Oct 3, 2010

No Special Event on Sake Day

October 1 is Sake Day (Nihonshu no Hi) in Japan. The brewing year stated on October 1 before, and this seems one reason why this day is designated as Sake Day by Japan Sake Brewers Associations.

Anyway, at this time of the year, whatever October 1 is called, sake breweries ship various hiyaoroshi sake, and are busy in advance sale of new sake by means of such as direct mail advertisement to their customers. Several weeks ago, we were sickening of excruciatingly hot summer days. However, after we felt sudden cool air of autumn, our appetite increased suddenly. Now, we crave nice sake so badly.

Besides hiyaoroshi, the taste of namazake becomes better after the summer season, so I am lately buying namazake bottles from breweries in Tokyo and enjoying them.

And, to me, there was no special event on sake day, but I was happy with Sawanoi Honjo Nama in that evening.

Today's movie -- Recently, I climbed a mountain in the Okutama area in Tokyo. Then, I found some mushrooms. I cooked them and ate them with cup noodles at the lunch time. Mountains in autumn are enjoyable.


Marcel said...

Nice blog, nice sake stuff

Ichibay said...

Thank you for the comment.

Al said...

Hi. I was looking for information on sake and found your blog - quite interesting, especially for the introduction of day-to-day Japan facts and events, which adds context to only reading about sake. One question, if you don't mind: is it possible to make sake without yeast ? Here there are basically two brands: Hakutsuru and Gekkeikan. Hakutsuru lists ingredients as: water, rice and koji whereas Geikkeikan also lists yeast and perhaps, alcohol. As such, Hakutsuru doe snot put on the label yeast or added alcohol. Does this means that they brew sake in a more 'traditional' way or does it mean that they simply do not list all ingredients ? - Thanks and once again, nice blog. Al.

Ichibay said...

Thank you for the comment.
Actually, yeast is one of the most important additives for making sake. There are various types of yeast cultivars and different yeast cultivars give sake different tastes and aromas.
I said the yeast is an additive above, but, in some methods, brewers do not add yeast to their yeast starter (base of sake) but "wait" for naural yeast to come and get in their yeast starter.
So, even if a sake label does not indicate yeast as its ingredient or additive, yeast is absolutely used to make the sake.
At least in Japan, the Liquor Tax Law is not so strict that they need not list all ingredients or additives.

Al said...

Hello Ichibay,
Thanks for the explanation. If you don't mind I would have a related question about listing ingredients. I buy natto weekly (I like it quite a lot). There are several brands available here in Canada, all imported from Japan. All brands except one lists all kinds of additives. The other brand, the one that I buy, as a simple list of ingredients without MSG and other additives. You have mentioned that it is not obligatory to list all ingredients on sake (alcohol) bottles, but is it mandatory in Japan to list all ingredients on food packages ? - Thanks, arigato !

Ichibay said...

Hello Al,
In my previous comment, I said that yeast is an additive, but it seems actually not an additive but an ingredient although I don't know clear definitions of what are additives and what are ingredients. Anyway, yeast is something that is very important to make sake.
As a rule, it is mandatory in Japan to list all ingredients on food packages, but materials to enrich nourishment, processing aids, and carryover (materials that are included in an ingredient of a final food, but is included very little in the final food) may not be displayed on packages.