taste.

The name, Rabbit House, literally means a house for rabbits, and is an expression to deprecatingly indicate how small Japanese houses are. The eating space has only 9 counter seats, and basically only one person handles everything from cooking to serving. All the menu items--appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and cocktails, are created by her. The ingredients don’t come from any particular place, but are carefully selected based on the taste. Especially the quality of selected meat is at a fine dining level. Although the menu items have been narrowed down, this one person makes everything with a lot of care without skipping any necessary steps in this limited kitchen space. She also accommodates for vegan and gluten-free requests.

“Every day is a process of trial and error. I am good at creating, but not at selling,” says Ms. Sakuma. She said that it was difficult to attract customers to the restaurant because of the location that has not much traffic. She used the “Groupon” vouchers for advertisement, but it worked negatively for the image of the restaurant, and resulted in bad reviews. She turned all those mistakes around, and changed them to positive power, pursued what should be done in this limited space and man-power, and kept trying to make improvements. She reached a conclusion, which was, “to tell customers what I can do, and what I cannot do clearly. Customers’ satisfaction relies heavily on good communication.” This straight-forwardness and honesty of Ms. Sakuma must be one of the appeals of this restaurant. Now, supported by the regular customers, they get reviewed highly on the internet, and has become able to attract customers by word of mouth.

Actually, there used to be 6 tables in addition to the existing 9 counter seats before, but it was changed not long ago to the present operation style. She would like to take in the “Chef’s Tasting Table” concept, and have customers enjoy conversations while enjoying the tastes of food and wine. I truly look forward to the future development of this restaurant.


煉瓦造りの壁、広々とした木製カウンター、センスのよい調度品や食器類……まるでギャラリーのような空間だが、不思議に居心地のよい店がある。ここ『Rabbit House』では、創意工夫に富んだ和風タパスと一緒に日本酒やワインをカジュアルに楽しめる。場所はロウワーイーストサイドとチャイナタウンの中間地点。最近でこそギャラリーや雑貨店なども新しく登場し変化を遂げつつあるが、まだまだ中国系飲食店や雑貨店が多く建ち並ぶこの地域に、「まさか、こんな洒落た店がひっそりと隠れているなんて」と驚かされる。

「作るのも好きだが食べるのはもっと好き。お酒やワインも好き。自分が作った料理を喜んでもらえて、自分がこだわって選んだお酒を美味しいと言ってもらえるのが、何よりうれしい」――オーナーシェフを務める佐久間良子氏の至極シンプルな情熱を形にして、2016年3月に誕生したのが、この『Rabbit House』だ。佐久間氏は、祖父母は農家、両親は料理人という家系で生まれ育ち、新鮮で高品質な素材に囲まれ、繊細な味覚を養ってきた。同氏が料理の道に進んだのはごく自然な流れだったのだろう。約20年前に渡米後は、ニューヨークの蒼々たるレストランやベーカリーで経験を積み、2010年にはイタリアとスペインに渡り、数々の店で腕を奮ってきた。

「世の中に数多くの店がある中で、うちに来てくれた客には、印象に残る何かを提供したい」と語る佐久間氏が創り出す料理は、他店にはない独創性と遊び心にあふれている。テイスティングコースを注文するとアミューズとして登場する「Oyster Shot」は、牡蠣にデザートワインで作ったゼリーとビールを注いだ一品。美しい盛り付けに目を奪われながら、爽やかさと甘さとほろ苦さの絶妙な調和を堪能する。「Addicted Spare Rib」は、とても前菜とは思えないボリューム。日本酒と醤油で一晩漬け込み、カレースパイスで風味付けした独創的な一品。名前の通り病みつきになる味で、常連客も毎回注文するほどだ。「Trapped Rabbit」は、椎茸やベイビーキャロットをウサギ肉と網脂で巻き込み、うま味を凝縮した一品。どの料理も、目の前に出される度に、そして料理を口に運ぶ度に、感動と驚きがある。酒ソムリエとしての日本酒知識と、スペイン・イタリア滞在で身につけたワインの知識をフルに活かして厳選した酒類ラインナップも個性的で、他店にはない品揃えだ。思わず料理とのペアリングも進んでしまう。

店名の『Rabbit House』は文字通り「ウサギ小屋」という意味で、日本人の住居が狭いことを自嘲気味に表現するときに使われる言葉だ。店内は、カウンター9席のみで、基本的に一人で料理から接客まで対応する。前菜、メイン、デザートやカクテルに至るまで、すべて自ら考案したものだ。原料は産地にこだわらず、美味しいと思う原料を厳選、特に肉はファインダイニングと同品質のものを使っている。メニュー数は絞り込んでいるものの、限られたスペースの厨房で、たった一人で、一切の手抜きなしで丁寧に作り込む。さらにヴィーガンやグルテンフリーにも対応している。


