Next on my whirlwind trip to Niigata was a visit to Asahi Shuzo, makers of the world renowned Kubota Brand of Sakes. I was given a tour of the brewery by Mr. Masamichi Sanjo, who is in the export sales division at Asahi Shuzo.
Day 5 in Japan started early with a trip out of Tokyo. I met Fukumitusya Brewery export salesman Mr. Yageta at Tokyo Station and we boarded the train for Ishikawa Prefecture. Although heâ€™s usually stationed in Tokyo, he was kind enough to travel with me all the way to Ishikawa.
Fukumitsuya Brewery is located in Kanazawa City. This small town on the sea of Japan is sometimes known as â€œlittle Kyotoâ€ because of the number of historical attractions found here.
Day 4 of my Japan trip takes me on another sake adventure. This 2008 sake tour is starting to pick up speed and the shinkansen has left the station. This time, I’m headed to Ishioka city in Ibaraki Prefecture to visit Takaaki Yamauchi, the president of Huchu Homare Brewery, makers of the much loved Wataribune […]
After a lovely morning sake tasting and tour at Oomuraya Brewery, the intrepid Shizuoka tour guide extraordinaire, Robert-Gilles led Melinda, Etsuko and myself onward to another Shizuoka sake maker. Kumpai Brewery is a small sake brewery with a big heart. It’s located in Shizuoka City and we got there by cab from the Shizuoka train […]
My next day in Japan was too full to fit into one blog post, so here is Act I! Of course, I’m referring to the 2008 Sake Blogger’s Summit held this year in beautiful Shizuoka Prefecture. Forget the G8, we’re talking about the Sake 4: Etsuko from Tokyo Foodcast, Melinda from Tokyo Through the Drinking […]
“Membership Has It’s Privileges“, or at least that is what Amex says. You know, I’ve gotten through life pretty well without being a member… and I don’t just mean Amex. I’m talking no Fraternity, no food co-op and I’ve never even owned a Member’s Only jacket! However, on my second day in Japan, the wonderful […]
I was a man on a mission. This was only my second trip to Japan, and I had my priorities clearly defined. What was my number one top priority upon arriving in Japan? Catch up with friends? Eat Sushi at Tsukiji Market? Commune with nature at an ancient shrine? ….um, none of the above… My […]
Watch this space for soon to be published Reports from my Recent trip to Japan! I visited many Breweries and rode the shinkansen from one end of Japan to the other (almost). There were a ton of new experiences for me… I harvested sake rice, helped stir moto, was served sake by maiko, toured 10 […]
I had the distinct pleasure of giving a sake 101 lecture again this year at the New York Anime Festival. Faithful readers of UrbanSake.com will remember my big adventure last year at this event, where I was totally unprepared for the raucous crowds and energetic anime crowds. Well, all I can say is that this […]
The annual Joy of Sake event is the mother lode of sake tastings brought right to our backyard. In the span of 3 hours, there is more sake, great food and enthusiastic drinkers than you can shake a stick at. Best of all, there are tons of sakes that are not for sale in the […]
JFC is a well known importer of Sake and Japanese food stuffs and I was delighted to recently attend their Fall ’08 New York Sake Expo! As I traveled from table to table at the Expo, I met some very interesting people, and some very interesting sake. First, I meet Mr. Kakutaro Kubo, Vice President […]
Winebow is a importing company that focuses mostly on bringing great Italian Wines to the U.S. Of late, they have made a move into the world of sake! Currently importing two diverse portfolios, one from Akita and one from Niigata, more sake brought into the States is a win for everyone. I had a chance […]
The Akita Sake Club has come a long way, baby! The most recent event was held again at the Japan American Association offices in Midtown and was the Club’s 6th meeting that celebrates the sake from Japan’s Akita Prefecture. In addition to the sake, The club also features the food and music of Akita. I’ve […]
Here is my first video in a series of short videos that profile individual sakes. I hope this video gives you a quick overview of Dassai 50 and why I like it. Kanpai!
