Archive for July, 2007

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 15-2: Senju Brewery/Daiginjo

July 31, 2007

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!



Senju is a very old Brewery in Iwata City which along the years has absorbed a couple of neigbouring Breweries. They are the only Brewery in Shizuoka having a license to produce brewery alcohol. Obviously they make a great use as demonstrated in this particular brew.
Senju Brewery does not give many indications on their sake, apart that it is made from Yamada Nishiki rive milled down to anextarvagant 35%.

Clarity: very clear

Colour: practically transparent

Aroma: light/fruity

Body: light/elegant

Taste: complex. Fruity/peach/anise/strawberries later revealing liquorice and bitter choclate.

Overall: very elegant, a session sake. To be drunk on its own, although it would go well with almost any food.

Tasting by the Tokyo Geeks 3

July 30, 2007

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Here are the results of the latest Blind tasting of Shizuoka Sake by the Tokyo Geeks:

Etsuko Nakamura notes:
Bottle 1
OK, I think this one could have thrown me off.
At first, I thought this was Honjozo, but now I’m not sure.
Dry and quick finish, room temperature or even warmed up a bit by holding the glass was good.
Everyone loved this with food. It went especially well with Melinda’s special chicken dish with black beans. (Oh, that was good!)

This is why I am not sure. I cheated and looked at the cap. So, I figured out it was from Hakuin Masamune. Looking at their product line, Honjozo is green bottle, not brown. So, is this Josen? Or am I totally off and this is one of those not-for-sale Yamahai?
Either way, it was good.

Bottle 2
Dark Green Bottle
I thought this was Junmai Nama with a bit of ricey aroma for just one quick second. Everyone mentioned pear or melon which I tasted at the end as I was sipping. So, could it be Ginjo? But, it did not have a really strong Ginjo aroma. Nice well balanced aftertaste. To drink by itself, thiswas my favorite.

Now, I guessed this is either Kunpai or Hatsukame. Kunpai because this was sent after we talked to folks from there and I do remember their sake had really nice balance. I have never had Hatsukame, but you mentioned in your blog that we would get to taste Takegami Toji’s work.
So, am I totally off?


Melinda Joe’s notes:
A shade darker than #2.
Nose dominated by ricey aroma, but smells dry. Little to no fruit smells.
Definitely dry but heavier than expected.
Alcohol apparent, especially toward the back.
Very ricey, moments of rich flavor but quite restrained.
Smart finish, disappears quickly.
Eats well, not my first choice for drinking alone.
Dry, quiet, elusive.


Pretty clear.
Very fruity nose, smells sweet.
Very smooth texture. Fresh but heavy.
Fruity attack, right up front. Hints of nashi, perhaps green apple skin.
Flavor pushes forward. Sweetness and acidity detectable in the finish.
Alcohol apparent.
Nice as an aperetif, but not as flexible foodwise as #1.
Smooth, dense, maroyaka

The bottles were:
#1 is Junmai Ginjo by Takashima Brewery/Hakuin Masamune in Numazu City. Rice milled down to 50%. Mr. Takashima advised us to drink it at least at room temperature. It does have particular characteristics. I personally like it vey much! Interestingly enough, Mr. Takashima confided that he put as little information as possible on his labels! Talking of labels, it is a beautiful one.

#2 is Junmai Ginjo by Hatskame Brewery in Okabe Cho, Shida Gun. Yamada Nishiki rice 100% (Hyogo Prefecture), Rice milled down to 50%.. I liked it very much, too.

Tasting by the Shizuoka Geeks 2

July 28, 2007

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On Friday (the last Friday of every month from now on, except in August) July 27th, the Shizuoka Geeks somehow held their second sake tasting session at Mark Steward’s appartement.
Were present Mark and Haruna Steward, Mr. Tetsuya Nishida a music and drink geek, Miss Seiko Kubo, a student of mine and your servant.

kokuryu.jpg senju.jpg
I had brought two similar sake, dai ginjo, Kokuryu from Fukui Prefecture and Senju from Iwata City, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Mark (an Englishman who can cook!) had prepared some great garlic fried chicken to go with cheese and bread we had brought with us.
For once, but not for long, the tasting was a bit more serious than last time. We had time to agree that they were both beautiful, elegant and fruity sake, with Kokuryu being drier although very similar.
We shared some views on the taste that I jotted down for the coming report on Senju, and that was about it. From then on it was serious drinking, eating and enjoying!

