On this trip to Japan, I returned to the Sake Samurai Ceremony in Kyoto to witness the 5th annual celebration of this great event. The purpose of Sake Samurai is to acknowledge select individuals, both inside and outside of Japan, who are working for the betterment of sake around the globe.

Fellow New Yorker and Gohan Society founder Saori Kawano was one of the recipients this year. I was thrilled to be able to congratulate her in person! Another new Sake Samurai this year is the L.A. based sake educator and Sake Sommelier Yuji Matsumoto.

Kenji Ichishima, President of the famous Ichishima Sake Brewery and the current Chairman of the Sake Samurai program led the proceedings and the ceremony, banquet and tasting the next day were all beautiful and a big success. Witnessing this amazing event again was very nostalgic for me and brought back a lot of memories. The honor of becoming a Sake Samurai in 2007 was a catalyst for a lot of exciting and positive change in my own life. I hope it’s the same for this year’s honorees!

See the gallery below for photos and more details on the 2010 Sake Samurai events!


  1. Tokyofoodcast

    October 21, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Congrats on your another successful year as sake ambassador or Sake Samurai! You look great in that kimono and with maiko! Can’t wait to read the rest of your sake adventure in Japan.

  2. Karise

    October 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Tim! Looks like you are having a great time in Japan, and glad to hear we have a sake samurai in LA!

  3. Hiroko

    October 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Great photos of samurai ceremony! Ichishima san and new samurais look great! Kato san’s head is big, too!

  4. Todd

    October 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Hey Timothy – Wow! That was quite a formal ceremony. Congratulations! The Maiko-san next to you in the photo has an incredible face.

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