Tokyo Table Trip

Logo discover 8a060a5a25d78a2d81322b0a16884eb1c05869ebadb772a16350e198984e5cfb

Some of you may already be familiar with certain sake brands that are exported overseas, such as Dassai, Kubota, Hakkaisan, Daishichi, Born etc.

Today we will go over a list of high quality sake, some of which are not exported outside Japan and may have a cult following, but they are quite famous for various reasons. Some of these are very difficult to procure, or are top quality small producers, and some cannot be bought from shops in Tokyo, so you may want to taste them at different restaurants if you ever have the chance. You will be amazed at their quality, characteristics, and their interaction with food.

This list is not in any particular order, but is an excellent starter for those wanting to explore sake.

1. Juyondai 十四代 - Yamagata Prefecture

Every sake lover in Japan (and outside) likely has heard of this mythical brewery. They are the equivalent of a DRC or First Growth Bordeaux in status. Production is extremely limited, and demand is at an all time high. They produce a wide variety of bottles and styles and is not easy to keep track. If a reputable restaurant offers by the glass even at 3000 yen per, it is worth exploring just so you can understand why this is so sought after. It is best to taste Juyondai in Japan, as there are no proper distributions channels for export (with one exception in Hong Kong under the “N” label), so the quality of your bottle or glass is better handled. In terms of procuring, any shop that manages to secure a small shipment, will only sell to certain restaurants, and anything remaining in retail will be by lottery only for purchase. Most of their sake is either unpasteurized, or single pasteurized. Improper storage and handling will lead to severe degradation in quality, so please only try and buy to drink from reputable places that handle them properly.

2. Banshu Ikkon 播州一献 - Hyogo Prefecture

Banshu Ikkon 播州一献 is produced by Sanyouhai Shuzo 山陽盃酒造 in the suburban town of Shiso, about an hour north by bus from Himeiji Station in Hyogo Prefecture. That area is said to be historically the birthplace of sake, and Banshu Ikkon has much historical significance to that. Their sake has a lot of great flavor, elegance, minerality, and softness with complex cascading finish. The brewery had a fire in November 2018 where the ancestral home got burnt to the ground, but brewing operations continued fortunately. Most recently L’Effervescence in Tokyo started carrying their sake and will incorporate into their beverage pairing program. Very few shops and not too many restaurants carry their sake in Tokyo, and seasonal releases tend to sell out very quickly. But if you ever have the opportunity, please try Banshu Ikkon.

3. Aramasa 新政 - Akita Prefecture

Aramasa can be easily found at many high end Tokyo restaurants, and seems to work particularly well with Japanese French or equivalent styles. They brew their sake to be light, flavorful, low alcohol percentage, and have effervescence for texture and feel. Perfect as apertif, digestif, and sometimes just as a small pour of a welcome sake drink. Food pairing range is a bit specific and limited, but perfectly enjoyable on its own, although some restaurants will offer it as part of a beverage pairing course at any given time. They also have a lineup of ~ 2 aged sake (kijoshu) that can have interesting food pairing results. A lot of their sake are unpasteurized, and due to its lighter structure, more perishable (so consume quickly). Production is limited, and they are already well known within Asia. Do not miss the chance to taste this cult sake that is light, aromatic, yet has good character and depth.

4. Kamonishiki 加茂錦 - Niigata Prefecture

Similar in some ways to Aramasa but a bit different in style that is not as easy to articulate. Effervescent and quite a lot of body. Their sake are mostly unpasteurized, so please try a glass whenever available. If these are available retail they are typically under 2000 yen for a 720 mL bottle.

5. Akabu 赤武 - Iwate Prefecture

Medium bodied to light (depending on type) and easy to drink. Their higher end offerings are fruitier and perhaps more approachable for beginner drinkers. Their Junmai sake however, are especially delicious and offer a wider range of food pairing.

6. Isojiman 磯自慢 - Shizuoka Prefecture

Isojiman is arguably the most famous of all sake from Shizuoka. Their higher end sake are expensive, very limited, and almost celebrity like status. If you ever encounter some of their more expensive Daiginjo or Junmai Daiginjo, consider trying a glass just to experience. For example Nobilmente 28 Daiginjo may appear in random high end Tokyo sushi restaurants, and is very dry but impactful yet elegant.

