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Showing posts from August, 2009

Night Prowling in Kawasaki!

Having a car can be really convenient. Who likes having to eye their watch all the time worrying whether or not they’ll miss the last train home. I don’t, and since the car has been sitting in the parking lot for weeks now I decided to take it out for a spin.
In English it’s called “cruising” in Japanese it’s the same but with the usually mangled pronunciation“クルージング or it’s ku-ru-jin-gu. I was out around Kawasaki cruising at 2a.m. in the morning.
Of course the first order of business was food, but what’s open this late besides the typical ramen shops and izekaya’s? There was but one place and that shop is called Seikai no Yamachan’s of Nagoya. What luck, one out of the two chains stores in Kawasaki were still open this early in the morning. The long hand on my watch was approaching half past two in the morning and I didn’t mind scarfing down a few plates of these chicken wings called Tebasaki.

But there was another interesting drink on the menu called nigori umeshu! Nigori means unfi…

Ehime Prefecture’s Natsugin Ishizuchi

Tonight's summer type sake is made by blending two rice grains; Yamadanishiki at 50% and Matsuyama Mitsui at 60%( a type of sake rice currently grown exclusively in Ehime Prefecture). The water used for this sake comes from the Ishizuchi mountains, the tallest mountains in the Shikoku region. This is a special funashibori type sake as well, which means it is sake that’s pressed slowly using old-style mashing equipment(labor intensive). The nihonshu is plus 5 making it dry. Acid 1.6. Alc 15%. Served very cold. This is also a very light sensitive sake which means it should be stored in a cool dark place.Nose: Large bouquet of summer flowers. No pear nose for me this time. First taste: Ooh, god! What kind of taste is this? Fruity, sharp, and very dry! god in a glass. The aroma from the air I'm getting in my mouth cavity is milk chocolate. Taste is smooth and with a very clean finish. The whole inside of the mouth feels clean after drinking it. What a wonderfully …

In Defense of Toshio Tamogami

Toshio Tamogami ( legitimate Japanese )
Tobias Harris ( ?)

How is the legality of the European empires any different than the legality of Japan's colonies in Northeast Asia?If anything, the European empires were more secure in their rights in their colonies than Japan was in its colonies, seeing as how it acquired both by coercing the governments of China and Korea. The Dutch had ruled the Dutch East Indies directly for more than two centuries. India had been directly ruled by the British empire for nearly a century at the time of the war. The French had ruled Indochina directly for nearly as long as the British ruled India. In short, international law didn't apply; a Japanese attack on these colonies was legally indistinguishable from an attack on the French or British homelands. And one may recall that Japan did in fact attack these colonies, a fact unmentioned in connection with this argument, meaning ipso facto Japan was an aggressor in the war.

The legality of the Euro…

Hakudake Sen of Fukui Prefecture

Hakudake Sen; Ginjo Nama; Gohyakumangoku(premium brewers rice); harvested in Fukuiprefecture; 55% rice; alc 15 to 16.

I would like to emphasis that this is a summer type sake, meaning it’s only brewed and available during summer only.

Usually, lots of nama type(unpasteurized) sake which are available during this time of year, and with the Ginjo rating makes it a winner as it is considered a premium grade sake.

Smell : pear nose(right nostril/ left nostril was stopped up); faint chocolate. Summer taste!

first sip: light with a noticeable bite before and after the first swallow.

Taste: Very delicate on the palate and tongue. dry. As you continue to drink it the characteristics of the first sip are hardly there anymore. I still get the light chocolate and pear on the tongue sensation. The finish is very clean now and almost unassuming.
I’m enjoying this sake with premium Alaskan pink salmon right out of a can as is. I didn’t add anything to the salmon. Excellent…


