Posts Tagged ‘日本’

JAPAN-I: The new source of information for Visitors in Japan!

May 11, 2009


A new Website and Magazine called Japan-I was born in January this year and has been fast becoming the perquisite for newcomers and residents alike in Japan!


The free magazine, both available in English and Chinese (180,000 copies) is available in Tokyo at main airports and stations, and will be on stands in other airports soon, including Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport!

As for the website, it provides information in English, Korean, Mainland Chinese and Taiwan Chinese.

All articles and information are exclusively written by residents in Japan, offering veracity, authenticity and invaluable service for all!

If the tabloid is not available in your region, contact the editors at!

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting 6/2: Kogane-Danshaku by Sugii Brewery

April 15, 2009

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi



Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City has come up with yet another creation of theirs! But once again, it is a “limited edition”. You do have to keep all your senses alert to discover these bottles.
Unlike Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu Island, Shizuoka-made shochu are not only exotic and extravagant, but rare and slightly more expensive. The labels certainly become collectors’ items!

Sugii Brewery: Kogane-Danshaku Shochu

Kogane (Satsuma potato variety) and Danshaku (normal potato variety), both grown in Shizuoka Prefecture
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5 (Shizuoka Sake Yeast)
Fermented rice
Contents: 500 ml

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Clean, strong, nutty
Taste: Sweetish, clean attack.
Deep roasted nuts.
Shortish tail with a dry finish.
Memory of coffee beans.

Overall: Unusual, clean, elegant shochu with lots of character and facets.
Combination of Satsuma yams and potatoes out of the ordinary! The use of Shizuoka Sake Yeast gives it a very regional flavour!
Best appreciated straight with plenty of ice!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Yakushima Shochu

March 24, 2009

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi



Wherever I go in Japan, I make a point to eat and drink local.
As there is no sake brewery, but only a shochu brewery, my choice was easy!
Mitake Brewery is the only authentic Shochu Brewery in Yakushima Island.
Others are only Breweries from Kagoshima Prefecture having sub-breweries to take advantage of the great water and tourists!

MItake/”the Three Peaks”
Alcohol: 25%
Aroma: Clean, discreet, elegant
Taste: Soft attack, clean. Shortish tail.
Dry. Dry roasted nuts, coffee beans.
Stands well to food with a sweetish undertone.
Comments: Pleasant refined shochu.
Like all shochu brewed by Mitake Brewery, best drunk with ice only.


Aiko/”Love Child”
Alcohol: 25%
Aroma: Very dry, clean, strong.
Taste: Soft attack. Clean taste. Nicely warming up back of the palate.
Dry. Shortish tail. Memories of coffee beans and nuts.
Comments: Great with sashimi.
Turns sweetish and deeper with food with memories of brown sugar.


Alcohol: 35%. Genshu/no pure water added. Unaltered.
Aroma: Fine and discreet.
Taste: Clean, deep taste. Fruity: brown sugar. Almost sweet.
Keeps well with food. Turns drier with food. Shortish tail.
Comments: A fine, elegant shochu, which can be enjoyed for its sake or with food. A very high-level shochu!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

A new shochu is born: Bekko Tonbo by Senju Brewery/Distillery

December 13, 2008

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


(Courtesy of Shizuoka Shinbun)

Senju Brewery/Distillery announced on December 11th the creation of a new Shochu to contribute to the preservation of an endangered dragonfly species!

Bekko Tonbo, or Bekko Dragonfly, is an endangered insect endemic to the region around Iwata City. 10 yen for each bottle sold will go to help its survival!

The shochu is a kome/rice shochu made from rice and white lees used to brew top-class sake. A 720ml bottle being priced 1t893 yen, it is very cheap for such an exravagant shochu.
The brewery has concocted it as light, sweetish elegant brew best drunk with mineral water and ice!

Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Distillery: New Label for Douman Shochu!

November 13, 2008

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi



Hamamatsu-Tenjingura have come up with a new label for their kome/rice shochu “Doman”, the name of a rare crab found exclusively in Hamana Lake!

A new Shochu is born!: Hamakomachi by Sugii Brewery

October 21, 2008

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City are always ready to answer requests for new shochu, whatever the risks and work involved.

This new shochu was announced on the Shizuoka Shinbun and other newspapers such as the Chunichi Shinbun when an Association for the Promotion of Hamakomachi Yam and its derived products visited the office of the Shizuoka Prefecture Governor to have him taste their latest creations.

As you can see on the above picture, the local farmers in the west of the Prefecture are growing the Hamakomachi Yam not only for shochu, but also for cakes and ice creams! It is especially rich in beta carotin vitamins, another reason for indulging!

Sugii Brewery/Distillery: Hamakomachi Honkaku Imo Shochu

Hamakomachi Satsuma Imo
Rice ferment
Alcohol: 25 degrees

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Strong, almost sweet, very distinct and pleasant.
Taste: Shortish tail. Great attack. Fruity. Distinctive taste..
Reminiscent of persimmons with a hint of sweet nuts.
Pleasant and easy to drink.

Overall: A surprisingly soft and fruity shochu.
Very easy to drink, even straight.
Could easily take the place of a whisky in spite of its lower alcohol contents!
Stays smooth all the way through.
Distilled with a sake concept, enticing you into the next sip.

A new Schochu is born!: Imo Otoko

October 7, 2008

The Japan Blog List

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sake, shochu and sushi


(Shizuoka Shinbun)

Sugii Brewery/Distillery in Fujieda City has just produced a new shochu from tuber called Yamato Imo, a variety of Satsuma Imo grown in Nagaizumi-Cho in the Eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture.

