How to find the best Sake in Japan?

 Best Sake in Japan 

Do you want to find the best Japanese sake brands? We can help you with that by explaining all sake related things to you. The end result is absolutely amazing with the combination of sweet, acidic, and spicy. Get yourself a bottle and enjoy on your special days. This is the best sake for beginners as this was also my first sake and I personally loved it! This is the best sake in Japan supermarkets. You can try this cold storage sake that is prepared in cold and humid weather so as to keep the fermentation slow. Lightly carbonated this low alcohol (5%) beverage should always be served chilled and best accompanies desserts such as fresh fruit cocktail or fruit sorbets. The only super premium sake (daiginjo) on the list; Dassai 23 is at the top of its game. The rice is polished down to 23% and this particular sake is also a junmai; all of this means it is also the most expensive sake on the list, retailing at £95 a bottle this sake is at home in the Michelin starred restaurants in Paris. 

To get high-quality products, they also take care of their natural surroundings. Their sole motive is to provide high quality sake with the help of using extremely good quality rice. While producing sake, they invest a lot of time in improving the texture and quality of rice by polishing and washing. Kubota Brewery, an association of Asahi Brewery is one of the best Japanese sake brands. It started in 1830 and since then it has been constantly working in this field to provide the best sake. The team at Restaurant Clicks is made up of foodies, food bloggers, and dining enthusiasts from across the country. Our reviews offer insight into the best restaurants in your area, so you can choose your next destination and find reservations all in one place. We're a team of digital marketers with a passion for food, restaurants, and hospitality. Restaurant Clicks is your go-to guide to restaurants in the cities near you! It's a versatile sake good for parties, daily sipping and even cooking. If you're drinking it chilled or on the rocks, look for a sake that has no trace of umami and a very low acidity, says Samuels. You want it fruit-forward, refreshing, and clean. On the higher end for sakes, Masumi Yumedono, meaning "Mansion of Dreams," is a "very juicy and bright" daiginjo, she says. All of its punchy character—grapes, berries, melon, peaches—is upfront, in the nose and on the initial palate. It is quite addictive not only because of its wonderful taste and sensation but also because of all the knowledge that you gain. 

Looking for the best Japanese sake brands? Check out these popular Japanese sake brands for the ultimate experience with flavours that will be a treat for your tongue. "This creamy-style sake is rich and lovely. Flavors of vanilla, coconut, and anise are interwoven beautifully on the palate. This Nigori is unfiltered and adds depth of flavor and character to this semi-sweet earthy sake. Whilst there will always be nuances that foreigners cannot even begin to understand, just knowing the basics of what sake is, how to consume it, and how to enjoy it in a group setting will be enough for a memorable experience. All rules and regulations aside, the act of consuming sake is something quintessentially Japanese, and is a great way to experience their delicate and detailed culture. 

By now, you should know that whilst the Japanese are advancing in lifestyle, culture, and technology much faster than many other countries, its charm and unique characteristic lays in its conclusive ability to keep much of its century-old traditions alive. This amazing brand, which is also known as Champion Nigori, is known for its rich and almost enveloping sweetness. Ozeki also has a brewery in California, leading to an economical price of between $7 and $20 a bottle and a wonderfully fresh sake. As it is unfiltered, this sake is a bit higher in alcohol than most but the sweetness makes it a great introduction to anyone interested in getting into sake. Gekkeikan is a sake brand that while it will never be the best sake you have ever had, is often the best sake available. 

This sake is very affordable although the price does vary quite a bit by region from $7 to $30 a bottle and is available in most markets. Gekkeikan is also one of the most popular sakes in the US, making up over 25% of the market. As freshness is key to sake tasting good, the fact that there is a Gekkeikan brewery in California means that this sake is an excellent choice. Gekkeikan Kirei Momoshu is produced by the same brewery as our number ten, Gekkeikan Nigori sake, and has very low alcohol content. Added to the blend of sake and white peach juice is 30mg of hyaluronic acid an ingredient often found in anti-wrinkle skincare products. This liqueur should be served chilled or on the rocks and works well as an aperitif or digestif.

Surprisingly our winner is also one of the cheapest on the list retailing at the low price of £7.50 a bottle coming in second only to the MIO sparkling sake which retails at £7 a bottle. "—Monica Samuels Considering the attention the beverage is getting, we might be heading into the golden age of sake. "Premium sake is an industry that is really young, and every year it feels like there are new frontiers that are being crossed," Samuels says. "Brewers always say they have yet to make their best sake." Although sake is served with sushi in Japan, sake is more thought of as going hand in hand with the fare at Izakayas, gastropubs that offer a broad range of food over a meal from sashimi to fried food and simmered meats.

Sake Alcohol Content 

Why is Sake alcohol content so high? Are there any Sake types with lower and higher alcohol content than average? SAKETIMES is Japan's most viewed, shared, trusted, and relied upon online source covering all-things-sake. Looking for a way to drink sake and not spit it out? Might help to buy a bottle and take it home. My local grocery store sells Gekkeikan brand. Probably not the finest of the fine, but not terrible. Then try it out in private to get comfortable with it's taste and scent. Sip it slowly. 

The fermented drink is made with Sake rice from which bran is stripped to remove the protein and oils. There are 5 main types of Sakes namely: Suzune, the signature brand of Ichinokura brewery is known for its low alcohol content. The hot Sake alcohol content is 5 %. The low alcohol content drink is popular amongst women drinkers. The alcohol content of Suzune is equivalent to an average beer. The low alcohol content Sake comes as the sparkling Sake with a sweet flavor and clean texture. The average Sake alcohol content is 15-16%. Liquor Tax Law in Japan provides that Sake alcohol content (alcohol by volume i.e. ABV) must be below 22%. Sake alcohol content is 15-16% on average; the highest among world's fermented beverages (e.g. wine and beer). I didn't like it -at all- at first. Years later tried it again and liked it. You'll probably have to try out different levels of sake SMV to find you can enjoy. Since you're supposed to sip the drink, having to endure one that's either too dry or too sweet for your tastes can be miserable. 

Experiment a bit, so you know which SMV level to order like a pro. Sake is a ceremonial drink and a cultural pastime in Japan. As such, there is a way to imbibe respectfully. That desirable pocket of starch in the center of the grain is called the shinpaku (心白, しんぱく). It usually takes two to three days to polish rice down to less than half its original size. The rice powder by-product of polishing is often used for making rice crackers, or Japanese sweets (i.e. Dango), and other food stuffs. Premium sake is mostly made from sake rice however non-premium sake is mostly made from table rice. You just need to do it properly and in moderation. Traditionally, sake is consumed in small cups, called "ochoco," that are generally comparable to shot glasses. 

However, there's a recent trend towards enjoying sake from wine glasses in the belief that these vessels help to enhance flavor and aroma. So, on average, sake does in fact resemble a slightly stronger wine. Looking at the list you can even draw a correlation between the alcohol level and common manner in which they're imbibed. There is the additional factor of the exchange rate with Japanese yen. As sake becomes more popular, it should become possible to enjoy sake at a lower price. It's certainly the case that sake is often served in small cups, called o-choko. However, there is an argument that the fragrance and flavour of some sake can be best enjoyed in larger receptacles, such as wine glasses. Still, sometimes smaller cups will be better. 

After the fermentation process is complete, the fermented moromi is pressed to remove the sake lees and then pasteurized and filtered for color. The sake is then stored in bottles under cold conditions (see "Maturation" below). The fermentation process of sake is a multiple parallel fermentation, which is unique to sake. Multiple parallel fermentation is the conversion of starch into glucose followed by immediate conversion into alcohol. To clear your confusion we are heart to answer the burning question of how much alcohol content is present in Sake. Have a dinner plan with friends? Looking for a fermented beverage that will ignite your party? If so, Sake alcohol is what you need to uplift the party mood. Sake is a well known Japanese alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice. 

