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Tokyo Jizake Strolling  (The Daikanyama Shopping District)

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By Ryuji Takahashi

With spring fast approaching at the end of March, an event titled “The Daikanyama Shop Association” featured many shops selling niche merchandise at “Daikanyama Address 17dixsept” in Shibuya district, a shopping center located right next to the Daikanyama Station. Our shop selling local sake was also invited and participated for two days during a weekend. The “Daikanyama Address 17dixsept” is a shopping zone located inside an urban shopping complex, consisting of a 36-floor tower above ground on the site of the former Dojunkai Daikanyama Apartment, a housing complex consisting of approximately 500 homes, the Daikanyama Sports Plaza, etc. 
Dix-sept translates to seventeen in French, named after their lot number 17 in the Daikanyama district. Four shops lined up in a shared space on the facility premises and sold merchandise not usually sold by the tenants to take a new approach to customers who utilize the facility.  
Retailers that participated for two days consisted of my local sake shop, an Asian variety store, a flower shop, a vegan shop on one day, and a specialty gift shop the next. It was rumored that the timing the cherry blossoms will bloom could be announced early in the week of the event, and the weather was forecast to be sunny for cherry blossom viewing. Since Daikanyama is close to Meguro River, a renowned spot to view cherry blossoms, my shop narrowed down our merchandise to only two sake sets for flower viewing – a set of five aluminum cans of Nihonsakari sake with plastic champagne glasses and a three-sampler Nagatorogura sake set. Unfortunately, the rumored announcement on the timing the cherry blossoms would bloom never occurred, ultimately announced two weeks after the event.  
Not only did the cherry blossoms not bloom during the weekend of the event, but it also rained with low turnout, both significantly contrary to expectations. Other shops near each other welcomed regulars from other shops. My shop also benefited from their customers since most of the sake sets I prepared sold, and the weekend ended with decent sales.  
I had many takeaways from my first attempt at selling merchandise in the chic Daikanyama shopping complex. Staff members shopped at each other’s shops, and I also became friendly with the shop owners. My onsite pop-up shop was personally a fruitful experience. If I was to be greedy however, I think the facility needs to think of ways to enliven the event. Eventually, I think lining up sake breweries to organize “The Daikanyama Sake Shopping District” would be an interesting idea if I’m asked to participate again.       
 
 
東京地酒散歩(The 代官山商店)
 春の訪れがもうすぐそこまで来ている3月の終わりに、代官山の駅のすぐ側にある商業施設「代官山アドレス・ディセ」にて「The 代官山商店」と銘打った渋谷区のニッチな物販店を集めたイベントが開催された。地酒を販売する当店にも声がかかり、土日の二日間参加することとなった。代官山アドレス・ディセは旧同潤会代官山アパートの跡地に建設された代官山アドレスという地上36階建のタワーを始めとする約500戸の集合住宅とショッピングゾーンや渋谷区代官山スポーツプラザなどから構成される都市型複合施設の中のショッピングゾーンのことである。ディセとはフランス語で17の意味らしく、代官山の17番地にあることから名づけられたとのこと。その施設内の共用スペースに4店舗並べ、日頃のテナントとは違う販売をすることで、施設を利用する人々に新たなアプローチをしたいといったイベントの様であった。
二日間出店するのは地酒販売の当店と、アジアン雑貨、フラワーショップ、日替わりでビーガンショップとセレクトギフトショップであった。イベントの週の前半に桜の開花宣言が出るとか出ないとかで、週末はお花見日和との情報があり、代官山という立地上、花見の有名スポット目黒川も近いことから、当店は完全に販売商品をお花見セットに絞り、日本盛のボトル缶5本セットにプラシャンパングラス付きと長瀞蔵の3種飲み比べセットの2アイテムのみに特化し販売を行なった。しかし、蓋を開けてみると開花宣言予測は大きく外れ、週末になっても宣言が出る事は無く、結果開花宣言が出たのは2週間後であった。                                                        イベント当日に桜が咲いていないだけでなく、2日間雨が降り、施設の来店客数も少なく、大きく予想を外すこととなった。他店は元々の店舗が近隣ということもあり、常連客らしき人達が来ていたので、その流れに便乗させていただく形となったが、用意していた酒は殆ど売れ、結果オーライで二日間を終えることが出来た。渋谷の端っこからオシャレな代官山への初チャレンジで、学びも多く、店舗間での買い物もあり、他店のオーナーとも仲良くなり、個人的には意味のある出張出店だったが、欲を言えばもっと盛り上がる為に、施設側の打ち出し方を考える必要があると感じた。いつかは酒蔵を並べた「The 代官山日本酒商店」なども面白いのではないかと思う。まあ、次回以降も声がかかればの話なのだが。
 
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Tokyo Jizake Strolling (restaurant Jinsei Sakaba inside the New Shinbashi Building) 

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By Ryuji Takahashi

Shinbashi is a renowned business district where many shops line the streets, reminiscent of the Showa era (1926-1989). One venue familiar to many is the New Shinbashi Building, a large multi-tenant shopping mall on the Hibiyaguchi side of Shinbashi Station, occupied from the first basement floor to the fourth floor by many restaurants, a ticket broker, massage parlors, and shops targeting businessmen. Some call it a mall for old men. The Shinbashi Station west exit started as a black market after World War II and evolved until the current New Shinbashi Building was constructed in 1971.             
The interior of the retro, chaotic mall is long cherished as a mecca for businessmen. Many new commercial buildings were constructed recently to lease retail space to swanky shops featured on TV. The New Shinbashi Building built over fifty years ago offers a heartwarming nostalgic ambiance of the Showa Era, not felt in new stylish buildings. The basement of the New Shinbashi Building is home to many restaurants that serve alcohol during business hours on weekdays. Since I had a day off during the week with nowhere to go on my day off, I walked many rounds inside the basement floor of the New Shinbashi Building like a migratory fish.    
I saw “fans of alcoholic beverages” here and there partaking early in the day. I started to ponder ordering a glass of beer when a female restaurant worker greeted me and said, “We’re serving alcohol right now.” I quickly accepted the invitation and entered the restaurant “Jinsei Sakaba.” What a suitable restaurant name for me, I thought. The worker said, “If you want to enjoy more than one drink, all-you-can-drink is a better deal.” I quickly agreed and selected the 1 hour all-you-can-drink option for 980 JPY. First, I ordered draft beer. 
The cold beer was delicious after walking around inside the mall.       
The food menu listed Chinese style izakaya menu items. I ordered a chilled wakame seaweed salad. My appetite switched on as soon as I took the first bite. I ordered another glass of draft beer, then fried gyoza, Japanese-style omelet with spicy Pollack roe, and fried rice. All menu items were delicious, and the food was served quickly. I got into a lively conversation with the restaurant staff as I ate, and the first hour passed quickly. Of course, I exceeded my time limit and ordered several green tea highballs and shochu highballs. 
Two hours of fun passed quickly before I realized it. The food was delicious, the restaurant was comfortable, and the price was economical at this wonderful restaurant. The New Shinbashi Building is home to this excellent restaurant, currently under consideration for redevelopment due to deterioration. Although it would be sad to see this retro and chaotic ambiance close their doors, changes in the local landscape are inevitable in any era, surely, “all that remains of a warriors’ dream.”  
 
