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Sake

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New York
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Sake

So, during our trip in June, i think it would be cool to try some sake.

Are their any Sake making tours?

Any places that offer a Sake tasting? Or flights(like they do with wine)?

A specific establishment that serves great Sake?

What do i need to know about this stuff?

Hiroshima
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1. Re: Sake

Traditional alcohol of Japan are sake and shochu. Sake is a brewage, and Shochu is a distilled spirit. Sake is brewed with rice. Shochu is made from sweet potato, wheat, etc. In Tokyo, there are a lot of izakaya(taverns) where you can taste sake and the shochu all over Japan.

Stockholm, Sweden
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2. Re: Sake

This might be of interest to you: http://www.tamajiman.com/english/kengaku.html

List of izakayas specialising in sake: http://bento.com/r-sake.html

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong
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3. Re: Sake

I like the one in Omotesando Hills.

www.hasegawasaketen.com/english/index.html

I don't know if it's the best in town, but it certainly is convenient. We visit it each time we are in Tokyo.

Tokyo, Japan
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4. Re: Sake

There are many great sake breweries in the regions, especially in Tohoku and Joetsu areas (good rice plus good water). Some are open as museums.

Although sake is made in each prefecture, two places in Kansai are historically known as the ultimate sake places.

1) Fushimi (South Kyoto) : http://www.fushimi.or.jp/ (sorry, only in Japanese).

-Gekkeikan brewery museum (major sake brewery)

gekkeikan.co.jp/english/…index.html

-Fujioka Shuzo brewery (opens a small bar -closed in the evening- and serves premium sake and sake ice cream)

…tabelog.com/kyoto/…

-Ginjo Shubo Aburacho (liquor shop that offers a tasting program where you can pick and sip from 80 sake selections of Fushimi breweries)

gourmet.livedoor.com/restaurant/303927/map/

2) Nada (Eastern Kobe)http://www.nadagogo.ne.jp/

-Kikumasamune Museum (one of the most popular sake brand with 350years of history) in Minami Uozaki

www.kikumasamune.co.jp/kinenkan/tour/02.html

-Hakutsuru Museum (one of the popular brands) in Sumiyoshi

http://www.hakutsuru.co.jp/shiryo/

-Hakushika Museum in Nishinomiya

http://www.hakushika.co.jp/museum/

Most breweries in Fushimi and Nada are modern mass manufacturing facilities, so their museums are for show. In order to get closer to the REAL premium sake-making by hand, you should reserve a guided tour (the language will be in Japanese) to smaller brewers.

-Hakutaka in Nada (Nishinomiya) organizes 3,000 and 1,000 yen courses

mail: event@hakutaka-shop.jp

homepage http://www.hakutaka-shop.jp/

Sake involves delicate process, and are mostly closed to visitors, local or foreign. No perfume when visiting a Kuramoto.

Edited: 03 May 2011, 15:14
Tokyo, Japan
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5. Re: Sake

You can learn about the history of sake making in those historic buildings when you go to the museums. Most major breweries in Fushimi and Nada have introduced machines to produce sake for the masses, and those minor breweries that offers premium hand made sakes are not open to the public (as sake making involves delicate process of rice fermentation). That's the reason for special guided tours.

Hong Kong, China
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6. Re: Sake

I thought we are talking about Tokyo area?

Kootenays, British...
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7. Re: Sake

As a westerner, I had some trouble tasting much difference between various sakes. By way of comparison it is like a mild white wine. I was told that the more expensive sake uses highly 'polished' rice - basically where the starch layer is stripped away. It is a very subtle beverage but my lack of discernment merely meant I could really enjoy a mid-range sake and really didn't need to buy the top line stuff.

Now shochu is a different animal. At its best it is like a half strength vodka. At its worse - well, you don't want to go there. Lets just say that one of the few things I disliked about Kyushu was the sweet potato shochu.

Fortunately, Japan makes some excellent scotch!

Tokyo, Japan
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for Hakone-machi, Minato
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8. Re: Sake

Tokyo has some brands of sake, though people think of "better" sake as being from the Niigata or up north. (No offense to our southern friends!)

Here are some interesting websites for Tokyo info.

http://www.japansake.or.jp/index.html

…fc2.com/sake_english/index.htm

http://www.sake-world.com/html/pub-guide.html

There's even a fan club on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/topic.php…

The mindset right now is to have a glass of sake from the Tohoku region as well as from Fukushima, thereby "helping" out the best we can! Kanpai!

Tokyo, Japan
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9. Re: Sake

Also, a nice treat in cold winter, especially at teahouses in the parks is Amazake (Hot, sweet, low-alcholic sake. Can be purchased in combini stores).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazake

Kurashiki, Japan
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for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
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10. Re: Sake

Just ask when you arrive at your destination. Most train stations have an information booth that can give you maps of places. Your hotel or ryokan woud also know.

Even in my area there are many places you can go and taste local sake. Avoid the big sake breweries, that stuff is mass-produced and awful.