実は、かつてはカウンター9席に加え、テーブル6席もあったが、カウンター中心の運営にしたのはごく最近のことだ。今後は「Chef’s Tasting Table」のコンセプトも取り入れ、客と対話しながら、料理や酒を味わってもらいたいと考えている。今後の展開がますます楽しみな店だ。

Rabbit House
76 Forsyth Street
New York, NY 10002
Tel: 212-343-4200

Tue - Thu & Sun 5:00 - 11:00 pm
Fri & Sat 5:00 pm - 0:00 am

Sat & Sun 12 - 4:00 pm

Mon: Closed
#alljapannews #cuisine #japanese #newyork #rabbithouse #sake


Pointers for Selling Japanese Sake in 2017

By Yuji Matsumoto

Happy New Year!  I plan to work hard again this year to provide information that will help make Japanese sake an even more familiar alcoholic drink to have during a meal for your customers and for you.

For this issue I have put together pointers for restaurants and retail stores to sell Japanese sake and also important points for distributors in differentiation.
-- Grasp what customers like and offer the appropriate Japanese sake.
 You will be able to do this by asking customers what type of alcohol and favorite wine(s) they drink regularly.  For instance, for someone who likes bourbon, you can offer a junmai type that is prepared in a cask etc. 
-- For the Japanese sake menu, instead of dividing it into specific class sakes (Daiginjo, Ginjo, Honjozo etc), divide it into taste types and food(s) it matches with.
It is not ideal to have a menu with specific names that do not describe the taste or aroma at all.  It is important to taste test and with your judgment, create a menu that matches the taste of sake with the dish.
-- Offer cross merchandising with seasonal foods that can be used also by retailer stores.
Always point out Japanese sakes that are compatible with the daily dish (food item).
-- The sake cup; it is no exaggeration to say that it is the 'most important thing in drinking' especially for Ginjo types that have aromas.
Unfortunately there are very few "Japanese type" cups that are suitable with Ginjo type Japanese sakes with aroma, but we think it is a good idea to offer the first drink in a small white wine class as a taste testing for the customers.
-- It is important to provide information of beliefs and concerns about sake making in the brewery.
Distributors and head of breweries need to provide more information of their products to differentiate from competitors. Be clear in pointing out the characteristics of your sake and the taste you are aiming for in comparison with other companies and the business market.








#alljapannews #sake


Joy of Sake Tokyo

By Kosuke Kuji
"The U.S. National Sake Appraisal" that has been held every year since 2001 was held again this year. Entries of over 350 sakes are evaluated by 10 judges from Japan and the U.S. After the judging results, a "Gold Award" and a "Silver Award" is given to the top scored sakes, and additionally a "Grand Prize" and "Second Grand Prize" are awarded to the sakes that scored the highest in overall evaluation from the gold awards. 

This year's grand prize and second grand prize are announced on our homepage.

Of those winners, we are excited that our company's Tokubetsu Junmai won the Second Grand Prize in Junmai category.

The award ceremony will be held at "Joy of Sake" in Tokyo.  Also, "Joy of Sake" was held in New York and Honolulu besides Tokyo.

It is a fact that "Joy of Sake" has a very long history, and out of all these cities, this one to be held in Tokyo will be the last gathering.  To be held in November, it is a time when it is getting extremely cold in Japan and it's a very good season to enjoy drinking sake. 

To be held in Gotanda in Tokyo, there is a lot of excitement with lots of Japanese and foreigners living in Japan attending.

There are many different sake gatherings in Japan, but there are probably only a few of them like ours with so many foreigners attending.

This is a meeting where you can find out the trend of sake around the world while you are in Japan.

There are sakes introduced by U.S. breweries recently and you may call this an evaluation meeting of worldwide scale that is very much alive.

It's the same for sake category of International Wine Challenge (IWC), sake is being evaluated in different ways worldwide, not only in Japan, many new people are coming to the meetings to enjoy sake, and I can only help but feel that Japanese sake is becoming the sake of the world.

酒豪大陸「JOY OF SAKE 東京」



この表彰式は、全米日本酒歓評会出品酒を楽しむ会「JOY OF SAKE」の東京で表彰されます。東京以外にも、ニューヨークとホノルルで今年は「JOY OF SAKE」が開催されました。

とても長い歴史を実は持っているこの「JOY OF SAKE」ですが、東京での開催はこれらの都市の中でも最後の開催となります。時期も11月ということで、まさに日本は寒さが厳しくなり、日本酒が恋しい季節に行われます。





#Junmai #alljapannews #junmai #nation #okubetsu #sake #tokyo


Logo Branding of Japanese Sake

By Yuji Matsumoto

I once wrote before about the importance of naming in the branding of Japanese sake. This time, I would like to write about logo branding.

