Sake: How and Where to Drink it


15/02/2019 Food & Drinks

How to Order Sake – Know the Measurements

Have you ever been asked in a restaurant whether you wanted a “shaku” or “ichigo”? Have you ever worried about getting too much (or too little) to drink? Have you ever wondered, “How do I drink this?”. Japanese sake measurements can seem quite random and the reasons why are lost in time. However, if you look closely, a pattern emerges, which will make it easy to remember how much is what.

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19/09/2018 Souvenirs  Travel Tips

How to choose sake – check the prefecture

If you are interested in sake then it’s important to understand what factors can influence its taste. One factor is the place where it was brewed. Until recently, sake was mostly brewed and consumed locally, and thus acquired distinct regional styles. Sake brewed in different parts of Japan can vary in taste considerably. In this article, I will look at three ingredients that can change, when moving from one area to another. First, the type of rice, next, the kind of yeast, and finally, the water quality. Being familiar with the kanji of various prefectures will help you make an educated guess on what to expect from any sake, since this information is nearly always provided.

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11/03/2018 Food & Drinks  Souvenirs  Travel Tips

How to choose sake

When one thinks of Japan, one thinks of Japanese sake. If you are visiting Japan, you’ll certainly want to try some and maybe even bring back a bottle as a souvenir. However there are many different kinds of sake, with different tastes and drinking-styles. How can you choose one to try or buy among the huge selection available in most restaurants and stores, especially when all the information is written in the indecipherable kanji? Do not despair! The bottle label contains a wealth of clues on what the inside tastes like.

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29/11/2019 Festivals & Events

Taste and Discover Local Chiba Sake in Matsudo City

Several times a year, the Matsudo Tourism Information Center organises a free Japanese sake tasting event featuring local sake from Chiba prefecture. After hearing about the event from Amelie, who was in Matsudo earlier this month, I made plans to visit the next event in this suburban city at the edge of Tokyo.

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18/10/2019 Bars & Restaurants  Others

Nonobu Izakaya in Koenji – Enjoy Seafood Direct from the Fish Market

After accompanying Tsuchida-san on one of his daily early morning shopping trips to the Toyosu Fish Market  – see Anthony’s write-up on the experience – we followed up with dinner at his restaurant in Koenji. Being more of a meat person, I was a little apprehensive about going to a seafood specialities restaurant. However, after having seen Tsuchida-san personally select and purchase all the food he would cook and serve in his restaurant, I had no doubt that I would enjoy the experience. On top of that, after being told that he had a good selection of Japanese sake to go with all the seafood dishes, I was really looking forward to the evening.

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25/10/2019 Bars & Restaurants

Seigetsu Izakaya In Kagurazaka – Sample Sake From Each Prefecture

I am always on the lookout for new places to enjoy Japanese sake in Tokyo. In August, I wrote about Genka Sakagura offering sake at cost price. This time, I found another izakaya with an original concept, which is to offer sake from every prefecture in Japan. So if you are interested in trying “nihonshu” from specific areas in Japan, perhaps those on your travel itinerary, or places you have yet to visit, this is definitely a place to check out.

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30/09/2019 Food & Drinks  Traditions & History

Visit a 300-Year-Old Sake Brewery Near Tokyo

After learning that I could visit a real sake brewery near Tokyo, I was feeling pretty excited. I had only visited one sake brewery several years ago, and so I was looking forward to seeing another one, especially since I knew a lot more about Japanese sake now than I did then, and have written a few articles on the topic for this website.

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06/08/2019 Bars & Restaurants

Nihonshu Genka Sakagura: Serving Sake at Cost Price Around Tokyo

If you feel unsure what sake to choose when eating out, or if you aren’t comfortable spending a lot of money on an unfamiliar drink, the sake restaurant I describe in this article can help overcome these obstacles. With up to fifty sake brands offered at the lowest prices, a friendly atmosphere, and well-made English menus, the wonderful world of sake is now within reach of nearly everybody.

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17/03/2015 Visit: Temples & Shrines

『Nara』travel to meet the Sake god and the roots of refined Sake

The ornamental ball represents newly produced Sake that is made from cedar leaves. Have you ever seen the large ornamental ball hanging under the eave of a Sake-shop? The name of it is Sugidama, and is a symbol for the Sake-shop. The Sugidama is made from cedar leaves and is hung under the eaves of Sake-shops to announce that new sake has been made. The Sugidama’s changing of color from green to brown represents the maturity of the Sake and is also a signboard for the Sake-shop’s announcement. Reason for making the Sugidama from cedar leaves Omiwa jinja shrine is the oldest shrine in Japan and is located in Nara. […]

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29/05/2015 Bars & Restaurants

Good Okinawan food comes with great sake and a show! Chinuman, the Okinawan restaurant is a must visit.

