Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Hanagaki's special brewery bar on Shichiken Street in Ono City



Annual "Three major morning markets' regional products fair" is being held on the Shichiken Street in Ono City this weekend, and I went there yesterday.


During the event, the street is filled with not only open booths for Schichiken morning market, which has a 400-year-old history, but also specialty products of Ono City, its friendship city and neighboring towns.


And another pleasure at the event is enjoying sake at the special brewery bar being opened by Hanagaki only at the weekend. In the bar, you can taste many kinds of Hanagaki's sake. It is so nice to enjoy sake while chatting with Hanagaki's sake brewers and looking at the Shichiken Street, which many people come and go. (H.S)


It is fun to talk with sake brewers of Hanagaki about sake.


The daiginjo-shu is named "Ultimate Hanagki".


Sake tasting set to compare three kinds of brewer's rice


The menu of the bar


In front of the Hanagaki's shop, you can buy special sake and sake lees only during the event.

Special open-day at "Hanagaki" sake brewery in Ono City



Last weekend, I visited the ”Hanagaki" sake brewery because it was the special open-day. On the Shichiken Street, where the sake brewery is located, "Mountain vegetable market" was also opened and many local foods of spring were sold.


On the special open-day, you can see inside of the brewery and attend the guided tour of the brewery, also they hold sake tasting workshops. I actually participated in the workshop for the first time. In the workshop, a woman who is a great fan of Hanagaki came all the way from Tokyo.


At the workshop, the participants taste five kinds of sake. I tasted them and realized that taste and flavor change depending on temperature and drinking vessel. At any rate, how hard it is to express such a subtle flavor in words. I was impressed that a participant expressed the aroma of a sake, "like moist moss". According to the chief sake brewer who lectured at the workshop, the only way to become able to express itself well is practicing. I would like to practice and try it again.


And, next to their shop, the special "Brewery BAR" was opened only at the weekend. In the bar, you can taste many kinds of Hanagaki's sake while talking with sake brewers of Hanagaki. Their talk was literally an eye-opener for me, such as defining difference between wind and sake, why wine has vintage years but sake does not, and about rice and soil etc.. I learned the true greatness of sake brewers, and the depth of sake amazed me. (H.S)


In front of the shop, special sake that you can buy only during the event and bottled directly from the barrel were sold.


I bought the special sake "Chanokiya", which is a non-filtered raw unprocessed sake. You can drink it chilled, warmed or even mixed with water.


On the right of the shop door, the entrance of the old tea room remains. Also, I heard that in the shop, there is a colored glass plate that you can see their inner garden. There is a cherry blossom tree in the garden, so I would like visit at the time of bloom again.


The special "Brewery BAR" was popular, too.


The menu of the BAR


The daiginjo-shu is not for sale, which was made with everything in power of the brewery for a sake exhibition. The sake was named "Ultimate Hanagaki".


Three men who Hanagaki is proud of. (From left, the general manager and brewer, the next president, the master brewer)

Special open-day at a local sake brewery in Fukui



The local sake brewery "Ippongi" is well known for its sharp and dry sake, which
is located in Katsuyama City, Fukui Prefecture, founded in 1902.


I usually don't drink sake much, but as the special open-day approaches every year, I look forward to it for some reason. Each year, the event is held on the second day of Katsuyama Sagicho Festival. However, last year's one was cancelled due to the heavy snow, so the event was the first one in two years.


At the event, you can go in the sake brewery and they have lucky dip of sake lees, games, sake stands, selling special sake available only on the day and special sake-manju (steamed cake using sake). Until now, I couldn't buy them because they were always sold out, but I could buy the sake and the sake-manju because I went there early this year. To be honest,
I didn't like sake-manju that much, but I really enjoyed the sake-manju because its dough was fluffy and not too sweet. (H.S)


This year's Sagicho was favored by good weather and the festival music was more glamorous.


Arrived at the Ippongi sake brewery.


They opened inside the brewery that day.


