Sake Nation “First Sake Sampling Event Overseas in a Long Time - Part 4: San Fransisco”

By Kosuke Kuji

After the sake sampling event in Hawaii, I’m heading next to San Francisco in the U.S. mainland.  

My flight from Hawaii lasted just over five hours. I had forgotten that five or six hours of domestic travel time is normal in the states, which made it hard for me to relax during my flight. However, I arrived safely in San Francisco. 

“N.A. Sales Co., Inc.,” a distributor of sake Nanbu Bijin (“Southern Beauty”) in San Francisco, organized the restaurant expo at The Westin Los Angeles Airport for the first time since the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Sake manufacturers and breweries from Hawaii attended, along with breweries from Fukushima prefecture that missed the event in Hawaii but chose to attend the event in San Francisco with great motivation. The cost of living is known to be high in San Francisco, where the economy is not doing well. 

Some areas are known to be dangerous, so I was warned not to stay out and drink late. 

I was under the impression the economy was good in the U.S., and everyone is doing well, which I learned was false. I felt anxious from learning the truth, but my anxiety was quickly dispelled once the sampling event started. Many restaurant professionals attended and sampled the sake, with many restaurants adding the sake to their menu. I feel Japanese cuisine will continue to expand in the Bay Area. 

酒豪大陸「久しぶりの海外での試飲会 その4 サンフランシスコ」







#alljapannews #bayarea #japanese #japanesefood #japanesesake #sake #sanfransisco


Strive to become sake ambassadors with a thorough knowledge of Japanese sake 

Chapter 1: Secrets to readily enjoy sake 

Many consumers say labels on sake bottles are not sufficient to select one product over another. 

Wine and liquor are made from sugar in wine grapes fermented into alcohol. 

Beer is made from fermented barley and water, while sake is made from fermented rice and water.  

Sake is brewed from rice, water, fermentation, the climate, and the highly technical skills of the Toji (master brewer), brewery, and brewery workers. 

Sake is enjoyed chilled or warm, compatible with various foods.  

A full-bodied beverage containing amino acids, sake is highly effective to clear the skin. Reflecting the characteristics of each region, sake is a special beverage made from high-quality food ingredients, served as a sacred offering to deities. 

The techniques of the artisans are evident as an added value to sake. 


4 types of sake 

Sake is categorized into four types: Aromatic Sake, Refreshing Sake, Pure Sake, and Mellow Sake. 

This report introduces two of the sake types. 

Aromatic Sake: Mainly Daiginjo and Ginjo-type sake.

In season: Spring to summer 

Serving temperature: Approximately 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit), even if served chilled  

Drinking vessel: Wine glass 

Compatible dish: Marinated octopus 

Refreshing Sake: Light and smooth, non-premium sake. 

In season: Summer 

Serving temperature: Thoroughly chilled or warm    

Drinking vessel: Small glass 

Compatible dish: Chilled tofu, basically compatible with any food.




醸造酒 、ワイン ぶどうに含まれている糖分をそのままアルコール発酵




アミノ酸を含むコクのある飲料、美肌効果も高い。各地域の特徴を反映、神様に捧げる聖なる液体で高価な原料から作られる特別な酒、匠の技 付加価値のある酒



薫酒 主に大吟醸、吟醸系。





爽酒 軽快でなめらか 普通酒。 




#alljapannews #ambassadors #glass #japanese #japanesefood #japanesesake #sake


Tokyo Jizake Strolling (Small and Medium-Size Enterprises Summit) 

By Ryuji Takahashi

Tokyo officially welcomed summer in July. I exhibited a booth to showcase sake at a social gathering during the Small and Medium-Size Enterprises Summit 2023 (The 28th Tokyo Management Research Conference), as requested by the All Japan Committee of the Associations of Small-and Medium-Size Enterprises that aids small and medium-sized business owners to interact with owners of companies in other industries to encourage members to consult with each other, study together, and create competitive companies and business environments.

Approximately thirty branch offices by region are normally active, mostly within their branch offices. Once a year, however, a branch office in Tokyo gathers to rent out the thirtieth floor of the Shinjuku NS building and invite approximately 300 members to participate, deepen friendships, and learn together during the Small and Medium-Size Enterprises Summit.  

Various study sessions and seminars are held throughout the day that concludes with a social gathering. I was requested to exhibit and serve sake to share my expertise on sake during this social gathering. I was grateful for this opportunity as I had no lecture or exhibit at large-scale events to attend due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Shinjuku NS Building was close by, only fifteen minutes from my sake shop. 