The next session is tentatively set fo the last Friday of September at another friend’s home!

What’s your sake blog worth?

July 26, 2007

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!


Just as a joke, I checked with Technorati what my blog was worth.
Not much I’m afraid!

My blog is worth $15,242.58.
How much is your blog worth?

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 16-2: Sugii Brewery/Suginishiki Yamahai Junmai

July 25, 2007

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For reasons I cannot elucidate I haven’t tasted many brews concocted by Sugii Brewery (Suginishiki, Fujieda City) over the past year although I do have a special liking for them. Now, this being said, Mr. Sugii has a habit to come up with some extraordinary sake, and this one is no exception!
It is a Yamahai Junmai, a tricky proposal if there is one, that he brewed the old way as it was done during the Meiji Era and has cahracteristics seldom witnessedin Shizuoka Prefecture.

Used rice all from Shizuoka Prefecturewith 90% of it Homare Fuji. Yeast rice is 70% Hitomebore.
Dryness is -1, which classifies it as sweet for our region.
Now, the acidity is a whopping 3.4, double the usual!
Amino acids are 1.7

Clarity: very clear

Colour: goldish

Aroma: light and discreet/notes of peaches

Body: light

Taste: Lighter than expected but sharp. Green plums/nectarines/apricots
Welcome fruity acidity. Surprisingly dry in spite of the -1 grading

Overall: tastes like a very dry white wine with a lot of fruit at moments.
Lots of character. Goes particularly well with oily and strong taste foods.
Can be enjoyed as “kan”/warm, too.
Very interesting. Recommended to people who wish to introduce a sake in between wines.

Tasting Session with Takashima Brewery

July 24, 2007

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On Friday July 20th, we met at Hakkei Izakaya to hold a tasting of all the sake and shochu brewed this year by Mr. Takashima of Takashima Brewery/Hakuin Masamune.
Were present: Mr. Takashima, Mr. Nagashima of Nagashima Saketen and his emplyee, Mr. Yokoyama, Mssrs Nishi and Watanabe, two great fans of Shizuoka Sake, my friend, Farncois Berguisser of Switzerland and myself.
hakkei-sashimi.jpg hakkei-sushi.jpg
With great food coming along, we proceeded to taste Mr. Takashima’s brews as he patiantly and enthusiastically explained the history and making of each.
We were first served his Junmai, made drom Goyakumangoku Rice, milled down to 60%, NEW-5 yeast. He calls it his Hakuin Masamune standrad. Easy on the palate and a clean taste. Best enjoyed at a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius.
Second was JUnami Ginjo, made from Yamada Nishiki Rice, milled down to 50%, NEW-5 yeast. A sake with well-balanced aroma and taste. This was the one I sent to the Tokyo Geeks (see report soon). Goes particularly weel with Japanese food and shoyu-based dishes.
Third was a Junmai Yamahai Genshyu, a sake I had been waiting for long. Made from Yamada Nishiki rice milled down to 65%, NEW-5 yeats. This was the first Yamahai produced by Takashima Brewery for more than 30 years! It easily became my second favourite. I had had the pleasure to taste it before it was put on sale during my interview at the Brewery, and it certainly was as good!
Fourth was a Junmai Nigori made from Goyakumagyoku Rice, milled down to 55%, NEW-5 yeast. Quite a thick nigori, but with a taste realitively easy on the palate. Goes well with oily foods.
Fifth was an extravagant Junmai Daiginjo Tobitori, made from Yamada Nishiki Rice, milled down to 40%, NEW-5 yeast. Obviously Takashima Brewery’s jewel, although I would go for the Junmai Ginjo.
Last we had a taste of his great kome/rice shochu matured inside sherry barrels directly imported from Spain!

A great day. I’m looking forward to the next one!

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 17/3: Sanwa Brewery

July 23, 2007

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Next in the 300 ml bottele series is Garyubai Junmai Ginjo brewed this year by Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City. Please note the label obviously aimed at romantic ladies!

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light gold

Aroma: light/flowers/gardenias/banana

Body: strong and marked

Taste: Tingle spreading through the palate and lingering. with liquorice at first. Becomes more complex with banana, liquorice and then turns fruity/apricot/raisins

Overall: A sake that goes down well with any food. Comparatively strong taste for a Shizuoka sake.

