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Japanese Sake & Canned Goodness

Zepp Tokyo, Odaiba

I was honored to attend the Tokyo Culture Culture event last week with some of my good friends - yes, it's spelled twice.   The event was televised, and thankfully I wasn't asked to step up and appear on  stage.   I was a tad slightly underdressed for the evening and also unprepared.    I didn't realize there was going to be so many Jukujo, VIPs, and press crew there.    I was also on the VIP list, but didn't realize how upscale everything was going to be.

Some of the attendees and hosts were: Hayato Kurokawa, Nao Murata, Fukuyama Aya, Terry, and so many more.

Tuna Thai Curry

Once there, I made my rounds by greetings all of the lovelies first, and then sake brewers.    The occasion was pairing gourmet canned food with Japanese sake; an all-you-can-eat-and-drink event with sponsors from all over Japan.     There were over 50 different canned varieties, and each excellent.   Some notable ones were the Habanero chili, sardine, and avocado mix.    Another one was the Nagoya Kochin ( free-range chicken) type.     The saba and gobo ( mackerel and Japanese burdock), which paired well with the sake on offer.   

I was also impressed with the warm sake that was on offer.    Below is a picture of a tokkuri ( pouring vessel) in the shape of a pigeon called (hato tokkuri = hato means pigeon.    The pointed end is stuck into the ash in an irori, which is a traditional sunken hearth commonly found in Japan for heating food.  

Hato Tokkuri

The Pouring of warm sake

The sake was exceptional, I might add, with brewers from northern Japan, such as Aomori Prefecture, Mutsu Hassen, (陸奥八仙), which  paired well with Japanese canned chicken, seafood, and vegetables was a real hit for the evening.   Also was Mizu-basho,  and Tengumai.     

Hideyuki Komai's Mutsu-Hassen has always been my favorite sake, especially the fuchsia labeled fruity junmai.   The dryness and light fruity characteristics worked wonders on my palate, especially with all the seasoned and pickled canned goods.  

The coolest part is that this event was held at Zepp Tokyo in Odaiba, one of the best locations in the Tokyo Bay area, and one of the most modern artificial land reconstitution projects in the world.     There were also so many young ladies there, which for me was a welcoming site.    I have always been the missionary of culture and love in Japan, and have always felt that the re-domestication of Japanese sake as the most important direction for nihonshu.   
We cleaned the place out of this great sake..   Dobu Rock was nice.

Anything that I can do to help make sake more appealing for young people, and not something archaic, or too uncharacteristically geeky is my goal.   This event was hip and cool and very enjoyable, just like it should be.   


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