Friday, October 21, 2011

Sakagura Tour—trial run ⓷ September 2011

We left you in Tottori after a very full meal at Ginchan.
This is the hotel we will be staying in, in Tottori.

Unfortunately we were unable to travel to Kyoto as the typhoon had closed the JR line on that day.
When we go on our tour we will certainly stay one night in Kyoto, do some sightseeing and shopping. This is the hotel where we will stay.

We will visit the Tamagawa brewery where we will have the opportunity to talk with Master Brewer Philip Harper. Philip is English, so, he should be able to answer all your accumulated, unanswered questions.

The izakaya we will visit in Kyoto is 'Gotoshi' another Michelin ☆ restaurant 2011.
We did not have time, but on our tour we will finish with one day and one night in Tokyo to sample the night life and catch up on shopping and/or sightseeing/or whatever you wish in your free time.

We are looking forward to enjoying this tour adventure with you.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sakagura Tour—trial run ⓶ September 2011

This is Tuesday 20/Sept.
We are going to Taketsuru in Takehara city. Takehara is 250km west of Osaka, approx. 2hrs by Bullet Train. We left Shin Osaka station 9:59am and arrived at Higashi Hiroshima station at 12:09.
Today is Taketsuru's 15th annual Tasting Day. Every year since 1997 Taketsuru Shuzou has held a Nomikirikai (Tasting day) for their clients.
We stayed at Komogawaso in Takehara.
The Nomikirikai started 2pm and continued until early the following morning.
We didn't have time to visit Taketsuru Shuzou but here are some pictures.
Nomikirikai venue:

Looks yummy....

Everybody is enjoying drinking Taketsuru's best sakes!

Late last night we got a phone call from Ohtasan Bentenmusume that due to heavy rain the scheduled express train has been cancelled. A mere typhoon was not going to stop us—we re-routed through Okayama instead of Himeji.
We left Higashi Hiroshima station at 9:38am arriving at Kouge station at 12:44 and Ohtasan picked us up from there.

This is Ohta Shuzouba (Bentenmusume)
Here is Ohta family and Mr Nakajima, the master brewer

This is the place in Tottori "Sushi Gin"

The master and his wife

Calamari and Prawn sashimi

Bonito tataki

Tai-no-sakamushi (Snapper steamed with sake)

to be continued.....

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sakagura Tour—trial run September 2011

I have just returned from a trial run of part of the Sakagura Tour, 2012, and am excited to share with you photos of some of the places you will be visiting.

Our tour started with two nights at Hotel Granvia in Osaka.
We ate our evening meals in two delightful Izakayas:

First one is ‘Kamunabi’ Michelin ☆ in 2011


Trout sashimi from Biwako

Osuimono(Soup) with Hamo, Pumpkin gnocchi and Matsutake mushroom

Nodokuro Sagohachizuke

and here are the delightful staff:

The owner chef Idogawasan and his wife:

The next night we went to

The owner Mihosan and her sister:

and this is what we ate:
The starter is Eggplant & Jako, Shimeji mushroom & sweet corn, Spanish mackerel & potato

Chamame (kind of soy bean) tofu

Sanma (Horse mackerel)

Sea urchin & avocado

Chilli Renkon (Lotus)

Spanish mackerel & mushroom

finishing with Takikomi gohan

While staying in Osaka we made a day trip to the KUBOHONKE Brewery (SUIRYU, DOBU) in Haibara, Nara Prefecture, where we were received by Master Brewer, Kato-san. Here we are outside the brewery.

This brewery is over 300 years old and is surrounded by many beautiful buildings of similar vintage.

to be continued......

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nama genshu (unpasteurised sake)

A new shipment arrived just before the sake event.
There are now 6 different namazake(unpasteurised sake) available.

Shinkame kassei nigori(Sparkling nigori) only 720ml bottle

The aroma is of rice/malt. Slightly fizzy on the palate, the flavour is of rice and fermented rice with a dry aftertaste.

Izumibashi Natsu-yago junmai kassei nigori

The aroma is lemonade and malt and slightly fizzy on the palate. The flavour is dry with a good dose of the umami of rice. The cloudiness is not to heavy making it easy to drink.
Enjoy it chilled from the fridge and still fizzy or try it heated to 60c.

Ten-on Kimoto namagenshu

The aroma is rice with melon and plum. The flavour is smooth with subtle hints of melon and plum.
The flavour lingers on the palate leaving slight astringency.

Bentenmusume Funakumi junmai Gohyakumangoku

The aroma is fruity with a rice base. The flavour is mango, peach and lychee with the underlying umami of rice. On swallowing it leaves a dry aftertaste with suggestion of fennel and chilli.

Shitihonyari junmai muroka namagenshu 7gou

The aroma is fruity over a base of rice. The flavour has hints of lychee smooth and mellow and easy to drink.

Tamagawa Yamahai muroka namagenshu Kitanishiki

The aroma is rice and malt. The flavour is dry underlying rice and malt with hints of melon and lychee. The aftertaste has marked astringency around the edges.

Sake wa junmai Sake Makers Showcase 2011

Thank you to all who attended this event. It was great to see you all there.
All the brewers were very impressed with the level of interest and they enjoyed introducing their sakes to you and they have promised to come back next year.

We are starting to receive expressions of interest for the Sakagura Tour next March 2012.

If you think you may be interested or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.