Jan 10, 2011

Sake stamp rally

Seibu Railway Co., Ltd. is hosting a sake stamp rally until January 18. In this event, attendees collect stamps placed at specified sake breweries that are located near railroad line of this company. After collecting a specified number of stamps, you can send the sheet on which collected stamps have been affixed to the company to apply for various gifts.

There are 10 specified sake breweries, and if you collect 10 stamps at these breweries, you can apply for a two-daiginjo bottle set and two tickets for lunch at Shinjuku Prince Hotel.

My friend and I had already collected seven stamps by January 7, and, on this day we went out to visit the last three breweries.

The last three breweries were Tamura Syuzoujou (Kasen), Ishikawa Brewery (Tamajiman), and Nakamura Syuzou (Chiyotsuru). These are all located in the neighboring citis.

Tamura Syuzoujo, the first destination, is known for its brand name of Kasen (嘉泉). The brewery is about a 10-minute walk from JR Fussa Station, but it seemed to me a long walk in a cold north wind.

Magnificent kura buildings with whitewashed walls stood on the premises of Tamura Syuzou. At that time, there were no visitors except us and the place was quiet. In this brewery, there was only a small unattended exhibition hall. There was neither direct selling shop nor free sampling corner. So, we didn't sped a lot of time there, and left the brewery for Fussa Station after getting the stamp in the brewery office.

The next destination was Nakamura Syuzou, which is about a 10-minute walk from Akikawa Station on JR Itsukaichi Line. This brewery is making Chiyotsuru (千代鶴) sake. Among their products, personally, I like Tokubetsu Junmai Okutama.

After putting the stamp of Chiyotsuru on the stamp sheets, we sampled several sakes. They were still selling Tokubetsu Junmai Hiyaoroshi, and this tasted better than when we tasted last autumn, having increased richness in its taste. This sake seemed still getting better.

After leaving Nakamura Syuzou, we returned to JR Akikawa Station and got on the train to trip to Haijima Station. Then we went to the next destination, Ishikawa Brewery, which is known for its brand name Tamajiman (多満自慢). From Haijima Station, we took a taxi to the brewery because it was very cold and we didn't want to walk to the brewery. The brewery was not very far and the taxi cost just as much as the fare for the minimum distance.

There was a shop in Ishikawa Brewery. They had the stamp in this shop. I told the shop clerk that this brewery was the 10'th brewery, and she was amazed and celebrated our achievement with applause.

Ishikawa Brewery has a Japanese restaurant and Italian restaurant on its premises, and the Japanese restaurant was not operating at the time of our visit. So, we entered the Italian restaurant and had some beer there. We wound up our sake stamp rally with seasonal blueberry ale beer and cheese assortment.

Here is a video work to show how I visited these sake breweries. I hope you will enjoy my video.


thesoulofjapan said...

This is amazing. I would love to do a nomiaruki.

Ichibay said...

Tony san,
Thank you for the comment.
I am happy with these breweries being in my vicinity.