 
東京地酒散歩(ニュー新橋ビル人生酒場)  

サラリーマンの街として有名な新橋には、昭和の雰囲気を色濃く残した場所が数多くある。誰もが思いつく場所のひとつがニュー新橋ビルだろう。ニュー新橋ビルは新橋駅の日比谷口側にある大規模な雑居ビルで地下1階から4階までは飲食店や金券ショップやマッサージ店などサラリーマンをターゲットとした店が数多く存在している。その為、おやじビルなどと言われることもあるらしい。新橋西口は戦後のヤミ市から発展して現在のニュー新橋ビルが1971年に建った。レトロでカオスなビル内はサラリーマンの聖地として長く愛されている。最近は大規模な商業ビルが新しく建って、そこに入るオシャレなお店がテレビなどで取り上げられているが、建設から50年以上経っているニュー新橋ビルには新しいオシャレなビルでは決して感じる事の出来ない気取る事のない昭和の安心感がある。そんなニュー新橋ビルの地下には平日の昼間から酒が飲める店が沢山ある。平日休みの私はある休日に当てもなく、ニュー新橋ビルの地下1階を回遊魚の様にグルグル回っていた。昼間ながら既に酒を飲んでいる兵(つわもの)達をちらほら見受けることが出来た。その姿を見て、私もビール1杯でも飲もうかなと思い始めた時、一人の女性店員に「お酒飲めますよ」と声をかけられ、いとも簡単にその誘いに乗って店内に入った。店の名前は【人生酒場】。今の私にちょうど良い屋号じゃないかとか考えながら「もし、何杯か飲むなら飲み放題がお得ですよ」と言われ素直に1時間980円の飲み放題をセレクト。そしてまず生ビールを注文。ビル内を歩き回っていたので冷えた生ビールが最高に美味い。メニューを見ると中華料理ベースの居酒屋という感じだ。軽くわかめの冷菜を頼み口に入れた瞬間スイッチが入った。おかわりのビールを頼み、焼き餃子や明太子入りの玉子焼きや炒飯と次々に注文。何を食べても美味いし提供スピードも速い。途中、お店の方とも話が弾み、あっという間に1時間が終了。しかし当然延長戦に突入。途中から緑茶ハイや酎ハイを何杯呑んだだろう。あっという間に楽しい2時間が過ぎてしまった。料理が美味い、居心地が良い、何といっても安い。三拍子揃っている素晴らしい店だった。そんな素晴らしい店があるニュー新橋ビルは老朽化の為、再開発の話があるらしい。レトロでカオスな雰囲気が無くなる寂しさもあるが、風景の移り変わりはいつの時代も付き物である。まさに「兵(つわもの)どもが夢の後」とはこのことなのだろう。
 
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Tokyo Jizake Strolling (Shibamata Taishakuten)

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By Ryuji Takahashi  

I visited Shibamata Taishakuten Nichiren-shu Buddhist Temple early in the New Year. It’s been thirty years since I moved to Tokyo, yet I’ve never visited the temple once. Since I’ve never seen the film series, “It’s Tough Being a Man,” I was convinced I had no reason to visit. I was proven wrong however. Shibamata Taishakuten is a reputable Nichiren Buddhist Temple built by two monks during the Edo Period (1603-1868) in 1629 (the current building was built after the Meiji Period (1868-1912)). The official temple name is “Hyoei-zan Daikyoji,” yet often referred to locally as “Taishakuten.”     
The temple is mentioned in literary works such as “To the Spring Equinox and Beyond” by author Soseki Natsume. More recently, the temple is most renowned due to the Japanese film series, “It’s Tough Being a Man.” Therefore, a statue of the main character, Tora-san, stands in front of the Shibamata Station. I rode the train to the Keisei-takasago Station and took the Keisei Kanamachi Line to the Shibamata Station. Since the wait time to switch trains was fifteen minutes, and the walking distance from Keisei-takasago Station was also fifteen minutes, I started walking towards Shibamata Station.     
The pathway to the shrine starts in front of the station. Passengers deboarded the train and immediately started taking photos standing next to the statue of Tora-san. Several restaurants stood in front of the railroad station. It seemed many restaurants served yakisoba, perhaps a local specialty. Walking on the bustling pathway to the shrine, I encountered many pedestrians with skewered mugwort dumplings and sweet sake in hand as they passed by. I regretted not visiting this bustling pathway to the shrine for the past thirty years.    
A newcomer to Taishakuten, I eyed the restaurant Freshwater Fish Cuisine, where a long line of guests stood at the front waiting for the eatery to open, and the rice cracker shop, as I passed by without stopping. I thought to first visit the shrine and headed towards Taishaku-do, where a long line of worshippers stood at the Nitenmon entrance. Surprisingly, I quickly reached the front of the Taishakuten and visited the shrine. I drew a fortune slip before returning to the pathway to the shrine just after noon. More visitors have come since I arrived, and the pathway to the shrine was bustling more than before.       

Long lines formed in front of shops selling skewered mugwort dumplings and rice crackers. Since I came a long way to Shibamata, I bought mugwort dumplings at the shop “Toraya” on my way back to the railroad station. I ate as I strolled until I entered the izakaya restaurant “Haru,” once featured on a TV program that explores pubs. I saw no local patrons inside, perhaps due to soaring prices around the New Year that targets tourists. At first, I was the only customer, which made me nervous. However, groups came in afterwards and the restaurant was soon packed to capacity.     
Afterwards, I strolled along the railroad tracks towards Keisei Kanamachi Station in the opposite direction from where I came, enjoying the chilly breeze along the way to sober up. I enjoyed another drink at the Kanamachi Station and headed to Nippori Station, where I enjoyed hot sake at a standing bar in the Yanaka Ginza shopping district before I returned home. I realized during this visit that I should visit other renowned hot spots in Tokyo, a great start to the new year.    
 