7. Kaze No Mori 風の森 - Nara Prefecture

This sake offering from Nara prefecture is making waves in the sake industry and is putting Nara sake back on the map. It does not taste like a traditional sake, but is modern yet retains the old flavor in a very positive way. There is no better way to describe this other than to try it for yourself. You cannot go wrong having one of their sake, even their lower end Junmai, even if to experience the different rice types they use to brew.

8. Denshu 田酒 - Aomori Prefecture

A highly coveted offering that does not appear in many restaurants, but when you do, do not miss the opportunity to try. Medium bodied with grassy light aromatic tones, and very good structure and plentiful umami. Their Junmai Daiginjo higher end sake are excellent with kaiseki cuisine, and their Junmai or Junmai Ginjo are versatile to handle heat to be served hot, cold, and room temperature. Take note of the rice varietal used in a specific brew, as the taste and profile can change. All of their sake are good with sushi as well.

9. Hiroki 飛露喜 - Fukushima Prefecture

Another very difficult to procure sake from Fukushima Prefecture. Hiroki is either pasteurized or single pasteurized typically so must be kept under refrigeration. Personally ChuToroZuke prefers Hiroki over Juyondai, but you cannot go wrong ordering a glass of Hiroki to try (provided it is from a fresh bottle). It may cost you more if it is the Junmai Daiginjo, but a great alternative to have if Juyondai is not on the menu.

10. Miyaizumi / Sharaku 宮泉/写楽 - Fukushima Prefecture

Miyaizumi is the main label of the brewery, and Sharaku is a sub label by the same parent company. Both are quite excellent, light, full of flavor, effervescent, yet balanced and well structured. Please try it if you ever see it on a beverage menu. It may be easier to find their sake at a good izakaya than at a fancy restaurant.

11. Tatsuriki 龍力 - Hyogo Prefecture

I chose to include Tatsuriki despite their lack of general availability in restaurants, because they are one of the few breweries that focus their sake rice based on (sake rice) terroir philosophy (similar to DRC of wine). Not only that but they have done extensive studies with them, and to figure out how to maximize the best out of the king of sake rice, Yamadanishiki of which they have access to some of the best quality rice from the best fields in Hyogo Prefecture. You will find their sake in Tokyo at high end department stores, and certain varieties at random shops. You won’t find many restaurants that carry this label for various reasons, but if you are really into wine, you will understand what they do and why it tastes so good. If you ever encounter a restaurant or sake bar that carries their sake, or if they have a tasting booth at a department store, please try it, even if only for educational purposes. With the right food match, the pairings can be absolutely incredible. This is a sake for more advanced drinkers, when you understand their approach, you will be amazed.

12. Hitakami 日高見 - Miyagi PrefectureMiyagi Prefecture

Hitakami is very famous amongst the sake world and fans, as the president of Hitakami is a sushi fiend who has directed the brewery to create some very interesting sake just to pair with specific cuisine. The most well known is Yasuke Houjun Karakuchi Junmai Ginjo 弥助 芳醇辛口 純米吟醸 , that is so well structured, balanced, and it almost drinks like a great complex wine. On top of that, it was built specifically to pair with sushi after the president dined at Komatsu Yasuke in Kanazawa Prefecture. When you find the right sushi restaurant that offers their food to match the sake’s profile, it cannot be beat. Their other sake are quite good as well, but Yasuke is probably the best of the lineup. Fewer sushi restaurants carry this these days as it is not as interesting and exciting, but if you have not tried it before with sushi, you should if the chance comes!

13. Jikon 而今 - Mie Prefecture

This cult status brew from Mie Prefecture is in extremely high demand and limited quantity and virtually impossible to find in retail shops. There are however, restaurants that carry Jikon. If at all possible, please try the unpasteurized unfiltered versions (there are also single pasteurized ones) when in season. Higher acidity, effervescence, and beautiful minerality. Their Junmai Daiginjo when paired with certain seafood (shellfish) is as good as a White Burgundy (Chablis Premiere Cru or better). The brewery also has another label called Takasago that should also be very good, but Jikon seems to be more sought after.

14. Nabeshima 鍋島 - Saga Prefecture

Nabeshima also has a strong cult following within Asia. Light, good flavored, and pretty easy to drink. In some ways they are also like a celebrity. Their lower polished Junmai sake are also very refreshing and enjoyable to drink, and worth tasting even if as a starter.

