Eating in Japan- Yokochō

Yokochō means “alleyway” in Japanese, and the busy alleyways of Tokyo, Osaka, and other large cities in Japan, are an opportunity to connect with the past. Bustling and crowded alleyways are packed with small izakaya, bars, ramen joints and other cheap and delicious eateries. Many of these establishments seat only 4-10 people. They are very…

Eating in Japan- Kaiseki

Kaiseki is an elegant, stylised and ritualised multi-course set meal served in ryokan and restaurants in Japan. The highly trained chefs present the food in such a way as to embellish but not detract from the natural beauty and freshness of the ingredients. There is always a seasonal element to the meal and the local…

Yoki-san ヨキさん

Yoki-san is my dog. His real name is Loki, but everyone calls him Yoki-san. He is a 7 year old Moodle, black and white, and super cute. He likes to be carried like a baby. He is tucked into bed each night. If we pay attention to anyone else, like the magpies who live in…

Eating in Japan- Izakaya

Eating anywhere in Japan is a treat. Eating in an Izakaya is the best treat, in my opinion. Izakaya are sometimes compared to pubs in the West, but I think of them more as bars with amazing snacks. Similar to tapas bars. They are casual, fun and often rowdy. Izakaya translates to stay and drink….

Sansankudo 三三九度

Three three nine times is the literal translation of sansankudo. An integral part of a Shinto wedding ceremony involving drinking sake. As you can imagine, Super Sake Boy and I were quite enamoured with the concept of building this ancient ritual into our own wedding ceremony. Trying very hard not to culturally appropriate, I have…

The Red Thread of Fate

Unmei No Akai Ito 運命の赤い糸, the red thread of fate, connects you from your pinky finger to your destined lover’s pinky finger. It is a magical, invisible cord that can stretch around the world. It can tangle but can not break. The cord will eventually bring you together regardless of place, time or circumstance. It…

The Enduring Exploits of Super Sake Boy and Nihonshu Girl

It has been nearly a year since COVID put a big, fat STOP sign on nearly all international travel. Being obsessed Japanophiles, Super Sake Boy and I have tried to take the travel ban graciously, while feeding our need for Japanese food, sake, culture and connection with the language. We were last in Japan in…

When Sake Reflects Nature

Hanatome Sake is unique in flavour and has been a favourite of Super Sake Boy and I for quite some time. It has a delicious acidic complexity and when the Sake Mistress announced that the ninth session of Taste with the Toji would be with Miyoshino Jozo, makers of Hanatome, we were excited. Not only…

A Taste with a Twist from Takayama

Throughout the series of Taste with the Toji events that Super Sake Boy and I have been attending since April, it has never failed to amaze me that regardless of what kind of sake the Toji (head brewers) are brewing, or what kind of kura (breweries) they are brewing in, a hundreds of years old…

Aliens, Hot Wheels and Blues loving Koji- Mioya Shuzo

The eighth session of Sake Mistress Simone’s Taste with the Toji on-line sake events found us in Ishikawa at Mioya Shuzo, with Kuramoto (president) Miho Fujita, and Toji, Toshi Yokomichi. I am reasonably sure when Miho-san was explaining the story of how she became president I was the only participant in the session that completely…

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…