So, I went out with a bottle of sake Ginjo Shiroyama-zakura (brewed at Nozaki Syuzou), which I was keeping in the refrigerator, for afternoon cherry blossom viewing at the Hamura Diversion Weir.
After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake Disaster that hit the Tohoku and north Kanto areas in Japan, a voluntary restraint mood was spread across the country and people are hesitating in making a fuss in a buoyant mood due to an unprecedentedly heavy toll of human lives from the disaster. In a usual year, you can see people spreading ground sheets under cherry trees and sitting there to drink beer, sake, and other beverages and eat fried chicken, yakitori, sushi, and whatever they like. However, you cannot find such scenes this year at all. There is an opinion insisting that excessive voluntary restraint on amusements and other recreational activities deprives vitality of Japan's economy and hinders Japan's revival. While I certainly agree to this opinion, it is also true that I felt somewhat pleased this year since I could view cherry blossoms in a quiet environment.
Maybe this is a good opportunity for us to reconsider how people enjoy cherry blossoms viewing, reconsider the way we make a big fuss under cherry trees and then leave behind piles of garbage.
Well, finally, I will mention the sake Ginjo Shiroyama-zakura, which I enjoyed. This sake is brewed in a small brewery called Nozaki Syuzou Brewery in Akiruno City. Sakes from this brewery are sold only in the city and peripheral towns and cities and difficult to purchase in other places. They are not well-known nation-widely, but I think the sakes taste generally quite good. This Shiroyama-zakura gave me the impression that alcohol and taste were still not harmonized, but I am sure this is sake that becomes better as the aging goes on.