But, Sake is no longer a staple Japanese drink only. Depending on how the sake was aged, the resulting koshu often has stronger, earthy or woody tones and a darker, honeyed color. In recent years, more and more sake brewers have added a sparkling sake to their product line-up. Similar to sparkling wine, sparkling sake is bottled before the fermentation process has fully ended, resulting in the creation of bubbles. Most sake is filtered towards the end of the production process to produce a perfectly clear drink. This is done to soften the alcoholic edge, and achieve a smooth, balanced product. After this dilution, sake is bottled at 15 to 16 percent alcohol. Nearly all sake is sold at this ABV. A distilled spirit that is usually made from cane sugar is also commonly added during fermentation. 

This is called aru-ten. However, aru-ten is not done to increase the alcohol content. Historically, brewer's alcohol was added to protect the mash from unwanted bacteria and increase production. Think of it more like a blank slate that you can fine tune to your ideal taste by tossing in some ice cubes or a spritz of sparkling water. Enjoyment is the name of the game, so find the tastes and strength that best suit your own preferences. For those looking for a stiffer sake experience, genshu is a good start. Genshu is simply sake that is not diluted with water prior to bottling like most sake are.

Buy Sake in Japan 

Read more about our original and imported sake from Japan, then find and purchase online — and enjoy! Interested in a taste, or bottle, of original imported sake? Takara Sake offers a variety of traditional options from Japan, including: In short, our imported sake selection broadens and enhances an already diverse portfolio, offering our customers additional and unique varieties of sake. We're sure you'll enjoy trying, exploring and comparing each one. If you're looking for Junmai Daiginjo, the highest grade of sake, Wine.com has two choices. Wakatake Onikoroshi "Demon Slayer" comes from Hokkaido and has a refined taste, silky texture and just a touch of sweetness. It's best served chilled and contains about 17% alcohol. We will keep this list updated by adding new options for buying Sake online and removing sites that no longer carry it. If you have a favorite site that you consider one of the best places to buy sake online, please email us and let us know about it. 

Rave reviews all around the table. Kanpai! Each mold gives sake a different flavor, and unlike the more popular yellow koji mold, white and black koji mold produce rich strong flavors with h... In the sake industry, breweries differentiate their products in a variety of ways, but the most important ingredient in any brew is the type of ric... Every bottle of sake we sell makes the long journey across the Pacific Ocean to a west coast port and on to the wine country. In addition, we import some Sho Chiku Bai sake varieties because of the unique way they are brewed. 

Examples are Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabegura Kimoto Junmai and Yamahai Junmai. These types of sake, crafted according to a traditional, 17th century brewing style employing laborious methods, display well-balanced flavors that are still complex, alsong with enhanced umami and acidity. Finally, some occasions call for something special, perhaps a little bubbly. So we've introduced MIO Sparkling Sake, the number one selling sparkling sake in Japan, into the American market. Kubota pays special attention to the aroma of the sake, and the balance of alcohol and acidity in pure rice brewing imparts a gorgeous treat indeed. Elegant and fresh, fruity, light and with a refreshing aftertaste, this is sake suitable with any dish, and recommended for newcomers to the sake world. 

This Japanese sake, from producer Asahi Shuzo in Niigata Prefecture, is brewed in March, June, September, and November. Senshin ("Baptism") is originally a Japanese Buddhist word. 15% vol 180ml & Sake Junmai alc. 15% vol 180ml & traditional sake drinking cup made of ceramic. Ozeki Premium Junmai Sake is a traditional style sake that you can enjoy with a variety of dishes. This sake is dry with well balanced aroma. Ozeki Premium Junmai Sake is a traditional style sake that you can enjoy with a variety of dishes. This sake is dry with well balanced aroma. Ozeki Junmai Dry Sake is a traditional style sake that you can enjoy with a variety of dishes. The following article picks up ten varieties of alcohols from the Narita Airport duty-free shop. Be sure to refer to it when you buy a gift! 

Visitors heading home from Narita International Airport can find a number of original sweets, snacks and a variety of Japanese sake selected from areas all around Japan. Here we've asked shop staff for their recommendations on what to buy! Buying sake has become very similar to wine. You'd have to consider the brewery, the rice milling percentage, and the flavor. In addition, it'd help to know the different sake categories like Junmai, Junmai Ginjo, and Junmai Daiginjo. Ready to try this intriguing beverage but not sure where to start? Sometimes it's best to go to the source. So why not begin with a trusted, acclaimed sake imported from Japan? Here's what you need to know about this unique and traditional drink. Are you searching for a new and exhilarating drinking experience, one that will expand your palate and stimulate your taste buds? When beer and wine no longer excite, Japanese sake might just be what you're looking for. This Junmai Daiginjo is light and dry with a velvety finish. 

You also get to shop by sake category, Junmai, Ginjo, or Daiginjo. And if you're interested in a sake subscription box, you'll get 3 bottles a month with the Tippsy Sake Box. As you can imagine from the number of labels, this shop offers sake for every taste. With more than 150 labels from Japanese and U.S. breweries, Tippsy is one of the best stocked online sake stores.

How to Drink Sake 

Do you want to learn how to drink sake properly so you don't insult your japanese friends? When drinking a sweet sake, be especially cautious as you may be inclined to drink it quickly. Along with serving sake, you may want to know how to drink sake according to tradition. Typically, sake is served in an ochoko, which is a small ceramic cup. Here's how to drink sake from your ochoko in the traditional manner: Another option for serving sake is with a small box known as a masu, which is a receiving vessel for overflowed sake. And, to be fair, most restaurants won't gatekeep your sake drinking, nor will they tell you how to drink sake. But if you want the traditional sake experience, there are a few things you should know. Sake alcohol content is typically higher than that of wine. 

While wines tend to be in the 10% - 15% range, undiluted sake can have up to 18% or more alcohol by volume. Genshu, which is a strong type of sake, sometimes exceeds 20% alcohol by volume. Don't dilute with water or mix with anything else - sake is to be relished on its own! It's important to eat and drink water with sake, so prepare some otsumami and keep hydrated. Sake is notorious for brutal next-day hangovers, so don't go overboard! Of course, room temperature sake is completely acceptable, and in some cases better, so indulging as soon as you arrive home is perfectly fine! Different sakes have varying optimal temperatures, with honjozo often being warmed while daiginjo served chilled. When laying out a plastic sheet to sit on, please place it away from the tree roots. 

If you step on the roots, the trees won't be able to breathe, and they may wither. From ancient times, cherry blossom trees have been regarded as lucky charms where the gods remain. This is said to be the origin of the custom of drinking Sake under the blossoms. There are other seasonal customs involving Sake, such as drinking it among the Japanese irises in May, drinking it to cool down in summer, drinking it while watching the full moon of autumn, or while watching the snow fall in winter. Our Junmai Daiginjo pairs with richer ingredients like lobster, uni and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I had our Ginjo with some fried chicken the other night, and it blew my mind." Despite the misconception that sake is a rice wine (it's not), you should still drink sake the same way you would a nice Pinot Grigio. "We recommend sake be served chilled in a white wine glass so you really get those aromatics. You can get your nose right in there," Rueda says. Thankfully, most nice Japanese restaurants don't serve sake in masus anymore. But if they do, request a wine glass instead. Despite the misconception that sake is a rice wine (it's not), you should still drink sake the same way you would a nice Pinot Grigio. "We recommend sake be served chilled in a white wine glass so you really get those aromatics. You can get your nose right in there," Rueda says. Their saliva enzymes would introduce the elements needed to cause fermentation. 