 
東京地酒散歩(柴又帝釈天)

 年明けに柴又帝釈天に行ってきた。東京に住み始めて30年になるが、一度も行ったことが無く、何故か映画「男はつらいよ」シリーズを観てもいないのに行く場所ではないと勝手に思い込んでいた。しかし、決してそんな場所ではなく、江戸時代初期、寛永6年に2名の僧によって建立されたで由緒ある日連宗寺院である。(現在の建物は明治時代以降に建てられたもの)正式には経栄山題経寺だが、地元では帝釈天と呼ばれることが多い。夏目漱石の「彼岸過迄」など多くの文芸作品に出てくるお寺で、近年では「男はつらいよ」シリーズが一番有名の為、柴又駅前には主人公の寅さん像が設置してある。私は京成高砂駅まで電車で向い、そこから京成金町線で柴又駅まで行く予定だったが、電車乗り換え待ち時間が15分有り、京成高砂駅から歩いても15分とのことだったので、歩いて柴又駅を目指した。駅前からすぐ参道が始まるのだが、電車から降りてきた人々は先ず寅さん像と記念撮影をしていた。駅前には飲食店が数件あり、名物なのか焼きそばを出す店が多いと感じた。そこから賑やかな参道に入ると皆、草団子や甘酒を片手に歩いている風景に出くわす。こんなに参道が賑わい楽しい場所にも拘らず30年来ていなかった事を悔やんだ。開店待ちで行列が出来ている川魚料理店や煎餅屋などを横目に帝釈天新参者の私は寄り道をせず、まずはお参りが先だろうと参拝客が列をなしている帝釈堂を目指す。入口の二天門前から行列が出来ていたが、案外すんなり帝釈堂までたどり着きお参りを済ますことが出来た。そして、おみくじを引いて参道に戻るがちょうどお昼を過ぎたくらいだったので、来た時よりも人が増えていてより一層参道が賑わっていた。草団子屋や煎餅屋なども行列が出来ていたが折角、柴又に来たのだからと駅まで戻る途中の「とらや」で草団子を買い、食べながら歩き、某BS放送の酒場探訪の番組にも出たことがある駅前の居酒屋「春」に入店。どうやらお正月&観光地価格で値段がこの時期は高い為か、地元の人は飲みに来ていない感じで、最初は私以外他の客がいなかった為一瞬不安になったが、のちに団体客などが入り満席になっていった。その後、酔いを覚ます為、冷たい風を浴びながら来た方向とは反対の京成金町駅まで線路沿いを散歩しながら歩き、金町駅でさらに1杯呑み、JRで日暮里まで行き、谷中銀座の角打ちで熱燗を呑み帰宅した。まだ行ったことのない他の東京の有名スポットにも行ってみるべきだなと思わされる良い年始となった。
#alljapannews #japanese #japanesefood #japanesesake #jizake #sake #tokyo

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Tokyo Jizake Strolling (Year-end sales event)

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By Ryuji Takahashi
 
Three sake breweries were invited to organize the 2023 year-end sales event at Kanemasu Brewery (Shibata city, Niigata prefecture). Thursday, December 28 felt like a half-day workday, yet many visitors arrived to purchase nigori sake “Hatsuyuki,” a popular nigori sake of this brewery. Some customers purchased sake in bulk since Kanemasu Brewery offers few bottled sake products. The sake products featured by Kanemasu Brewery were Junmai Daiginjo “Hatsuhana,” stored at freezing temperatures for two years; and “Kanemasu 36-year-old sake.”      
The container of “Kanemasu 36-year-old sake,” aged for thirty-six years since 1986, is eye-catching. The 360 ml titanium custom-made double wall tumbler was made by the renowned Horie Titanium Co., based in the Tsubame-Sanjo area. After the aged sake is finished, the uneven interior of the tumbler ensures silky froth beer foam. The 360 ml aged sake is priced at approximately 40000 JPY. Explaining the value of this aged sake to customers was very challenging.   
The sales event on December 29 featured “Nagatorogura” by Hakuro Brewery (Nagaoka city, Niigata prefecture) and new sake by both the Hakuro Brewery and Fujisaki Sobe Shoten (Nagatoro city, Saitama prefecture) of the same group. Hakuro Brewery featured their new sake, Junmai-Daiginjo Nigori Sake, and “Sanzui Junmai-Daiginjo Non-filtered Unprocessed Sake,” bottled in low volumes. New sake by Nagatorogura is unprocessed, non-filtered Junmai Ginjo sake with a flavor like fresh green apple juice. Customers came out in droves to the shopping district this day after completing their work for the year to prepare for New Year’s eve and New Year’s day. Many customers purchased fresh sake available only this time of the year. 
Nihonsakari was featured the next day, soon to become a classic sake featured during the sales event on December 30. The special set packaged in the Jinkichi bag (handbag made of durable canvas fabric used to transport sake from the sake shop) consisted of the Ginjo with gold leaf, Daiginjo with gold leaf, and “Souhana Junmai Ginjo,” also used when the Emperor ascended the throne, all products that suit the New Year ambiance. Sales personnel at Nihonsakari taught me the basics of selling sake before my shop opened. For the first time in over a decade, we teamed up so I could learn how to sell sake from a seller of a national sake brand, which is different from how local sake is sold. 
On the final day of New Year’s eve on December 31, two part-time workers were invited to sell out the rest of the inventory of the year. High-end sake sold out in no time, along with various new sake and New Year’s sake products that all sold out and concluded the year by 21:00. 
It is truly unusual to see this much sake sold at other times of the year. The phenomenon of high sake sales raises the question if domestic sake consumption is declining in Japan. If sake sales of this volume are consistent year-round, it would be safe to say the Japanese sake industry has a bright future ahead. 

*Jinkichi bag: handbag made of durable canvas fabric used to transport sake from the sake shop  
 