15. Toyobijin 東洋美人 - Yamaguchi Prefecture

I’ve had this sake once at Goyrukubo and it amazed me so much. If you ever get the chance, try their Junmai Daiginjo Ichibanmatoi 純米大吟醸 一番纏. The label may have changed, but this sake has excellent minerality and is super impressionable for taste. It is a great performer for the price on top of that, with plenty of elegance. It is a sake that beginners and advanced drinkers will appreciate, and sets a great tone to start off a nice meal. Some wine drinkers liken this to a fine White Burgundy Premiere Cru or better.

16. Harukasumi 春霞 - Akita Prefecture

This sake from Akita prefecture is very versatile and was recently incorporated into the beverage pairing program at L’Effervescence. The new batch (shinhu) unpasteurized releases have higher acidity and structure, but no one component of the sake overwhelms the other and does very well with various food and styles. If you ever get the chance to try some of their low temperature aged offerings at a restaurant, please do not miss the chance. They are also part of a collaborative effort called Next 5, or five regional breweries doing random rare projects to come up with unique next generation style sake and pushing boundaries.

Writer: ChuToroZuke

ChuToroZuke is an avid enthusiast of Japanese cuisine and culture and remembers his first ever sukiyaki experience at the tender age of 6, particularly the magical combination
of dipping sukiyaki beef into raw egg and then chowing it down with a bowl of Japanese rice. However years later in adulthood, a passion ignited with a great explosion one evening 4 years ago, as a result of experiencing a bottle of sake with perfect otsumami and sushi at a favorite restaurant, that was so impactful and memorable. This lead him down a geeky journey of discovering sake as well as rediscovering food with sake. Suddently traveling to Tokyo and dining at various establishments (high end and low end) last few years became a whole lot more exciting, allowing this geek to deep dive and meet other fellow lovers of the beverage (and food of course).
It is with great pleasure and honor that he was invited to contribute to TokyoTableTrip, as a means of giving back to the community and help spread the word and love of sake, and to help promote sake in Japan from overseas.

Sign Up and enter your Credit Card Information first.

Profile Registration > Menu > Card Information


Add a comment

  • Add photos

Comments Icon comments 20b52f1dd59ace07b92433da2a385e6f7392eb2937032eebc2a0bd0b67c69516 8


One sake that is not mentioned on this list, that is already very well known in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, will be launching in the USA sometime this year. This is all I know and can share right now.

Kamoshibito Kuheiji. You can read more about them here

You can find their sake in Takashimaya basement level and Hasegawa Saketen in Tokyo.

over 1 year ago 1614032312

Icon thumbup c50a5e69a172939d8f181c07defd87a40f8b5ea08aa95e4f5248647e539d2f91 Like!
Icon rply g 931a7da4f2fb72f6c47b91ce1a6ff6f0d639792b78b042247406a09dbc121382 Reply 3
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


I saw several bars/liquor stores carrying it last year in Canada.

over 1 year ago 1614045554
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


Canada has a different distribution system and what they are able to import. Not too familiar with what's available in Canada but not in the USA. Glad to hear Kamoshibito Kuheiji is available in Canada, possibly it is one or two bottles from their portfolio. The upcoming US launch should be interesting, I will share when I find out more hopefully in a couple weeks. I should consider a follow up to this article on what else everyone should try next.

over 1 year ago 1614208982
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


Yes, those stores just carry several bottles of Kamoshibito Kuheiji for the brewery year 2016-2018 and one of the owners told me they got it because it tasted better after being aged for a couple of years. Canadian importers do not normally get fresh new sake.

over 1 year ago 1614297430


Akabu has begun exporting to the US from my understanding for those that are interested in seeking it out!

almost 2 years ago 1608171379

Icon thumbup c50a5e69a172939d8f181c07defd87a40f8b5ea08aa95e4f5248647e539d2f91 Like!
Icon rply g 931a7da4f2fb72f6c47b91ce1a6ff6f0d639792b78b042247406a09dbc121382 Reply 3
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


Yes that is correct, New York and perhaps San Francisco will be receiving them this month or next, and will start will the Junmai and Junmai Ginjo. I am excited to see how they will turn out! Also, Kaze No Mori Alpha 3 is also available (although a bit harder to acquire), and is a bit of a substitute for Aramasa (which is not exported) and Alpha 3 pairs quite brilliantly with seko gani too!

almost 2 years ago 1608705113


Thanks for the info about Alpha 3 I'll keep my eye out and hope I can find a way to get a hold of some!

almost 2 years ago 1608790952
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


Shipments of bottles of Akabu Junmai and Junmai Ginjo have finally arrived in New York and California. Only a matter of time before restaurants decide to carry them and some retail shops. True Sake in San Francisco is going to be tasting them before offering them for sale. It appears both Akabu are single pastuerized. Kid Junmai Ginjo Shiboritate Nama (freshly pressed without pasteurization and maturation) that completed bottling in November has also arrived.

over 1 year ago 1610343831


A bit of a sidetrack from the big news going on lately, but I thought it might be refreshing to take a break from all that.