Nihon-shu is closely tied to Japanese history, religion and cuisine. But today's fermentation methods are quite different from its origins. The earliest production began around 2,000 years ago. Koji mold transformed sake fermentation and is integral to the process today — Photo courtesy of Ashley M. Biggers In Japanese, sake refers to any alcoholic beverage, from wine to beer. Ordering nihon-shu ("Japanese liquor") in Japan will get you the rice wine that most refer to as sake. Our Junmai Daiginjo pairs with richer ingredients like lobster, uni and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I had our Ginjo with some fried chicken the other night, and it blew my mind." "Sake should be stored vertically and refrigerated, not in the freezer," Rueda says. "It's meant to be enjoyed young, not stored for ages. Once you open a bottle of sake, though, it's actually good for way longer than a white wine, about four to six weeks." "If you heat up a sake, it intensifies the alcohol flavor and masks the natural, beautiful taste and aroma; the delicate flavor profiles disappear—you just taste alcohol." 

Now that you've hopefully been convinced to do away with hot sake, here are Rueda's tips on drinking (chilled) sake correctly: A good sake doesn't need heat to be palatable, and warming it can actually ruin the flavor. "In the higher-quality sakes, they take a grain of rice and polish it away," Rueda says. Afterall, all sake is certainly not created equal. On the other hand, an SMV of -2 would signify a more sweet sake. More often than not, sweet sakes are higher in alcohol volume. You will also want to pay attention to the Sake Meter Value or, as it appears on the label, the SMV. This number describes the sugar acid level of the drink. An SMV of +5, for example, would signify that the sake is relatively dry. It's made though a multiple parallel fermentation where koji mold and yeast are introduced simultaneously to create alcohol. It's also worth nothing that the rice used for sake isn't the same as table rice. This method was abandoned after discovering koji, a mold enzyme still used today, that is added to the rice to begin fermentation. 

Farmers would gather to chew steamed rice, then spit it into a communal pot, which would be stored to ferment. A premium sake with a polishing ratio of 60% or less, ginjo is known for its rich, fruity fragrance called ginjo-ka (吟醸香). Try drinking it in a wine glass to amplify these mouthwatering aromas! Honjozo is a seishu delicately brewed with an emphasis on flavor. It boasts a polishing ratio, or seimai buai (精米歩合), of 70% or lower, making it of a higher quality than futsushu. While a "polishing ratio" may sound like a head-scratcher, it simply refers to the level of rice milling. 

Sake Taste 

A light beverage that's smooth and unassuming; sake is less harsh on the palate than spirits and doesn't have the strong hoppy, malty punch that beer has. Sake is an alcoholic beverage that's made from fermented rice. Passionately consumed by the Japanese for more than 2500 years, it's known as "rice wine" and has similarities to spirits, beer and wine. If you're thinking about trying this hootch for the first time you're probably wondering what does sake taste like? It might be difficult to tell the difference in sweetness between two sakes with +3 and +4 SMV value, but you'll taste marked differences between a -5 and a +7. Presence of acidity in the sake may make it taste less sweet despite residual sugars being present. Sake Samurai and Urban Sake blogger Tim Sullivan encourages sake tasters to try each sake at a few different temperatures. "The truth is that sake is one of the most flexible alcoholic beverages when it comes to serving temperature," says Sullivan. 

The alcohol content of sake varies from 8% to 20%, with the average of 15% to 16%, and is just a bit higher than that of wine, which ranges between 12% and 15%. Although sake and wine have many things in common, they are different based on the following things: Because of the diversity of flavors, the taste of sake varies from person to person. But in general, you can imagine sake flavor by learning the basics of sake making below: Sake is suitable to drink with almost any kind of food. This results in a full-bodied taste rather than a simple, sweet flavor. Sake is rich in amino acids, containing over five times more than wine and beer. Amino acids and peptides produce the umami flavor found in sake. The acidity of sake is about 1/5th of wine. 

The main acidic component of sake is succinic acid, followed by lactic acid and malic acid. Sake contains a sugar content similar to semi-sweet wine. If you're just talking about a few days, then unless you've got an amazing palate, I'd say that you probably won't notice any difference, or that any difference you notice will be slight. Fresh sake (unfiltered, unpasteurised) will go "off" quicker than filtered, pasteurised sake. Higher alcohol sake will keep longer. But there's no real need to overthink this: sake is cheap. Buy small bottles, drink as much as you want, and put the rest aside. Junmaishu is similar in concept to beer made according to German beer regulations, which allow nothing but malted barley, hops and water to be used. Sake that does not have the word junmaishu on the label will usually have brewer's alcohol added (not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, if done sparingly), as well as (in lower grade stuff) sugars, artificial flavorings, acid-based additives, and a whole host of other cost-saving, hangover-promoting nastiest. 

It has a smell like potato and mushroom. Although sake and wine are similar in terms of aroma, some are unique. Below is the broad classification of sake's aroma. The 6 elements - impacts, aroma, body, bitterness,  acidity, sweetness are often noted by sake experts. They share common things like that of wine, excluding tannins. To make grape wine, the process is simply converting grapes to alcohol by single fermentation. But when it comes to making sake, the process requires more techniques. poultry or pork with dark sauce). Cheese is also a good partner for Junmai Ginjo. Taste profile: aromatic & full bodied. Daiginjo: Daiginjo. To reach this top quality, the rice loses its weight by more than half and is fermented at extremely low temperature (around 5-9 ° C). 

Often the rice polishing grade is chosen to be 35 percent of the original weight or even lower. The Toji master and his staff often spend sleepless nights during production of Daiginjo and Junmai Daiginjo and lose body weight, like rice. If it gains a brownish tint, it means the sake is approaching oxidation. When you are being served the sake, raise the cup and hold it with both hands. Wrap one hand around the sides and support the bottom with the other one. The person next to you will pour the sake from a tokkuri. Some sakes are better when they are drunk hiya style, and some are better atsukan style. Japanese tasters often assess a particular sake in terms of its go-mi, or five flavours. These are karami (dryness), nigami, (bitterness), shibumi (astringency or tartness), amami (sweetness) and sanmi (acidity). 

This system is derived from an ancient Chinese philosophy whereby consuming all five flavours ensures development of the five senses and five types of internal energy. Though there will be countless other flavours to be encountered with a certain drink, as a starting point this approach provides a manageable number of components to identify. The addition of brewers alcohol up to 10 percent of the total rice weight is allowed. This makes the Honjozo lighter in taste and drier than a Junmai. The rice polishing grade is less than 70 percent. A high quality Honjozo made from under 60 percent polished rice can be called Tokubetsu Honjozo. Its fine fragrance easily vanishes when heated. 

Honjozo is a great companion to sashimi and sushi as well as light fare. That alone distinguishes if from junmai ginjo. Ginjo means sake brewed with rice milled so that no more than 60% of the grain remains. Confused? For centuries, adding distilled pure alcohol to sake just as it completes its fermentation has been a part of the brewers' art. Often, it is used to "cut" the sake and get more yield out of a single batch. However, when a sake is labeled "honjozo," it means that the amount of sake is very limited, like to 120 liters per metric ton of rice used. 

Sake for Beginners

A special yeast and fermentation process is also used. Honjozo sakes are generally a good choice sake for beginners. This type of sake is light-bodied and equally refreshing warm or cold. Like junmai, honjozo sake must use rice polished to at least 70% of its original grain size. The difference is that honjozo contains a small amount of brewer's alcohol to round out the flavor and fragrance. While the category represents a range of sake flavor profiles, junmai sake is, in general, full-bodied and savory. Technically, sake is the Japanese term for all alcoholic beverages. 

It includes everything from beer & wine to local brews like shochu and what English speakers lovingly (and mistakenly) call sake. Ready to learn everything you ever needed to know about sake? Let this complete introduction to sake for beginners light the way! This traditional Japanese brew has become as synonymous with Japan as beer is to Germany. In Japan, it's not just a drink; it's a source of national pride. Lastly, the makers can pour extra water in the bottle to modify alcohol content and can also add extra fragrance or sugar to make it more delicious. Depending on how the three main components of sake (rice, water, and koji) are processed and combined, brewers can produce beautiful varieties of sake from cloudy nigori sake to aromatically dry sake to sweet sparkling sake! The quality of rice, koji and water are therefore very important to make delicious sake. Junmai is Japanese for "pure rice" and is an important term as it separates pure rice sake from the non-pure version, also known as honjozo (more on that later).

