Kikizake: Sake and Shochu Tasting Event
Kikizake: A very large tasting event was held featuring premium sake breweries and shochu distilleries over the weekend which Peko was lucky enough to attend.
Just over the East Mountains from Kyoto is Otsu City. Otsu is the capital of modern day Shiga Prefecture and was the capital of Japan 500 years BEFORE Kyoto became the capital! Otsu, situated on the southern end of Lake Biwa is an historic city with many delicacies and the area makes an excellent day trip from Kyoto. This kikizake event was held at the Otsu Prince Hotel.
With 108 breweries and distilleries attending, there is plenty to drink. Complimentary boxes of bread (served like popcorn in a movie theater) and bottled water tables helps the visitors drink-a-plenty!
I went with an old friend, a prof from undergraduate school, that arrived in Japan just the day before. I was invited by Kitagawa Honke Sake Brewery (article series). I told my guest that sake is made from just rice, water and koji. As we tasted the offerings of sake, he was incredulous at the variety of flavors and fragrances could be produced with just the three ingredients.
Quite a Crowd!
There were several thousand visitors tasting all kinds of excellent sake and shochu.
Matsunotsukasa Brewery – Tasting Fine Sake
Upon recommendation of Mr. Kitagawa of Kitagawa Honke Sake Brewery, we tried most of the offerings of Matsunotsukasa Brewery. I hadn’t seen their sake in Kyoto before, but I will be looking for it in the near future!
Matsunotsukasa Brewery’s Line-up
Beautiful labels, beautiful flavors!
Kikuhime Sake Brewery
Another recommendation of Mr Kitagawa was Kikuhime Brewery. More excellent, excellent sake!
Shoshu from Kyushu
By the time we got down to the high-powered shochu section, we weren’t in a condition to drink a whole lot more but we sample plenty of shoshu never-the-less, just a few drops at a time!
Kikizake Event Brochure
In the end, we managed not to get to drunk but were able to sample a whole lot of wonderful sake and found some very interesting shochu as well!