Sake By The Sea

On the 1st June our Taste with the Toji Session 5, hosted by the lovely Sake Mistress, Simone, took us to the idyllic seaside town of Ine, in the north of Kyoto Prefecture, to a wonderful quirky brewery as unique and as lovely as the Toji who makes the sake there. Mukai Shuzo has been…

Punks Not Dead… And Nor Is Sake

Last Sunday night we had the pleasure of virtually visiting an extraordinary sake brewery in Japan that is definitely the rebellious teenager of the sake world. Miyoshikiku Shuzo is situated in Tokushima, in Shikoku, and the sake is as charismatic as the Toji, Ryoichiro Mamiya. This event was the 6th in the Taste with the…

Gozenshu…Taste with the Toji with an ancient twist

Last year, somewhere between sitting our WSET Level 3 exam and receiving our results, Super Sake Boy and I had the privilege to be asked to pour sake at the Melbourne Sake Matsuri. It was a great deal of fun. It was also an excellent learning experience and we had the opportunity to work alongside…

Uniquely Japanese- Kuchisabishii 口寂しい

This unique Japanese word may be more relevant at the moment, as we are all spending a lot of time at home and some of us are struggling with lack of social contact and boredom. I was tagged in a kuchisabishii meme by a lovely friend of mine, who is in an apartment in Manhattan,…

Guesthouse Soi- My Home Away From Home

My first time travelling in Japan was just over five years ago. We travelled for a month and I tried to see as much as I could. We stayed in Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kamakura and had booked to stay in Hakuba. We also stayed in Kyoto. For only four short days. We had loved Tokyo,…

Love in the Time of Coronavirus… or The Quiet Ryokan

Twenty five days ago I wrote a blog about our impending trip to Japan. It feels like a year ago. Needless to say our plans have been completely disbanded and even if we wanted to leave the country, we could not. I am somewhat relieved we were not stuck in a difficult situation of being…

Kansai Style Sukiyaki Don Recipe

This sukiyaki don is another staple meal in our house. Don is short for donburi which simply indicates it is a meat, fish or vegetable dish served over rice, in one bowl. It is super easy, super, super quick and very delicious. It is a couple of minutes of preparation and then very quick to…

Uniquely Japanese- Kodawari γ“γ γ‚γ‚Š

Google translate translates kodawari as meaning commitment, but this simple translation certainly lacks understanding of the nuance of the word. Kodawari is an uncompromising and relentless pursuit of perfection. In craftsmanship, in skill, in creativity, in the everyday. This is an attribute you can witness in every aspect of life in Japan. One that can…

Travel and the Coronavirus

As a young person, probably in my late teens, I became somewhat obsessed with epidemiology and read voraciously about viruses, the CDC and Ebola, in particular. The Hot Zone, Virus X and The Coming Plague still sit on the shelf in our study. I feel like I have been waiting for the Coronavirus, without knowing…

Uniquely Japanese- Gochisousamadesu γ”ι¦³θ΅°ζ§˜γ§γ™

When people finish eating in Japan they will usually say γ”ι¦³θ΅°ζ§˜γ§γ™(gochisousamadesu) orγ€€γ”ι¦³θ΅°ζ§˜γ§γ—γŸ (gochisousamadeshita) as a way of saying thank you for the food. Like itadakimasu, (read about that here) this saying is a way of showing gratitude to all involved in the preparation of your meal. Again, the farmers, fisherman and so forth. The kanji…