The junmai rice is polished to 70%, and brewed using only water, yeast and koji. It is said to have a rich full body with an intense, slightly acidic flavour. There are so many types of sake and most have an alcohol content of 15%-16% on average. More steamed rice, koji, and water are added into the main tank, called a shikomi, for 18 to 32 days, after which it is pressed, filtered and blended. Most sakes are also pasteurised and left to age for at least six months, rounding out the flavour, before being shipped out. Premium sake is usually made with grains that have been polished to about 50%-70%. This means 30%-50% has been polished off. The more traditional options of serving sets make great gifts and conversation pieces while glass carafes may blend in a little better with other types of barware. Another option for bottling is the YEBODA Clear Glass Bottles with Stopper. This set of 4 bottles is better for small batches though each holds about 32 ounces. 

The caps for these have a super strong seal on them using swing caps with stainless steel and silicone gaskets come off easily and seal very tightly. In the label, it not only shows you how to store the bottle properly, but it also explains to you the perfect temperature to consume sake and the tasting characteristics of that sake. Which means, you can get a general idea of how that bottle of sake is going to taste by reading the label. Therefore, if your sake says junmai-daiginjo, it means your sake is made only with rice that is polished to 70%. So do serve with delicious snacks of your preference! Traditionally, you can't pour sake into your own glass, so make sure to check other people's glass to see if the glass is empty or not. If you're confused how to prepare your sake, check the label on the back of the bottle to find out what temperature is the best to consume. 

If it's better to be served hot, make sure to prepare thick or pottery/wooden cups so that it is easier to hold the glass. To get some perspective on rice polishing, keep in mind that to get from brown rice to white rice, you need to polish rice to about 90 percent (i.e., polishing off 10 percent). One of the first steps in sake making is the polishing of the rice. Prior to the actual sake-making process, the rice kernel has to be "polished" — or milled — to remove the outer layer of each grain, exposing its starchy core. The flavor is brisk, slightly malty, with a trace of smoke and a dry, lingering finish. Easygoing and pleasant, but not without an edge. Super food-friendly. Ginjo: Approachable, for your palate and your pocketbook. This sake is soft, lush and juicy-a melon fest, with dominant notes of honeydew and ripe watermelon with a slightly nutty finish. 

Easy to pair with food, fine to drink on its own. Junmai Nigori: The notes from the producer say something like "bridges the gap between East and West" but I might beg to differ on that: based on my small focus group of sharers, at least, Nigori sake is a bit polarizing. Junmai sake is all about the flavour of the rice, and will have quite a bit of acidity and umami present. Until relatively recently, junmai sake had to be made from rice polished to at least seventy percent of its original size, like honjozo. However, because sake production methods have improved so much, the law was abolished. To be classified as junmai, however, a sake must have no alcohol added; it must be made with nothing more that rice, water, koji and yeast. This is an excellent choice for regular family meals or a small friendly get together. For a more traditional set, the Kotobuki"Akinai" Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Sake Set has a 16 ounce ceramic bottle and four ceramic cups all in black. The Kanji characters written on the sides of the bottle are for spring, summer, and winter. This can also be used to serve hot or cold sake, but requires a warming bath to heat it up as it does not have the inner container design of the ZENS.


The Best Japanese Youtubers

Best Japanese Youtubers

Being dubbed as the number one site, it is widely recognized, and a huge amount of content is being uploaded day by day. Due to its massive growth, this platform provides great benefits to web marketers. In our article we are bringing you the best Japanese YouTubers. Ahhh this was such a good read! I'm familiar with most of these but it's really nice to have a list compiled in order language proficiency.  And, if you're struggling to follow the Japanese, the subtitles will help you out. On the other hand, it's easy to think you're studying more than you actually are. The subtitles can end up helping you out too much, distracting you from the Japanese audio - and you can't turn them off. 

This YouTube channel has its pitfalls, but there's also plenty to like about it. Yuta, the channel host, asks Japanese people on the street specific questions like "What social issues are you interested in?" What a time to be alive! The number of language learning apps out there is mind-boggling. In each episode the pair take on a new profession, from chefs to detectives to construction workers, finding humor in everyday situations. If you like Baikingu, you'll probably also like Toukyou 03. The heart-warming content of Junichi Yoshizuki's channel is an irresistible mix of cat training and cooking videos, where the cooking videos often feature interactions with his 4 cats or food made specifically for them such as his "Sushi for cats" with over 20 million views.  

Riku is currently taking a short break from the end of October to focus on his university studies but intends to be back uploading videos this winter with even funnier videos! "What is this?" they ask, peering at the kinetic anime graphic, its eyelashes fluttering. "Who's in there?" To learn specific vocabulary about eating out in Japan, check out our article, Basic Japanese Phrases for Dining Out. And if you've already started planning your Japan trip, browse food experiences in Japan! Whether you're already familiar with the Japanese language or are a newbie, these 10 YouTubers will no doubt help you level up your Japanese language skills. This channel has a compilation of video interviews on the street. Each video focuses on a certain topic including sushi and public transportation in Japan. Unlike other Japanese language learning YouTube channels, Easy Languages is less like formal learning and more about picking up casual conversation and everyday slang words. Visual learning plays a part in these videos as captions are in all forms — English, romaji (romanized Japanese), and the actual Japanese writing script. Follow us to keep up with the latest updates. 

They aim to provide quality information about travelling in Japan and also inspire people to visit. Follow us to keep up with the latest updates. This channel is all about how to cook from authentic Japanese cuisine to street food in the most trusted way. Follow us to keep up with the latest videos. Producers told Rest of World that the scandal caused Chinese game companies — a major source of advertising revenue for Japanese VTubers — to pull their sponsorship. Their simplicity also enables the viewer to project ethnic, emotional, and more elastic racial and gender identities onto their designs. VTubers take this aesthetic interactivity a critical step closer, into the present tense and privacy of the viewer's personal screen. You can now interact with an anime character in real time, tapping into a childhood fantasy that almost everyone has: Who doesn't want to talk to a cartoon? According to Nielsen's research, YouTube is popular in Japan, with over 62 million users. (December 2018) About 80% of Japan's Internet population is watching. We have overwhelming similar trends in Japan as well. 

According to a video ad user survey jointly conducted by the research company Macromill and Digital Impact, YouTube ranked first in the list of free video content services that users in Japan usually watch, and 97.8% of the survey respondents as a result of attending. Japan is a country many people are fascinated with. Therefore the goal of this channel is to bring you closer to Japan and share as much of this beautiful country as possible. Hello everybody to the world of Japanese onomatopoeia! On this channel I'm introducing onomatopoeia used in everyday life with visuals and sounds. By getting to understand onomatopoeia I hope everybody can enjoy the intriguing world of onomatopoeia that can't be described in other languages.

Japanese YouTube Channels

Every Youtuber is a storyteller. On Youtube, you can find all kinds of content in Japanese, from vlogs, motivational speeches to cool stories of Japanese ninjas, the possibilities are endless. This makes learning so much more real, informative, and exciting than reading textbooks only. To that end, I'd like to give you a wonderful list of popular Japanese YouTube Channels on a variety of topics to get you started! The channel focuses on releasing animated videos with general content about facts and riddles. Troom Troom JP is a perfect YouTube channel for those who love science and DIY. The channel is dedicated to small experiments that you can do at home. The videos are relatively high quality and uploaded regularly. The voiceover is very slow and clear. This is a great channel to start with if you're a beginner! 
As a model, Aoi takes a really fun and modern approach to makeup, a great fit for younger viewers who may prefer a more natural look that isn't overly polished. Tofugu is a blog that makes videos on Japan-related topics on Youtube. They have various videos on Japanese culture and also on tips in learning Japanese. This is a channel featuring Micaela, a Canadian who has been living in Japan for the past 12 years. She makes videos on her life in Japan as well as informative videos on Japanese culture and places in Japan. Her channel has many playlists such as 'How-To & Information About Japan' and 'All About Fukuoka'. She also shared many vlogs on her daily life. They have basic Japanese and all their videos are episodes based. Even though their videos are a bit in the 1990s, it is still a good learning platform for Japanese learners. All their videos have real-life situation skits to provide a more realistic use of phrases and when to use it as well. They have a lot of visual examples so it would not be too boring. Thus, making it easy for non-Japanese listeners to follow. Plain Japanese's online lessons are being taught by a native Japanese teacher. Their videos are well-illustrated and explained, covering many different topics on the Japanese language such as grammar and kanji. There are also other informative videos such as 'Japanese Greetings' and 'Counting Numbers in Japanese'. 

