Welcome Sake Lovers to Sake World Series this week will be focusing on the Kinki Region (近畿地方, Kinki Chihō), also commonly known as Kansai (関西, literally "west of the border") encompasses the Osaka Plain and consists of seven prefectures. The region includes the prefectures of Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo and Shiga, sometimes Fukui, Tokushima and Tottori.
PLACES YOU MUST VISIT IN OSAKA & HYOGO
So for this series I will share my solo trip adventures that I have experienced when I travelled to Japan. I love waterfalls and it was on my bucket lists of things to experience when I went to japan , if you ever plan to enter Osaka take nature in its course . Although the hike maybe be daunting but if you are into exercise and need to really feel nature take a hike up to Minoo Falls and then enjoy natural onsen on the way down to refresh yourself.
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum
Take a step back in time of the history of Sake making in the fabulous sake museum designed in the old brewer house of Hakutsuru. You can walkthrough the museum learning about the sake making process and enjoy sampling of delicious sake in the gift shop .
Dotonburi The Heart of Osaka
"Live the life of Osaka at Night" if you really want to experience Osaka at its best experience the night life is where everything is happening.
The lively entertainment area of Dotonbori is Osaka’s most famous tourist destination and renowned for its gaudy neon lights, extravagant signage, and the enormous variety of restaurants and bars.
The name “Dotonbori” generally refers both to the Dotonbori Canal and to Dotonbori Street which runs parallel to the canal’s southern bank.
FOOD YOU MUST TRY
"Fried Vegetable Pancake you can Never Forget"
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients in a wheat-flour-based batter. If you tried it you will never forget it , don't take my word for it , visitors who have been to japan will tell you the same thing and the urge to cook and remake it because they miss is inevitable. Crispy sensation from the batter and crunchy vegetable combo within the pancake topped with okonomi sauce and mayo drizzled with bonito fish flakes.
" Fried Octopus Ball"
Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack or appetizer made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special molded pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion. Outside you get the crispy sensation of the fried batter normally topped with okonomi or tonkatsu sauce and inside lovely chewy octopus with a savoury sensation.
RICE POLISHING RATIO
What is the purpose of the polishing rice?
The common purpose is it defines what kind of grade the sake category will be classified, this will determine if they want a more refine sake or more rice body style. The more the sake rice is polished the more refine the sake will be . On the sake label you will always find a percentage % figure that is less than 100% which will determine the rice milling rate of the percentage polished away and how much is left behind this can also determine the assumption of what sake grade the sake is even if you can't read the kanji on the bottle.
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery
Hakutsuru was founded in 1743 by Jihei Kano. Originally sold locally for decades, the Hakutsuru brand slowly built recognition and prestige throughout the years and found its spotlight on the world stage by being exhibited at the 1900 Paris World Fair. It is currently the world’s largest saké producer.
The name Hakutsuru means “white crane”. The crane’s reserved character and graceful appearance along with the cultural association of seeing a crane in flight as an auspicious sign, makes the crane an ideal symbol to represent the excellent quality of Hakutsuru’s saké.
Hakushika was founded in 1662.
"Hakushika," which literally means "white deer," is the subject of an old Chinese legend. According to this legend, the Tang Emperor Hsuan-Tsung who ruled from 712-756 and is known as the longest reigning emperor during the culture rich Tang Dynasty, found a white deer one day wandering in his palace gardens. Seeing that this rare and beautiful animal was adorned with a bronze medal indicating that the animal was 1000 years old, the Emperor recognized this as an auspicious sign symbolizing a long and prosperous life.
The Japanese, who have traditionally adopted the Chinese images and legends of the deer also regard the white deer as a sign of longevity.
Hakutsuru Tanrei Junmai
"Tanrei," a word meaning refreshing and smooth, as well as drying the finest rice and pure natural spring water from Mount Rokko, it is fermented with Hakutsuru’s unique technique, “Keikai-tsukuri”. It is characterized by its smooth and semi-dry taste.
Rice: Gohyakumangoku, Nihonbare
Rice Polishing Ratio: 70%
HAKUSHIKA JUNMAI NAMACHOZO
Made by a brief aging period and pasteurization right before bottling, fresh and light Namachozo sake is characterized by a refreshing cool aroma and a mild taste. Smooth, mild Sake with a refreshing aroma, aged at a cool temperature before flash pasteurized.
Category: Junmai Namachozo
Rice: Gohyakumangoku, Nihonbare
Rice Polishing Rate: 70%
SMV: +2 (mildly dry)
Serving Temperature: Well-chilled
Welcome Sake Lovers to Sake World Series this week will be focusing on the Kanto region is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. The prefecture we are focusing on this week is Tochigi.
PLACES YOU MUST VISIT IN TOCHIGI
" Imagine yourself in a natural cold room" a few years back my sake mentor took me to see some histories in his hometown the experience itself is breathtaking I remember it was so hot inside but as soon as you enter the Oya mountain you blessed with the natural cold air that flows throughout the whole mountain
The Oya History Museum (大谷資料館, Ōya Shiryōkan) is a museum and event space built inside a massive former stone quarry in northwestern Utsunomiya. The man-made caverns were originally developed during the Edo Period to mine Oya Stone, a soft, yet durable volcanic stone that is only found locally. Oya stone has been used over the centuries as a building and paving material, and has been utilized infamous structures such as the facade of the former Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
Sawahime Sake brewery(下野地酒 澤姫)
Sawahime Sake Brewery
To get to Tochigi you can take the JR from Tokyo where the journey distance is about 1 hour, from there you get off at the capital Utsunomiya and take a taxi into
Sake Lovers in Perth are already familiar with this is sake brand as Master Brewer himself always comes for a yearly visit. Master Hiroshi Inoue is a 5th generation owner/brewer using only produce( rice, yeast, water) from Tochigi. He aims to showcase the splendour of Tochigi and work hand in hand with local farmers to help improve the quality of their crops.
Master Hiroshi always welcomes his Australian fans so if you around Tokyo and got time to spare head down to visit him you might get an exclusive tour.
FOODS YOU MUST EAT
FAMOUS UTSUNOMIYA GYOZA
Utsunomiya Gyoza” is a centre of local culture. The "fight for the best "is the competitive spirit amongst the city over 300 Gyoza restaurants, who work hard continuously to create the best "GYOZA" with all sorts of ingredients and cooking methods with endless choices to make you salivate the pleasures the samples of different eateries.
Sawahime Tokubetsu Junmai
Classified as a premium sake made of 60% Polished rice( Origin Tochigi prefecture) naming this sake special (tokubestu) does it justice .
Fruity on the nose this sake can complement different flavours at all temperatures.
Rice: Hitogokochi (Tochigi)
Rice Polishing: 50%
Sawahime Kimoto Junmai
Traditional Method style and a yeast starter Kimoto .
Gentle Richness which not overpowering.
Soft crispy going down with a smooth finish.
This sake tends to be complex, rich and intense.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS
Yakitori, Grilled seafood, Roast Pork/Chicken
Rice: Tochigi sake 14
Rice Polishing: 60%
Sawahime Yamahai Junmai
Another Traditional style & yeast starter Yamahai
The sake is bright, dry, lively with medium plus acidity. Full
bodied on the palate. Welcome to enjoy at all temperatures
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS
Smoked salmon, sautéed mushrooms, bagels and ox, grilled
salmon, yakitori, fried fish
Rice Polishing: 65%