Special shout out to Through Eyes From Afar for hosting this months blog matsuri Takao is an area in Tokyo famous for good hiking and nature. But for those like me who’d rather just stroll around languidly while soaking in the surroundings, then Takao may be the right place for you. This is one of those lazy days where I had nothing to do. I don't think I really cared whether or not I had something to do. Even for father and son the lake running through Tama Goryo Park is always fun to walk around in, which is usually always full of kids and their parents playing and fishing together during the long summer months. I don't think they really cared whether or not it was summer, just as long as there was a watering hole to get in to on a nice hot day, and they probably didn't even care if there were any other people there for that matter. I have no idea what exactly he’s trying to catch, but he was out here for hours wading through water. I’m sure the cool water on hi…

夏の吟醸にごり酒: Hakuryu

Some may call this type of sake the pino colada of the sake world. Nigori sake is unfiltered, hence the milky color. In this picture you can see the limited summer edition of this delicious milky colored unfiltered Ginjo nigori sake made by Hakuryu in Niigata prefecture. On a side note. I’ve been to Niigata over 40 times in the last five years. I have travelled extensively through-out that region and have sample not only sake but food and have soaked in many onsen. In Japan there’s something called Mondai Selection which grades the quality and taste of a products. The brewery that brews this sake has always been a gold standard winner for many years. In ginjo type sakes 40% of the outer layer of rice has been polished away putting it in the premium class. You can stop over atesake for more tidbits on comparisons.Up close and personal with the bottle. I feel you baby!Flavor characteristics are good:Smooth! Most nigori sake people drink is very thick and heavy whereas this on…

Yama Shitataru: Hiokizakura Yamane Shuzo

I love her. Green apple, green apple! I can taste it. She’s young and she’s fresh. This is as fresh as it gets ladies and gentleman.

Here she is:

Yama Shitatataru : Drip style sake
Tokubetsu-Junmai Nama; Tottori Prefecture; Yamane Shuzo; Yamadanishiki; 58% rice; plus 7; acid 1.9; I can smell and taste green apple and cotton candy. Apple nose. soft tail, pleasant after-taste, small bite at the back of the throat, goes down smooth.

What’s important to understand here is that this is a summer brewed sake, which means it’s a limited edition and sells out very quickly and is made only during summer. I had to search far and wide for this one.

What to drink from:

I always use Riedel daigenjo glasses to make the first taste. I check for color and legs; she has fine legs and a good clear color.    And then I go with my sake cup for the aesthetic effect. Real men understand sacrifice. The Toji understand that he must sacrifice for the sake of tradition in order to preserve the natio…

Asahiyama 300

Hailing from Niigata, the mother lode of sake, is Asahiyama 300, which in actuality is brewed by the same makers(Asahi Shuzo) of Kubota, a nationally recognized nihonshu that’s not only enjoyed here in Japan but also in North America.Seimaibuai: 65%
Nihonshu-do: +5
Acidity: 1.2
Definitely has Niigata flavor characteristics:Nose of strong koji, lots of alcohol  with mild flavor characteristics. Lots of umami, which in Japanese means “tasty” or” savory.”   The  finish though is very smooth.  Traditional.   This is also a Futsuu-Shu type, which means it has no special designation and has less than 70% polished rice.Let’s drink it now. This cup is a commemorative WW2 ocho-ko sold by Rich over at his amazing site.  Enjoy!

昭和天皇 武蔵野の陵

The title in English would be The Emperor Showa. And his Majesty's Mausoleum is named the Musashino no Misasagi, thus the long title:
( しょうわてんのう むさしののみささぎ)。

This is the imperial mausoleum of Japan and it is here where his Majesty’s remains are honored. Here in this hallowed ground where over a hundred and seventy ginkgo trees line the pathway leading up to his tomb, one can get a sense of the awe and reverence bestowed upon this whole cemetery, which is called Tama Goryo located in Takao, an area rich in nature and abundant waterways and rolling lush green hills.

In American and European history textbooks, The Showa Tenno is referred to as the Emperor, a blasphemous name uttered by Westerners and Asians when it is heard by all Japanese.  The proper title is The Showa Tenno.    In America you don't honor Ronald Reagan by referring to him as " Ronnie" or " that "old gipper" posthumously , do you? Neither do you call Pol Pot "Old Potty,"…