PuniPuniJapan's videos are well-illustrated and narrated with clear explanations. It is more recommended for beginners who started learning Japanese. She teaches Japanese using the Minna no Nihongo textbook and has a video on each topic. She covers lessons on hiragana, katakana, grammar vocabulary, and kanji. Nami Ohara covers topics such as Japanese grammar, vocabulary, and listening. Also, there are many videos on Japanese culture. Another feature of this channel is that there are many listening quizzes and tests for you to practice your listening skills. Not only that, they have many videos on learning Japanese through songs. They have episodes based on these two categories - Basic 1 & 2. They have 1 playlist of basic phrases, essential basic phrases, Q&A and daily phrases. This is very good for those who want to learn Japanese but do not know where to start. They give examples and are not very lengthy. Their videos are also useful for those who are coming to Japan for leisure. They have useful phrases for travelers to use during their travel to Japan. The videos are extremely informative if you're looking to understand Japanese culture, but there's also great travel advice as well, especially for those traveling with kids. 

For an in depth look at what it's like to travel and live in Japan, Only in Japan is a great place to start. Created by John Daub who has lived in Japan the last 18 years, Only in Japan is a huge YouTube channel with over 1 million subscribers and a great assortment of videos. Rachel and Jun are an American/Japanese couple who produce videos on travel in Japan and actually make you feel like you're right there with them. Their videos touch on common travel related subjects like Japanese food, sightseeing and advice regarding Japanese culture, but they also have mini-documentaries as well, like their "Shokunin" series on traditional handicrafts and arts in Japan. Travellers often fixate on the most popular destinations and attractions, which is why channels like Internationally Me by Angela are so great. It features hundreds of Japanese recipes that are easy to follow, and plenty of tricks to make tasks, such as mincing garlic, much easier. That's exactly the reason why we complied a list of the best Japanese YouTubers and we are sure that you are going to love it!

Tutorials are presented almost like a TV series, as opposed to a homemade video. Tutorials run for between 4 and 10 minutes. Cooking with Dog features a mysterious Japanese chef (her name is not disclosed), and a cute miniature poodle 'Francis' that calmly sits next to 'Chef' and translates recipes step-by-step in English. John is a professional and very experienced, and his videos are truly amazing. Especially at the tourist level. If you want to visit unique and hidden places on your trip to Japan, or have unique experiences, I recommend you to watch his videos. But if on the other hand, you prefer to visit the most typical cities in Japan, don't worry because it also has many useful videos to organise your trip to Japan.

Japanese Youtuber

Journalist Koichi Yasuda told the Mainichi Shimbun: "Categorizing human lives as superior or inferior is the very thought process of a eugenicist. To put out a video like this without shame, for us to be in a social environment where this can be posted, is completely shocking to me." There have been numerous past instances of homeless people being attacked and losing their lives. "Words like 'homeless people's lives are just, whatever' could spark hate crimes," Inaba said. Google Inc. planned to introduce a feature Wednesday that automatically translates Internet search requests and results in 12 languages, underscoring the rapidly growing company's ambitions outside the United States. 

China's Chery Auto sales vice president Jin Yibo remembers when the roof in the president's office had a leak so big that they had to put out buckets to collect the water. Free computer game play that is all the rage in South Korea is taking hold in a US market dominated by videogames sold on packaged disks or by online subscriptions. Warning: The following article contains references to and quotes of discriminatory statements made against homeless people and individuals receiving public aid. The Mainichi Shimbun spoke to a support group representative and an expert in hate speech to hear their interpretations of the events. 

TOKYO -- DaiGo, a Japanese celebrity YouTuber who calls himself a "mentalist," has sparked fierce criticism with comments belittling the lives of homeless people and individuals on welfare during a livestream. After arriving from Kyrgyzstan on a scholarship, Khamida Malianchinova got into aikido and podcasting — both of which helped her be part of a community. The channel's administrators appealed the blocking of 12 videos, with some reinstated — but they say YouTube did not provide an explanation as to why others were kept out of public view. As Kiryu Coco graduates from Hololive, it allows us a chance to look at the growing influence of virtual YouTubers Two years is nothing to a 3,500-year-old dragon child, but it was everything to the fans of Kiryu Coco Looking to get some Olympic spirit into your social media feed? While the Japan Sumo Association has made some progress on its online offerings, fans' inability to watch the sport overseas is a wasted opportunity for the sport to expand its audience. The internet isn't short of stories of influencers behaving badly. 

Japan's most successful YouTuber proves that you can make a name for yourself by keeping things light. In it, DaiGo responds to a viewer's question by saying, among other things: "I don't pay taxes for it to go to paying for people on welfare. If we have money to feed people on welfare, I want them to use it to save cats." Much as music-themed reality shows have swept television, music-themed videogames are multiplying so quickly editors are being forced to come up with games that sing to new audiences. The stereotype of Indian entrepreneur in US is now being challenged by a new clutch of entrepreneurs looking beyond usual. Sorry, we just need to make sure you're not a robot. For best results, please make sure your browser is accepting cookies. Sorry, we just need to make sure you're not a robot. 

But because a section of society does engage in verbal attacks on people who receive public assistance, Yasuda added, "It's possible to say that DaiGo picked up a prejudice that exists in part of society, and spoke on its behalf. I think the government and the administration have an unavoidable responsibility in the way they have come to accept people's ignorance, prejudice and intolerance toward the welfare system. If a society which has become complicit in attacks on social welfare and the poor does not separate itself from these thoughts and criticize them, then the same things will repeat."

Japanese Vloggers on YouTube

Their on-the-ground accounts of daily life in Japan have been viewed more than 200 million times. This video of a red-headed woman playing with dozens of squealing foxes in Japan's "fox village" has more than six million views. The "Idiot's Guide to Japanese Squat Toilets" has three million, and "Modern Japanese Table Manners" has almost two million views. Every country in the world merits books and articles devoted to unpacking the nuances and quirks of its culture. Despite the rise in popularity of J-vlogs, not too many vloggers in Japan are bilingual Japanese-English speakers. 

However, Yuta Aoki has been able to break through that barrier with his informative interview-style videos. Every weekend, armed with a microphone and camera, Yuta takes to the streets of Tokyo to interview native Japanese speakers about their opinions on various topics such as politics, dating and language learning. His channel helps bridge cultural barriers between Japanese and international communities, especially since he offers his own "Real Japanese Course" for Japanese learners. I think the name is either ryuuzaki 1311 or ryuuzaki 3133, she talks about Japanese slang and culture and what have you, and subtitles every video.. check it out! I can't link, I'm on my phone, but its a 1 minute YouTube search. KemushiChan! She speaks Japanese most of the time, and always includes subtitles. She won a YouTube eduguru scholarship to teach Japanese too. I usually watch kanadajin3 and sharlainjapan as they both will have the occasional video in Japanese, and they always put in subs. 