I'm watching this episode of Nhk's Inside Lens. The title is 'My Disappearing Village'. It features a behind the scenes look at something Aramasa is working on (#3 on your list @ChuToroZuke). I am not clear if this is only a portion of the documentary, but the film has its own website too:
I think you can watch the repeat using their on demand website link. These documentaries get me much more excited about trying different things like sake. It's really interesting to see how much goes on, before the sake ever reaches the bottle.

Here's the show description from the website:
"A small rice farming village in Japan is facing extinction. It all changed by a visit of famous sake brewery. It persuaded locals to grow organic rice for making a new sake. Can sake save the village?

Uyashinai, once a thriving rice-farming village, is on the brink of extinction. The young have fled to cities with no sight of return and the village elders are left to protect their ancestral land. But this could all be able to change because Uyashinai has caught the attention of Japan's most popular sake maker, Yusuke.
Yusuke wants to grow his own sake rice in Uyashinai. This is an unexpected opportunity for the villagers to revive their fields and pass on their ancestral land. But, not all are on board Yusuke's radical plans. Yusuke doesn't want to grow just ordinary sake rice; it must be organic. Yusuke deploys his Master Brewer, Koseki, to grow the village's first harvest of organic rice in 70 years. However, Koseki is a sake brewer and has no experience of farming. He hasn't even ever planted a flower. Will Koseki be able to successfully grow organic rice, and most importantly change the hearts and minds of the village? This story follows how this forgotten village and Japan's finest sake brewery as they come together to achieve the first steps of their dreams; to make the most authentic cup of sake and save their ancestral land from disappearing forever."

over 2 years ago 1584344672

Icon thumbup c50a5e69a172939d8f181c07defd87a40f8b5ea08aa95e4f5248647e539d2f91 Like!
Icon rply g 931a7da4f2fb72f6c47b91ce1a6ff6f0d639792b78b042247406a09dbc121382 Reply 3


Thanks for that @Menchikatsu I quite enjoyed the watch! I wonder when we'll get a chance to try the new organic sake!

over 2 years ago 1584404558
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


Thank you for the links. These days I'm trying to stay healthy, safe, and alive while finding ways to support restaurants friends whose businesses are adversely affected as lockdowns to prevent the spread of Coronovirus occur in my geographic location. Take care everyone. .

over 2 years ago 1584415950


Stay safe! @ChuToroZuke
I've doubled up on my hand washing and being cleanliness minded. More than the actual virus, I'm a bit more concerned about the nervous people around me. Hopefully things don't get more crazy out there, as I think the shoppers clearing out supermarket shelves is already a bit extreme.

With this 2 week lockdown of restaurants in California, New York, and other states, I'm sure business owners are feeling it. Even with the takeout option, there's just so much they're losing without precious liquor sales, particularly restaurants which do upscale dine-in menus only. I too will try and support the businesses closest to me, starting with more frequent takeout orders from my favorite places.

@Shi Glad you liked the show. More and more these days, I'm hearing sake enthusiasts talk more about Aramasa in desirability on par with Jikon. I caught this on Nhk tv, and it's a bit nice they're playing something other than Coronavirus news (which seems 50% of what they play, and a little sumo). I think it's really interesting how they give you a glimpse of what goes on inside the sake brewing facility.

over 2 years ago 1584419480


Just a quick note. I bought a bottle of Sharaku 写楽 (#10 on this list), at my local wine store. I picked the junmaishu (gold characters on the label). I'd say it's about 3 months old, they just received the shipment last week. They also had junmai ginjo (bronze characters, oddly no back label with date), and a pricey black label junmai daiginjo in a box.

I thought I'd start with this sort of entry level bottle, before taking a leap with the pricier options. (Not that I have any place to corkage it anyway... sigh)

Any thoughts @ChuToroZuke? Any more information about the company, its history and reputation? I think this brand gets overshadowed by some of the other names on this list, but I'm quite happy I came across it! I believe I've had Miyaizumi 宮泉 before, but this is my first time trying Sharaku.

over 2 years ago 1585967441

Icon thumbup c50a5e69a172939d8f181c07defd87a40f8b5ea08aa95e4f5248647e539d2f91 Like!
Icon rply g 931a7da4f2fb72f6c47b91ce1a6ff6f0d639792b78b042247406a09dbc121382 Reply 0


Thank you so much for the write up ChuToroZuke

Jikon is probably my favourite sake of all time - I've longed to find it retail but have never seen it but the two opportunities I've been able to obtain it in restaurants were completely outstanding!