 
東京地酒散歩(年末販売会)
 年末の販売会が2023年も3蔵招いて開催された。トップバッターは新潟県新発田市の金升酒造。28日というまだ半分ウイークデーの感覚だったが、この酒蔵人気のにごり酒「初雪」を求めた来店者が多く、酒蔵としても瓶詰めがあまり多くない商品ということもあって、まとめ買いをする人もいた。そして目玉は氷温弐年貯蔵の純米大吟醸「初花」と「金升参拾六年古酒」である。この1986年に仕込まれた古酒もさながら、この酒が入っている容器が素晴らしい。チタン製造で有名な燕三条のホリエ製で、高保冷2重構造、完全特注品の360mlタンブラーに入っている。古酒を飲み切った後もビアタンブラーなどとしても楽しめる様になっており、内部に多少の凹凸がある為、きめ細やかで滑らかな泡立ちのビールを楽しむことが出来るのだ。360mlで約4万円。この価値をお客様に伝えるのは非常に難しかった。29日は新潟県長岡市の柏露酒造と同グループの埼玉県長瀞の藤崎摠兵衛商店「長瀞蔵」の販売会。この販売会の目玉はやはり新酒である。柏露酒造は定番柏露の新酒と純米大吟醸のにごり酒、
少しだけ瓶詰めされる「さんずい純米大吟醸無濾過生原酒直汲み」である。そして長瀞蔵の新酒も、まるで青リンゴ果汁を飲んでいる様な純米吟醸の無濾過生原酒。もうこの日は、仕事納め後の大晦日や正月に向けたお買い物客が多く商店街に出ており、この時期だけのフレッシュな酒を求めた人達が多く訪れた。
翌日は、30日の販売会の定番となりつつある日本盛。金箔入り吟醸酒、金箔入り大吟醸180mlを2本甚吉袋*に入れた特別セット、
天皇陛下即位の際にも使われた「惣花純米吟醸」などお正月の雰囲気にピッタリな商品を並べた。日本盛の営業マンは当店が出来る前に酒の売り方の基本を教えてくれた人であり、十数年振りに、タッグを組ませてもらい地酒の販売とは違う、ナショナルブランドならではの酒販売方法を学ばせてもらった。最終31日大晦日は、アルバイトの売り子さんを2名招いて、年内最後の売り尽くし。高級酒があっという間に売り切れ、各新酒も売り切れが続出し21時の時点では新酒やお正月商品が全て無くなり、年内最後の営業を終えた。
本当に年末だけは異常なくらいに日本酒が売れていく。本当に国内消費量が年々下がっているとは思えない現象が起こるのだが、これが通年の出来事であるならば、まだまだ日本酒の世界には未来があると言えるのだが。
*甚吉袋: 酒屋からお酒を運ぶ時に使われていた丈夫な帆布生地でできている手提げ
 
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Tokyo Jizake Strolling (the very hectic month of December)

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By Ryuji Takahashi
 
I continue to push myself despite feeling exhausted during the month of December, a busy and hectic month with no chance to rest until the new year. First on the schedule is the in-store sales event for Kondo Brewery (Kondo Shuzo Co., Ltd.) in Gunma prefecture. I happened to have new freshly squeezed sake, so I held the in-store sales event to sell the new sake and Junmai Ginjo “Kurobi” brewed using a centrifugal separator, winner of the Gold prize during the New York World Wine & Spirits Convention, over two days in the bitter cold weather.       
Kondo Brewery is the producer of the sake brand “Akagiyama.” Their flagship product is the Honjozo “Akagiyama Dry,” seemingly available in convenience stores, drug stores, and many stores that sell daily necessities. Seventy to eighty percent of this sake is consumed locally in Gunma prefecture, while seasonal and special sake are often not released in other prefectures. In Tokyo, only two stores including my own store deal directly with the brewery. At our store, customers from Gunma prefecture buy this sake product in bulk. 
The first day of the sales event concluded with an evening banquet at the brewery with lively discussions about sake, audio, and vehicles. The following week, I attended “An evening of Italian cuisine with sake” at the Italian restaurant “Karibe-tei.” Surprisingly, the event was attended by a record number of guests who feasted on luxury food ingredients such as lobster, shirako (soft roe), calf, and fresh oysters with eighteen sake bottles - nine different sake brands of two bottles each - the highest number of bottles consumed to date. The concluding dish was the bubbling Champagne Risotto. Guests took photos and videos of the bubbling Champagne Risotto.        
 The last collaborative event of the year featuring Italian cuisine ended successfully. I hosted the year-end hot pot dinner event with unrestricted time and appetizers brought by guests the following week. The final week consisted of three in-store sales events at Kanemasu Brewery in Niigata prefecture on the 28th, Hakuro Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. in Niigata prefecture on the 29th, and Nihonsakari Co., Ltd. in Hyogo prefecture on the 30th, leading into the New Year’s Eve sales event, the busiest event of the year.   
I was writing this article mid-December without encountering any major issue. I felt rushed to finish all my work before the end of the year, as I have many events and business trips scheduled in 2024. I feel deeply grateful for this past year that ended without any major injury or illness affecting my business, and for all the many customers who supported my business this year. I look forward to another year of sake fans consuming a lot of sake in 2024. 
 

 
 
東京地酒散歩(目まぐるしい師走)
 
 忙しい日々に疲弊している師走だが、休んでいる場合ではなく正月まで突っ走るしかないと身体に鞭を打ち続けている。そんな中、まずは、群馬県近藤酒造の店頭販売会。ちょうど、搾りたての新酒がでたタイミングだったので、新酒とニューヨーク・ワールド・ワイン&スピリッツ・コンペティションで金賞を受賞した遠心分離機を使用した純米大吟醸の「黒檜(くろび)」を中心に2日間、寒空の中で店頭販売を行った。この近藤酒造、「赤城山」という銘柄を醸しており、フラッグシップとなる商品は「赤城山・男の酒辛口」という本醸造酒で、群馬では何処でも買えるといった印象の酒である。コンビニやドラッグストアなど生活に密着した場所で気軽に買えるので、群馬での地元消費が七~八割くらいとのこと。その為、他県に季節商品や特別酒があまり出てこない。東京でも酒蔵と直接取引を行っているのは、当店を含め2か所くらいしかないらしい。当店では群馬出身のお客様がまとめ買いをするくらいである。1日目は販売会からの夜は酒蔵を囲んでの宴会も開催し、日本酒、オーディオ、車の話で大いに盛り上がった。翌週は、以前も何度か記事に書いた「イタリアンと日本酒の夕べ」というイベントを下北沢のイタリア料理店「かりべ亭」にて開催。なんと、参加者が過去最高人数で、食材もオマール海老、白子、仔牛、生牡蠣など豪華食材の料理が並んだ。日本酒も過去最高9種類を2本ずつ計18本が空になった。締めは吹き出すシャンパンとリゾットが映えるシャンパンリゾット。皆がカメラを手に吹き出すシャンパンを動画や写真に収めていた。結果、過去最高に大盛り上がりの今年最後のイタリア料理とのコラボイベントとなった。その翌週は持ち寄りのおつまみと当店が用意する鍋の時間無制限忘年会イベントを行い、最終週の28日は新潟県金升酒造、29日は新潟県柏露酒造、30日は兵庫県日本盛の店頭販売会と続く。そして一年で一番忙しい大晦日の大販売会と繋がっていく。この記事を書いている時はまだ12月の中盤なので、まだ大きいトラブルも無いが、無事に年内業務を終わらせたい気持ちでいっぱいだ。既に2024年のイベントや地方出張予定も決まり始めていている。とにかく大きなケガや病気も無く無事に1年商売が出来たことと、沢山のお客様に支えられて1年が過ごせたことに心から感謝したい。2024年も日本酒が多くの人に好まれ飲まれる事に期待したい。
 
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Tokyo Jizake Strolling (World Sake Day)

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By Ryuji Takahashi

The Japanese celebrate World Sake Day on October 1, marked with various sake events organized nationwide. October 1 is designated as World Sake Day for several reasons. Traditionally, the sake brewing season started in October and continued until September the following year. Therefore, the sake brewing year traditionally started on October 1. 