The logo is an important symbol that represents the product of a company. When reviewing products popular worldwide, each company studies how to best advertise their logos to have their consumers remember their logo, an important strategy. Once the logo is known among consumers, then like Louis Vuitton, Channel, Calvin Klein, Coach, Prada, etc., the functionality of the brand becomes less important than the sense of security and popularity associated with the brand. Regardless of the product, consumers are concerned with visual appeal for text and descriptions usually escape the memory. This is especially true for Japanese, for the consumers generally cannot read Japanese.

Audi have four circles, Honda is the letter “H,” and apple is for Apple computers, logos are easy to memorize. This is also true for food products.

How does this apply to Japanese sake? Review of local ads for Japanese sake, it is difficult to see where the logo is, and often many of the brands don’t have one.

It’s difficult to tell if the sake manufacturer’s name is the brand, or the product name is, or if another product name is the brand. Since some companies sell several brands of Japanese sake in various bottles and labels, it’s disappointing that logos aren’t used to distinguish the brand and manufacturers.

Even if a consumer likes a particular brand of sake, this makes it difficult for the consumers to make the connection between the brand of sake and the manufacturer, or other products offered by that manufacturer. Although the colors and size of bottles may change according to the brand, the brand logo should be made most noticeable for the labeling. I would like each company to place their product on a shelf and review it. Why not consider a logo that appeal to consumers?








#alljapannews #branding #japanese #sake


Sake Samurai Award Ceremony

By Kosuke Kuji

This year the ceremony of the 11th Sake Samurai was held on the premises of Shimogamo Shrine. Shimogamo Shrine is a great treasure that is also inscribed on the World Heritage List. The system of Sake Samurai started 11 years ago. Japan Sake Brewers Association Junior Council organized by young brewers in Japan established this as a gathering of people that have the same heart of nurturing Japanese sake with love due to the fear of losing the 'pride' of Japanese in Japan, to bring back the pride of Japanese sake, and share the Japanese culture not only in Japan but also widely around the world.

Many Japanese and even foreigners have been appointed the title of Sake Samurai up until now and listed below are the people that were appointed Sake Samurai this year.

Mr. Shinya Tasaki, Chairman, Japan Sommelier Association
Mr. Toshio Ueno, LA Mutual Trading, Manager of Business Development
Mr. I Yonsk, President, Rinkai Co.
Mr. Elliot James Faber, Yardbird Restaurant Group, Beverage Manager
Mr. Marco Massarotto, La Via del Sake

The 5 wonderful Japanese and foreigners that were appointed this time each have accomplished great achievements. For detailed information please read (in Japanese) about them at the Sake Samurai Official Homepage noted below.

Sake Samurai Official Homepage: http://www.sakesamurai.jp/

Japanese sake is receiving great reviews around the world now. Those great reviews are making it back to Japan these last few years even though little at a time.

Of the appointed 5 people, Mr. Tasaki the chairman of Japan Sommelier Association who was the only appointee from Japan this time who gave greetings of being appointed chairman said that a sommelier in Japan must study Japanese sake. Japan Sommelier Association loud & clearly announced that they will make opportunities to study Japanese sake. I am so happy to be born in this age where all kinds of people in all kinds of countries seriously love Japanese sake and are sharing it with others.

As a brewer, I will continue to cooperate with all of the Sake Samurais and work hard in sharing our sake around the world.





田崎 真也 氏:日本ソムリエ協会 会長
上野 俊男 氏:共同貿易ロサンゼルス 事業開発部
李 容淑 氏:㈱リンカイ代表取締役社長
エリオット・ジェイムス・フェイバー氏:ヤードバード レストラングループ 飲料部
マルコ・マサロット氏:ラ・ビア・デル・サケ 代表





#alljapannews #sake #samuraiaward


“Sashimi. sushi, soba, and sake……A place where you can satisfy your palate in a sophisticated way

“Sashimi. sushi... “Sashimi. sushi... “Sashimi. sushi... “Sashimi. sushi... “Sashimi. sushi...
By Aya Ota

There is a restaurant that has a dignified appearance which makes you feel like stopping by in a corner of the busy East Village. When you step into the space as you are gravitated towards it, a noble and intense looking corridor runs before your eyes, and you feel as if you are entering another world. That is the “Ise Restaurant”, where you first taste a few slices of sashimi, and then leisurely enjoy sake with appetizers that contain various seasonal ingredients. After that, you complete the meal with sushi or soba; which is the way of a sophisticated eater. The customers in the East Village area are generally young people, and many of the dining places are casual. Among them, Ise is a rare place with a mature ambience where you can quietly enjoy meals and sake.