Is it actually possible to find this retail? Would love to bring some bottles home with me next time I'm in Japan. I'll definitely keep an eye out for the others on this list as nihonshu is my drink of choice!

over 3 years ago 1558250558

Icon thumbup c50a5e69a172939d8f181c07defd87a40f8b5ea08aa95e4f5248647e539d2f91 Like!
Icon rply g 931a7da4f2fb72f6c47b91ce1a6ff6f0d639792b78b042247406a09dbc121382 Reply 15
Afdzucrazzzrkgsztlvrdhnw1lfxviwgbhl6 wgjtjo1 s96 c

Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Jikon is extremely popular, so it's very hard for general consumers to buy it at a regular price. A restaurant is probably the best place to enjoy it.
(In most cases retailers use a lottery system for selling it)

over 3 years ago 1558324330


Thank you so much for the information Saito-san I'll savor it in restaurants whenever I have the chance then!

over 3 years ago 1558332035
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


Thank you for the feedback and for reading @Shi! Saito san is right, it is very difficult to find Jikon retail. If you do, it is likely not in metropolitan Tokyo, perhaps somewhere further out in shops that are less visited or have less foot traffic. There are a small number of sake shops that supposedly carry Jikon, but they tend to sell to restaurants and sake bars that have relationships with them, and whatever is remaining doesn't stay in the store for long.

The closest encounter I have come to Jikon is their other label Takasago, which I saw once at Ginza Imadeya (basement of Ginza Six).

There may be some sake bars and restaurants that offer a variety of Jikon, so you can try different varieties from the portfolio that way by the glass.

For alternatives to Jikon, you can also explore other Mie prefecture jizake/local sake. Zaku, Takijiman are some examples. Zaku you can find at Hasegawa Saketen.

over 3 years ago 1558713359


Happily I was able to enjoy quite a bit of Jikon at various establishments on my most recent trip despite not being able to acquire a bottle to share with my friends and family back home.

We did stop by Ginza Imadeya as per your recommendation @ChuToroZuke and they actually indicated that they do sell it by lottery when they have stock. Regardless I was happy to pick up bottles of Kaze No Mori, Akabu, anda few others!

This trip was also my first time having Aramasa and I really fell in love with it. I have to admit I prefer their 6 type-s over their 6 type-x. The fruity notes are outstanding!

over 2 years ago 1582607567
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


Thank you for the feedback @Shi! It's even amazing that Jikon would be available through lottery. That might even be the case for those who purchase for restaurants. Please try Banshu Ikkon next time you visit, Imadeya usually has a few of them. Their brews are underrated and quite spectacular for the value. Aramasa is nice, though it has a limited range and timeframe of maximum enjoyment.

over 2 years ago 1582649140


Speaking of Banshu Ikkon. Have you ever seen this show, 'Kayanomi'? It's an anime voice actress / seiyuu, Ai Kayano, well known in the industry as being a sake drinker. And she recently was given this show, to go around trying different sake. You might know her voice from very popular shows like Konosuba (where she plays a DoS, lol) very talented person, you wouldn't know from her apperance. Also, March Comes In Like A Lion, Anohana, Chihayafuru, Danmachi, Saekano, Sword Art Online... and more. Her resume is just astounding. Not bad to look at either!

The Banshu Ikko appears at the end of this show. And just look at that collection behind her in the fridge...

over 2 years ago 1582702629


@ChuToroZuke thank you so much for your recommendation! While we did not have an opportunity to try Banshu Ikkon while in Japan we were fortunate enough to grab a bottle from Ginza Imadeya so will have the chance to imbibe from it soon! I'm looking forward to the experience!

@Menchikatsu very interesting, thank you for sharing that!

over 2 years ago 1582760475


@Shi, how many bottles did you take with you? Any tips on how you packed so many into your suitcase? Like cushioning and protective wrapping.

over 2 years ago 1582767482


@Menchikatsu we brought 6 bottles home - to give a little bit of background regarding our particular arrangement we go back to Asia for about a month every lunar new year and have become accustomed to packing light. We generally travel with only a backpack each between my wife and myself and will carry an empty duffel bag for any souvenirs we want to bring back.

