Super Happy News!! Japanese sake, Junmai Ginjo Fukuju made by a sake brewery in Kobe, was served at a banquet after the 2018 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Sweden. This was its 8th time to be served there, 5 years in a row.
Sake, containing 15-16% alcohole, is getting more and more popular overseas, and its exports are increasing year after year. The expot 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 enjoy it? .... You can drink it either hot or cold based on your taste. I suggest you enjoy it hot especially in winter time, and cold in summer time. When it comes to luxurious sake such as Junmai and Ginjo, cold sake at room temperature is a must. Now it's SAKE TIME. Sure you will be like, "Unbelievable, super awesome!" So let's drink to your 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 ieastern part of Kobe and in Nishinomiya city in between Osaka and central Kobe, about 10 - 15 minute ride from JR Osaka Station or JR Sannomiya Station in Kobe. There are over 20 sake breweries here and 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.
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 first sake of the year is now ready for you.
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