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Sake No Jin


                          {Theme music for this post:  The Lifelines; Taku, Maynard Plant, Wise.}

2012 Niigata Sake Fair

Sake no Jin is a sake fair held in Niigata every year in March where all the great sake breweries showcase the best of  the best rice brews in the world.     Niigata Prefecture, two hours outside of Tokyo, is regarded as the motherlode of premium Japanese rice wine.  More premium grade rice wine is produced in Niigata than in any other prefecture in Japan.    It is from this region that the very best sake are produced, thanks in part to the rigid cold winters, delicious mountain water,  and abundant rice fields.    The people, too.

Over 80,000 visitors showed up this year as last years Sake no Jin was cancelled due to 3-11.   This was a big comeback year for the industry as a whole  with over 90 of the best sake producers in the  world, each with their own special jizake / local sake.  There was even a sake brewer from Texas!?    It is by far the largest sake fair I have ever attended and I have attended quite a few over the years, even before moving to Japan.    It was truly an amazing experience and turn out.  Live bands played and entertained the throngs of sake lovers.  I myself was in heaven, obviously of course.  Electricity was all in the air. 

  1. Fuji Shuzo

    "Niigata happens to be the home town of Rumi Takahashi a famous manga artist.  Fuji  Shuzo honored this  legendary woman with a sake/liquer *? inspired by Lum."

  2. I found this information out on a tweet which lead to a  site called  Crunchrll[*?] on the 17th, so when I arrived at the fair I headed straight for the Fuji Shuzo table and sampled its offerings.  Chocolate liqueur ...?  Quite flavorsome, sweet, and.... demure....*?  Would recommend it for entertainment purposes only.     Fuji Shuzo sake is legendary and I highly recommend their real rice brews.     Rather than list up the sake by name or explain the history, just know that quite a few were brewed only for this event, and are not and will not be sold.   

While there I ran into the Sakeguy by chance and we chatted it up for a bit.    I suspect he was headed over to the sake challenge by the Kikiate Game Corner.   I had to continue on with my  blood to sake transfusion.  

  1. As the afternoon wore on the sake seemed endless.   Every table had a unique offering with all of my original favorites here
  2. One sake brewer to look out for this spring, and one that I'd like to especially  recommend is Echigo Ofuku Masumune.   All of their Junmai Ginjo's are excellent.    The sake fairs I have attended in the past were drinking events that lasted for a short time.  This event was huge and it was nice because you could purchase delicious  food and sake, sit down at a table to drink yourself to oblivion.    If you look off near the escalators you can still see people funneling in from the first floor.  It was  4 o'clock.  The sake fair was scheduled until 5pm.

I chatted it up with this guy and that's why I had the shakes.   When I was standing in line with this guy he was looking all serious and doctor like, but by the time he got a few sake down the hatch he looked like this, plus he was talking in sakebonics, something only us sake drinkers can understand.  

I met so many people, including Jukujo and a younger lady which we exchanged contact info.  It was great.   Just got off the telephone with them.    If there had to be improvements made for next year, I highly recommend the staff sell the tickets while people are standing in line instead of waiting for 40 minutes and then being told to purchase a ticket from another counter.   Buy your tickets in advance and get there early.   Be prepared to spend money on food and drinks.   I'm not sure if you can bring your own food.    Takyubin is there in case you need to ship.   

Ganbare Nippon


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