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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, ...

Taka 貴 Happo Nigori 発泡 にごり

Another delicious Natsu Junmaishyu summer all rice sake which uses 100% Yamadanishi, a rice grain that's indigenous to Hyogo Prefecture.  Seimai is at 60% which indicates how much rice was used.  The nihonshu-do is plus 5, which indicates in a very general sense the sweetness or dryness of a sake; -3 and +10.  Higher numbers indicate dryness and about +4 is average.  


The brewer is called Nagayama Honke from Yamaguchi Prefecture.  This time I will also include some confectionary with this sake.  The word "Taka" denotes something precious and "Happo" means something that's either bubbly or gassy.  Nigori means a cloudy sake, i.e. sake with some lees remaining.  So what I'm drinking here is a precious sparking cloudy summer sake and on a record breaking hot summer afternoon from my balcony.
happo
We had record highs in southern Yokohama today.  The ice I had in this bowl melted in less than five minutes, even tipping the glass over! I had to refill.
happo2
Taka  was also featured in the Dancyu March 2009 edition as one of the premiere sake for spring.  In this photo I'm drinking the summer edition.   Dancyu is a well known food and sake magazine that publishes monthly editions of newly discovered restaurants and seasonal food in Japan.

The area where this sake was brewed is again called Yamaguchi Prefecture which is famed for bitter summer mandarin blossoms, red pine trees, hooded cranes and tetraodontidae.  Shimonoseki is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in that prefecture.

2009 summer was also very good for me as far as sake drinking went.  If you are interested you can click here, here, here, and here

Some sake can be drank just as it is, or with either some sweets or  hors d' oeuvres.  But what would be a fitting match for this cool refreshing and curiously sweet drink. 
mizu manju
So, I looked to Niigata and discovered a fantastic mizu-manju shop as blogged about previously from another herethat was in Fukushima Prefecture.  This shop is different and it's called Miyukidou's and it's located in Kita-ku Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture, the mother lode of sake in Japan.  

Each box contains 12 pieces of manju.  The list goes as follows:マンゴー、プリン、ブルーベリー、いちごみるく、モンブラン、抹茶、ショコラ、カフェオレ、大納言、、豆乳、プラム 各1個.  Mango, pudding, blueberry, strawberry milk, monte blanc, chestnut and cream, tea, chocolate, cafe ole,dainegon is not a government office, it's a kind of fig or fruit, red potato, and then plum.  

You can hear the explanation on this video.

These mizu manju were ice cold and amazingly tasty.  They were all filled with cream and fruit filling and all tasted exactly like what they say on the box. 
This and sake and a lovely Jukujo go very well together. 

This is summer.

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