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 13/3: Hana No Mai Brewery

July 18, 2007

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We continue the 300ml bottles with Hana no Mai Brewery (Hamakita/Hamamatsu City)this time

This Karakkaze was brewed on December 11th, 2006.
The rice was milled down to 55%. If Hana no mai does not advertize the kind of sake, one can automatically assume it is honjozo or yokubetsu honjozo. The 55% would indicate the latter.

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: ricey, light

Body: light/velvety

Taste: Banana, Vanilla, Almonds
Little tingle with liquoruce and bitter chocolate faintly appearing later

Overall: typical of Hana no Mai Brewery.
Light, easy to drink, ideal for beginners and young ladies.

Fuji Isami Brewery

July 16, 2007

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Sunday, July 16th, 2007

As Typhoon No4 had forced me into idleness as far as cricket was concerned, I took the opportunity of a sudden clearing of the skies to escape the crampness of my apartment to cycle around the neighbourhood.
My wheels naturally took me on a kind of pilgrimage I had been pursuing for the last couple of months: Fuji Isami Brewery in Kutsunoya, Shizuoka City.
The Brewery had closed in 1997 because of his last owner’s poor health. Mr. Inoue finally departed from this world last year, but his son, still in his forties, had no desire to walk in his footsteps, less preserve tradition. The man had decided to become an employee of the Shizuoka Bank where his father’s fortune was deposited. Apparently he felt more pleasure and pride to sit on a treasure, counting his yen for eternity
As I arrived at the site, I almost cried.
The ungrateful son had got one step further: after ten years of reflection he had come to the decision that it was high time to make more money.
The whole Brewery had disappeared with only an ugly patch of no man’s land in its wake. Not only the kura and its tall chimney, but all the century-old cedar trees and the beautiful stone and green bush fence completely surrounding the place had gone into thin air!
I got off my bicycle and tried to find a way in, but all doors were locked.
Grumbling along I rode back until the main road.
But I was not ready to give in yet.
I turned back and left my bicycle at the foot of the stairs leading to the ancient Atago Shrine (circa 1507) and looked around.
I noticed a middle-aged man talking to an old farmer wife. Using my most polite Japanese and putting up a good face, I engaged a friendly conversation with the gentleman.
When I enquired about Fuji Isami Brewery, he replied that he knew the people well. As I explained I hadn’t been able to get in touch with the widow still living inside , he looked at me more carefully.
When I explained I wished to “interview” the owner of the house still standing beside the departed Brewery, he just told me to follow him. On the way, he told me that the widow was still living there with an old relative, and that it would be better for him to introduce me. I concluded that the son was not overly concerned by his mother’s fate. The gentleman seemed to enjoy the community’s respect as an old lady readily opened the door.
She let us in. When I asked her if there was anything left in the warehouse at the other end of the property, which must be worth quite a lot of money I belatedly realized, she answered, evidently embarrassed, that all had disappeared.
At that moment I spotted old glazed clay sake bottles behind her back bearing the Brewery’s name.
She gladly let me take pictures of them.
That is when my companion of the day took out a big framed picture from behind some junk. It was the original design of Fuji Isami Sake label! I took a photograph of the painting held up between Mrs. Inoue and my helper.
I took my leave with many bows and thanks as I did not want to embarras the dear old lady any further.
Mr. Kazuyoshi Maruo, who turned out to be no less than the “kannushi”/priest-caretaker of the Atago Shrine invited me back to his place to share a cup of tea and chat about the local history.
He went as far as presenting me with a copy of an historical essay on the Shrine authored by his father after I mentioned thet Fuji Isami Brewery had bought the brand name of their first sake, “Reihoo”, from the dfunct Tadara Brewery in Komagata, Shizuoka City, just after WWII.
The gentleman did commiserate with me about the sometimes wanton destruction of culture in our city.
We shared more lore until I finally took my leave. At least I had made a new friend, and a bottle of sake is on its way to his abode.
But I felt a pang of sadness a I rode past the empty lot with only a small “torii” portal still standing forlornly at the foot of a narrow stairway disappearing under the greenery.
Even my agnostic ears could perceive Atago’s crying somewhere in the bamboo grove overlooking the barren void beacuse someone held money above culture, tradition and ecology. The latter probably never understood the real meaning of “sake”, “the food of gods”…

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 17-2: Sanwa Brewery

July 15, 2007

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This is another bottle from the batch of 300ml flasks I mentioned before.