Burnout among YouTubers is not uncommon. But the thing that kept Rachel and Jun going was making videos they genuinely cared about - and the Japan-hungry internet responded. "There was a period of maybe two or three years where we had no days off - it was seven days a week. Every waking hour was devoted to video-making, editing videos, thinking of ideas, filming, social media, going to meet-ups. We ended up so sick," Rachel says. Duncan is a half Japanese, half British bilingual YouTuber who goes by the name PDR-san, don't forget the san. Commenting on strange Japanese trends and poking fun at the stupidity of others, PRD-san is a YouTuber after my own heart. Although his videos are in Japanese there are English subtitles making the videos accessible for international audiences. 

For bilingual viewers, the spoken gags and jokes reflect a more Japanese style of humor while the translations in English cater to international audiences while telling the same story. Besides her main channel, Rhea also runs another YouTube channel called RareRoom. In this channel, she shares her life managing her small online business, packing crafting and more. She starts her video from vlogging her life living alone, to living with her husband and now being a housewife. Typically, these workers enter a company after college graduation and remain with the same company for the rest of their careers. They are expected to work long hours and participate in after-work leisure activities such as drinking and singing karaoke. But it can be difficult to keep up with all these trends, and that's where Kimdao comes in. Her channel will give you the lowdown on the latest Japanese cosmetic products and shopping hauls. If you prefer unscripted, spontaneous travel vlogs, Chris' humorous personality and daring outlook might be just what you're looking for. 

Abroad in Japan presents a variety of Japanese travel content, but the channel's most memorable series is the 2,000km Cycle Series. Visitors heading off to far-flung locations or riding trains still proliferate, as do uploads of popular influencers having a pretty uneventful stay in the capital. There's also the time-tested formula of highlighting Japan's perceived wackiness and uniqueness for clicks, regardless of how accurate any of it is. And there's always convenience stores. Save for that ribbing, Paolo's channel taps into a curiosity about how Japanese people actually experience life, even if their daily existence isn't gripping entertainment. Some of the biggest anime channels fall under the GeeXPlus umbrella, an endeavor launched in February of last year by publishing company Kadokawa in order to connect Japanese brands with global influencers. 

Their interest lies in pushing J-vloggers who focus almost entirely on anime- and manga-related content — areas in which Kadokawa has large stakes — rather than just videos that might appeal to tourists. Cartoon heroes: Joey Bizinger, better known as The Anime Man on YouTube, is one of several creators focusing on anime, manga and life in Japan. Life Where I'm From connects kids from across the globe for an insider look at the Japanese way of life. The channel is run by Canadian Greg Lam, while his kids, Aiko and Shun, take centre stage as talents and co-hosts. Because of its kid-centric perspective, Greg's videos are incredibly easy to follow. So if you're on a lookout for Tokyo's underground world or secret sakura sightseeing spots, you've come to the right channel. 

Famous Japanese Youtubers 

What made them rise to fame was their human bowling video in 2017 — not only was the video a huge hit, the group also came out on top of the Japanese YouTube charts when it comes to subscriber growth and view count in that year. This channel has about a million subscribers and quite similar to the first one — so why not subscribe to both? SUSHI RAMEN (Riku) is all about experiments. 

His videos cover content like stunts and extreme challenges that you wouldn't normally participate in but curious about. One of the videos went viral when Kanta flips a massive pan of fried rice — the rice wasn't real, though — as part of pranking Tommy. The Japanese YouTube community is full of entertaining content where some are even yet to be discovered but deserve more attention. 

So hop on the Japanese YouTube entertainment — starting off with these top 10 Japanese YouTubers! Junichi also has another channel where he manages it with his wife, called Rachel and Jun. There, you'll get more than just cat and cooking content — but once in a while, those furballs will make an appearance! The fourth YouTuber on the list is the number one female YouTuber in all of Japan! Yuka Kinoshita is not only kawaii (かわいい, cute), but she is also surprisingly a big eater. 

Her channel, with about 5.5 million subscribers, is all about food product reviews and eating videos — known as "mukbang" where she films herself eating while answering some questions asked by her viewers. One of the most impressive achievements of the team that runs Fischer's is breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest game of tag — the group of YouTubers gathered almost 11,000 people to play the biggest game of tag in the whole world! 


Konyoku - Mixed Gender Onsen in Japan

Konyoku Mixed Onsen in Japan

What is a Konyoku?

Konyoku is a mixed onsen in Japan. Like other onsens, this is a nude onsen but here, both men and women bathe in the same bath. This is an old tradition but it has been falling in recent times since it is considere rude and vulgar. Outlawed in Tokyo and other urban centers, konyoku onsen can still be found in most prefectures, often in remote locations. 

They’re on the wane — estimates say there are a few hundred left — and most of them seem to cluster in Tohoku, among which Nyuto Onsen in Akita is perhaps the most notable. Another one is Aomori’s Sukayu Onsen with its famed Senninburo (1000-person bath). When I recently visited Aomori, I decided to finally take the plunge myself.

Beppu Onsen In Oita Prefecture Building

History of Konyoku mixed onsen

Konyoku onsen type is a very old Japanese tradition that is dating back as long as the 9th century. The number of mixed-gender onsen had started to decrease during the Edo period (1603-1868) due to two factors. First is inappropriate behavior coming from men who would stare or even worse harass women. Second is the influence from abroad. During the end of the Edo period, Japan opened its borders to the west. Newly arrived foreigners were shocked by the custom of men and women bathing together in the onsen. 

After the end of the Edo period, Japan wanted to join the club of the “western developed countries” so foreign influence became even more dominant and konyoku took another hit. Since then, the traditional concept of konyoku has evolved to meet foreign perceptions. For instance, the ancient konyoku strictly forbade men and women bathing to wear a towel or swimsuit to protect their modesty. Now, women are provided towels to cover their bodies while men bathe fully undressed.

Tsurunoyu Onsen Akita Prefecture Winter View With Snow

Visiting Konyoku for the first time

I wouldn't prescribe attempting to go to one of these in the event that you object to being naked around the other gender. In the West we have rules about washing along with the other gender – you wear a swimming outfit. Here in Japan this standard is acquiring broad acknowledgment, and I'm here to tell the prigs that I will battle you until the apocalypse. 

Initially, you need to check whether you should wear a bathing suit. And furthermore, you need to check in the event that you should put on a towel around your midsection prior to going into Konyoku (Mixed Gender Bathing). Some konyoku will allow you to wear a towel, however not all. Fundamentally, placing a towel into natural aquifer isn't useful for sterilization, so there are numerous Konyoku (Mixed Gender Bathing) saying not to put and bring a towel. 

Each natural aquifer has each way and rules, so already, if it's not too much trouble, check the note about utilizing Konyoku (Mixed Gender Bathing). Then, in the wake of concluding the subtleties at registration, it's headed toward the konyoku hotspring! You will get bare and, in the wake of getting the 'wrap towel' around yourself, continued to the outdoors shower, also called rotenburo. So exactly what were her underlying feelings? Besides, exactly what sort of individuals really regular such a spot? 

While washing in the konyoku blended onsen, she was frightened by one specific scene; albeit Japanese bathers conveyed their towels with them, the encompassing couples from abroad were totally stripped, and appeared to be not at all piece embarrassed to uncovered all. It is regularly imagined that guests to Japan are a little reluctant about entering totally starkers into a particularly open spot, and in this vain, briefly, Tomoe wound up dismissing the genuine outsider. 

Onsen Hot Spring In Japan Nishimuraya

Fall of Konyoku in Japan 

At the point when Japan facilitated their unfamiliar limitations during the nineteenth century, some were dismayed at what they saw. Blended sexual orientation onsens were classified as "indecent" or "indiscriminate". Another pervasive issue which drove these blended showers bankrupt lies in the terrible habits among bathers. They are known as wani, or crocodiles. Wani alludes to a gathering of men or some of the time even ladies, who prowl in the water for quite a long time, hanging tight for a brief look at exposed skin. 

These unwanted irritations would gaze as they go after different bathers. From that point forward the number has been falling a great deal. There are no authority measurements on the quantity of blended showers in Japan. At the point when you check all such onsen 23 years prior, the all out came to more than 1,200. By 2013, that figure had tumbled to under 700. I had an inclination that they weren't as numerous konyoku as in the past, yet when I really took a gander at the figures, there had been an enormous drop.


