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August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

Hinoki Cup

Hinoki (Japanese cypress) has been used for centuries  for its medicinal qualities and curative effects for a myriad of diseases.    Cypress has also been used for buidling temples, shrines, and is regarded for its high quality timber.    So where can I find the best hinoki in Japan ? Kiso - Kiso Valley in Nagano Prefecture about four hours from Tokyo.   When I was there I purchased this beautiful hinoki cup with the seal of kiso emblazened on the side.   The nice thing about drinking sake from a freshly made piece of hinoki is the sweet smell it gives off.   Pine and lemon mixed in the the sweet freshness of rice beer is amazing!

If you are lucky enough, and can get your hands on something like this that's been freshly cut and made where you can enjoy the natural aroma of wood on lip, and sake is divine.

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