This month, I had the wonderful the opportunity to travel to Kyoto, Japan to celebrate with three friends who were each awarded the title of Sake Samurai 2012!

I had the good fortune to be awarded Sake Samurai in 2007, and I’m over the moon to relive these good memories with good friends!

Meet the new Sake Samurai for 2012!

First up is Ayuchi Momose. I first met Momose-san when she was a sake sommelier at Sakagura restaurant. I always had lovely memories of Momose so kindly introducing me to new sakes and so many good nights at Sakagura. Momose has gone on to become the owner of a hot new sake bar in Hong Hong called Sake Bar Ginn. Check it out if you’re ever in Hong Kong!

Next is Sylvain Huet, who runs the popular La Passion du Saké Sake Blog in Paris. Sylvain is the premier sake authority in France and a wonderful guy to boot! We first met in NYC several years ago and connected as fellow sake bloggers. He’s spreading the good word of sake in the capitol of wine. Salut!

Chizuko being awarded Sake Samurai at Shimogamo Jinja in Kyoto Japan. Together with Sekiya-san of Horaisen Sake Brewery.

Last but not least is our dear friend Chizuko Niikawa Helton. Chiz also started her sake career at Sakagura Restaurant and went on to found her own sake PR and promotion company called Sake Discoveries, LLC. Chiz is well known in NYC for organinzing all kinds of sake event, tastings, fundraisers and, well, you name it! Anything related to sake, and Chiz is most likely a part of the action. I’ve had the good fortune to work closely with Chiz for several years. Congratulations!!

The Ceremony itself was little changed since 2007. I’ve found more than anything, I’ve changed! Since I became Sake Samurai 5 years ago, I’ve left my day job and devoted my work full time to the sake industry. It’s been quite the evolution! I still remember how nervous I was in 2007, but I hope I’ve grown a lot since then.

Sake Samurai Ceremony 2012 at Shimogamo Jinja in Kyoto Japan.

I want to extend my sincere congratulations to Momose, Sylvain and Chizuko. Three fantastic Sake Samurai doing good sake work around the globe! Here’s a Kanpai for lots of good sake events ahead!


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