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Sake, Wine, and the Theoretical Physicist Who Brings Them Together

Sugiyama Asuka, the sommelier with a PhD in theoretical physics, is a woman of action. Falling head over heels in love with both wine and Japan’s own sake, she spends her life with the globe as her stage, commuting between Tokyo and Paris every two weeks to pursue her passion to convey the appeal of wine to the Japanese public and the joy of sake to France. We asked Sugiyama what drives her philosophy of work.

Niigata University to Offer Course on Sake from April (News)

Niigata, March 23 (Jiji Press)—Niigata University will offer from April a comprehensive course on sake, a local specialty, that covers its history, culture and production methods, aiming to open up a new academic field. From left, Niigata Governor Yoneyama Ryūichi, Niigata University President Takahashi Sugata, and Niigata Sake Brewers Association chief Õhira Shunji celebrate the launch of the…

Sake London-Style: Britain’s First Sake BreweryTony McNicol

Lucy Holmes and Tom Wilson are the founders of Kanpai London Craft Sake, Britain’s first sake brewery. Despite only launching their pocket-sized sake start-up in February 2017, they are already garnering attention for their innovative approach to making and marketing Japan’s national drink.


Izakaya are popular places to drop in for a drink and a bite to eat with friends or work colleagues. Shops usually have a casual atmosphere and offer a range of beverages and food.

Sake Made in Fukushima Served at Britain’s Parliament (News)

London, Oct. 18 (Jiji Press)—A reception was held on Tuesday night at London's Palace of Westminster to serve sake made in Fukushima Prefecture and show the area's recovery from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit the Tōhoku region of northeastern Japan. The reception venue was filled with fruity and gorgeous aroma of sake from six breweries in the prefecture, including Daishichi Sak…

Sake Brands from Kyūshū Win Top Two Prizes in Paris Contest (News)

Paris, Oct. 8 (Jiji Press)—Sake brands from the Kyūshū southwestern Japan region finished first and second at a contest in Paris, according to the contest results announced Sunday. At the Kura Master contest, Shichida Junmai Ginjō Omachi 50 from Tenzan Sake Brewery Co. of Saga Prefecture was awarded the top prize, Prix du president. "Hananoka Ōka" from Hananoka Shuzō Co. of Kumamoto Prefectu…

Sake from Japan’s Saga Popular in Paris Contest (News)

Paris, July 11 (Jiji Press)—Four sake brands from Saga Prefecture, southwestern Japan, ranked among the top 10 at a Japanese sake contest in Paris, results of the contest showed Tuesday. At the Kura Master contest held in Paris last month, more than 30 jurors, including top sommeliers in France, tasted 550 sake brands from across Japan. They chose top five brands each in the junmai and junmai d…

French Sommeliers Taste Sake in Paris Contest

Paris, June 26 (Jiji Press)—Thirty-five professionals in the French restaurant industry, including top-flight sommeliers, gathered in Paris on Monday to taste sake from Japan. The Kura Master contest was designed to choose Japanese sake brands suitable for the French market from among 550 entries. The contest took place for the first time in France, its organizer said. The results of the compet…

Interview: Frenchman Aims to Up Sake’s Presence in Top Restaurants (News)

Paris, Feb. 4 (Jiji Press)—French sommelier Xavier Thuizat, who has been under the spell of sake for years, aims to make the Japanese rice wine account for 15% of drink menus at top-ranked restaurants in his country. In a recent interview with Jiji Press, Thuizat said he hopes to realize the target in three years. He will serve as head of judges in a sake contest to be held in Paris in late Ju…

Yamadanishiki Reigns Supreme Among Sake-Brewing Rice Varieties

Japan’s sake brewers use more than 100 varieties of rice, but their favorite by far is Yamadanishiki. Here is a look at their reasons.

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