“Ise” is a long-lasting Japanese restaurant group which has been loved by New Yorkers for a long time since its founding in 1988. They are located in MidTown and Wall Street, and known as izakaya-style restaurants with all genres of Japanese cuisine. This time, the Wall Street location was moved to the East Village, and reborn as a new Ise with a totally brand-new concept.

“I am just doing the usual stuff,” says Masaru Makino in a plain tone, the Executive Chef. He came to the U.S. after building his career in kaiseki style cooking for 5 years in Japan. He is a veteran in this restaurant group who has been displaying his strong skills since the beginning of this group‘s history.

He says that he is just doing the usual stuff so plainly, but I know it is not at all easy to manage this so well as if he is just doing what he is supposed to do, especially at a restaurant that offers the biggest three genres of Japanese cuisine; “sashimi”, “sushi”, and “soba” as their three pillars. Actually, the true no-detail-skipping in preparation and non-compromising attitude can be felt when you taste their food. Their seafood such as blue-fin tuna, red snapper, yellow jack, firefly squid, and sea urchin come directly from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. They pay a lot of attention to how to maintain freshness so they can always offer the freshest ingredients. It is surprising that they even manually create a special mild soy sauce to bring out the best tastes of sushi and sashimi by combining multiple soy sauce brands with mirin and bonito Flake. “Soba”, their signature menu category, which they particularly put a special effort on, is made in-house using buckwheat flour produced in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido. Its smooth, chewy and nicely firm texture is excellent, and even artistic. It cannot be tasted anywhere else. Also excellent is the dashi carefully made with 5 different kinds of dried bonitos. It is so tasty that you want to add to the soba-yu (the hot water in which the soba has been cooked, and is usually served after having a soba dish), and drink the mixture to the last drop. The twenty different sake brands displayed are carefully selected by all of the staff after actually drinking them all. The sake and the food bring out each other’s goodness, and successfully create a wonderful pairing.

“I would like the customers to enjoy our food and sake to the fullest”, continues Mr. Makino. Such thinking is represented also in the interior design. The space among the tables are luxuriously big, and some spaces are set up almost like private rooms divided effectively by plain wood latticework. The bar located near the front entrance is a beautiful space where you also may want to drop by. There, you can either have just a glass of beer, or enjoy a full menu of items just like you are sitting at a table.

Strong impressions and discovery keep coming. It appears that they are really stressing on soba dishes on the surface, but there is more. The sushi counter with only 6 seats is kind of hidden in the back of the restaurant where Mr. Makino himself prepares omakase style dishes. There is also a kaiseki course that changes monthly.

“Ise”, a newly born restaurant which makes you feel that the more often you visit, the more you feel like visiting again, and telling someone about.---It is truly the birth of a great establishment.









Ise Restaurant
63 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 228-4152
#alljapannews #iserestaurant #newyork #sake #sashimi


To Enjoy Japanese Sake More Casually

To Enjoy Japanese Sake More...
By Yuji Matsumoto

Japanese sake is a drink that Americans still cannot get used to.
Majority of Japanese sake sales are from restaurants, and unfortunately sake is still not a beverage that people in their home or at home parties like to casually consume.

The reason is that, due to the real taste and drinking method not being introduced, Japanese sake 'Saki' is probably placed as a special drink that Americans consume when they visit a sushi bar. Also, when you look at any label, introduction of taste and drinking method is not explained in English in detail. Compared to wines the prices are high, and product display method in the market is hard for consumers to understand.

Well, it will be every simple but let me teach you a simple selection method of Japanese sake.

To start, it is important to decide which you want to pair the sake with. I would like you to understand that Japanese sake is an alcohol that is consumed during a meal to increase the food's flavor while eating like wine.

Beef dishes:
Junmai or Junmai-kimoto made in Kyushu, Tohoku, Kanto, Hokuriku, and Nada is recommended

Chicken dishes:
Ginjo class made in Hiroshima, Niigata, Nada, Hokuriku, and Kanto is recommended

Fish dishes:
Ginjo class, Daiginjo class made in Niigata, Hiroshima, Shikoku, and Kyoto is recommended

Certainly, depending on taste flavoring and cooking method, the sake you pair it with be different, but for the time being I think it will be fun to experience the pairing in different regions.