According to the Chinese zodiac cycle, the rooster is the tenth of twelve animals. Therefore, October is designated as the “Year of the Rooster,” read as “tori” in Japanese, but originally a pictograph indicating the shape of a pot, indicative of sake. October is traditionally the time to harvest new rice, now shifting due to global warming. Therefore, this explanation will no longer be valid to explain why October 1 is designated as World Sake Day.       

Anyway, various sake events are organized throughout Japan to celebrate World Sake Day. I overheard several colleagues questioning not doing anything to celebrate World Sake Day as professionals in the sake industry and decided to help revitalize my local community by arranging the sake specialty shop I manage to collaborate with Taiwanese restaurant “Seventh Son Restaurant,” in the same commercial district, to organize a sake tasting event.    

“Seventh Son Restaurant” serves authentic Taiwanese cuisine in Fudo-dori Shotengai, a commercial district in the Hatsudai district of Shibuya ward, Tokyo; celebrating thirty years in business. Mr. Lin, the owner, is a former soldier of the Taiwanese Army turned chef. His restaurant is featured in various TV segments, such as the entertainment show “Lunch ON!” on NHK World that introduces lunches enjoyed by Japanese businessmen and workers nationwide. 



東京地酒散歩(日本酒の日)

 10月1日は日本酒の日である。それに伴い各地で様々な日本酒イベントが開催される。

何故、10月1日が日本酒の日なのか。それには幾つかの理由がある。まず以前は、酒造りの季節が10月から翌年9月までを区切りとしており、それに合わせて酒造年度が10月1日から始まっていたからである。そして、

十二支の10番目の10月は酉の月であり、日本ではトリと読むが、元来は壷の形を表す象形文字で、酒を意味しているからである。新米の時期的な話もあるが、これはこの温暖化により時期的にズレ始めている可能性が有るので、いずれ日本酒の日の説明としては苦しくなっていくだろう。なにはともあれ、日本酒の日はイベントが多いし、日本酒業界にいながら何もしないのはどうかという言葉もちらほら聞こえてくるので、私の経営する地酒専門店としては、地元活性化に一役買いたいということで、同じ商店街の中に有る台湾料理店「福臨門」とコラボして日本酒乾杯イベントを開催することとなった。この福臨門、初台不動通り商店街に開店して今年で30年

のベテラン料理店で、台湾軍隊から料理人になった林(リン)店主の本格台湾料理が食べられる店である。テレビなどにも度々取り上げられていて、NHKのサラリーマンの昼飯を題材にしたバラエティ番組「サラメシ」で俳優大杉連さんのお気に入りの店としても紹介されている。店主のかけている眼鏡も大杉連さんが亡くなった際に形見分けとして貰った眼鏡とのこと。そんな福臨門を昼間貸し切りにして台湾料理のおつまみコースを楽しみながら日本酒で乾杯をするといった内容。新潟県金升酒造の蔵元の挨拶で始まり、新潟県柏露酒造の純米スパークリング「柏露花火」で乾杯。ミミガーや台湾ピータン、台湾式に味付けした蒸し鶏などが前菜として出てきたが、秋の熟成した日本酒と台湾的な味付けが非常にマッチして皆酒が進む。その後も揚げ餃子や揚げ春巻きなどの揚げ物も日本酒のつまみとして最高の組み合わせだった。メインの豚すね肉と卵と厚揚げの煮込みはもう言うまでもなく最高で、締めの台湾焼きそばは一瞬でお皿から消える程、大人気だった。最後にデザートとして揚げ団子が出てきたのだが、ゴマの風味と滑らかな餡子がデザートと言うよりも日本酒のつまみとしてのポテンシャルで、最初から最後まで台湾料理と日本酒のマッチングを楽しむことが出来た。日本酒の日に日本酒で乾杯するのは当然として、新たな異国の料理との出会いを見つけることが出来た良い乾杯記念日となった。
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Tokyo Jizake Strolling (an evening of Italian cuisine with sake)

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By Ryuji Takahashi

The scorching summer heat just started to ease slightly in Tokyo, yet still too hot to change out of short sleeved shirts in early September, when the “Fourth evening of Italian cuisine and sake” was held at Italian restaurant Karibetei in the Shimokitazawa district of Setagaya ward. Reservations instantly fill to capacity for this very popular event organized once roughly every three months. Seasonal ingredients and sake are selected for each event. For this latest event, fall and summer sake selections were mixed with products available year-round and some fall ingredients to serve many delicious dishes to the guests’ hearts’ content. 

Since the summer heat was still scorching, the course served started with Chilled Peach Soup Topped with Prosciutto, Chilled Bagna Cauda Bagna Freida, and Horse Carpaccio shipped directly from Kumamoto prefecture – horse loin and mane are chewed thoroughly together the local way. Afterwards, Uni (sea urchin) and Fruit Tomato Salad concluded the first half of the course, followed by fall seasonal dishes such as Oven-baked Sarde a Beccafio, Mackerel Pike Sicilian Spaghetti, and Beef Tagliata. As we started to feel full, the meal concluded with Champagne Risotto.     

Champagne Risotto is prepared by pouring champagne with risotto lined around it in the center of a pot. The simmering champagne mixes with risotto, complete with cheese sprinkled at the end, a very interesting feast for the eyes as well.  Lastly, watermelon was served as dessert and the satisfying meal concluded with every stomach full. 


The courses were served with four sake selections from Niigata prefecture -  the well carbonated “SHUKUFUKU Yellow Label” by Sasaiwai Brewery (Niigata prefecture), summer sake “Hakuro Junmai Daiginjo” by Hakuro Brewery (Niigata prefecture), an autumn sake with a lasting aftertaste, “Hiyaoroshi Junmai Daiginjo Takarazukushi” by Kanemasu Brewery (Niigata prefecture), and “Cowboy Yamahai” by Shiokawa Sake Brewery Co. (Niigata prefecture). The four sake selections from Niigata prefecture were followed by two satisfying bottles of sake, the full-bodied and crisp “Honshu-ichi Muroka-Junmai-Ginjo” by Umeda Sake Brewery (Hiroshima prefecture), and the deeply flavorful “Akagisan Junmai Hiyaoroshi” by Kondo Shuzo Co. (Gunma prefecture), concluded with slightly sweet and fruity sake selections such as “Nagatoro Junmai Daiginjo” by Fujisaki Sobe Shoten (Saitama prefecture) and “Ichinomiya TANE Draft” by Ichinomiya Sake Brewing (Shimane prefecture), totaling eight sake selections served two bottles each, totaling sixteen sake bottles consumed in two and a half hours.  


