Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Experience Making Japanese Sake / Fukui Prefecture / Rice Planting



The rice which has been planted and harvested by the participants of “Arigato Project 2016”

is now in the process of being made into the Sake of Arigato at Kokuryu brewery.


On May 3rd, 2016, the opening ceremony and rice planting of

“Arigato Project” of this year were conducted.


On that day, there were storm warning in Fukui City and a gale advisory in Ono City. In the strong wind the participants and staff of the projects planted each baby rice with their hands.

Everyone is looking forward to seeing the completed sake next year.


Have you ever experienced planting rice? I stepped into a rice field for the first time. It was very hard just to take one step that it took more than 20 seconds for me to walk one step.

Are there any sake breweries in your cities?
If you have a chance, how about experiencing making sake and/or sake brewery tour?




Sake making experience / Fukui Prefecture  -Arigato Project 2016 began-



The project of making sake from the scratch, “Arigato Project” of this year just started.
The participants start making sake by planting rice and they take one year to finish making the sake.

The project has been established since May of 2013 by authorized dealers of Kokuryu, “Yushino Kai” as main members cooperated with Juridical Agricultural Union and Kokuryu brewery.


In one year, through the experience of making sake, the participants learn about sake and the charms of Japan and Fukui.



After one year, the sake, “Arigato Sake” (officinal name is “Kokuryu Adoso”) made from the rice they planted will be completed and ready to be given to the people that they would like to thank to.


Participants are from ages of 20 to 30 who live in Fukui Prefecture.


One of the purposes of this project is to let young people know about “good sake”. According to a staff at Kokuryu brewery The sake which people have for the first time in their lives can influence their perspective and/or image of sake throughout their lives.


I hope that the participants will know the “good sake” and have good times with their family and/or friends.




Amazing Japanese Food



Have you ever missed the foods from your countries when you visited overseas?


As I lived abroad, I realized how great Japanese foods are, so I missed them so much.


Japanese cuisine has everything from great tastes, benefits for health, and

to fancy appearance. More over some traditional foods have been passed on for a long time

so they have special meanings that we’re supposed to eat them in certain seasons,

on special events and/or with purposes. For example, we eat Mochi(soft and stick rice cake)

during new years in Japan, and we eat it wishing for long and healthy life.


There are many articles in the world which are written about how delicious and/or healthy Japanese foods are.


Japanese food has become very popular around the world and there are many restaurants opened up more and more.

In 2013, with the cooperation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diplomatic Missions,

“Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)” conducted a research

on numbers of Japanese restaurants in foreign countries.

2006 -24,000 restaurants

2010 -30,000 restaurants

2013 -55,000 restaurants


Moreover, Japanese food was selected as No.1(83.3%) for everyone’s favorite foreign food in the world in March, 2013.

(Researched by JETRO, Japan Extremal Trade Organization *multiple answers allowed *food from one’s home country is not counted.)

We can see clearly that Japanese food has been very popular around the world.


I would like to share a video of “international ME”,

“Japanese Food / What To Eat in Japan (Lesser Known Must Try Japanese Food)”


There are so many Japanese dishes which I enjoy so much

but two of my favorite ones from the video are Sukiyaki and Stawberry Daifuku.

Which dishes do you like or would you like to try?




Hotaru / Fireflies / Arigato Project 2016



There are five activities during the Arigato Project (Arigato means thank you in Japanese).

The participants plant rice in May, observe fireflies in June,

harvest the rice in August, study about sake in February

and attend to the ceremony for receiving the completed sake in June.


I attended the obrserving the fireflies in Adoso area in Ono City, Fukui on June 11th, 2016.

There were many fireflies flying beautifully around the rice field with clean and pure water.


According to one of the staff, because of the strong wind on that day,

there were fewer fireflies this year than previous years.


Even the weather was not perfect for the observing the fireflies,

the lights of the fireflies looked as if stars were flying around.

In this area, the rice for “Sake of Arigato (Adoso) 2016” is grown

and I cannot wait to see the sake will be completed and handed to the participants.


It is said that wherever the fireflies live, the environment of the area is clean

because they live in only the area with clean water and air.


I would like to share a video of “Plum 1853”.

*The video shows the fireflies in Maibara, Shiga Prefecture

because I could not take videos of the fireflies clearly in Adoso area in Ono.

Please enjoy!




One and Only Sake for Your Special Someone



It was about this time last year when participants of “Arigato Project 2015” planted rice.

On June 5th, 2016, they finally received the completed sake

which was made from the rice they planted.


Throughout the year, the participants experienced planting and harvesting the rice and understanding in more detail the quality of sake. They also participated in a firefly festival. They learned not only about Japanese sake, but the value of connection with others

and the charms of Japan and Fukui.


In 2015, at the end of "Arigato no Sake (Adoso) project",

a ceremony was conducted to pay tribute to the participants' of this event.



After complimentary speeches, the bottles of "Arigato no Sake (Adoso)"

were handed to the entire group of participants'.


Authorized dealers of Kokuryu, "Yushino Kai" handed the awards of merit

and the bottles of sake to each participants.

The participants, Kokuryu staff, the members' of "Yushino Kai" and the farmers

took one year to make the sake.

The taste of the sake is sharp with a strong body that leaves

a rather fruity and light aftertaste.


The sake is not only appreciated for its taste but also to the many participants'

of this project that assisted in its creation. The hardship endured throughout

the project is reminder of how special this sake is.


According to one of the staff for the project,

the taste and texture of sake, changes slightly every year.

This year, "Arigato no Sake (Adoso)” is slightly more mild and fruity than previous ones.


Speaking with the participants I was reminded of the benefits of this project.

Not only can one experience the many charms of Fukui and sake,

but also the strength of relationship and bonds between people.


I asked the participants' who they were going to give the sake to.

Out of the twelve participants', ten had chosen to give their bottle of sake to a family member.

Another participant intended to give her bottle of sake to her preofessor.

The thirteenth participant had decided to give it to his wife.


I am sure all the recipients' of the sake will be grateful and appreciative of these gifts.