Japanese Sake – Our Recommendations

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  • Recently, Japanese sake has been getting more attention around the world. Japan has more than 1,400 sake breweries, the number of brands said to be more than 10,000. The type of rice, the quantity of the polished rice, the difference of yeast starters for the alcohol fermentation, alcohol usage, how often it is heated, how it is screwed, and maturity are elements that enable sake to have so many varieties and a lot of complexity. Even Japanese people find it difficult to choose their favorite one because of all the many kinds available out there. However, if you have the chance to come to Japan, there is no doubt that you would love to try some delicious Japanese sake. Therefore, we are pleased to introduce our 20 favorite brands!

    Our Top 20 Sake Brands

    1.JIKON「而今」(Kiyashow Shuzo 木屋正酒造/Mie 三重県)
    2.HAKUIN MASAMUNE「白隠正宗」(Takashima Shuzo 高嶋酒造/Shizuoka 静岡県)
    3.TSUSHIMAYA「津島屋」(Miyozakura Shuzo 御代桜酒造/Gifu 岐阜県) 
    4.SAWAYA MATSUMOTO「澤屋まつもと」(Matsumoto Shuzo 松本酒造/Kyoto 京都府)
    5.KAMEIZUMI「亀泉」(Kameizumi Shuzo 亀泉酒造/Kochi 高知県)
    6.DENSHU「田酒」(Nishida Shuzoten 西田酒造店/Aomori 青森県)
    7.YUKI NO BOUSHA「雪の茅舎」(Saiya Shuzoten 齋彌酒造店/Akita 秋田県)
    8.HOUOU BIDEN「鳳凰美田」(Kobayashi Shuzo 小林酒造/Tochigi 栃木県)
    9.HARUKASUMI「春霞」(Kuribayashi Shuzoten 栗林酒造店/Akita 秋田県)
    10.HARUSHIKA「春鹿」(Imanishi Seibei Shoten 今西清兵衛商店/Nara 奈良県)
    11.AZAKURA「阿櫻」(Azakura Shuzo 阿桜酒造/Akita 秋田県)
    12.YAMABOUSHI「山法師」(Rokkasen 六歌仙/Yamagata 山形県)
    13.MATSU NO KOTOBUKI「松の寿」(Matsui Shuzoten 松井酒造店/Tochigi栃木県)
    14.NARUKA「鳴海」(Azumanada Jozo 東灘醸造/Chiba 千葉県)
    15.KOSHI NO KAGETORA「越乃景虎」(Morohashi Shuzo 諸橋酒造/Niigata新潟県)
    16.KAKUREI「鶴齢」(Aoki Shuzo 青木酒造/Niigata 新潟県)
    17.GARYUBAI「臥龍梅」(Sanwa Shuzo 三和酒造/Shizuoka 静岡県)
    18.KUJIRANAMI「鯨波」(Ena Jozo 恵那醸造/Gifu 岐阜県)
    19.RYUSEI「龍勢」(Fujii Shuzo 藤井酒造/Hiroshima 広島県)
    20.SHIGEMASU「繁桝」(Takahashi Shoten 高橋商店/Fukuoka 福岡県)

    What are your thoughts? All these sakes are from top-notch Japanese sake breweries we love and recommend. However, keep in mind that a sake’s popularity doesn’t necessarily mean we can easily get a bottle in a big city like Tokyo. Many of these sake breweries separate their products, sending a brand to big cities while maintaining a local one you can only find if visiting the area that houses the brewery. Furthermore, there is even a brewery that doesn’t supply its sake to other places besides its local market.

    CRAFT SAKE WEEK

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    We would also like to let you know about a very enjoyable sake event that is taking place right now. From April 19, 2019 (Fri) to April 29, 2019 (Mon), Tokyo Roppongi Hills will be the venue of an event called “CRAFT SAKE WEEK”. The event will be held for a total of 11 days. 10 different sake various Japanese breweries will be offered every day, the brands changing daily, which means you can enjoy 110 brands of sake in total.

    中田英寿

    The main host of this event is former professional football player, Hidetoshi Nakata. After retiring, Mr. Nakata decided to promote Japanese sake around the world, an endeavor to which he has been greatly dedicated. Mr. Nakata knowledge of sake is very extensive, and the 110 kinds of sake that will be offered are his top recommendations, which means they should definitely be tasty. Among the 20 kinds of sake we previously mentioned, you can try the first nine at this event! So why not attending and trying these delicious sakes?

    kit kat

    You should also know that both Japanese and foreign dishes are served. Perhaps to your surprise, even Kit Kat chocolates go well with Japanese sake! The pairings are a result of Mr. Nakata’s own concept when selecting the different sake brands. Therefore, you can also enjoy the combination of cuisine and sake!

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    餐廳

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    As stated before, not only Japanese dishes are served. Instead, you will also be able to try Thai, Vietnam, Chinese, French, Italian, and Spainish dishes. Additionally, all of them are from world-famous restaurants. There is no other place than this event where we can enjoy such varieties of excellent Japanese sake and some fantastic dishes at the same time.

    All the dishes offered are part of a special menu exclusive prepared for this event. Besides these dishes going well with Japanese sake,finding your favorite combination of Japanese sake and the dishes will also be enjoyable. This is one of the key features of this event.

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    Choosing a specific wine is for those who want to enjoy the difference of flavor reflected by your selection of dishes, and this is also applicable to Japanese sake. Some time ago, it was believed that sake could only paired with Japanese food. But if you taste Japanese sake with dishes from various countries, you will easily see that it was just a misconception. Sake goes well with dishes from all over the world!

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    In terms of the quantity of the dishes, you might not find the portions big enough to constitute lunch or dinner. Remember that, since this is a sake event, the dishes served are no more than appetizers.This, however, enables you to enjoy many kinds of the cuisines. Of course, it means you’ll end up spending some money when trying each dish, but the experience of getting to taste food from such well-known restaurants will make it feel reasonable.

    Those who attend this event will be definitely surprised by the perfect combinations of foreign dishes and Japanese sake. All these discoveries and surprises are waiting for you.