A lot of preparation is needed for this event, but seeing satisfied participants heading home is the motivation to keep going, said Chef Karibe. Participants of various ages in their twenties to sixties attended. The speed at which the food and sake disappeared was incredible. The next event is planned around November. We look forward to seeing the smiles of many participants as they get comfortably tipsy. 



東京地酒散歩(イタリアンと日本酒の夕べ)

 真夏の厳しい暑さが少しだけやわらぎ始めたが、まだまだ半袖から衣替えは出来ない9月の頭に、「第四回イタリアンと日本酒の夕べ」が世田谷区下北沢のイタリア料理店かりべ亭で開催された。この企画は毎回好評で予約もあっという間に埋まる会で、だいたい3か月に1回のペースで開催されている。毎回季節の食材や酒に特化して行われるのだが、今回は秋の酒・夏の酒・通年商品を混在させ、食材も少しだけ秋を意識して、後はとにかく美味い料理を沢山食べて欲しいというコンセプトだった。まだまだ暑い日が続いていたので、料理は冷たい桃のスープ生ハム乗せから始まり、冷たいバーニャカウダのバーニャフレッダ、熊本直送の馬肉のカルパッチョはロースとたてがみを同時に口に入れてよく噛んで食べるといった熊本スタイル。その後、雲丹とフルーツトマトの冷菜と冷たい前半が終わり、オーブンで焼いた鰯のベッカフィーゴ、秋刀魚のシチリア風スパゲッティと秋の雰囲気の料理が進み、牛肉のタリアータでお腹も膨らんできたところで、締めのシャンパンリゾット。このシャンパンリゾットは鍋の中心にシャンパンを置き周りにリゾットを敷き詰め、吹き出したシャンパンがリゾットと混ざり、最後にチーズをかけて完成という見た目にも面白いリゾットである。そしてデザートにスイカを食べてお腹いっぱいで終了。そんな料理に合わせる日本酒は新潟笹祝酒造のガス感の強いスパークリング「祝吹イエローラベル多酸」、新潟の柏露酒造の夏酒、「柏露純米大吟醸生囲い」、新潟金升酒造の落ち着いた秋酒、「ひやおろし 純米大吟醸 宝づくし」、新潟塩川酒造の「願人山廃純米」と新潟が4種、広島梅田酒造場のボディ感の中にキレのある「本洲一無濾過純米吟醸」、群馬近藤酒造の味わい深い「赤城山純米ひやおろし」と飲みごたえがある2本に続き、埼玉藤崎宗兵衛商店の「長瀞蔵純米吟醸瓶火入れ」、島根県一宮酒造の「壱呑屋TANE生酒」とやや甘めでフルーティな酒の全8種類×2本の16本が2時間半でほぼ無くなってしまった。とにかく準備が大変な会なのだが、参加者が皆大満足で帰ってくれるのが、続けていける原動力になっていると苅部シェフは語る。参加者も20代から60代と幅が広い中で、あっという間に料理と酒が消えていく光景は圧巻である。次回は多分11月頃の予定だが、また沢山の参加者と笑顔と酔っ払いに期待したい。
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Tokyo Jizake Strolling (Small and Medium-Size Enterprises Summit) 

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By Ryuji Takahashi

Tokyo officially welcomed summer in July. I exhibited a booth to showcase sake at a social gathering during the Small and Medium-Size Enterprises Summit 2023 (The 28th Tokyo Management Research Conference), as requested by the All Japan Committee of the Associations of Small-and Medium-Size Enterprises that aids small and medium-sized business owners to interact with owners of companies in other industries to encourage members to consult with each other, study together, and create competitive companies and business environments.

Approximately thirty branch offices by region are normally active, mostly within their branch offices. Once a year, however, a branch office in Tokyo gathers to rent out the thirtieth floor of the Shinjuku NS building and invite approximately 300 members to participate, deepen friendships, and learn together during the Small and Medium-Size Enterprises Summit.  

Various study sessions and seminars are held throughout the day that concludes with a social gathering. I was requested to exhibit and serve sake to share my expertise on sake during this social gathering. I was grateful for this opportunity as I had no lecture or exhibit at large-scale events to attend due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Shinjuku NS Building was close by, only fifteen minutes from my sake shop. 

I prepared ten 1,800 ml bottles of summer sake products and arranged for a sales representative to bring Nagatoro Gura by Fujisaki Sobei Shoten as the special sake of the day and entered the venue. In the largest conference room on the thirtieth floor was a large booth prepared as the main feature of the social gathering. I was surprised by the large scale of this social gathering, but also felt excitement I hadn’t felt in a while.   

Guests gradually started to fill the venue and the social gathering kicked off at 6:00 PM. Bottled beer was placed at each buffet-style table where guests were seated, with catered snacks placed at the center of the venue. Wary to approach the catered snacks at first, a crowd quickly formed where I introduced ten brands of sake products as I poured glasses.  

I glanced over my shoulder to see a crowd gather before the sake brewery and sake booths packed with guests, who asked questions about sake and my sake shop with some questions directed at me, which helped to advertise our business effectively. This opportunity helped me to observe and gather data on which sake guests select at first glance based on introductions, which sake captivated the guests’ attention, and sample repeatedly, valuable information for future product development with sake breweries. The executive director who organized this event seemed pleased, and the exhibit ended with success. I returned to the shop, cleaned up, and happily headed out for a drink to celebrate.  



東京地酒散歩(中小企業家サミット)  


 東京が夏本番を迎えた7月。東京中小企業家同友会からの依頼で中小企業家サミット2023(第28回東京経営研究集会)の懇親会に日本酒ブースを出店してきた。まずは東京中小企業家同友会とは、中小企業の経営者が他業種などの経営者と交流を持つことにより、経営者同士相談をしたり勉強をしたり、経営者としてより良い会社や経営環境を造ることが出来る為の手助けをする組織である。

地域別に30程の支部があり、通常はその支部内での活動が多いのだが、年に一度、東京内の支部が集まり、新宿NSビルの30階を貸し切り300名程が参加し交流を深め、勉強するのが中小企業家サミットである。1日中、様々な勉強会やセミナーが行われるのだが、その最後に懇親会がありそこに出店して日本酒を振る舞い、うんちくを語ってほしいとの依頼だった。コロナ禍で大勢の参加者のイベント出店や講演会なども無くなっていたので有難いお誘いであった。なにせ新宿NSビルは当店から歩いて15分の近場である。