I prepared ten 1,800 ml bottles of summer sake products and arranged for a sales representative to bring Nagatoro Gura by Fujisaki Sobei Shoten as the special sake of the day and entered the venue. In the largest conference room on the thirtieth floor was a large booth prepared as the main feature of the social gathering. I was surprised by the large scale of this social gathering, but also felt excitement I hadn’t felt in a while.   

Guests gradually started to fill the venue and the social gathering kicked off at 6:00 PM. Bottled beer was placed at each buffet-style table where guests were seated, with catered snacks placed at the center of the venue. Wary to approach the catered snacks at first, a crowd quickly formed where I introduced ten brands of sake products as I poured glasses.  

I glanced over my shoulder to see a crowd gather before the sake brewery and sake booths packed with guests, who asked questions about sake and my sake shop with some questions directed at me, which helped to advertise our business effectively. This opportunity helped me to observe and gather data on which sake guests select at first glance based on introductions, which sake captivated the guests’ attention, and sample repeatedly, valuable information for future product development with sake breweries. The executive director who organized this event seemed pleased, and the exhibit ended with success. I returned to the shop, cleaned up, and happily headed out for a drink to celebrate.  




#alljapannews #japanese #japanesefood #japanesesake #jizake #sake #tokyo


Containers to enjoy Japanese sake 

Sake brewing techniques developed rapidly in temples during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). Afterwards, sake brewing techniques spread to Nara city and Kyoto city, the main sake brewing centers at the time, then nationwide. One sake brewery after another sprung up in rice production regions and locations where rice is easy to obtain, along with quality water and soil, and in commercial districts where sake is consumed in high volumes. 

As sake consumption increased, so did beautiful containers created to pour and savor sake. 

The term sakazuki, or sake cup, is derived from the phrase “cup to serve sake,” with up to fifty-one characters to describe this object. An essential container to enjoy sake, various containers have been created since ancient times. 

Sake cups like the modern cups today were said to have been created around the Asuka period (592~710). Unglazed earthenware created by turning a pottery wheel from mainland China was placed before the altar as offerings. Earthenware sake cups gradually became obsolete from the mid-Heian period (794~1185) to the Kamakura period (1185-1333). At the same time, the lacquerware technique evolved during this period, and lacquerware sake cups started to become widespread.           

During the Muromachi period (1336-1573), samurai warriors practiced formalities during banquets serving sake. As the rules of socialization became widely practiced, lacquerware sake cups became widely used. Large lacquerware sake cups were essential for the feudal lord and vassal to pass around a single sake cup. These lacquerware sake cups are named according to the volume as follows: The “Itsukushima” is a 900 ml cup, “Kamakura” is a 1,260 ml cup, “Ejima” is an 1,800 ml cup, “Manjunuryou” is a 2,700 ml cup, “Mounokame” is a 4,500 ml cup, and the “Tanchozuru” is a 5,400 ml cup.    

Lacquerware sake cups were used early into the Edo period (1603-1867). As Seto porcelain became widespread nationwide since the Bunka period (1804~1814), porcelain “sake cups” started to be used exclusively at the same time.   

Also, “large sake cups” slightly smaller than the small sake cup came a little later. Sake cups and large sake cups were vessels used to serve food, repurposed as sake cups.     

Novelty sake cups emerged later during the Edo period (1603-1867). Some sake cups are pointed at the bottom or have small holes open to ensure the sake is finished before the sake cup is placed back on the table. On the other hand, the “horse-loading sake cup” is a large porcelain cup with very long legs, held to drink sake from the cup on top of the horse. However, this sake cup appears to have been a decorative cup. Also, glass sake cups and bottles emerged during this period, but mostly did not become widespread. In fact, glass sake cups and bottles became widespread only recently.  





サカズキは「酒杯」(酒を盛る器)に由来する言葉で、それを表す文字は 51字にも及ぶという。酒を飲むのに欠かせない容器であり、古代からさまざまなものが作られてきた。 


江戸時代に入っても、『寛政見聞記』に「酒の器は鉄銚子塗盃に限りたる」 とあるように、漆器の盃が用いられていたが、文化年間(1804~14)頃から瀬戸磁器が全国に広まると同時に、磁器の「猪ロ」がもっぱら盃として用いられるようになった。また、やや遅れて猪ロよりも小ぶりの「ぐい呑み」が現れた。猪ロやぐい呑みは、和え物などの料理を盛る器として用いられていた器で、それが盃に転用されたのである。 


#flavor #japanesefood #japanesesake #jizake #sakazuki #sake #sakekit


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