Thanks Shi. To @guest, there will be several cult and very highly sought after brands that will be harder to locate in shops (to almost virtually impossible particularly for the higher end bottles), simply because demand is too high and allocations go to either restaurants or sold via lottery. There could be some exceptions where certain bottles of a producer's portfolio that maybe you can find at random, but it depends on availability and the retail shop's allocation, thus luck and timing in the end. There are other means of getting these bottles also, but it will be aftermarket and you will be paying above retail pricing from unknown sources. There are also unfortunately people who somehow manage to buy cases of these cult brands and bottles, post them on social media, and resell them (including shipping some overseas with no temperature control) to their fellows, and I would strongly advise people to be careful when purchasing through these channels as there is possibility of counterfeiting or improper storage, thus affecting overall quality even if you end up with a legitimate bottle. For the producers that are not as famous or as sought after, but more easily available, their offerings can be amazing too, so please give them a chance as well.
Eric, I see. Hopefully, they might make changes in the future.
From my previous messages with sushi obana ig, you can try making a reservation on pocket concierge waiting list and DM sushi obana on their ig(which is run by the wonderful okami-san), they will make a priority reservation for those that have been there before.
Very well put. I too have sometimes been mildly disappointed in some (not all) of the popular restaurants I've tried. I find that with a bit of thoughtful research in advance it's quite possible to trust one's own instincts about whether a place will be a good match. Following those instincts has served me so much better than trying to follow any crowd!
I am not sure about the accuracy of the following information from an online source but it seems to make some sense and explains a few other things.
Sometime after World War Two, sushi restaurants in Tokyo started carrying maybe 2 or 3 kinds of sake at most. Before that, sake was not served at sushi restaurants, simply because people went to those places for sushi, and if they wanted sake they would go elsewhere. What's interesting is that the cold sake of choice at these post WWII sushi restaurants was almost always the brand Kamotsuru from Hiroshima (and hot sake was Kiku Masamune). This might partially explain why Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten carries (or carried) the small bottle of Kamotsuru Tokusen Daiginjo as their only sake offering. This is also to carry on that part of the tradition from back in the post WWII old days, unlike sushi omakase of today where there are upwards of 10 to 12 otsumami, then 10 to 12 pieces nigiri, with places that can carry 30+ different sake (eg. Sugita or arguably Kurosaki), where if you ask for recommended sake pairing, there would be upwards of 8 different pours just to match specific courses.
Also even back 20++ years ago, one would not go to a high end sushi restaurant and linger around drinking, hence keeping smaller sake selections (the etiquette would be not to get wasted from alcohol, and if a customer wanted to drink more they should be going to a bar). And even 20 years ago, supposedly many high end sushi restaurants would not have high end sake selections (and out of those perhaps one would carry Kubota and Juyondai).
So for Sukiyabashi Jiro and his sons to keep this specific part of the tradition and that part of time in history, ie one small sake that is symbolic with that period, to keep the focus entirely on sushi, so customers don't linger and concentrate on the sushi experience, is really commendable, even if it is a style perhaps not everyone might agree with. Makes me appreciate Sukiyabashi Jiro even more for what they are doing in keeping this historical perspective and insistence.
Some informative content a bit different from usual. This time we have summarized an article about "Wagyu" which is popular on a global basis now. If you eat Wagyu after reading this article, delicious Wagyu beef should become even tastier.
Thanks so much for the report back Shi, and for your support of sake and the industry! I recently used the same Riedel Junmai glasses again after not using them for a while, and was surprised at the results. It seems to work particularly well with the newer seasonal releases of fall/autumn sake (more so if they are Jumai), so give it a try with those.