“Mansaku no Hana” & “Tama no Hikari” In-store tasting event @ Ikebukuro

You can taste Mansaku no Hana, Hinomaru Jozo Co., Ltd. from Akita prefecture, and Tama no Hikari, TAMANOHIKARI Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. from Kyoto prefecture.

Mansaku no Hana (Hinomaru Jozo Co., Ltd. )

Hinomaru Jozo is located in Masudamachi, in Yokote city in the picturesque snow country of Akita, Japan. Akita has long, harsh, snowy winters. In the height of the winter season, Hinomaru Jozo’s touji (sake master) Ryoji Takahashi can be found with his hands buried deep in cold, mashed rice, preparing it for fermentation.

Like many older breweries and distilleries, Hinomaru Jozo follows traditions that date back to when it was first founded almost 330 years ago, in 1689. Something the Hinomaru Brewery is proud of is the usage of the “rising sun” imagery, 200 years prior to its official association with the Japanese flag and government. The logo and name were created by the feudal leader of the region at the time: Lord Satake.

But there is more to a distillery than a name and a logo. Their motto, coupling “quality first” with “challenging spirit,” reflects the rigorous process involved in concocting the perfect sake mix. Still to this day, everything is done by hand: the rice growing, harvesting, mashing, steaming, transferring, and bottling. One of the key elements that helps Hinomaru’s sake stand out is the usage of small, 1.8-liter bottles to store and age the sake, as opposed to more common practice of storing and aging sake in massive, 500 to 1000–liter barrels at other breweries. There is no better example of Hinomaru’s quality nihonshu than the Mansakuno Hana brand: named for the mansakuno flower and created to commemorate a popular NHK TV drama that was set in Akita, it can be found at restaurants around the world. An even more refined variety of this sake is the Mansakuno Hana Daiginjo, whose beautiful pale gold color matches its fruity aroma—like that of apples or pears.

The Akita snow is a crucial indirect ingredient: keeping the building cold and frosty creates a specific flavor and texture known only to Hinomaru’s brand-name sake. A crisp, sweet, fruity winter taste dominates their flavor profiles, and complements the famous sour pickled vegetables of the north. Winter in Akita is suddenly much less cold when it’s paired with a bottle of sake from Hinomaru Jozo.

Hinomaru Jozo Co., Ltd. Home page

Tama no Hikari (TAMANOHIKARI Sake Brewing Co., Ltd.)

Established 1673. Tamanohikari was one of the first breweries in Japan to popularize junmai sake in the 1960s. This was cutting edge and risky at the time—junmai sake consumes 1.8 times the amount of rice compared to non-junmai varieties and this was being introduced to a customer base not familiar with the benefits. Furthermore, Tamanohikari primarily use bizen-omachi, yamadanishiki, and iwai rice for their sake. These are all more expensive, rarer breeds of rice strains.

Because Tamanohikari is made only with rice, water, and koji, our commitment to rice is extraordinary. Each spring we visit the locations where our rice is produced. Our employees put on long boots and stand next to the rice planting farmers. We only use rice that meets our one-of-a-kind strict standards. Nothing else that.

Half a century has passed since Tamanohikari revived the tradition of junmai pure rice sake. Today more and more people appreciate the quality of junmai and ginjo pure sake. But still, you could look all over Japan and you will find only a handful of breweries dedicated to the making of junmai ginjyo and junmai dai-ginjo. As one of Japan’s only junmai ginjo breweries, we will continue to uphold the traditions of years past here in Fushimi, Kyoto, and simply make the best possible sake.

TAMANOHIKARI Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. Home page

DATE AND TIME

2018/6/21 (Thu) – 6/27 (Wed) 10:00~20:00

You cannot go? Check out ichibansake Event Calendar

LOCATION

Ikebukuro Tobu Department Store B1F

1 Chome-1-25 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-0021

Google map

Access

Directly connected to “Ikebukuro station”

Web site

For more information visit, 東武百貨店 池袋店 日本酒催事スケジュール

“Yukitsuru” & “Fukuju” In-store tasting event @ Ikebukuro

You can taste Yukitsuru, Tahara Sake Brewery, from Niigata prefecture and Fukuju, Kobe Shushinkan Breweries from Hyogo prefecture.

Yukitsuru (Tahara Sake Brewery)

Established 1897. Tahara shuzo is located in the southwest of Niigata Prefecture.

Generally, the characteristics of Niigata sake known as “Tanrei Karakuchi” or very refined, light and dry. However, “Yukitsuru” is rich Umami taste local sake.

That portion of the brewing water which is used in mashing (“mashing water”, shikomi-sui) has a significant influence on moromi fermentation and sake quality.

For “Yukitsuru”, they use natural springs in the foot of Kubikikomagatake.

There is a well in the brewer premises, once they have used the water, which is medium hard water. Although it is suitable for dry taste sake, it is unsuitable for making soft and gentle texture “Yukitsuru”.

