Tag Archives: 酒造

Japanese sake and Hot Springs: Enjoying Fujinishiki at Yoshiharu Hot Springs in Izu Peninsula!

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What could beat a great sake enjoyed in a top-class hot spring resort in Izu Penisula?

I took this picture yesterday before enjoying a bottle of sake brewed by Fujinishiki Brewery (Fujinomiya City) while having a bath inside a private outdoors tub at Yoshiharu Hot Spring Resort in Izu Peninsula!

Reports on both coming soon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Beer Breweries List

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Shizuoka Beer Microbreweries is a great source for beer label collectors!

Thanks to its endless supply of incredible natural water Shizuoka Prefecture produces some of the best craft beer not only in Japan but in the world as witnessed by the success of Bryan Baird.
Unfortunately I could not find a comprehensive listing and introduction of the same breweries on the net and decided to fill up this void once for all!

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Here is a simple map of Shizuoka Prefecture to help you locate the breweries!
The introduction of the breweries are below listed from west to east of Shizuoka Prefecture!
Bear in mind that some cities are really big. Check their homepages and addresses!

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HAMAMATSU-TENJINGURA BREWERY

Hamamatsu-Tenjingura is also a sake, shochu and liqueur brewery!
They produce 3 types of Czech style beers
Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, Tenjin Machi, 3-57
静岡県浜松市中区天神町3-57
TEL: 053-461-6145
Restaurant and beer hall business hours: 10:30~19:00
Closed on Tuesdays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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MEIN SCHLOSS

Mein Schloss in downtown Hamamatsu City is basically a beer hall serving 5 different beers brewed on site
Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, Chuo, 3-8-1
〒430-8691 静岡県浜松市中区中央3丁目8番1号
Tel.: 053-452-1146
Business hours: 11:00~14:30, 17:00~23:00 (Saturdays, 11:00~23:00). Check on the phone as they are sometimes completely reserved!
Closed on Mondays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese only)

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BAYERN MEISTER BIER

Stephan Rager is the only German national who owns his brewery and makes his own beer in Japan!
He produces 3 types of Bayern-style beers and sometimes does produce beer on order for such clients as the Tokyo German Embassy. He started growing his own hops on site and plans to make real Fujinomiya City beer!
Fujinomiya City, Kami Ideji Kawaharabata, 1254-1
〒418-0103 静岡県富士宮市上井出字河原端1254-1
Tel.: 0544-54-3311 
Business hours: 10:00~21:00 (restaurant meals and parties mainly on reservation)
Closed on Wednesdays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese only)

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BAIRD BREWING

Bryan Baird has deservedly acquired national and international fame and helped to put Numazu City on the world map!
He produces a very wide range of regular and seasonal beers all year long.
His main brewery is still in Numazu city but he has opened branches in Tokyo and elsewhere. Do check his English homepage (also exists in Japanese)!
〒410-0843 Numazu City, Tadehara Cho, 9-3
〒410-0843 静岡県沼津市蓼原町9-3
Tel.: 055-952-6673
Numazu City Taproom Address:
〒410-0845 Numazu City, Senbonminato-cho, 19-4
〒410-0845 静岡県沼津市千本港町19-4
Tel.: 055-963-2628
Business hours: Monday, and Wed. thru Friday; 5:00 PM to Midnight, Sat, Sun., Holidays; Noon to Midnight
Closed on Tuesdays
HOMEPAGE (English)

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SAMURAI SURFER BEER

This is the latest beer brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture!
An offshoot of Nippon Beer Co, it produces so far 2 types of craft beer.
Numazu City, Shimokanuki, Shimoshooji, 3140-5
〒410-0822 静岡県沼津市下香貫下障子3140-5
Tel.: 055-933-1032
Business hours: 09:00~17:00
Closed on Saturdays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese only)

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ORACHE WIND VALLEY BEER

Orache, originally a dairy products company was the first to produce organic microbeers in Japan!
It produces 4 regular brews and seasonal ones, too.
Tago Gun, Kannami Cho (south of Mishima City), Tanna, 349-1
〒419-0105 静岡県田方郡函南町丹那349-1
Tel.: 055-974-4192
Business hours: 09:00~17:30
HOMEPAGE (Japanese only)

