On Value and Price in Sake

I have recently been thinking so much about sake pricing, I almost confuse myself. It's a very big topic, and one that many people in the industry (particularly non-Japanese) seem to have strong opinions about. The primary reason, of course, is that within Japan most sake is very, very cheap, while outside Japan it is... Continue Reading →

Junmai Myths and Truths

Junmai sake, made with rice, rice koji, and water alone (except for yeasts, and the added lactic acid for sokujo. Oh, and also some flavor adjusting enzymes in some cases.) is all the rage with sake drinkers both in and out side of Japan. People like it because they feel it has tradition, because it... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Go To Drink Gokyo

Go To Drink Tokyo, Junmai ginjō (Blend) The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on the world, and this is of course true of the sake world as well. Brewers have seen plummeting sales, which is bad, and also seen stock back up in their warehouses and tanks, which is very bad. If they don't make... Continue Reading →

New Newsletter!

Announcing the Ochoko Times! My new newsletter starting from November 15, 2020. I'm just getting the hang of it, but my plan is to send emails twice monthly, one in the middle and one at the end. The emails will feature western Japan sake news and reviews, event updates and recaps, and also look at... Continue Reading →

Hiyaoroshi – An Ode to Autumn

This season, which has nearly passed us by, is the season of rich food, cool breezes, and the joys of autumn sake: hiyaoroshi. In the simplest explanation, this sake was pressed in the spring, tanked and pasteurized once, then bottled and shipped in autumn without the second pasteurization. In technical terms, this makes it namazume.... Continue Reading →

The Drinks Still Flow

Things seem to have slipped by unnoticed for a while, haven't they? The age of corona is changing all kinds of things, and my approach to sake is certainly one of them. The complete cancellation of sake events all over Japan and the overall drop in sales has led to all kinds of complications for... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Sake by Akiyama Hiroichi

I typically review books elsewhere, but lately I've been reading lots of books about my favorite drink and I thought perhaps others would be interested in hearing about them. Thus, from now on I will be posting my thoughts on the various sake books I read. Sake: The Essence of 2000 Years of Japanese Wisdom... Continue Reading →

Funagumi Comparison

Funagumi Junmai Hito-natsu Jukusei, Mori no Kura, Seimaibuai 65% (matured) Funagumi Junmai Satoshi, Mori no Kura, Seimaibuai 65% (fresh) This is a very interesting chance! Fukuoka's Mori no Kura offers a Funagumi junmai, which means that it's pressed in a traditional top-pressure tank, called a "fune" (boat) and bottled by hand directly from the press.... Continue Reading →

In With The New

The first Monday of 2020 has already passed me by, but I thought I'd make this first post of the year something more meta than another tasting. Because this year promises to be something different from last in many ways, including this sake habit of mine. Good Old Shintani Shuzo To begin with, I'm reaching... Continue Reading →

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