This year since I wanted to procure and transport sake we actually grabbed a small, cheap 6000 yen hard shell spinner from ドン・キホーテ and used it to transport our bottles which were wrapped in bubble wrap from the shop and which we further cushioned with our clothing. Thankfully they all survived the trip undamaged even with TSA having left their mark of having gone through the luggage!

I had considered gambling and trying to pack them into the duffel bag (We have successfully padded and transported empty bottles with that method previously) but in the end my risk averse nature prompted the purchase of the hard shell.

To be honest I have no idea what I'm going to do next trip seeing as I loathe travelling with more than our backpacks but acquiring a new hardshell every year seems both uneconomical and wasteful!

over 2 years ago 1582841260


Thanks @Shi, for the insight on your packing technique. I take a similar approach to yours, a mixture of wrapping and thick clothes, but 6 bottles for me would be kinda risky, especially if you included any of those big 1.5L bottles. Not to mention weight. I also try and put smaller bottles in these protective wine sleeves, which you can blow air in yourself by mouth. I travel with a really large durable suitcase, that I bought years ago at a flea market. Thing could survive the apocalypse. I also treated myself to a custom Globetrotter suitcase recently... not taking a risk in packing in that one. Maybe will pick up this topic again in the future, packing strategies.

over 2 years ago 1582872870


Just opened up our bottle of Banshu Ikkon and it was amazingly delicious! The umami notes were so prevalent to me and had a very long complex finish! Excited to try and seek it out more often on our next trip! Your recommendations have been pure gold for us thank you again!

over 2 years ago 1585271442
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


@Shi, very happy to hear you enjoyed Banshu Ikkon! Can you tell us which bottle you got exactly (I assume you can read Chinese characters/kanji)? The brewery has soooo many bottles out there and there is always new and limited product. Also please share if you can, where you purchased the bottle. I know you can find them officially distributed in Taipei, and very randomly in Hong Kong (but scarce), and a limited number in Singapore.

over 2 years ago 1585351508


I purchased the bottle at Ginza Imadeya as per your recommendation :) My grasp on Kanji is still pretty limited unfortunately but I do note that it is a Junmai Ginjo. The bottle uses a dark charcoal label with silver lettering. I took some photos as follows:

over 2 years ago 1585375418
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2


@Shi it looks like you purchased the pasteurized version (a good choice for traveling back overseas and as a souvenir) of Banshu Ikkon's Junmai Ginjo brewed with Banshu Yamadanishiki rice, polished to 58%. This must be a newer offering as I don't think I've ever seen this grey label before, and previous bottlings of Junmai Ginjo were green kanji against a white label. If you ever get the chance to try any of their seasonal offerings, they are also very amazing (for example, their shinshu/new sake released during early winter season, around January/February, and there is also a limited edition Spring Shine that is particularly popular with females and actually has cherry blossom aromas).

What makes Banshu Ikkon so likeable is partly their soft water that still has some mineral characters, yet it drinks very elegant with great nuance...I suppose you could say the sake overall is feminine in nature of its profile. That Junmai Ginjo would be splendid across a number of food applications, and super easy to pair with sushi and otsumami. If you like very dry sake, please try their cho kara (cho karakuchi) series, the Junmai Daiginjo is my favorite, but their low end Junmai is good too (although a bit strong for females)....they recently released a Junmai Ginjo Cho Kara that I've been told is excellent. Though maybe the best price to performance is Junmai Daiginjo Cho lacks the harshness of lower end super dry but easily outpeforms many expensive brand name sake. Please also try any Banshu Ikkon Daiginjo with refined fine dining (Western/Euro) or kaiseki (or tempura omakase, salt seasoning instead of tentsuyu).

If anyone reading this lives in the East Coast USA, there is one single Banshu Ikkon offering called Kaede No Shizuku (Junmai Ginjo) offered through Wine Of Japan distributor, but I cannot speak to how the quality is as I do not believe it sells well (so any existing bottles are probably very old stock). What's even more odd is that KNS is not available in Tokyo, and you can only buy it in Hyogo prefecture if within Japan (to my knowledge).

over 2 years ago 1585416281


Thank you so much for the clarification and enlightenment based on our enjoyment of the bottle we had and also your further recommendations I will definitely seek out more Banshu Ikkon when we are next in Japan, sincerely appreciated!

over 2 years ago 1585514187

Read more