My next stop in Japan was Ichishima Sake Brewery, located in Shibata City, Niigata. I’ve known the current brewery President, the young and dynamic Kenji Ichishima for several years now. Ichishima-san is the current leader of the Sake Brewer’s Association Junior Council / Sake Samurai organization where I first met him in 2007. He is the descendant of a sake brewing family steeped in tradition that dates back over 200 years, but he has also spent considerable time abroad and in addition to speaking fluent English, he also understands the dynamic of western cultures.

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The 21st Century is turning out to be kinda hectic so far, with everyone’s Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds and Flickr streams constantly demanding attention. However, the obvious upside to all this technology is that it allows people to connect with one another.

This is exactly what happened to me when I met the adorable Ren and Rie, a couple who run what has to be the the cutest ceramics atelier in Kyoto: Koyoido.

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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 […]

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So you fly into Narita at 4pm on a Monday afternoon and what do you do? Well, if you’re a 21st century sake blogger like me, why not meet up with a cyber-twitter-sake-blog-colleague and go on a cup sake adventure through Tokyo?!

I first met Maki Osugi online when I discovered his wonderful cup sake blog bq69 collectibles. I liked his blog so much I asked him for an interview in 2009 that you can read here. Luckily for me Maki-san had lived in New York and spoke fluent English!

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This month I had the honor of being interviewed alongside Kenichi Kuno by Chopsticks Magazine in the October issue on newstands now! October is sake month and Chopsticks asked us all kinds of questions about sake! What’s my golden rule about sake? Is premium sake safe for beginners? Do any sakes go well with desserts? […]

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Hakkaisan Sake Brewery has been hosting a monthly “Hakkaisan Restaurant Week” which is a limited time each month when top NYC restaurants feature specials paired with Hakkaisan Sake. I wanted to explore this for myself and set out for 15 East Sushi Restaurant which was a participating restaurant in the Sept 2010 Hakkaisan Restaurant week. […]

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I recently enjoyed a fantastic sake tasting event at Sakagura celebrating the sake from Tedorigawa. Mr. Ryuichi Yoshida, President of Tedorigawa Sake Brewery was on hand to introduce us all to is wonderful brews! In all, we tasted four of their delicious sakes. Tedorigawa Iki na Onna Daiginjo Tedorigawa Yamahai Daiginjo Tedorigawa Yamahai Junmai Tedorigawa […]

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Japanese Culinary Center and Nanbu Bijin Brewery recently co-sponsored an event celebrating Nanbu Bijin’s role in Moyashimon. Have you ever heard of the Japanese Manga Moyashimon (aka “Tales of Agriculture”)? It’s a fun story about a young student at a Japanese Agriculture university who has the unique ability to see and communicate with bacteria, koji […]

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In early August, I made time to visit a special tasting night at Sakagura. Mr. Kazuhiro Sakurai, executive director of Dassai Brewery (Asahi Shuzo) and three young Kurabito (sake brewery workers) came to New York to offer a unique tasting set. The delicious three sakes that were carefully selected (including ones yet-to-be introduced to the […]

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On July 19th, 2010 I taught another Elements of Sake class at the fun and exciting Astor Center in New York City’s East Village. This class is always a blast to teach and I’ve already been teaching here for three years! Hard to believe it’s been that long already, but each and every class at […]

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I was invited to help introduce and pour Hakkaisan sake at a special event at Sakagura restaurant celebrating the festival of “Tanabata”.

Tanabata Matsuri is known as the “Japanese Star Festival” and is usually held on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year. The festival commemorates two star-crossed lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi who could not be together on earth, but come together once a year in the heavens as stars.

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As a part of their 2010 Grand Portfolio Tasting, I attended a wonderful sake lecture by Kazu Yamazaki of Prestige Sakes. Kazu and Mariko Yamazaki work tirelessly to promote sake and introduce their wonderful Prestige Sakes to the US. Kazu-san’s fun lecture was focused on the “grand cru” of sakes… Daiginjos and Junmai Daiginjos! ohhh. […]

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A Sake Industry promotion company called “Kuramoto US” recently put on a sake tasting event at the fantastic Kitano Hotel. Twelve Sake breweries were featured at the tasting, many bringing their precious and fresh Namazake for us to try. That delicious Namazake was really a highlight – but several were only for this tasting and […]

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The Consulate General of Japan in New York recently hosted a reception at the Ambassador’s official residence to promote the “Washoku -; Try Japan’s Good Food” campaign. On a very snowy afternoon in February, press, chefs and guests were assembled to learn about the good food (and sake!!!) of Japan. This event was also a […]

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After my fun Kubota Adventure at Decibel, I didn’t want to miss the Kubota event at Sakagura!

This time I was in for one of my new favorite sakes…Senshin Junmai Daiginjo!! Today, Sanjo-san, visiting from the brewery that makes Kubota, was serving a special and beautifully presented Kubota Junmai Daiginjo set. This set included Kubota Manju Junmai Daiginjo, Tokugetsu Junmai Daiginjo, and last but not least Senshin Junmai Daiginjo.

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In early February, on the night of one of our awful winter storms this year, I trekked over to Decibel to attend a fantastic Kubota event. They weather was storming, but I followed by Sake Samurai Motto:

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays the sake samurai from the swift attendance of their appointed sake tastings.

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