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The Neo Traditionalist of Japan: Nihonshu(ist)



For years my travels have taken me to the 'real' Japan.    What is that you say?   The real Japan is what you see every day, right?  You mean, those dead lifeless zombies you call salarymen who squeeze onto packed trains daily?   Nope.  Hell no...  That's called sacrifice.




Maybe it's the cosplayers and cross dressers that make Tokyo great for you, to each his/her own.  Again, not for me.  I much prefer real people and real situations.  Like when visiting a soba house in the sticks and eating hand-made soba from a person who, over the course of 20 or 30 years, has acquired a mastery of soba cutting and who is consistently good at his craft years after year.


I love the long stretches of road that run through rice fields, and all you can see is rice stalks for miles and miles.     It's worth it for me, especially with friends who share the same addiction.   We all travel down a road somewhere in our lives.  I love old Niigata roads.


In Japan, the food is beloved the world over, and this is why I have been eating my way all over this beautiful land.   I know that in time, the artisans of sake and food will eventually age into decrepitude and die, then white people will repackage and sell sake abroad and call it Anglo-shu.   We most certainly cannot expect native born Japanese to take on the role of artisan sake and soba mastery - perfection comes with time.   That time is spent being salarymen.


The good love of Japanese sake over ice is sublime.   I love it especially under track lighting.    I love it with female company.   Why ruin it with another grown a$$ man...?   I am the soul of Japan.  Get the fuck out of my way revisionists.   I am teaching you about the old way with a slight twist.


There's something about the metallic cups, the ice and the glass tokkuri filled to the brim, you know what I mean....   Look at the bubbles around the rim, nice rim job.  I'm careful about how I pour too.  Shut up prudes.  Get out of my way.  Here I come.    To the rescue.

Hokusetsu YK-35 2000 yen for one tokkuri

Zaru cold soba 100% buckwheat
Now the thing is, some say, doesn't soba all taste the same...?  If you are hungry, probably yes.  But for those who put time and effort into searching out exceptional hand-made soba then you'll know that each shop adds its own unique signature to its soba.   It could be a slight modification to the soba dipping sauce, or wheat to flour ratios.   Depends on the shop and what the customers want.   You notice I did not write the names of these businesses...?  If you need that information just PM me, if you dare.


How can you forget the sake bath, especially in the mornings when the steam bakes the alcohol off and the smell of sake permeates through the bath room.  Excellent.  Just perfect, especially just before a icy cold beer.   We know the drill.  Get real.

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