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GOTEMBA KOOGEN BEER

The largest brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture, it only partly qualifies as a microbrewery. Produces 5 regular beers plus at least 2 real craftbeer and also seasonal beers.
412-0033 Gotemba City, Koyama, 719
〒412-0033 静岡県御殿場市神山719
Tel.: 0550-87-5500
Business hours: Check HOMEPAGE as it has many shops and diners!
HOMEPAGE (English) Also exits in Japanese

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KURAYA-NARUSAWA

Located near Nagaoka Station, Izu no Kuni City, north of Izu Peninsula, it is also famous for looking after an important cultural asset, Hansharo, which has become the name of their 4 regular beers!
Izu no Kuni City, Naka, 272-1
伊豆の国市中272-1
Tel.: 055-949-1208
Opening hours (restaurant and souvenir shop): Monday~Thursday: 11:00~15:00, Friday: 11:00~22:00, Saturday, Sunday, National holidays: 10:00~22:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese only)

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USAMI

Usami Brewery in Ito City, in the north-eastern part of Izu Peninsula, produces 4 types of craftbeer, but beware that the front label is the same for all. Check the cap or the back label for the variety!
Designated as eco-friendly by the Prefecture!
〒414-0001 Ito City, Usami, 3504-1
〒414-0001 伊東市宇佐美3504-1
Tel.: 0557-33-0333
Business hours: 08:30~17:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese only)

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IZU KOUGEN BEER

Izu Kougen Beer/Izu Plateau Beer is located in Ito City and serves and sells its 6 beers in a restaurant remarkable for its reasonable traditional Japanese seafood restaurant.
〒413-0231 Ito City, Tomito, 1103
〒413-0231 静岡県伊東市富戸1103
Tel: 0557(51)3000
Business hours: 11:00~21:00 (restaurant)
Closed only 5 days in the year
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

The Ale House in Fujieda City (Summer 2013-revisited)

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Service: Friendly and smiling, all in a very quiet atmosphere (when not full!)
Facilities: Overall very clean. Clean washroom
Prices: Reasonable to slightly expensive
Strong points: Shizuoka Micro breweries’ beers on tap, Belgian beers and pub grub.

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There are very few pubs, I mean real pubs, British or Irish, worth noticing in our Prefecture.
But I surely don’t mind traveling all the way from Shizuoka City to Fujieda City and come back with the last train back home under the questioning looks from commuters going back to their sleeping town! Fortunately The Ale House is only less than 10 minutes away from the south exit of the JR Station!

It has become one of those “kakureya” (“hidden spots”) that a lot of residents expats talk about, and deservedly so.
Would you believe it I visited it for the first time again in 6 years with a motley of friends! They stille remembered me, though! LOL

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At least it looks like a real pub!

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But I let my English friend Patrick of Think Twiceguide me along and introduce me to the matser of the Place, Mr. Masayuki Saitou
Mr. Saitou explained us he opened his Pub in 1995 out a search for a new challenge away from the dreary life of a typical Japanese “salaryman”, and indulge in his hobby, namely whisky.
Talking of whisky, he does have an impression collection, but you will have to ask him to show it as it is protected from the spotlights inside wooden cabinets!
Now, if you are a beer lover, he has an extra treat for you, a proof of his dedication: baird Beer from Numazu City and Bayern Meister Bier from Fujinomiya City on tap!

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The only problem is that it is really tough to take clear pictures in the very dark lounge bar!

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Some of the beers available with their country of origin clearly marked. Don’t worry Mr. Saitoh will somehow explain everything if you don’t read Japanese!

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Some of these are actually sometimes available!

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The food menu ( a lot of typical pub grub) is in Japanese but the master will gladly help you read it!

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the same for the drinks!

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Interestingly enough, people here do not know we do have quite a few notable “jibiru”, microbreweries, in Shizuoka Prefecture!
Now if you are into cocktails, no worries, the Ale House has more than you can drink.

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Beers come in all kinds of sizes, shapes, colors, on the tap and in bottles!

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Long ones, too?

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These beer coasters were everywhere! Now, who is this guy?

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A very dark beer in a very dark place! LOL

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there is plenty of grub (foods) to choose from:
Cheese assortment.