Kaga Hakusan Area in Ishikawa Prefecture

Spring In Kaga

Kaga Hakusan area is a part of the Hokuriku region in the south-western Ishikawa Prefecture. Ishikawa prefecture is an interesting part of Japan that many foreign tourists have not even heard of. That is unfortunate since this area holds immense natural beauty, rich history, and culture, and is famous across all of Japan for its first-class hot springs. My wish is to show you all the things that make this part so fascinating to me and to hopefully convince you to visit it during your trip across Japan. I have already written about Kaga/Hakusan area on my website so check that out as well!

Tatsunokuchi Onsen Open Air Natural Hot Spring Bath

Kaga Onsen

One of the best things about this area are its many renowned hot springs. The most famous one is the Kaga Onsen-kyo hot spring resort, which includes Yamashiro, Yamanaka, Katayamazu, and Awazu. It is surrounded by picturesque views of the coast and the majestic Mt. Haku, also known as Hakusan. 

Yamanaka Onsen

Yamanaka Onsen is the hot spring town nestled in the mountains, famous for its traditional culture of Yamanaka lacquerware. Daishoji River runs through the beautiful green Kakusenkei valley where many Japanese-style hotels with beautiful views of the river can be found. Yamanaka Onsen's hot spring waters are said to ease muscle and joint pain, speed up recovery from disease and improve one's health in general. If you are there, check out the Kikunoyu, Yamanaka's public bathhouse. 

Yamashiro Onsen

The healthy spring water of this town was discovered by the monk Gyoki during his pilgrimage to nearby Mount Hakusan over 1300 years ago. The gushing water is called "water for longevity." and can relieve muscle and joint pain as well as skin disease and digestion problems. I suggest you check out the public bathhouses in the center of town. They are called Soyu (public bath) and Ko-Soyu (old public bath). Ko-Soyu is interesting because it was built in the Meiji Period style.

Katayamazu Onsen

Katayamazu Onsen is a hot spring town along the shores of the Shibayamagata Lagoon which is famous for the great views its hot springs offer. This scenic view of the peaks of the Hakusan mountain range over Lake Shibayamagata is absolutely breathtaking. Another interesting thing about it is the fact that the lake changes color seven times a day! There are various other scenic points such as the 70-meter-high fountain and Ukimido, a hall that is lit up in the evening.

Awazu Onsen

The historical Awazu onsen area has been a hot springs resort since it opened 1,300 years ago and many inns are scattered about in the quiet mountains. Each inn has its own spring and so the water is fresh and thus famous for "beautifying hot water" that makes the skin soft. The town is home to Hoshi Ryokan. This famous ryokan was founded in 718 and is the world's oldest continuously running hotel.

Rojo Koen Park At Komatsu Ishikawa Prefecture

There are quite a lot of places in the Kaga/Hakusan area to visit, and I already covered a lot of them in detail in my website post. However, there are many more interesting facts that you might want to know about these attractions. The first of these is the Komatsu Hikiyama Koryukan Miyossa. This facility was opened in May of 2013. Hikiyama is a type of traditional festival float that skilled craftsman from Komatsu City created. During the “Otabi Matsuri” festival Kabuki (Japanese classical dance-drama) is performed inside of the Hikiyama. This unique festival has been held every May for the past 250 years. At Miyossa, two of the Hikiyama are displayed and you can experience the exquisite beauty of the Hikiyama floats yourself. Various other activities are held as well, such as traditional Japanese music, dressing in Kabuki make-up and nails, traditional Japanese dance, and many other cultural activities. As you can see, this place is a must-visit for any true fan of Japanese culture. If you are more interested in technology, I have a perfect place for you as well! The Science Hills Komatsu is a science museum in Komatsu City, a famous manufacturing town. One of the highlights is an interactive exhibit called Wonderland. This exhibit links local industries with science education and helps everyone learn about this process. Another highlight is the programs shown at the dome-shaped 3D theater called 3D Studio, which is an innovative stereoscopic vision system. It is one of the largest 3D theaters in Japan. Many other events and interactive workshops take place there all year round so you won't miss out no matter when you come. A unique museum that you won't find in many places is the Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice. This museum introduces the studies of the world-renown snow expert, Dr. Nakaya Ukichiro, from Katayamazu. Here you can learn details about snow and ice from the displays of crystals and experiments with diamond dust. Truly fascinating stuff!

Kaga Specialty Local Ingredients

Any visit to Japan would not be complete without good local food! And I am happy to tell you that you won't be disappointed with what Ishikawa Prefecture has to offer. Most people agree that the most famous and unique dish in this area is the snow crab. The snow crabs caught in the nearby sea have a unique sweet flavor. Especially the female crab, called Kobako-gani, the eggs and the crab butter are especially delicious. Another good one is the Fugunoko (globefish roe). This delicately flavored globefish roe is pickled in sake lees and produced only in this area. Also, Kabura zushi has been a delicacy of the Kaga district since the Edo era (1603-1867). This sushi consists of turnips and yellowtail pickled together with a good balance of sweet and sour. You can enjoy the crispy texture of the turnip with the fatty flavor of the yellowtail. If you like a different type of meat, wild duck dish is right for you. In the Kaga district, the hunting of wild duck, called “Sakaami-ryo,” has continued for a long time. The fat of the wild duck is of good quality and the flavor rustic. The high season is from November to February. Delicious sweets such as the Rakugan, Mizuame, and Manju are famous as well!

Kaga Katayamazu Onsen Cherry Blossom

All in all, the Kaga/Hakusan area of Ishikawa Prefecture is a place you won't regret visiting. It is ideal if you like things such as onsen and great countryside, and want to evade the crowds of more popular areas. Check out the website of the Kaga Hakusan area and learn more!


Hana Irodori no Yado Kayuu - Wakayama

Hana Irodori no Yado Kayuu - Wakayama

Today we will show you a great resort-style hot spring inn located in the Nanki Taiji hot spring area of the Wakayama prefecture. Its name is Hana Irodori no Yado Kayuu and it is ideal if you want to take a break from exploring the Kansai area. The hotel is a 15-minute drive from JR Kii-Katsuura Train Station on the Kisei Line, and a free shuttle is offered. It is a 10-minute walk to the Taijicho Whale Museum and Taiji Kujirahama Park. Both indoor and open-air hot-spring baths are available for use, and you can enjoy resting on the sun terrace or practicing golf on the putting green. Karaoke and massages are also on offer, and the lobby has a free-use internet PC. The rooms you will be staying are at extremely well decorated. They have all you need and more. If you decide to stay in the rooms on the 6th floor, you will also have a private hot spring which is amazing! I already wrote about this in my website post, so you can check it out here!

Now let's talk about one of my favorite things; food! I really love the way they prepare food here. The chefs there say that their 5 important rules are: 

  1. Have gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy nature blessed seasonal foods.
  2. Select the ingredients carefully to produce the best possible food.
  3. Use local, seasonal ingredients as much as possible.
  4. Create cuisine that pleases all five senses of the guests.
  5. Cook with sincerity.

These rules will ensure that you always get the best possible meals here. Some of the meals you must try are the Kumano beef, fresh tuna, and the grouper fish. The genuine certified Kumano beef was raised in the natural environment of Kumano and is descended from Tajima beef. The fresh and delicious tuna is from Katsuura Port, the largest tuna unloading port in Japan. you can enjoy the sweet, tender-textured fresh wild tuna. The grouper is a local delicacy that grows up to 1 m in length. It is in season from autumn to winter and is considered a delicacy eaten raw as sashimi or in hotpot dishes. The exquisite white flesh plumps up when cooked and fills your mouth with a rich flavor. Tasty! If you like to taste some local drinks, you won't be disappointed. They have many local beverages available including "Kumano Kodo Beer" with the citrus fruity aroma and wheat malt sweetness, pure rice sake "Nachi no Taki" made of the holy water of the Nachi no Taki Waterfall and Wakayama brewer's rice, and many more!

