Warm welcome to Sake Japan.
Super Happy News!! Junmai Ginjo Fukuju made by a sake brewery in Kobe, one of the best sake capitals, was served at a banquet after the 2018 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Sweden for the 8th time, five years straight.
As you probably know, Sake which usually contains 15-16% alcohole is getting more and more popular overseas as well, and its exports are increasing year after year. The export amount was nearly 10 billion JPY (about 90 million USD) in 2012, and about 19 billion JPY (about 175 million USD) in 2017.
How should I taste it best? .... You can drink it either warm or cold based on your taste. It might be better to enjoy it warm especially in winter, and cold in summer. When it comes to luxurious sake such as Junmai and Ginjo, cold sake at room temperature is a must. I think sake tastes best all year round when it is cold. Now it's almost SAKE TIME. Sure you will be like, "Unbelievable, super awesome!" So let's drink to your wonderful/special trip in Japan. "KAMPAI (CHEERS) !!"
Nara is allegedly the home of Japanese sake. They say sake was brewed here in Nara for the first time during the 15th century. (Shoganji Temple in Nara: the place of Japanese sake origin)
Fushimi and Nada, among others, are noted as the centers of sake breweries in western Japan. Here's some information about the genuine taste of Japanese sake.
Fushimi is located in the southern part of Kyoto, about 10-minute ride from JR Kyoto Station. There are over 20 sake breweries. Fushimi sake is characterized by its amakuchi or mild sweetness high in sugar, as often called "Onna-zake (women's sake)" using a bit soft underground water. Here in Fushimi, you can try a sake with a smooth taste.
Nada is located in the eastern part of Kobe and in Nishinomiya city in between Osaka and central Kobe, about 15-minute ride from JR Osaka Station or JR Sannomiya Station in central Kobe. There are over 20 sake breweries in there. Nada sake is characterized by its karakuchi, dryness low in sugar, as often called "Otoko-Zake (men's sake) using hard underground water welling up from Mt. Rokko.
Back in the late-Edo Period, early 19th century, it is said that some 80 per cent of sake consumed in Edo (currently Tokyo) was Nada sake, bought from Kobe port to Edo by sailboat. Most probably then Shogun also savored Nada's highest-class sake. So it's literally well-worth a go.:)
You will see a Sugi-tama (a ball made of Japanese ceder branches) hanging from the eaves of a sake brewery, which is initially green in December. It's a sign announcing the fresh sake of the year is now ready for YOU.
It's amazing that sake breweries can currently be seen not just in Japan, but all over the world, like New York, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Taiwan, Paris, Spain, Italy, and so on. So it might be safely said that today sake is being tasted throughout the world. Actually sake goes well with ANY cuisine. Would you like some sake as an appetizer, and during meals as well?
Here's a shot of my wonderful guests exploring a sake brewery in Kobe.
So much for Sake. Coz I'm getting a little bit tipsy. I might have dug too deep into Sake?:) So again "Kampai (Cheers) to your super happy and memorable travel!!" Enjoy.:)
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