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Showing posts from May, 2010

Japan's Mineral Water:Fukumitsuya

If you haven't had a chance to catch up with this series I recommend reading this article and this article first, and maybe even this one too.


" While writing this, I was listening to "In the White Silence: Letter C" by Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble."



In this installment we are heading to northwestern Japan on the Sea of Japan side of Honshu near Mount Kigo and Mount Hakusan. This region is blessed with mineral wealth and an abundance of natural mineral water and delicious nihonshu. Another name for this part of Japan is called the Hokuriku region, where it is said that the true soul of Japan exists. This region of Japan is defined as including four prefectures; Toyama, Fukui, Ishikawa, and Niigata, all of which are prefectures very famous for making outstanding nihonshu. Tonight's journey will take us to Ishikawa prefecture.
View Larger Map " While writing this, I was listening to "Music & Theta Brain Wave Therapy" by Kelly Ho…

Japan's Mineral Water: Gorogoro Mizu

For those of you who haven't read my previous articles on natural mineral water, I recommend taking a look at my Japan mineral water post and my Tenju post. This may help you get a good grasp of what I'm blogging about in this series.




"While writing this part, I was listening to "Place Where You Go to Listen" by John Luther Adams Ensemble."



In continuation from last week on water and nihonshu, I mentioned that I would take you to West Japan, to a place on the edge of eternity, not too long ago called Nara Prefecture.   And in choosing this place, one where Shinto is revered and where people respect the master and his craft and their own gods and how that all relates to making nihonshu, then I would say West Japan for its water, Shinto, and nihonshu which have been tied into the creation and fermentation of this mystical Japanese rice brew for centuries. 


("It has been hailed as god water by Shinto priest and Japanese scholars since time immemorial.  N…

Chokaisan Junmai Daiginjyo(Tenju)

From the sea comes fish, from the air comes foul, from the mountains come natural mineral water and wild vegetables, and from the earth comes live stock and fresh produce.   I have grown to love this balance when looking at Japanese food and sake.   The Japanese place a lot of emphasis on natural balance and order, which can be reflected in not only its cuisines, but also its national drink called nihonshu.(N.B. As we go along I may use the words sake /nihonshu interchangeably).
In this four part series I will be introducing some great sake along with the mineral water that made each of them.   We'll start from Akita and work our way down to West Japan.  I'm going to show you the sake and the water that was used to make each sake and how that translates into to the actual sake brewing process  itself.    There's a plethora of information on the web highlighting the three basic ingredients of a sake, that being rice / rice mash, water, and koji mold, and then there's the…

Japanese Sake & Food

I published a mini-pairing guide about Japanese sake and food a couple of years ago, and never got around to adding it to this new blog.  I was lucky enough to sell it through Yurindo Bookstore back in 08' and did well with it there for about six months.  I was very pleased with the outcome.  As of now the book is no longer in print as I am in the process of making some revisions to it.This sake guide is a list of my personal favorites at that time, along with a few food picks that I would recommend for anybody.  My time in Japan has been spent traveling, eating, and drinking delicious nihonshu, so it was quite natural for me to publish a book about these experiences.  It took me awhile to get around to doing that but I did, finally.  The highlights of this book is focused on regional favorites like Hanasaki Gani, and some other rare fish delicacies that most Tokyoites may not be familiar with.   This book is skewed towards the Hokuriku and Tohoku regions of Japan - northern Japan…

Natural Mineral Water of Japan

I love Japan's mineral water.   I'm a sentient being, so water is more then just a colorless, tasteless, and odorless beverage, it's  a precious resource that comes in many flavors and textures.   Even mineral content can vary from one minor degree to the next, which all have an effect on the taste.   Water is the quintessence of tea and nihonshu in Japan.  It is also the quiddity of every onsen ever soaked since time immemorial.   In Japan water is king!One of the things I like most about Japan is that almost every prefecture  has its own mineral water source.  This is good for so many reasons, one of them being for making good sake, especially nihonshu.  Mineral water has also been used for growing delicious fruits and vegetables.    I will attempt to highlight some of my favorites and that of many other water aficionados in Japan. First, let's start with some household name brands.  The first is called Rokou no Oishii water and it's from Osaka.   Almost every su…

アラフォー:Around 40!

This post will pay a special tribute to my favorite class of women called the Japanese Jukujo.  Not every Japanese woman in her forties is a Jukujo, though.   It takes a certain purity, genius, and power to be one of these types of women.   Why...?

( Chisato Shoda / 千里翔田)
There's just a little over exaggeration there.  And honestly, to class women like this is sexist and bias.  But, let me answer this first paragraph first.  In Japan, the term Jukujo is considered derogatory, which is quite stupid actually.  The Japanese interpretation of it is skewed in as much as they worship underage air headed girl types.  It's almost as if they worship the very things that make the country go down the drain.