One reason I really like Kayuu is the fact that it is located on the Kii peninsula near so many great attractions that often get missed by most tourists. You can use it as a base to explore the surrounding area of the peninsula. The Kii Peninsula, part of the Kansai region, is a large peninsula in south-central Honshu. The Kii Peninsula juts southwards into the Pacific Ocean, with the Inland Sea to its west. The peninsula has the Yoshino-Kumano National Park and Ise-Shima National Parks, offering remote high mountain trails, sacred sites, waterfalls, gorges, beaches, and onsen.  Kumano Kodo is a historic pilgrimage route famous in the world and with parts of it protected by UNESCO. Three sacred sites are located in the hills and mountains of the Kii peninsula; "Kumano Sanzan," "Koyasan," and "Yoshino / Omine," In July 2004, UNESCO recognized these three sacred sites, the pilgrimage route connecting them, and the cultural landscape formed by nature and human activities over a long period of time, and the "Kii Mountain Range" was recognized as a property shared by humankind. Each of these alone is worth a visit, and the memory will stay with you forever. 

Hana Irodori no Yado Kayuu seaside resort ryokan is great for many types of visitors, and I am sure that you will love it as well. Whether you want to spend a few days relaxing by the seas and having fun with its many facilities and hot springs or use it as a base to explore the Kii peninsula, it is great for you! Check out their website and learn more!


Kijitei Hoeiso - Traditional Ryokan in Hakone

Kijitei Hoeiso - Traditional Ryokan in Hakone

Wondering through the streets of big cities like Tokyo is a fun experience. Visiting museums, going shopping, and enjoy the nightlife are all things many of us want to do when we visit Japan. But that fast pace and rush can sometimes become a bit too much. That is why I suggest to all of you that you spend some time exploring the Japans countryside. Japan's nature is immensely beautiful, and many of its rural areas still have that mysterious and unique atmosphere. Places like these are ideal for relaxing and getting in touch with that traditional side of Japan. One such place is Hakone, a famous area located close to Tokyo and Mount Fuji, with many hot springs and interesting places to see. It is best experienced by staying in a traditional ryokan, and an ideal one I can recommend is the Kijiteo Hoeiso. I already talked about many things this place offers in our website post which you can check out here!

As I noted in the post on our website, Kijiteo Hoeiso is a luxurious and authentic ryokan set amidst the mountains of Hakone next to a river. The ryokan offers the rotenburo outdoor onsen bath by the river and the magnificent view of the great nature from guestrooms. Indoor hot spring baths are also available! All baths are constantly filled by pure hot spring water that flows directly from the source, with overflow water being discharged into the river. Also, there are private hot spring baths in your room!

Regarding meals, you won't be disappointed since Japanese breakfast and dinner are served in the dining area. They are made from high-quality local ingredients. Their staple meal is pheasant meat that is famous for being both tasty and mild. Of course, there are many other types of dishes that can be served.

The guest rooms are of high quality as you would expect, with everything you need. I want over that in our website post so you can check more about it there. However, I would like to tell you now about their annex guest cottage that is available for groups of 7 or more people. It has been converted from a traditional Japanese farmhouse. Built-in the distinct architecture of a Gassho-style house, it is a rare and important cultural building. These styles of houses were common from the 17th century up until the start of the 20th century, but few remain these days. They had the house transferred here from a village in Gifu prefecture which is renowned for these types of houses. Some of the villages in Gifu are designated as world heritage sites due to the unique cultural importance of these houses. The cottage has a high ceiling with a steeply sloping roof and makes the perfect getaway for larger groups wishing to have a memorable and traditional Japanese experience and I highly recommend it.

One of the biggest advantages of this ryokan is its excellent location in the Hakone area. Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than one hundred kilometers from Tokyo. Famous for hot springs, natural beauty, and the view across Lake Ashinoko of nearby Mount Fuji, Hakone is an ideal destination if you want to take a break from Tokyo and enjoy all the amazing things it offers. I recommend that you get the Hakone Free Pass and use it to explore this area with several methods of transportation: train, bus, boat, cablecar, and ropeway. There are so many interesting places to see such as the Hakone Shrine, a Shinto shrine famous for its giant torii gates, one standing in the Lake Ashinoko in front of the shrine, and two others over the main street of the nearby Moto-Hakone. Lovers of nature will enjoy Owakudani, an area around a crater created during the last eruption of Mount Hakone over 3000 years ago. The ground there is bright yellow and in the air, there is a strong smell similar to rotten eggs because of the sulfur, so be prepared. Also there you can buy eggs, cooked in the naturally hot water, whose shells are black and which are said to prolong one's life by seven years. Fan of art and culture will be delighted to visit the famous Hakone Open-Air Museum where art blends with nature and where works by both Japanese and Western artists are framed by trees, grass, and mountains. The ancient and famous Tokaido road runs through Hakone, so if you enjoy hiking it is a perfect place to take a stroll. Also, the Tokaido at one point passes next to the Kijitei Hoeiso! So make sure not to miss it!

Many people have stayed at this exquisite place and have been absolutely delighted by what it offers. I am sure that if you book a stay here, you will be among them as well! If you are even a bit interested in this place, visit the Kijiteo Hoeiso and learn more! 

Araya Totoan - Historic Establishment in Yamashiro Onsen

Araya Totoan - Historic Establishment in Yamashiro Onsen

Have you ever dreamt of traveling back in time to ancient Japan and living in that land of wonders, traveling across it, meeting great samurai warriors, great artists, and wise men? Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to do that. However, there is something that we can do to at least come close to that feeling. We can explore the traditional side of Japan and do our best to experience the culture and history from up close. One great way to do that is to stay at a prestigious and historic ryokan. One that suits that description ideally is the Araya Totoan whose history extends back to 1639. I have talked a great deal about this amazing ryokan and what it offers in my website post which you can check out here. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit more about the history and culture behind this unique place. 

Araya Totoan is located in Yamashiro Onsen, one of the best hot springs in the Hokuriku region, which was opened almost 1300 years ago. That put that in perspective, one of the most powerful countries in the world today, the USA, has only existed for a little over 200 years!

There is an anecdote about the origins of this hot spring that goes something like this:

On his pilgrimage to Sacred Mt. Hakusan, the high priest Gyoki found a purple cloud trail and headed towards it. He then spotted a crow that tended its wounded wing in a puddle. As he came closer he discovered that the puddle was actually a hot spring. The Araya Totoan sits on the exact spot described as the hot spring source in the Karasu-yu Legend, which is also the original source of Yamashiro Onsen.

In the initial years following its discovery, the hot spring was mainly used by local farmers. However, after a retired emperor that entered the priesthood ordered the construction of temple buildings there, Yamashiro Onsen became known throughout the country. Since that time, influential persons of each historical period have visited for therapeutic purposes, such as Akechi Mitsuhide and Maeda Toshiie, the latter being the first lord of Kaga-han.

The Araya Totoan also had its fair share of famous guests, among which were the members of the Imperial family and the famed artist Kitaoji Rosanjin. He was an artist who demonstrated his talent in a number of different arts, such as seal engraving, calligraphy, and painting. In addition to being a prolific artist in a number of areas, Kitaoji Rosanjin was also a famous ceramist. In the early part of the Taisho period (the early 1900s), while in his thirties and still relatively unknown as an artist, Rosanjin stayed at Yamashiro Onsen for about one year and studied under Seika. Today the Araya Totoan houses some of the works of Rosanjin, including a red decorated plate that is considered to be his first work of ceramic art, as well as a screen that portrays the Karasu (crow cawing at daybreak) connected to the history of Karasu-yu.

These are just some of the reasons why you should visit this prestigious traditional hotel. To find out more about it visit the website of the Araya Totman. You will not regret it!