“Hagoromo no Mai” (“wing veil dance” from a famous local legend) is a junmai ginjo brewed by Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City (Garyubai) in May 2007

Interestingly enough the rice has been milled down to only 60%.

Clarity: Very clear

Colour: gold (unusally strong colour)

Aroma: light/flowers/ricey

Body: both light and solid

Taste: Powerful and spreads quickly inside mouth with a welcome tingle
Vanilla/banana/bitter chocolate. Lingers around for a while

Overall: very “adult” impression
Goes well with any food and does actually improves at its contact

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 7-2: Fuji-Takasago Brewery/Junmai Ginjo

July 12, 2007

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Tasting can either become a heavy load on your liver or on your purse. I usually acquire 720ml bottles, but whenever I can grab those 300ml flasks, I don’t hesitate as they allow me to go through a lot of brews and limit myself to one sample a day. Thinking there are well over 300 brews to taste, I have no worries about psoting articles!
This particular brand was one of four I bought yeaterday. I gave it priority as it is from Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City, quite a long way from Shizuoka City

It is a “nama” (unpasteurized) junmai gunjo bottled in May 2005
The only indication about rice was that is was milled down to 58%.

Clarity: very clear

Colour: very light golden tinge

Aroma: light but sharpish/ricey

Body: smooth/velvety

Taste: Very light with a welcome lingering tinge on the palate. Banana, roasted nuts/liquorice

Overall: Very easy to drink, in spite of its “nama” nature. A little weak for some maybe. Well suited for beginners

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 1-2: Morimoto Brewery

July 11, 2007

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Mr. H. Morimoto (Morimoto-Sayogoromo Brewery in Kikugawa City) has this great habit of regularly coming up with limited editions you can only grab if you have warned your reGular sake shops to be on the look out!
So when Koizumi Saketen called me I did not even discuss and replied I would come soon to pick one.

This particular brew is limited to a bare 300, which means it will be the last time I’ll see it.
Nothing is indicated, but I’m pretty sure it is a honjozo.
It was brewed in June 2006
It is simply called “H. Morimoto” and nicknamed “Sakuretsu Karakuchi” or “Bursting dry”.
Dryness: +13 (not the record but very near!)
Acidity: 1.2 (low)
Yeast: No 901

Clarity: very clear

Colour: golden tinge

Aroma: light/ricey/orange-mikan

Body: Light and smooth

Taste: Even so dry, it does not shock the palate, probably due to the low acidity. Wecome tingle. Vanilla/mandarine/bitter chocolate
Gentle lingering

Overall: Distinguished. Ought to be drunk as an aperitif or on its own. Would go very well with greens.
As it is very easy to drink, I would probably even use it as a nightcap!
Definitely a great find. And so reasonably priced!

Tasting by the Hamamatsu Geeks 1

July 10, 2007

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During our ill-fated cricket game on June 26th, a buddy of mine, Matthew Ryan, mentioned he was interested in my sake blog and would very like to study our favourite drink. He could have chosen a better moment as the Tokyo Geeks in the persons of Etsuko Nakamura and Melinda Joe had sent me a batch of 12 one-cup and a junmai ginjo from the 13 Breweries in Tokyo.
As It was physically/”liverly” impossible to taste them all in a hurry, I proposed Matthew to gather a few friends in Hamamatsu, where he is stationed, and have a tatsing party there. I would bring the sake, he would take care of the locale and the food.

Actually Matthew had forgotten to mention what a great place he was planning to hold the party in. He and some of his friends had helped Yukichi, their common Japanese friend with redecorating the latter’s home into an incredible multi-purpose atelier/event locale. The place had a bar, at least two party rooms upstairs and what else with kitchen, music, band space and what else. It had just been made serviceable and our tasting was apparently the first “official” event held there!


Quite a crowd joined in, and it turned out quickly that in spite of Matthew’s efforts (he had brought copies of John’s website information along), people came here more to enjoy all that sake and the food that Matthew, I and some other crazies had churned out of the kitchen. Although they enjoyed the drinks thoroughly (it was first serious sake drinking for most of them, Japanese guests included). When the ladies realized that all the men would take care of everything, they just sat apart to enjoy the food and the drinks, ordering (very) gentle men for more, with the occasional “oh, that one was better!”, “what was it?”

