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......