This month's pick-up:
Mizbasho Ginjo from Gunma prefecture.

This item is perfectly balanced in acidity, taste, and aroma. It goes well with chicken dishes to thick flavored fish dishes.










#alljapannews #casual #ginjo #gunma #japanese #mizbasho #sake #saki


Iwate Specialties and Sake Pairing

By Kosuke Kuji

Iwate prefecture I live in is the number one largest prefecture next to Hokkaido and the area is about the same size as Shikoku. Besides the 70% of the prefecture being mountainous, it contains Sanriku Coast which is a ria coast and is famous as the Japanese fjord. Abundant with food from both the land and sea, another character of Iwate prefecture is having the rich food culture. I'm always asked how the Japanese sake goes with food overseas.

If it is Japanese food with Japanese sake, any combination goes well to an extent, but if you're looking for the best combination, some of the best can be found by pairing food materials from the local areas of the brew masters that brew regional sake.

To start, Iwate prefecture that has the Sanriku Coast is a large fish industry area. A variety of fishes and shellfishes at the coastal areas can be enjoyed. Out of all those items, "Abalone" represents Iwate prefecture.

Especially the abalone that is caught in Yoshihama of 'Sanriku, Ofunato' is dried and has been exported to China from long ago. This abalone is called "Yoshihama Dried Abalone" and is useful as the highest quality food material in China.

This Sanriku in Iwate is proud of their "Sanriku Takarazuke" which is pickled with abalone, salmon roe, smelt roe and 'mekabu' (seaweed family) etc is a specialty item that shines out of all items in Iwate. Mr. Nakamuraya of 'Kamaishi, Iwate' who also starred on the popular TV program "Ryori no tetsujin" (Iron Chiefs) is the one who makes this "Sanriku Takarazuke". This specialty item that combines the goodness of Sanriku ocean and Nanbu Bijin Daiginjyo just make the best combination and the fruity aroma of the Daiginjyo and the sea aroma and salty tang make the best match.

This Sanriku Takarazuke pairs well with sake but it is also wonderful eating it after putting it on top of just made hot rice.

It just makes me feel good to be born a Japanese knowing we have Iwate prefecture that has the best seafood, with variety of processed foods, also as raw or dried and processed and being distributed throughout Japan and to the world.









#alljapanusa #iwate #japan #pairing #sake


“Sake Competition 2016” that was held again this year.

By Kosuke Kuji

This year making it the 5th time this competition has been held, as the title mentions, it’s “a contest to decide the best tasting sake in the world” and would you believe that there were entries from 416 breweries with 1483 sakes from head of breweries from Japan and different countries worldwide this year.

This is a very unusual contest with entries from not only Japan but from Japanese sake breweries from overseas making this the one and only world largest contest.

Entry categories are divided into 5 categories and newly established categories this year were Ginjo category and Super Premium category that were receiving the most attention. There were entries of 401 in Junmai category, 466 in Junmai Ginjo category, 359 in Junmai Daiginjo category, 180 in Ginjo category and 56 in Super Premium category, and judging with blindfolds were done by 24 preliminary judges and 37 final judges consisting of technical managers, experts, and head of breweries. From the results, gold awards were given to the top 10 and silver awards were given to the top 10% below the gold award winners.

For results, please look at the website below.

When we talk about Nanbu Bijin this year, they came in 10th place in the Junmai Daiginjyo category and we were so happy to receive a gold medal!

Award ceremony and party was held at Grand Hyatt Tokyo in Roppongi at end of July and famous head of breweries from Japan attended and for anyone in Japan that liked regional sakes would have felt it was like being in a place like heaven there.

Starting with International Wine Challenge (IWC) Japanese sake category I have written about before and a contest of scale that could never have been thought of before being held in Japan and now being held worldwide. All events are judged with blindfolds and for the regional sake competition these days, there is no doubt that you need to be consistently aware of improving the quality or you will be left behind in no time.

For that reason, head of breweries cannot stop quality improvement and there is no end to putting in efforts for quality improvement. To deliver high quality Japanese sake to the people in Japan and throughout the world, we would like to continue to firmly make diligent efforts. I feel it has become a wonderful age when the results of our efforts can be evaluated at contests in Japan and also throughout the world.


今年で5回目のこのコンテストは「世界一おいしいお酒を決めるコンテスト」という題名の通り、日本国内、世界各地の蔵元から今年はなんと416蔵、 1483点の出品がありました。国内だけではなく海外で日本酒を生産する蔵からも出品されるという、大変珍しいコンテストで、まさに世界一の規模のコンテストとなりました。



酒コンペティション2016 受賞酒





#alljapannews #competition #sake


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