Once again, Shizuoka Prefecture Geeks proved that it would take some time before we reach the nerdy dedication of our friends in Tokyo! Country bums? Oh well, it was still a good introduction. We are already planning the next session.
By the way, the Shizuoka Geeks will hold their next “Tasting” (guzzling?) on July 27th!
Cheers to that!

Izakaya: Yasaitei

July 9, 2007

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If you had to define an Izakaya in Shizuoka City as a Japanese Izakaya for Vegetarinas, Yasaitei would at stand the top of the list. The name itself means “Vegetables Stopover”!
Right from the moment you order your first drink, a plate of fresh seasonal vegetables will appear for you to savour with your favourite dressing!
Talking of drinks, Yasaitei is truly a Shizuoka establishment when you realize that apart of 2 Shizuoka shochu, they serve 4 Shizuoka jizake!
isojimanlabel.jpg kikuyoilabel.jpg shyosetsulabel.jpg hananomailabel.jpg
Can you read them? (Isojiman-Yaizu City/Kikuyoi-Fujieda City/Syosetsu-Yui City/Hana no Mai-Hamamatsu City)
yasai3.jpg yasai5.jpg yasai6.jpg
Their vegetables, most of them from growers living in our Prefecture come under various guises: fried, steamed, deep-fried, and so on.
Now, for the true vegetarians, ask Ms. Naomi Oshino and her charming staff not to include any fish or other animal stock in the sauce. She will be glad to oblige!
The place has be opened only two years ago, and it is full any day of the week. Do reserve your seats as they are limited!
Yasaitei is not the kind of place you can justly describe in a single article. It does deserve a few visits before you can assess its true value. The prices are consequent to the quality, but they are fair in the light of the culinary venture!

Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Reservations highly recommended

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 11/2: Hatsukame Brewery

July 9, 2007

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This particular brew directly recommended to me by Mr. hashimoto, owner of Hatsu Kame Brewery in Okabe Cho, is a junmai ginjo made with Yamada Nishiki Rice from Hyogo Prefecture milled down to 50% in June 2007

Clarity: Clear

Colour: tinge of gold

Aroma: light and ricey

Body: Velvety

Taste: Sweet and discreet. Welcome tinge on back of the palate. Bitter chocolate/ Vanilla

Overall: Distinguished and highly pleasurable. Would go down well with any food.
Turns sweeter with second/third sip

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 4/5: Kumpai Brewery-Reisenkashu

July 9, 2007

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Reisenkashu is actually the basic sake used to create “Tenryuu no Taki” introduced in a former posting.

It is a Nama (unpasteurized) Genshu (Base sake) Junmai brewed in June 2007.
Rice: 100% Biyama Nishida milled down to 55%
Dryness: +1

Clarity: Very clear

Colour: tinge of gold

Aroma: ricey/strong

Body: Velvety

Taste: Bitter chocolate/Almomnds/Orange. Soft on the palate wit a welcome tingle

Overall: A sake very well suited for heavy food

The Dark Side/Revised

July 3, 2007

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Following supplementary investigation and discovering more reliable sources it is time for me to either amend (for my greatest pleasure) some declarations or confirm (&%$#$%) some hard facts:

1) Okeuri:
Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City, nor Senju Brewery in Iwata City (the latter only recently) are not selling any of their sake to other Breweries any longer.

2) Okegai:
Three “Breweries” do buy their sake from Nada Breweries to sell it under their name:
Chiyonomusume (Hamamatsu City), Matsukawa (Kikugawa City) and Takamatsu (Omaezaki City)

3) Fuuki:
This Nada Brewery having an alcohol-making plant in Shimizu City still sells its products to most Shizuoka Breweries but has been keeping a lower profile. Apparently they are no longer interfering with Shizuoka Sake business.

4) Hiraki:
Unfortunately, the unethical deeds of the company owned by the family of Shinya Totsuka, present Mayor of Kakegawa City, go on unabated. I found out they even forced the shops at Kakegawa JR Station to sell their products, although the same shops are clearly stating they are selling only local products made by local farms, breweries and companies!

5) Lack of pride from certain “failed” breweries:
When I investigated why Fuji-Isami Brewery in Shizuoka City ceased operations exactly 10 years ago, I discovered to my chagrin that the last generation prefered to sit on the pile of gold amassed by its last owner. The son became an employee of Shizuoka Bank which has the Brewery’s money in their coffers. When you add the few “oku en” (100,000,000X?) representing the value of the prime estate land on which the Brewery is still standing in the company of a house and storebuilding, you understand why some people in Shizuoka are not proud of their heritage! At least, if the last owner had a little vision, he could develop it as an izakaya holding sake events and what else!