They cannot access to the spring water area because road closures during winter, from mid December to early March. Therefore they storage the spring water in a 10,000L tank to keep “Yukitsuru” sake quality.

Tasting at home by amazon

Yukitsuru Junmai 田原酒造 雪鶴 純米酒 720ml 新潟県の日本酒

Tahara Sake Brewery Home page

 

Fukuju (Kobe Shushinkan Breweries)

Founded 1751. The best sake rice and source water are brewed carefully. The brewery is located in the famous sake village Nada in Kobe in Hyogo prefecture. Because of the high quality sake from Nada was already famous during the shogun period. The water is rich in minerals and generates a clear and powerful sake profile. Therefore sake from Nada is called “Otoko-sake (men’s sake)”.

FUKUJU Chotokusen Daigin is awarded SAKE COMPETITION 2018 Ginjo GOLD. Fukuju Junmai Ginjo was served at the dinner and reception for the Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize in 2012. Since then it has become ultra popular in Japan and you cannot find it on the shelves anywhere.

Tasting at home by amazon

Fukuju Junmai Ginjo 神戸酒心館 福寿 純米吟醸 化粧箱入り 720ml [兵庫県]

 

Kobe Shushinkan Breweries Home page

DATE AND TIME

2018/6/20 (Wed) – 6/26(Tue)

-You cannot go? Check out ichibansake Event Calendar

LOCATION

Seibu Ikebukuro B1F

〒171-0022 Tokyo, Toshima, Minamiikebukuro, 1 Chome−28−1

Google map

Access

Directly connect
Ikebukuro Station South Exit, Exit 38, Exit 36

Web site

For more information visit, 今週の酒と肴

“Hakukou” & “Hiraizumi” In-store tasting event @ Ikebukuro

You can taste Hakukou, Morikawa shuzo, from Hiroshima prefecture and Hiraizumi, Hiraizumi honpo from Akita prefecture.

Hakukou (Morikawa shuzo)

The brewery is located in western Japan at the southern portion of the Hiroshima prefecture, in a small town surrounded in nature; being a part of the Seto inner sea national park. Their brewery is located at the eastern side of the Noro Mountain [839m]. The Norogawa River flows nearby, and its clean waters and the clear air are representative of the beautiful surrounding environment.
Along with Nada and Fushimi, Hiroshima is known as one of the 3 greatest producers of sake, and has been known from long ago as a land suited for making sake. The traditional method of making sake in Hiroshima is the “Soft water brewing method”, a brewing method that fully utilizes the characteristics of the water quality in Hiroshima (generally soft water), and the quality of the sake is recognized throughout Japan.

The foundation of their brewery is in the quality water. The quality of water used is one of the most important factors in making sake. Their water has been commented on by professor Sasaki of the Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin University, also known as the “Professor of water”: “This is a vary rare soft water which matches the definition of “Good water” given by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The water quality is good for making not only tea, coffee, and cooking, but is also optimal for making soft water brewed sake.”.
The figures learned from analysis show that because of the very low mineral content, the yeast is easily starved of nutrients, and it is difficult to ferment into alcohol. It is said that the mineral content is the very minimum it can be to make alcohol with. Because of this, our brewery puts in a significant amount of effort in making a good koji (malted rice) to introduce the alcohol fermentation, and as a result, a flavorful sake is born.

To sum up the “Hakuko” in one phrase, it is “a sake that tastes soft and pleasant but is full of flavor”. It is a sake perfect for the dinner table.

Morikawa shuzo Home page

Hiraizumi (Hiraizumi honpo)

Brewery History and Background:
They are Akita’s oldest and even in Japan 3rd oldest brewery, having been founded in 1487 in the middle of the Muromachi era. Originally, the company was a wholesaler of goods sent by ship, with sake brewing just a side business. But in the early Meiji period, sake brewing became the main business. We have since then been staunchly brewing sake in the old yamahai-shikomi method. Our current brewery dates from 1883.

Origins of the name:
The name is a combination of the name of the business when we were a wholesaler, Izumiya, and the name of the immediate region, Hirasawa, and was shortened from “Hirasawa Izumi no Sake.” Also, there is the theory that a local painter sent our sake to Monk Ryokan of the Echigo region, calling it “jumping, good, white water,” and the name and characters are a play on that expression.

Hiraizumi is Gold Prize winning sake in the Annual Japan Sake Awards 2015.

Hiraizumi honpo Home page

DATE AND TIME

2018/6/13 (Wed) – 6/19(Tue)

-You cannot go? Check out ichibansake Event Calendar

LOCATION

Seibu Ikebukuro B1F

〒171-0022 Tokyo, Toshima, Minamiikebukuro, 1 Chome−28−1

Google map

Access

Directly connect
Ikebukuro Station South Exit, Exit 38, Exit 36

Web site

For more information visit, 今週の酒と肴