“Business Projects Introduced Online by Sake Breweries during the Coronavirus Era: Part 3”

By Kosuke Kuji

Since Japan’s nationwide state of emergency declaration ended, gradual efforts started to recover the economy while stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Along with Japan as the Japanese continue to fight the novel coronavirus; the world is also experiencing shutdown fatigue.
In Japan, those who don’t quarantine voluntarily face harsh online criticism by the “quarantine police,” with many criticizing others unnecessarily, indicating a notable rise in mental illnesses among the Japanese.
In a time when no one knows when the shutdown will end, maintaining a sound mind may be difficult.
Is there a way to heal the minds of the Japanese with delicious sake? Japanese sake rejuvenates both the body and the mind. Sake breweries reflected on how to heal the minds of the Japanese through delicious sake.
The answer reached was “kanpai” (cheers!).
“Kanpai” is a gesture of toasting to celebrate joyous occasions or when socializing, a gesture to fulfill a “wish” or “desire” to “pray for ○○.” Examining the current state of the world, we discussed the need to “kanpai” to “pray for an end to the novel coronavirus pandemic.”
Sake breweries, shochu and Awamori distilleries, etc., are spread across 47 prefectures throughout Japan. We decided to unite as one and create a video of us toasting “kanpai,” praying for an end to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The title of this video project is “Let’s Connect! A Relay Across 47 Prefectures Throughout Japan,” showing sake brewers pouring sake in various regions from Hokkaido to Okinawa, and ends with a kanpai together with all participants and viewers watching.
This video project was a major success, met with interview requests from various TV stations across 47 prefectures. YouTube views exceeded 10,000 views. Let’s unite hearts as one across Japan to overcome these difficult times and kanpai together with a smile once the novel coronavirus pandemic ends.

「コロナ時代の蔵元の発信事業 その3」


#Breweries #Sake #coronavirus #covid19 #kanpai #pandemic


This issue explains how to enjoy sake sampling.

1. Audibly
Hearing is the first sense to enjoy sake. Please listen for the sound of sake pouring into the sake bottle and bubbles audibly forming in carbonated sake.

2. Visually
Once the sake is poured, please examine the sake inside the sake cup. The type of sake will generate differences in the shade of sake color, viscosity, clarity and sheen, etc.

3. Aroma
Next, gently inhale the sake aroma without shaking the sake cup. Determine the intensity of the aroma, high/low, how the aroma spreads, concentration, and durability. Try to detect the change afterwards.

4. Palate
Finally, sip and taste the sake on your palate. First, taste with the tip of the tongue, savor the flavor, and then further savor the sweetness, bitterness, acidity and umami flavor. Savor the sake flavor not only with the tongue, but focus the senses from the throat to the nasal passage to enjoy new discoveries.

Clear the mind of any preconceived notions and taste the sake with a fair mind. When sampling the sake, incorporating cheerful, fun terms utilizing as many expressions as possible in a brief summary is important.







#aroma #flavor #sake


Tokyo Jizake Strolling: (Nippon National Products Exhibition 2020) 

By Ryuji Takahashi

As nationwide restrictions imposed on events, etc., throughout Japan due to the Coronavirus pandemic relaxed in November, we covered the “Nippon National Products Exhibition 2020,” held over two days inside the Sunshine City Shopping Mall in Ikebukuro district, Tokyo. The event was cut short to 2 days instead of 3 days the previous year, with only half of the number of restaurant exhibitors compared to the previous year to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading. The venue implemented thorough countermeasures to prevent the spread of infection with a thorough ventilation system in full operation, a large fan on, and doors and windows open at all times. Only attendees and even vendors registered beforehand were allowed entry with hand sanitizers readily available to ensure a safe environment to prevent infection.
The event was reduced in scale, yet over 100 corporate exhibitors showcased over 1,000 regional specialty products, divided into 2 floors with each prefecture exhibiting a souvenir booth, a food court, and a jizake (regional sake) section offering samples starting from only 100 JPY, bustling with many customers. Of course, the booth attracting the most attention was the jizake section.
Approximately 100 jizake selections from 17 regions total (2 regions each from Tokyo, Fukui and Saga prefectures, along with Aomori, Akita, Fukushima, Tochigi, Niigata, Shizuoka, Gifu, Ishikawa, Kyoto, Nara, and Hiroshima prefectures) lined the booths with samples available starting from 100 JPY per cup, an irresistible section for sake fans. Each booth sold regional snacks, etc., a sure bet to compliment any sake. Recommendation booths with a kikisake-shi in attendance were available for customers not sure which sake to sample due to the vast selections available, along with various canned food products. Needless to say, sake can be sampled with various regional specialty snacks purchased from one of the souvenir floors.
This event could be a great opportunity for sake breweries to meet other breweries from various regions with whom they normally have few opportunities to interact. Strolling past the souvenir section on the evening of the second day, attendees can witness bargain sales starting for food products, another event to look forward to in the souvenir exhibit. I also strolled past booths for various regions, where I found smoked octopus for a discounted price at a booth by Hokkaido prefecture. I hesitated trying to decide how many packs to buy when the exhibitor gave me another discount, so I purchased 3 packs. The exhibitor pushed further saying this was the last day, so I received another discount to purchase 1 more pack.
I had an enjoyable day, receiving leftover regional snacks from sake brewery booths for free. I pray joyous events like this that brings smiles back to consumers, producers, and vendors will revive in various regions once the coronavirus pandemic ends, hopefully soon.



#ikebukuro #jizake #sake #sakefair #tokyo


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