Lucky dip of sake lees


Quiz about sake


Another quiz


Popular sake stand


This year's menu of the sake stand


The tinted left one is plum wine.
It was delicious.
I changed my image of plum win


Men of the drummers of the festival also enjoyed the event. Men wearing underwear for kimono is one of must-see sights at Katsuyama Sagicho.


The special sake "Funakuchi", which is non-filtered raw unprocessed sake, strong and thick but delicious.


Here is a video of when the event to start (10:00 a.m.) (5'37") Singing by the sake brewery workers and the formal announcement are cool.

Arigato Sake, “Kokuryu Adoso” -The Perfect Gift for Thanking Someone-



Kokuryu Adoso

On May 30th, 2018 “Kokuryu Adoso” of this year has been released. Kokuryu Adoso is the official name of a sake from Kokuryu brewery, and it is also known as “Arigato Sake”. Arigato means “thank you” in Japanese. This is the perfect gift for thanking someone special such as family members, friends, wives, husbands and so on.


Kokuryu Adoso is the sake which has been brewed with the rice planted and harvested during Arigato Project.



Rice planting

Arigato Project is the project in which the participants plant and harvest rice, and learn about more detail of the quality of sake. The participants also watch fireflies as well. Since fireflies can only live in the area which has clean water and air, the participants learn that rich nature is necessary for making sake rice. They learn not only about Japanese sake, but they also learn about the value of connection with others and the charms of Japan and Fukui.



Rice harvesting
An American man is rice harvesting

And at the end of the Arigato Project, they receive finished sake and give the sake to people whom they want to thank to.


The taste of the Kokuryu Adoso for this years is very smooth and mellow with refresh and sweet aftertaste.


How about giving Kokuryu Adoso to people who are special in your life and you want to thank them?



For more information about Kokuryu

Kokuryu Sake Brewing Corporation Official Site

Kokuryu Kijoshu Sake-The elegant and luxurious sake-



I had Kokuryu Kijoshu sake which was just released at the end of May of this year.


kokuryu kijoshu 

A 150ml glass bottle fits in the palm of an adult hand. The color of the bottle is black, and it has a red label with a printed metallic design. I like the stylish bottle. Since some of sake breweries in Japan such as Kokuryu brewery take so much time and effort for making nice labels and bottles, you can enjoy looking at the bottles as much as you enjoy sake.


The Kokuryu Kijoshu has lusciously sweet and fruity flavor. It leaves a clean and refreshing aftertaste. The kijoshu reminds me of a sherry or port with a honey/nutty aroma.


For the 5th anniversary party of “Arigato Project” (The project of making sake and learn about it.) which I visited on May 27th, 2018, I saw the nice Kokuryu Kijosh lined up on tables. Since the kijoshu is very sweet, I thought that it would be popular among women, but I saw many men pick bottles, look at the design and enjoy drinking it.

I asked them how the sake was. They said that even thought the taste of the sake is very sweet but the after taste of it is very refreshing, so they liked it very much.


If you have a chance to try Kokuryu Kijoshu, enjoy it!





What is Kijoshu?

Kijoshu is a type of sake which is brewed by using sake instead of water.



What is "Arigato Project"?

Arigato project participants in front of Kokuryu brewery

A project to pass on Japanese sake to the next generation. In this project, young people who are age of 20 to 30, residents of Fukui prefecture or employees or students in Fukui take one year to make their own sake.

Arigato project 2017 rice planting

Arigato project 2017 rice planting

They make the sake from rice planting and after one year, they give the sake to the people whom they want to give thanks to.


You can enjoy our previous blogs about the "Arigato Project" from a previous year.


                      Passing on Japanese Sake to the Next Generation

                      Learning about Sake

                      Brewery Tour

                      Passion for Japanese Sake at Kokuryu

                      Young Residents of Fukui

                      Overwhelming Moment

                      Overwhelming Moment

                      Great Enthusiasm


For more information about Kokuryu

Kokuryu Sake Brewing Corporation Official Site