Jukujo is the apotheosis of Japanese beauty, and while young Japanese women are also beautiful, Jukujo stillfar outclass them in almost every way, even in physical beauty.  And how is that I suppose...?  Look at Chisato Shoda, a very well aged, spry forty year old matron.  Elegant an…

Bero Fetish Collection

The human tongue is the organ of speech which serves to taste and eat with.   Most vertebrates have one, and most use them for more than just eating and tasting, some for cleaning.   There're probably numerous and unimaginable ways that people use their tongues.The tongue is the most widely mentioned part of the body in the Bible and is the most widely used of all the body parts next to the heart.   We even use our tongues when we are fast asleep, dreaming about that delicious something or someone.  That insatiable tongue, ehh...?  Tongues have also been  responsible for instigating wars and for  brokering peace.  We love our tongue.  We couldn't live without it.  They give us our livelihood or make us sound smarter or dumber than we actually look, or perceive ourselves to be.  I love my tongue.   My three favorite body parts are my tongue, eyes, and penis.  In Japan, the Japanese have taken tongue worship to a whole new level.  It's called "Bero" ベロフェチ or tongue…

Bakuren

The sake is called Ba-ku-ren by Kudoki Jyouzu, Kameno Brewery in Yamagata Prefecture.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, rice is a big deal in the  saké world, so much, that breweries have invested an enormous amount of time and energy in looking for ways to grow newer and better rice grains just for brewing saké.The rice used for today's featured saké is called Miyama Nishiki rice (美山錦), and it's a true saké rice varietal from the Tohoku region.  Normally, a brewer who uses this type of rice may be trying to create a more full bodied saké, one that's less dry, and with a good rice texture.   However, Bakuren saké was made exclusively with dryness in mind, yet many who have tasted it say it's not so dry.  So what was the brewer thinking by using this rice varietal if he didn't want to brew a dry saké?  I will try to answer this, read on.As some of us may already know, that in order to brew a saké the rice used must be milled first...i.e. stripped away of its…

What's Wrong with your Tongue?

I wish I could remember her name....oh...Ayako.   This string bean bikini(skinny Japanese girl) pulls me over to the side today to tell me how much she disliked one of  my choices in restaurants.  The restaurant I recommended to her was  in her own city and was even popular amongst the locals there, except her!There's a place in Odawara, a micro urban city located on the outskirts of Kanagawa Prefecture, where there's a  type of hidden gem of a restaurant called Sanpei( san-pay), which specializes in Western style fried chicken.   It's rare to see such a place offering such a food dish like oily super crispy fried chicken, especially in the land of wabi-sabi and healthy food where anything oily gets condemned as junk food.When I think of American-style fried chicken, words like crispy, juicy, oily, and salty spring to mind.  Sanpei's fried chicken is that, plus more!  It's really one of kind and a refreshing blast from the past when sinking my teeth into each and e…

Yoshie Takahashi

You did great today.  I attended your concert over at the music hall in Yokohama.  You didn't see me, but I was there, in the last row,  back there  ensconced in the warm embrace of a shadow.Watching you strum along on that long and beautiful Japanese Koto was amazing.  Your hair was so neatly adorned in pins.  Your make up was flawless and your kimono was awe inspiring.   I was captivated by your allure, and at the nimbleness of your fingers as they moved up and down the strings.   I was carried off by each chord to another place in time - lost in time.Again, you did great today.  You are a daughter  of Kochi, a prefecture famous for its many rivers of which knowledge has flowed since time immemorial.  So many great luminaries have come from where you were born.  I never understood the urbanite modern day Yokohama born Japanese woman of today, and I suspect I never will.  Yoshie, you are a God amongst insects in this regard because you embody the principles of what it means to be…

Night Walks

nightThe Yokohama Bay Quarter.  Some good shopping here.  If you're looking for American style mountain bikes at reasonable prices you can find them here.  I also like to come here for the burgers.  They've got so many restaurants in this complex.These housing complexes were built just recently.  It's amazing how expensive they are too.  I don't see how anybody can afford to live in these.  And then finishing up for the evening.

MM21 at Dusk

Nightly walks have been becoming my routine lately.  Recently, I purchased a track suit and a pair of K-Swiss snickers for walking; trying to work off the pounds slowly and painlessly.  Since it's in the middle of GW, I decided to stay local during this holiday.  Normally,on long holidays,  I take opulent vacations to northern Japan for onsen and some respite, but this time, I wanted to stay in Yokohama and appreciate the city where I've been living for so many years.   I think Yokohama has some of the best views at dusk.  DuskDuskDuskThis part of Yokohama, MM21, or Minato Mirai, is billed as the city of the 21st Century.   The two towered building is an observation deck overlooking the harbour. MM21 has something for the whole family.  Kids can come and enjoy themselves at a nearby fun park DuskSomething as simple as walking, breathing, and watching things are beautiful gift.

Riedel Water Glassware

What does it feel like to drink water from a $200.00 water glass from Riedel...?  Insanely crazy and stupid, right?  I feel guilty already but I was sold on it from the very first time I laid eyes on it. 


You see, I love bottled mineral water, even more than sake; I drink liters of fresh Japan Alps mineral water  every other day in order to satisfy my unquenchable thirst for very cold soft water.  I can easily take care of two liters a day if I wanted to, no problem.   It was only a matter of time before I bought something to complement my love for the clear liquid, and what better way then a glass specifically handcrafted just for water!

( Suntory Minami Alps; the Avian of Japan)
Riedel has a new series of dishwasher safe drinking glasses called the Sommeliers Black Tie series, which features about 49 different glasses each for its own drink.   There's even a glass designed for drinking soda! 


In the world of glassware, design glasses, like wine and sake, have the year it was …