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Month in Sake - October 2023 Part 2.

Back with the second part of October, so let's jump back in...


Bizen Festival


I love pottery and I have been looking forward to being able to see the Bizen Pottery Festival for a while. The town of Imbe (where the community of Bizen potters is located) is normally pretty deserted, as it can be a bit hard to get to, so unless you have a good reason (like buying beautiful pottery) most people would not travel all the way out here.


However, festival time is a different thing altogether, as the town becomes alive with people from all over Japan coming here to find a bargain, enjoy some pottery presentations, live music and of course lots of street food and drinks.


If you want to join the next festival keep an eye on the Okayama homepage for updates and news.



Sake Voyage @ Tasu+ in Tokyo


Jumped on a Shinkansen to Tokyo for a special Sake Voyage reunion with all the 4 breweries (Tonoike Brewery, Watanabesahei Brewery, Katayama Brewery & Shimazaki Brewery) I started to work with when I lived in Tochigi.


Very exciting to see them all (minus Shimazaki-san who could not make it) and to see everyone enjoying their sake, paired with Italian food!


It was also the first time for me to visit Tasu+, a sake shop and restaurant located inside Tokyo station. This is a great one to have on your list to visit, especially when passing through on the Shinkansen.


We also got a sneak peek on a new sake card game and I cannot wait to buy one! So stay tuned...



Kiyomizuyaki no Sato Matsuri - Kyoto


And we are not done with the pottery festivals this time the “Kiyomizuyaki no Sato Matsuri|清水焼の郷まつり” in Kyoto!


To be honest, up to this time, I found it quite difficult to understand Kyomizuyaki, as there are so many different styles, however coming to this festival (which is only about a 30-minute bus ride from downtown Kyoto), was really eye-opening.


Needless to say, I saw some great pottery, and just a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning.


More info about the festival can be found here, in case you are trying to time your visit accordingly...



Daimon Brewery Sake Festival


Daimon Brewery was one of the first breweries I visited when I got into sake, as part of John Gaunter's Sake Professional Course. So I was excited to be going back for their annual Sake Brewery Festival to see what they were up too.


Despite the terrible weather and because they have such an incredible indoor space, this was an amazing event, with plenty of sake, food, and Julian Housman on bass, playing Jazz to keep us all entertained - great fun!



Rice Harvesting Experience Kyoto


No need to ask twice when there is a chance to help harvest rice in Kyoto! 🌾🌾🌾


Especially not if it is Kyoto's local sake rice “Iwai” and in collaboration with some amazing Kyoto breweries: Eikun, Joyo, and Tsukinokatsura.


I think most of us did not expect this to be one of the hottest days yet, but we all soldiered through and sure were rewarded with delicious sake from the participating breweries as well as food from local restaurants - street food style.


Now I am already looking forward to next year, as I heard they also do a rice planting event - already very excited about that!




Doburoku Day


One of my favourite celebrations: Doburoku Day!!! Held every year on the 26th of October, because of 10 = ど, 2 = ぶ, 6 = ろく.


This year, and for the third year we were holding a special Doburoku event with @doburokulovers at the FBO Academy in Tokyo. Lots of different Doburoku to taste, some special guests from overseas, and of course local Doburoku makers to kanpai with!


I was presenting some latest News on Doburoku from Overseas. Chatting to the amazing @alexdrinkscraftsake owner of @omunomu.sg a great sake bar that also holds Doburoku-making workshops in Singapore!



Hot Sake Lab


I got a new favorite place in Tokyo - Hot Sake Lab!!!


What's not to love about an Izakaya specializing in hot sake? On top of that the food is super delicious and the owner/chef absolutely amazing! Just lean back and let him do his magic, a real treat as he has some wonderful sake on his shelfs.


Definitely be back when I am in Tokyo next time and for any Kanzake lovers out there, I highly recommend you check out: wwwhotsakelab.com





JSS Sommelier Competition Event


Following up on our special sake tasting at JSS the other week, today we went to the Sake Sommelier Competition in Tokyo and it was really impressive!


I took part in it 2 years ago, but because of the pandemic it was all online with the samples being shipped to the selected participant and to be honest, I was quite unaware of how big of a deal it actually is...


An amazing event with everyone being incredibly knowledgeable that in fact, after marking all the papers about 17 people had full scores in both the written test and tasting and then had to battle it out.


Really great and as all of us agree on, a rather humbling afternoon.




To see all that is happening (in almost real-time) you can follow Sake Nomad on Instagram or Facebook, I will be back with another "This Month in Sake" next month!

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