Hokkaido is the northern most island of Japan, a huge place with lots of agriculture, open spaces and cold winters. It’s capital is Sapporo which calls to mind another certain alcoholic beverage more so than sake in the minds of most folks. However, one man is working to change all that. His name is Mr. […]
Compared to the coverage wine and beer get in the mainstream media, sake coverage often trails far behind. Every once in a while, though, sake gets its moment to shine. According to UrbanSake.com headquarter’s scientific calculations, sake mentions in the media are on a permanent upswing. Case in point is the latest travel feature in […]
New York City is crowded, loud, humid and dirty. Why on earth would anyone want to live here? For me, the answer is easy. Where else in the U.S. can I get such easy access to top notch sake tastings?! A recent event I went to was simply fantastic and reminded me why I do […]
Prestige Sake Association Importers had another wonderful tasting event to introduce sakes in New York. This time, the focus was on an array of summer nama sake along with two outstanding breweries in the Prestige portfolio: Umenishiki and Tsukasabotan. I started tasting with the Tsukasabotan sakes and had the pleasure of meeting Tsukasabotan Brewery President […]
Where’s the Fire? Well, for the coolest dudes in Edo-period Japan it was where ever you would find the Kaga-tobi, or the Kaga Clan Firemen. These firefighters were viewed by the general public as masculine and tough but above all they were greatly admired for their bravery at fighting fires in a time when Edo […]
I recently attended a small but spectacular tasting at my dear Sakagura restaurant. It was an evening dedicated to Sake from Saiya Sake Brewery, maker’s of Akita’s well regarded Yuki No Bosha brand. Saiya Brewery President Kotaro Saito-san spoke at the beginning of the event to introduce Akita and his sake. Henry Seidel, President of […]
The yearly “Joy of Sake” event is the Big-Fat-Greek-Wedding of sake tastings. It easily wins, hands down, the title of largest sake event in the U.S. It’s huge, sprawling and a lot to take in… over 300 sakes at one event. I was surprised therefore when a notice arrived in my inbox for “Joy of […]
On a beautiful early summer day, I took off from work and headed to a sake tasting hosted by the fine folks at Nishimoto Trading Co., a sake importer of some very fine sake. The event was up at the Bryant Park hotel but located downstairs at the beautiful cellar bar. I started my rounds […]
I was lucky enough to be invited to host another “sake samurai” tasting at Sakaya, New York’s ONLY all sake store. It’s really fun when I get to meet people and introduce them to some of my favorite sakes one on one! This time, we focused in on three Junmai Ginjo sakes, with three unique […]
Niigata is a special place for sake. Not quite sure what makes it special… some say the water, some say the snow, some say the climate, but when it comes down to it, above it’s the taste. If anyone can help us unravel this mystery, it’s Ataru Kobayashi, Founder of SENA Niigata Sake Selections, an […]
With weekly tastings going on at Sakaya, there is a lot to taste and enjoy! It’s hard to keep up with all the goings on, but I will give the old college try. A recent highlight was Tamanohikari a.k.a. “Brilliant Jade”. It was a wonderful treat to meet Mr. Kenzo Mabuchi-san, General Manager of Export […]
Sake from Akita has some rabid fans. And I understand why – I’m becoming one of them myself. I really woke up to this fact after attending the recent Akita Sake Club tasting event held at the Japanese American Association of New York. This event was a nice mix of the familiar and the new. […]
Sakagura’s Spring fling, their annual “ohanami” tasting event, was one of those events that reminded me how I fell in love with sake in the first place. in a nutshell there were 1) fantastic, lovely people. 2) fantastic, lovely food and, last but not least, 3) outrageously fantastic and lovely sake. First, the peeps – […]
Our friend Rick Smith of New York’s only all sake Shop, Sakaya, recently held a tasting devoted to Daiginjo. I found this tasting to be interesting on many levels. Instead of opting for a “vertical” tastings where one might compare three grades of sake from the same brewer, Rick-san chose to taste three Daiginjo sakes […]
I was thrilled to recently get a close up look, and taste, of the latest offerings of Prestige Sake Imports. There was another rich array of selections from some of the best Prestige has to offer. Three breweries in particular were featured: Kaika, Otokoyama and Gokyo. My first stop of the day was to visit […]