After surviving the double disaster of the magnitude 9 earthquake and towering tsunami that damaged more than 100 sake breweries in northeastern Japan on March 11, sake producers in Tohoku thought that the situation could hardly get worse. But when the media reported that the stricken reactors at Fukushima’s No. 1 nuclear power plant had begun to leak radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, they realized that some of the biggest difficulties were yet to come.
Takaaki Yamauchi, president and master brewer at Fuchu Homare Shuzo in Ibaraki Prefecture, was still cleaning up the shards of sake bottles that had been smashed by the earthquake when he heard that radiation levels had risen in the area.
Read the rest of the story: Sake fights fallout of Japan’s triple disaster.
Sake is gradually increasing its presence at banquets where Japanese government leaders play host to foreign dignitaries.
The Foreign Ministry has mainly used wine at such banquets because it is easy to handle and goes well with any dish.
However, sake has begun to be included among other beverages at dinners and receptions amid growing calls from within the ministry to actively push sake in the field of diplomacy.
In inviting foreign VIPs, the ministry checks on their likes and dislikes and whether they are allergic to any foods in deciding on menus and drinks.
Read the rest of the article: Presence of sake grows in diplomacy
A sugidama is a large ball of tightly bundled cedar that usually hangs from the roof of sakaguras(sake breweries). It is also known as the sakabayashi and is most likely the most traditional way of marking where sake can be found. If you see this ball hanging from the sign out front, then the place most likely has a wide and varied list of sakes to choose from and will be worth checking out. Happy Hunting!
I’m a sucker for any gimmick, so I tried the Fuguhire sake. This means hot sake with flame broiled blowfish fins floating in it. And well as I’m not a fan of hot sake, I prefer cold and if anything floating in it maybe a slice of cucmber, I was a little surprised by the taste. At first it tasted the same as regular ole hot sake, but as I got closer to the bottom it got a little more and more fishier. The last drop was a little too fishy.
Now I have heard that some take their blowfish fins home for further soaking , but for me I think I’ll stick with the old cold sake and a cucumber slice routine.