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Showing posts from July, 2016

Genshu

Raw undiluted sake is the brew masters dream put in bottle form, etched in Japanese calligraphy - Genshu.   Most sake you see on the market is diluted down and tweaked for taste by adding water and brewers alcohol; industry standard dictates that sake should be at around 15 to 16% alcohol.   The naked essence of sake fully matured will yield at around 20% or more of alcohol, the highest naturally occurring alcoholic beverage in the industry.



Basically, we don't want to get you too drunk in order to enjoy Japanese sake, and neither do we want to pay more tax because of higher than standard alcohol content in our beverage, so some compromises have to be made.   Genshu is rarely sold on a large scale, so whenever you have a chance to visit sake breweries in Japan do so, and try sake in its most natural form, especially undiluted sake.  




Why travel all the way out to visit a brewery just for sake when I can either order online or buy at a store...?  Sake that has been bottled has a…

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…