“Maboroshi Shyuzou”: The Breweries that disappeared

July 2, 2007

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Over the time, unfortunately, some breweries have disappeared.
Mr. Kawaharazaki of Marukawaya Liquor Shop (Shizuoka City) told me (January 19th, 2007) that there existed more than a 100 active before WWII. He told me to check with the Shizuoka Tax Office who apparently still holds the files. Which I did on the 22nd of January 2007.
In 1976, there were still 56 “kura”.
There will be only 33 left in April 2007, although Fuuki does not qualify, as it is only a bottling plant despite their naming of a traditional 72 l. cask found in Sengen Shrine in Shizuoka City. On the other hand Sogatsuru has been bought by Hagi No Hara and is no longer brewed under its name only, but as Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura.
Check the figures below from 1975 to 2008.
I finally got my hands on the listing of 78 Brewers in existence between 1953 and 1958 when the Japanese Government created new tax laws and encouraged the trade.
The reasons for their disappearance were either economical, lack of like-minded siblings, absorption, or in many cases the breweries’ inability to keep up with the new standards in Shizuoka Prefecture and to sell their sake to a more exacting clientele.
The list below includes all Sake Breweries which have disappeared since 1953 (the date in brackets indicate the year they ceased operating) with the addition of others that existed before WWII

Shizuoka City
Fuji-Isami (includes Reihoo) (1997)
fuji-isami1.gif fuji-isami2.jpg
Ginpai Brewery in Shimizu absorbed by Sanwa Brewery (958)
Heiwa Brewery (1967)
Katsuyama Brewery (includes Waraisenryo) (1994)
Koizumi Honkei Brewery in Shimizu absorbed by Sanwa Brewery (1953)
Shimizu Brewery in Shimizu absorbed by Sanwa Brewery (1971)
Shizuoka Brewery (includes Fukurei) (1967)

Fujieda City:
Iwamoto Brewery (includes Matsuwaka Midori, Shikon) The last generation married into the family owning Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu City.
shikon1.jpg shikon-jyunmai-ginjyo.jpg
Okada Brewery (includes Benten, Okinabenten) (March 2007). Was called Fuji Brewery and at one time. Owner had to stop operating his own brewery because of heart problems. Is presently employed by another Brewery.
Otsuka Brewery (includes Agatazuru) (1959)

Shida Gun:
Tadara Brewery (includes Azumatsuru, Kiku no Tsuyu) (2004)

Haibara Gun:
Fukumi Brewery (1971)
Kataoka Brewery (includes Shiratama) (1971)
Shuen Brewery (1955) absorbed by Kataokoa Brewery
Wakasugi Brewery (includes Shizunami) (1958)

Shimada City:

Tancho Honten Brewery(brewed “oke-uri for Fuuki in Shimizu City) (1995)tancho.jpg

Yoshida Cho:
Matsumoto Kaiji Brewery (1955)

Kawane Cho:
Matahei Brewery (includes Kikuizumi) (1971)

Sagara Cho:
Jindaiko Brewery (1987)

Fuji Gun:Sunshuu Brewery (includes Yooroo) (1971)

Kakegawa City:Suikun (1967)
Has been bought by Hagi No Hara Brewery (2004)

Iwata City:Chuo Brewery (includes Otokoyama) (1968)
Oguro Brewery (includes Otokoyama) (1968) Absorbed by Senju Brewery.
Sankyo Kyodo Brewery, later known as Onotaki Brewery (1971).
Yamashita Brewery (includes Homarefuji) (1956)

Hamana Gun (presently in Hamamatsu City):
Chuubu Brewery/Tenryuu Brewery (includes Kiri) (1995)
Hamana Brewery (includes Biraku ) (1972)
Hasshou Brewery (1989)
Kondo Atsuji Brewery (includes Hamananishiki) (1968)

Hamakita City (presently Hamamatsu City)
Tenryu Brewery (also includes Juri, Nihoikoi, Otomegiru):

Hamamatsu City:

Mabuchi Junichiro Brewery (includes Hairaku, Kokueki) (2003)
Omura Kei Brewery (includes Munenaka) (1968)
Suzuki Brewery (includes Nyushin) (1994)
Sato Takuji Brewery (includes Kunroo) (1989)

Yoshiwara (presently in Fuji City)
Fukuizumi (1969)

Fuji City:
Yamanaka Shokichi Brewery (1970) absorbed by Fuji-Takasago Brewery

Fujinomiya City:Fuji Brewery (1958)
Okaneya Brewery (includes Yugyoku) (1970)
Sunshu (1963)

Gotemba City:
Fuji-Ichi Brewery (1986)
Kobayakawa Brewery, later known as Mishimaya Honten Brewery (1989)
Yamanaka Chuueimon Brewery (1984)

Numazu City:
Numazu Brewery, previously known as Nagakura taro Brewery (1981)

Tagata Gun:
Toyou Brewery (includes Kikugenji, Genji) absorbed by Asahi Kasei Kogyou (2004)
kikugenji.jpg kikugenji-sign.jpg

Mishima City:
Kaiki Brewery (includes Izuumi) (1997) Absorbed by watanabe Brewery
Inoue Brewery (1972)
Before WWII:
Akebono Brewery Used to be located in Yaizu City until shortly after WWII

Kaze-Shiratori Brewery
Used to be located in Kadoya, Shizuoka City

Hashimoto Brewery
Used to be located in Kita bancho, Shizuoka City

Sekibe Fujinami BreweryUsed to be located in Mochimune, Shizuoka City

Komai Brewery
Used to be located Anzai, Shizuoka City.

Oishi Brewery
Used to be located in Kawagochi Cho in Shizuoka City.

Tadara Brewery
Used to be located in Komagata, Shizuoka City before WWII. Not to be confused with other Tadara Brewery after WWII. Sold its brand name Reihoo to Fuji isami Brewery

Hirai Brewery
Used to be locate in Okabe Cho, Shida Gun.
Number of “kura” in existence year by year:1976 to 1980: 56
1981~1982: 55
1983: 54
1984~1985: 53
1986: 52
1987~1989: 51
1990~1991: 47
1992~1993: 46
1994: 47
1995~1946: 45
1997: 43
1998~2002: 41
2003: 40
2004: 37
2005: 36
2006: 34
2007: 33

Soba & Sake: Yoshino

July 1, 2007

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!



I love soba, and many Japanese and expats do too!
It is not only great for health (vegetarians, listen carefully), it is tasty and satisfying!
Unfortunately there is soba and soba. Meaning: a lot of places do have to be avoided…
What makes Yoshino special is that they are very exactting about their quality and serve only soba on the same day. If they run out, they simply close the place!
For the connoisseurs hey serve both ni-hachi (80%) and ju-wari (100% which tend to run out quickly!)
Although Mr. Hiromichi Yoshino opened his restaurant only in 1999 after serving his time in another famous soba restaurant, Kuromugi in Shizuoka, the place has become so popular you do have to choose your time of the day to enjoy the food. Actually, you ought to take your time as this is a real “slow-food” soba restaurant. As it sits only 22 plus a few at the counter, you will understand it could become a scramble sometimes.
The more for its side dishes (“tsumami”):
The “tamagoyaki” (fine, some vegetarians might not agree!) and the:
“yakimiso” (soba/buckwheat powder mixed with miso and cooked under the grill), a must in any good soba restaurant.
But people who really know me would not be convinced if I fail to mention that also serve Shizuoka sake!
They serve no less than 8 kinds!:
Fujinishiki/Arabashiri (Shibakawa Cho)
Hatsukame/junmai + Kame dai ginjo 3 year-old koshu (Okabe cho)
Isojiman/ dai ginjo + junmai ginjo (Yaizu City)
Kikuyoi/daiginjo (Fujieda City)
Onnanakase/Oomuraya-Wakatake daiginjo (Shimada City)
Kokkou/junmai ginjo (Fukuroi City)
Now, a little secret for the sake lovers, these high-quality sake certainly come cheaper than anywhere else!

Apart of the whole gamut of cold and hot soba, they serve exquisite tempura, satsumaage, oniage, yakimiso,and so on.

Last but not least it becomes a no-moking place at lunch!

420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo Machi, 1-7-10 (just behind Shin Shizuoka Center)
Tel.: 054-2553277
Business hours: 11:00~22:00 (or until run out soba)
“Kaiseki course” on reservations