日本酒は1升瓶を10種類夏酒中心に用意し、特別酒扱いで埼玉県の藤崎宗兵衛商店の長瀞蔵という酒を酒蔵の営業マンに持ち込んでもらい会場入りした。30階で一番大きい会議室に今回の懇親会の目玉としてのブースが大きく用意してあり、予想外の懇親会の規模にびっくりしたが、同時に久々の忙しくて煽られそうな雰囲気にワクワクした。徐々に参加者が会場を埋め始め、18時に懇親会スタート。立食方式で参加者の各テーブルには瓶ビールが置いてあり、会場の真ん中には仕出しのおつまみが置かれていた。最初は警戒されていたみたいだったが、あっという間に人だかりが出来、10種類の酒を説明しながら注いでいくのに必死になった。隣を見ると酒蔵前にも人だかりが出来ており、日本酒ブースは大盛況となった。その中で、酒に対する質問だけでなく、当店に対する質問や私自身に対する質問なども有り、宣伝効果もそれなりに手応えがある結果となった。日本酒をパッと見た際に皆どの様な説明やPОPの酒を選ぶのか、飲んでリピートするのはどの様な酒なのかというデータ収集にも繋がり酒蔵と今後新商品を考える際の貴重な引き出しになった。同友会の事務局長にも非常に気に入ってもらえた様で、久々のイベント出店は大成功に終わった。そして店に戻り片付けを終わらせ、満足気に一人打ち上げに酒場に向かったのは言うまでもない。
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Tokyo Jizake Strolling: (Sake Nagatoro Gura Paired with Teppanyaki)

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By Ryuji Takahashi

The rainy season started in Tokyo. Just when the rain was expected to continue, the weather suddenly turned scorching hot. Whether it’s rainy or sunny, an umbrella ultimately comes in handy in early summer, when teppanyaki and izakaya restaurant “Teppan” in the Nakano ward of Tokyo held a pairing event serving teppanyaki cuisine paired with sake from the Fujisaki Sobei Shoten Sake Brewery based in Nagatoro town, Saitama prefecture.  

As reported previously, Fujisaki Sobei Shoten Sake Brewery brewed sake in collaboration with merchants from Omni (modern-day Hino town, Gamo district of Shiga prefecture) and master sake brewers? from the Echigo province (modern-day Niigata prefecture). The brewery eventually relocated to Nagatoro town, Saitama prefecture to access pure water used to mainly brew small volumes of “Nagatoro Gura” - a fragrant, non-filtered, and unprocessed sake.  

Sake “Nagotoro Gura” was noticed by the owner of teppanyaki and izakaya restaurant “Teppan” in Tokyo, the venue of the pairing event. On this day, a sales representative of Fujisaki Sobei Shoten Sake Brewery elaborated on the sake product, followed by a special full-course dinner prepared by a renowned chef at a Japanese restaurant, where first-time customers (not referred to the restaurant by regular patrons) are turned away. 

The special full-course dinner started with two appetizers, “Tofu Paste with Fruits” and “Seasonal Vegetables Marinated in a Spicy Sauce,” followed by “Oyama Fried Chicken with Apricot Chutney,” “Cod Meuniere and New Potato Potage,” “Gyoza Dumpling filled with Minced Duck and Crown Daisy, served with Coconut Vinegar Soy Sauce,” “Kure’s Navy Style Braised Beef and Potatoes with Tomato Farcies,” “Okonomiyaki (prepared specially for this event) with Musashi Barley Pork,” all delicious menu selections that compliment the flavor of sake. Lastly, the meal concluded with dessert, “Monaka Catalana with Sake Lees Sauce.” I later learned the owner personally headed to Nagatoro town to purchase produce and other ingredients other than meat that further enhances the paired flavors.     

This thoughtfully prepared menu was paired with four sake selections: “Nagatoro Gura Non-filtered Unprocessed Cloudy Sake” with sufficient carbonation, “Nagatoro Gura Junmai Ginjo Non-filtered Unprocessed Sake” with fragrances of apple and pear, “Nagatoro Junmai Non-filtered Unprocessed Sake” with refreshing fragrances of banana and pineapple, and “Nagatoro Pasteurized Junmai” with a gentle fragrance capitalizing on the characteristics of sake rice Sake Musashi, harvested in Saitama prefecture. 


The sake selections that pair well with fruits and vegetables left a refreshing aftertaste, even after the meat dishes were finished. Guests seemed quite content from enjoying sake products by Nagatoro Gura Fujisaki Sobei Shoten Sake Brewery, not readily available outside of Saitama prefecture; paired with delicious cuisine prepared by a renowned chef at a Japanese restaurant, where first-time customers (not referred to the restaurant by regular patrons) are turned away. 



東京地酒散歩(長瀞蔵と鉄板焼き) 

 東京が梅雨に入り、雨が続くと思いきや、突然の体温越えの猛暑に襲われたりと結局雨だろうが日差しだろうが傘が大活躍の初夏、埼玉県の長瀞にある藤崎摠兵衛商店の日本酒と鉄板料理のペアリングの会が東京都中野区にある鉄板料理の居酒屋「てっぱん」で行われた。以前も書いたが、この藤崎摠兵衛商店は、近江商人と越後杜氏のタッグで酒造りを行っていた酒蔵であり、時を経て良い水の流れる埼玉県の長瀞に移転し極少量の「長瀞蔵」

という香り高い無濾過生原酒をメインに造っている蔵である。それが東京の鉄板居酒屋「てっぱん」のオーナーの目に留まり、ペアリングの会が開催されたのだ。この日は藤崎摠兵衛商店の営業マンの酒の説明だけでなく、世田谷区の一元様お断りの和食店の料理人も調理に参加しコース料理が振る舞われる特別ディナーコースとなっていた。料理は、「フルーツ白和え」「旬野菜南蛮漬け」の前菜2種から始まり、「大山鶏フライドチキン~アプリコットチャツネ~」「鱈のデュカ~新じゃが芋ポタージュ~」「鴨ひき肉と春菊の水餃子~ココナッツ酢醤油~」「呉の海軍肉じゃが~トマトのファルシ~」「今宵限りのお好み焼き~むさし麦豚玉~」と日本酒が止まらなくなる旨い料理が続き最後のデザート「カタラーナ最中~酒粕ソースと共に~」で締めた。後から聞いた話だが、肉以外の野菜類はペアリングをより一層良いものにする為、長瀞までオーナーが買い付けに行ったらしい。この気の利いた料理に合わせたのは、程よくガス感が溶け込んだ「長瀞蔵純米吟醸無濾過生原酒薄にごり」リンゴや梨の香りがする「長瀞蔵純米吟醸無濾過生原酒中取り」バナナやパイナップルの香りがするフレッシュな「長瀞直汲み純米無濾過生原酒」穏やかな香りで埼玉県の酒米さけ武蔵の特徴を活かした「長瀞純米火入れ」の4種類。果物や野菜などに合わせやすく、肉料理を食べた後も爽やかな後味が残る素晴らしいペアリングで、埼玉県以外の地域では、なかなか買えない藤崎摠兵衛商店長瀞蔵の酒を飲め、なかなか味わえない一元様お断りの店の料理人の料理が堪能出来、参加者は皆大満足といった感じであった。この会は二部制で行われ、私は最初の部に参加したので、当然ながら時間はまだ早いので、更なる日本酒を求めて彷徨う事となった。
#alljapannews #japanese #japanesefood #japanesesake #jizake #sake #tokyo

