Japan's leading sake expert John Gauntner introduces Takaaki Yamuchi, the sake master behind one of Japan's most highly rated sake brands, Fuchuhomare of Ibaraki prefecture.Sake. I like to drink it warm. This was the extent of my sake knowledge until I discovered a Meet the Brewer Event. Hosted at the Japan Sake and Shochu Information Center by Shuso Imada and members of the SAKE2020 Project, this once a month event introduces brewers and their sake.
John Gauntner, the world’s leading Sake expert and great friend of Foodies Go Local introduced brewer, Takaaki Yamauchi, sixth generation brew master at Fuchuhomare Shuzo in Ibaraki. Takaaki-san spoke to us in English about his journey perfecting sake made from a rare variety of rice called Wataribune. His story was funny and engaging and came with shots of sake! Takaaki san’s passion to create sake made from truly local rice and his patience and persistence, lead to smooth, balanced sake with apple and pear notes that permeated the air.
By the end of Takaaki san’s presentation, I had learned how sake rice is fermented, that Wataribune rice is difficult to cultivate but is an original rice variety, and that I like sake with a higher acidity and it is pretty good cold too. I am by no means a sake expert after this experience but the presentation from Takaaki san along with the friendly atmosphere provided by John Gauntner and Shuso Imada, made me want to learn more about the art of making and drinking sake.
Japan is immensely rich in food and drink culture. Don’t hesitate to dive deeper and experience the vitality that Japan has to offer. Japan Sake and Shochu Information Center is a museum and offers tours to breweries, as well as daily sake tastings. Located a few minutes walk from Toranomon Station; this is a perfect stop on any Tokyo adventure for locals and travelers alike.