It will be put on sale from the 10th of October at seven liquor shops in Nagaizumi-Cho
The name is “Imo Otoko”.
The first batch of 690 bottles (720 ml) were distilled from 510 kg of tuber.
Alcohol contents are a standard 25.5 degrees.
Price: 2,200 yen a bottle.

Looking forward to tasting it!

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting 4-8: Fujinishiki Distillery: Chakkiri Bushi

September 25, 2008

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Fujinishiki Brewery/Distillery has always been willing to explore all facets of Shochu Distilling.
It also has the merit to use entirely local ingredients whenever possible.
I have seen a lot of Shochu “made with Shizuoka Tea” all over Japan, and none is the true product.
Fujinishiki Distillery is the only one in Japan to use real Shizuoka Tea. Full stop.
This particular brand, Chakkiri Bushi commemrates history and Kunoyama Toshogun in Shizuoka City, formerly Sunpu City, the home f the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Chakkiri Bushi

Raw tea leaves: more than 10%. Tokugawakei Ukari No Honyama Variety exclusively grown in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Rice (JA Shizuoka Kinuhikari) and fermented rice grown and treated in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Water: Source water from well dug at bottom of Mount Fuji.
Alcohol contents: 25 degrees
Contents: 720ml

Clarity: Very clean and clear

Aroma: Sharp tgreen tea and green vegetables.

Body: extremely light.

Taste: Very strong green tea leaves taste.
Turns quickly lighter as it spreads around the palate. Tea leaves taste will come back again later.
Fluctuates to sweetness upon eating.

Overall: A discovery.
Shochu tends too often to look like another as ingredients are not revealed to their full extent.
Considering that people here usually drink “Shizuoka Wari”, that is shochu mixed with cold or hot green tea, they won’t for once need any supplement. Moreover, they will find little reason to ignore it!
Bets drunk on its own or poured over ice. If one wants to dilute it, good pure water is best!

Douman Crab at Suehiro-Hamanako No Megumii Aji Sushi Restaurant

July 23, 2008

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


“Douman” is the name of a very rare crab of fairly large proportions exclusively caught in Summer in Lake Hamana, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Fishermen will be lucky if they manage to find 2 or 3 specimen caught in their nets in a single day for the whole lake!

It has become one of the symbols of the area as demonstrated by the rice/kome shochu of the same name brewed by Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery/Distillery in Hamamatsu City.
Consequently only a few privileged establishments may serve it from time to time.
One such place is Suehiro-Hamanako No Megumii Aji Sushi Restaurant, a little secret place of mine.
As introduced in other articles, it is tucked away from the city bustle south of Hamamatsu JR Station.

I make a point to reserve a seat or two before I visit them as hey will make sure to keep a bottle of Shizuoka Sake just for me.
Last Friday, they just happened to have an excellent bottle from a favourite Brewery of mine, namely Hatsukame in Okabe Cho.
That particular brand, called “Fujisan”, is a honjozo made with rice from Toyama Prefecture and yeast from Shizuoka Prefecture, perfect in summer with sushi and seafood!
Light food was on order as it had been an excessively hot day now that the rainy season is finally off our heads.

Pickled myoga, and ham and avocado salad were perfect with the first couple of glasses of chilled sake.

With a kitchen conveniently closed away, Suehiro has the knack to serve the right mixture of sashimi, sushi and cooked fare which ensures you will not leave the place worrying about a still empty stomach.
Mind you, this is an expat notion which does not count for the Japanese habit to visit at least two or three different places in the same night.
We opted for some akami/lean tuna and suzuki/seabass sashimi and a plate of Hamana Lake prawns deep-fried inside Spring rolls.

Finally we were ready for the Douman Crab!
My friend took the opportunity to order a glass of shochu of the same name while I gamely took care of the sake.
In Hamamatsu City they just serve it steamed as it is without any dressing or seasoning.
And our half (can you imagine the price of a whole one?) did not need any whatsoever. It came very full of so soft, tasty, even sweet meat that you naturally take your time savouring a little at a time with chopsticks. Forbid a fork or spoon!
I’m afraid this will be my first and last time I experience such a delicacy. That is unless Suehiriro calls me (and other customers?) next time they chance upon one (two would be impossible, so do not plan a party!)

We still hjad one more morsel before we left for the Liquid Kitchen, a bar held by a cricket friend of mine: Hamana Lake anago/conger eel and ikura/salmon roe sushi.
As this restaurant always comes up with local delicacies on a purely seasonal basis, I wonder what will compel me to visit it again!

Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, suyama Cho, 360-6
Tel.: 053-452-6288
Business Hours: 11:30-13:30&17:00-22:00
Closed on every Wednesday and second Tuesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting 5-2: Hana no Mai Brewery/Distillery-Yaramaika

June 11, 2008

The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Hana no Mai Brewery/Distillery in Hamamatsu City makes some extravagant kome/rice shochu with either the rice powder left after milling Yamada Nishiki rice (they grow themselves) or with the sake kasu/white lees of their sake.

Kome/rice Shochu
Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Shizuoka strain) residual powder after millage
Alcohol: 25%

Clarity: very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Sharpish. Rice, alcohol, green tea, melon
Taste: Soft on the tongue, almost sweet.
Shortish tail. Green tea, green melon.
Easy to drink.

Overall: Easy to drink. Elegant.
Can be de drunk straight or on the rocks.
Great mixed with hot green tea!