Adding a bit of follow up to the above,
I located the umeshu you mentioned, from Niwa No Guisu. It's a green bottle called Otoro. Indeed it's quite pulpy. Fairly nice, very forward on the plums. There is however a slight, almost cough syrup taste to it. I can't compare the bottle condition, since I haven't tried it in Japan. But I would assume it's still in good condition, considering Japanese families soak their ume plums in shochu jars under their house floorboards, and the weather conditions range wildly from cold to hot, plus humidity.
I've found that Umenoyado makes quite decent pulpy aragoshi style umeshu, at that price point. So does Kumejima no Kumesen (pardon if I messed up the name). And this one was my favorite recently, Manzairaku 萬歳楽５年.
I've also just purchased a bottle of the Shinkame Hikomago junmai. Going by your advice, I'm starting from here, before going up to the ginjo and daiginjo levels. The bottle actually suggests warming to 55-60 degrees. I think they ship internationally, as this bottle has english written over it, and is rather poorly stickered to the glass bottle, haha. I'm quite a fan of design, so not having the original label bothers be slightly, but I'm sure the inside should be ok.
I will have to find a place that gives me some leeway on what I'm allowed to do. You might be horrified to know, lots of restaurants in the west actually microwave sake to make it hot. So I will try and locate an izakaya or something that can do it in a hot water pot for me.
This is a side question. But what would you say is the most recently released batch of Jikon junmai daiginjo? The wine store I sometimes visit just received a shipment in a (assumedly) sealed box. It's a 2017 bottle. But we don't know if it came directly from Japan, or was relocated from a store that couldn't sell it. The box has no Japanese lettering on it, which is suspicious, compared to every other box they received. 2017 seems a bit old to me, being it's supposed to be nama? And it costs quite a bit, roughly 20000 yen. I passed on it, being too risky. Though I am considering getting one of their junmai ginjo's, fairly priced at under 5000 yen. However, the 2017 and 2018 dates on these are also a bit old.
Yes, Obama-san trained at Kyubey and then was involved with opening "Sushi Tokai". (The name "Tokami" is said to have been created using the first initial of the wives of the chefs at "Singapore Aoki", "Yamayuki", and "Obama".). It seems he has a very good pipeline with the largest tuna merchant in Japan "Yamayuki".
Unfortunately, it seems that promising young chefs tend not to choose "Kyubey" as a place of training recently.
(For Kyubey, I have heard that a chef called Shigihara-san at the Okura branch is the most skilled by far, although he is not young.)
thanks for sharing. I was told his regular menu in winter is 38,000 yen. actually got a resy at one point but the time didn't work out. Didn't realize they are 3* now, and that means the reservation will be even harder.
Thanks Saito san for the reply. I have currently booked Chisou Nakamura due to a higher average tabelog review score, have you heard of it?
Yes, really excited to try the sushi and izakaya in Fukuoka. Managed to score a seating at kikuzushi, and according to the concierge, there are still openings at sushi karashima and osamu. Thank you for the helpful suggestions in the article.
As a foreigner who speaks little to no Japanese, who had recently dine in Karashima, Kiku and Sakai, I would much preferred the later 2 for the overall experience. Seguchi-san and Sakai-san try their best to make sure you are not out of place, sometimes even getting extra attention to make sure you like every pieces.
The quality is definitely there in Karashima, and I have no doubt he will be a great sushi chef, but I second to every unfortunate event the gentlemen above has mentioned.