Chinuman entrance

Taste fresh seafood and Okinawa’s best sake! Okinawan restaurant, Chinuman is a chain restaurant that is open at 8 locations in Okinawa. The entrance is already emitting Okinawa’s vibrant vibes that will excite you even more. Their recommendation is fresh sashimi that is affordable with good quality. Other than that, Okinawa’s regular culinary pork rafutee, Goya-chanpuru, and Beniimo-croquett are also very popular. These are the ‘must things to try’ when visiting Okinawa. The selection of sake is also one of their specialties, with so many kinds of Awamori gathered from all over Okinawa, they go well with the traditional Okinawa dish, Goya-chanpuruu (stir fried eggs and bitter Okinawan vegetables). It’s […]

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05/08/2015 Food & Drinks  Souvenirs

An entertaining station where you can taste Japanese sake! “Echigo Yuzawa Station” in Niigata Prefecture

The exit of Echigo Yuzawa station

It takes an hour and a half to get to Echigo Yuzawa Station from Tokyo station by the Hokuriku Shinkansen (supertrain). It’s known as the hub for sightseers during the winter and brings in a lot of skiers. In December of 2009, the area called Co Co Lo Yuzawa Gangi-dori Street was born. You can eat Yuzawa’s specialties and buy some souvenirs on this “retro Showa” themed street. Information desks and public baths are also available.

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27/09/2016 Food & Drinks

Tasting sake at S. Imanishi Co., Ltd. Harushika brewery in Nara.

S. Imanishi Co., Ltd. is a Japanese sake brewery located about a 5-minute walk from Gangoji temple (A World Heritage Site). The brewery is behind the store where “Harushika” sake and various goods are sold.
You can enjoy tasting five different types of seasonal sake. The brewery is a great place to visit. Imanishi shoin is located next door and was registered as an Important Cultural Property in 1959.

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18/05/2017 Bars & Restaurants

Let’s get drinks at Genka bar!! Everything you eat and drink is top quality!!

Genka bar has three branches: Gotanda, Akasaka mitsuke, and Ginza in Tokyo.
Everything you eat and drink is reasonable and of good quality!
This time, I went to the Genka Bar in Akasaka mitsuke.

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26/04/2018 Bars & Restaurants

Talkin’ Loud, a sake bar in Shinjuku where the bartender will help you find your favourite “Nihonshu”

“I am longing for the taste of good sake but I also want to try something new” I confided to my friend Shigenobu-san, an Arakicho regular who knows all the good drinking spots in this tiny area famous for its numerous bars. “Hmm that’s a difficult request since you already know so much about sake” replied Shigenobu-san thoughtfully “However I think I know just the place for you. You may even learn a thing or two!” Little did I know that this “thing or two” would lead me to a whole new way of enjoying my favourite drink.

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05/10/2015 Bars & Restaurants

Be a sake-meister at “Fuji-shuzo Winery”in Takehara city, Hiroshima Prefecture

Soba noodle

Takehara city is known as the origin for whiskey in Japan and is featured in the TV drama “Massan”. The Fuji-shuzo Winery in Takehara has been operating for over 130 years. The shuzo exchange hall utilizes the part of the sake brewery built during the end of the Edo period. There’s a shop where you can enjoy the excellent combination of soba and sake!

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30/01/2018 Bars & Restaurants

Tempura dining ITOI, taste new kinds of tempura and compare sake from around Japan

If you have had tempura before you might feel you know everything you need to know about this dish introduced to Japan by the Portuguese half a millennium ago. It’s basically shrimp and various vegetables battered and deep-fried, right? Tempura Dining ITOI will surprise you with the variety of foods they can turn into tempura, which you can enjoy while sipping one of the many interesting sakes on the menu.

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14/12/2018 Bars & Restaurants

Doromamire Izakaya in Shinjuku: Yakitori, Sake and Veggies

There are so many izakayas in Tokyo, that to stand out, having a memorable name and a clear concept are absolute musts. Doromamire, a name sounding like a scale of musical notes, achieves just that by promoting all their ingredients – parts of chicken (for their grilled skewers) and a large variety of vegetables – as being supplied directly from their farm. Finally, they have a wide selection of sake to go with your food, because after all, an izakaya is a place for drinking.

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