Samurai_logo.gifTomorrow, I’m leaving on a jet plane for my first ever trip to Japan. That statement, in and of itself, is exciting.

However, when I think about why I’m going to Japan, words can’t quite express what I feel.

In short, I’ve been invited to Japan for a tremendous honor: to become a Sake Samurai. This is a title given by the Japan Sake Brewers Association to folks who promote sake and Japanese culture. My invitation letter explained this:

The Japan Sake Brewers Association Junior Council has established a program to confer the title of Sake Samurai upon select individuals in grateful recognition for their love of Japanese sake and contribution to the dissemination of the joy of Japanese culture and sake around the world.

Working on has been a genuine labor of love and, if anything, I know I am truly passionate about sake. An honor such as this only makes me more committed to spread the word on Nihonshu, but it also encourages me to find new ways to grow interest in and appreciation of sake here in the States and beyond. I believe the internet is a powerful tool that can be used to make this happen.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be in Kyoto and environs for 1 week for the conferment ceremony, sake tasting and some sightseeing. If time and computer access allow, I’ll be posting updates from the field, so please stay tuned. A special thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged me on my sake Journey. I know the best is yet to come. Kanpai!