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Tokyo Jizake Strolling (Evening of Italian Cuisine Paired with Japanese sake)

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By Ryuji Takahashi

Just when humidity was first detected in the air in Tokyo, Italian restaurant “Karibe-tei” in Shimokitazawa district (introduced in a previous issue) hosted the event, “Third Evening of Italian Cuisine Paired with Japanese Sake.”    


The theme of the cuisine for this event was “early summer,” consisting of: ① Mozzarella Burrata and Prosciutto, ② Sicilian-style Eggplant Caponata, ③ Kirishima Chicken and Celery Wrapped and Deep-fried in Pate Brick, ④ Yellowtail Grilled Tapenade Sauce from Kagoshima Prefecture, ⑤ Dried Mullet Roe and Pistachio Pasta from Sardegna, ⑥ Beef Skirt and Bavette Steak, ⑦ Duck and Foie Gras Risotto, and ⑧ Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry Grappa Flambé. 


Japanese sake served during this event were selected for their refreshing flavors suitable for the rainy season from late spring through summer as follows: ① “Shukufuku Yellow-label,” a new series of sparkling sake released by Sasaiwai Brewery that took two years of trial-and-error to produce, including the sample sake product. Opening the seal released fine foams that raised the sediments sunken to the bottom of the bottle of this beautiful, milky-white, cloudy sparkling sake. Guests toasted with Shukufuku sparkling sake to kick-off the event, followed by ② “Takizawa Junmai-Ginjo Draft” and ③ “Hiya-live Storage Sake” by Shinsyu Meijyo Brewery, ④ “Sanzui Junmai Daiginjo Unfiltered Unprocessed Sake” and ⑤ “Hakuro Junmai Daiginjo” by Hakuro Shuzo, ⑥ “Nagatoro Junmai Unfiltered Unprocessed Sake” by Fujisaki Sobei Shoten, and ⑦ “Kamakiri-shouzu Junmai” by Kanemasu Brewery, a total of seven different categories of sake in fifteen 720 ml bottles, all from Fujisake Sobei Shoten Sake Brewery 


This event was attended by fifteen guests, with each guest calculated to enjoy one 720 ml bottle of sake. The real thrill of this event was to ensure each guest was stuffed with delicious cuisine and enjoyed a nice buzz on their way home. The guests varied in age from their twenties into their sixties, all fans of Italian cuisine and sake, who hyped up the event. It’s surprising every time this event is held how each tipsy guest never gets into any trouble on their way home. We’re truly blessed. This event, organized without any regard to profit or loss, is so popular among guests that the guests beg organizers to raise their participation fee to ensure the event will continue well into the future.  

From the operation side, removing any concern for profit rate and financial state, etc., allows chefs and service providers to prioritize seeing the smiles of satisfied customers as their top priority. Hearing genuine feedback from customers who love to eat and drink sake helps professionals capitalize on the motivational benefit of getting back to the basics. Not to sound too altruistic, but there aren’t sufficient resources to hold this event multiple times a year. Although it’s not yet known when the next event will be organized, we hope fans of Italian cuisine and Japanese sake will look forward to it.   



東京地酒散歩(イタリアンと日本酒の夕べ)

 東京が湿気を空気に感じ始めた頃、以前も紹介した下北沢に有るイタリア料理店「かりべ亭」にて第三回イタリアンと日本酒の夕べというイベントが行われた。今回は「初夏」をキーワードに料理は、①モツァレラブラータと生ハム、②シチリア風茄子のカポナータ、③霧島地鶏とセロリのパートブリック包み揚げ、④鹿児島県産活みやび勘八のグリルタプナードソース、⑤サルディーニャ産からすみとピスタチオのスパゲティ、⑥牛ハラミのバベットステーキ、⑦鴨とフォアグラのリゾット、⑧苺のグラッパフランベをかけたバニラアイスクリームの全八品。日本酒は、①笹祝酒造が試作品も含めて2年間、数多のトライ&エラーを繰り返しながらようやくたどり着いたスパークリング日本酒の新シリーズ「祝吹・イエローラベル多酸」。抜栓をすることで瓶底に沈んだオリがきめ細かな泡によって持ちあがり、見た目的にも乳白色が美しい泡酒である。この祝吹を乾杯酒として、②③長野信州銘醸「瀧澤 純米吟醸生酒」「ひや 生貯蔵原酒」、④⑤新潟柏露酒造「さんずい 純米大吟醸無濾過生原酒」「柏露 純米大吟醸生囲い」、⑥埼玉藤崎宗兵衛商店「長瀞 純米直汲み無濾過生原酒」、⑦新潟金升酒造「カマキリショウズ 呑み切り純米」、の全七種類720ml瓶で15本、全て梅雨から夏にさっぱり飲める酒を用意した。参加人数は15名なので一人4合瓶1本が飲める計算で、お腹いっぱいになってもらい、しっかり酔っぱらって帰ってもらうのがこのイベントの醍醐味である。参加者の年齢層も幅広く20代から60代までのイタリアン好きで酒好きな人達が集まり大いに盛り上がった。毎回、泥酔者でトラブルが起こらないのが不思議なくらい参加者に恵まれている会だと思う。利益度外視のこの会は参加者から心配になるから参加費を上げてくれと頼まれるくらい高評価を得ている。運営側としては日々頭の中でモヤモヤしている利益率や経営状態などを頭の中から外すことにより、お客様の満足した笑顔で料理人やサービスマンとしての初心に戻り、食べるのが好きで酒飲むのが好きな人達の本音を聞くことにより、自分たちをもう一度原点に戻し見直すという大きい心の利益を獲得しているのである。などとカッコ良い事を言っているが、当然年に何度も出来る程余裕があるわけではない。次回はいつになるか解らないが、イタリアンと日本酒好きには是非期待していて欲しい。
#alljapannews #italianfood #japanese #japanesefood #japanesesake #jizake #sake #tokyo

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