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Fried potato wedges with their skins.

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Pickles.

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Sausages.

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Spicy potatoes.

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Keema pizza!

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Skillet-fried chicken and vegetables.

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Spicy mushroom noodles.

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And even desserts such as this pear tart!

I won’t want 6 years till my next visit, I can assure you!

The Ale House
426-0061 Fujieda City, Tanuma, 1-4-12 (JR Station South Exit, take second on left)
Tel. & Fax: 054-6362889
Opening hours: 18:30~25:00
Closed on Mondays (Tuesdays are open, even in the case of a National Holiday)
Blog/Homepage (Japanese only)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Products at Hamamatsu City Railway Station

As a general rule it is always a good idea to check inside major railway stations in Japan for local food and products.
And since Shizuoka Prefecture has no less than 6 (the record in Japan) major shinkansen/bullet train station, you ought to spend some time looking around before boarding your train!

This time I will take you around Hamamatsu Railway Station, or JR Station as they call such a building in Japan!

It is quite easy as most shops are concentrated inside the “May One Ekimachi” Store!

Right at the entrance you will discover the biscuit of the area: unagi pie/eel pie! There is no eel in this sweet biscuit. It’s only the color which is reminiscent of the famous fish bred and caught in the Hamamatsu City area!

Have a good look at the ekiben/railway bento before boarding your train. Ekiben are always the best indication of what people eat in the same region!

Here are the real unagi/鰻/eels prepared in various fashions!

Processed products of wasabi. Shizuoka Prefecture grows 80% of the total national crop!

More wasabi processed products including salt, mayonnaise and dressing!

Real fresh wasabi!

Sakes brewed by Hana no Mai Brewery, one of the two breweries in Hamamatsu City!

Tea and orange roll cakes!

Another specialty of Hamamatsu City: simmered eel livers!

More ekiben/railway station bento!

Green tea rusks (hard biscuits!)

A closer look at unagi pie!

Uogashi Sushi Company (from Yaizu City!) has big restaurant inside where you will be able to get all kinds of meals including purely local sushi!

Great plastic models for collectors and fans!

And more!

Another specialty of Hamamatsu City: gyoza dumplings always served with beansprouts!

Oden! More a specialty of Shizuoka City, although all big cities and areas in the Prefecture have their own!

A great health food from Lake (salted) Hamana: seaweed!

Orange cakes and jellies!

Now, what will be the next of the 6 stations I will introduce! LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Homare Fuji Sake Rice Fields Visit with Mr. Yuuji Miyata

Mr. Yuuji Miyata!

13 years ago, some enlightened individuals realized that Shizuoka Prefecture would have to produce its own sake rice, at least a part of it, for many reasons even if some of them are pointedly ignored by many…
First, the culture of sake rice (as opposite to that of edible rice) is a risky venture financially and a steady supply is fraught with unseen complications. Moreover, most of brewers outside the main sake rice producing areas have to “import” their rice from Hyogo, Hiroshima, Iwate, Niigata and other faraway Prefectures.
Moreover, whatever some brewers might tell you when questioned in front of witnesses, the quality of such imported rice cannot be fully insured.

Mr. Muramatsu’s Homare Fuji paddies (30 acres) in Naka Shinden, Yaizu City.

The only solution is to try and grow your own sake rice locally!
In 1998, under the auspices of the JA research was initiated on the culture of the Yamada Nishiki Sake Rice strain, considered as the best by many, in the Iwata Agricultural Research Center.
7 years later, 1n 2005, the cultivation was started in earnest in privately-owned fields under the guidance of such specialists such Mr. Miyata.

The rice stalks grow a lot thicker and nearer to each other than normal rice.

The Yaizu Sake Rice Research Association grouping 15 farmers grows more than 60% of this Yamada Nishiki Sake Rice under the name of Homare Fuji Sake Rice. Actually the same Association grows Homare Fuji Rice on 10.3 ha, Yamada Nishiki Rice on 5.6ha and Gohyakumangoku Rice on on 4.7 ha.
Homare Fuji Rice is presently grown by 31 farmers in 7 distinct areas across the whole Prefecture.
Moreover, 20 out 28 breweries presently produce some of their sake with Homare Fuji Sake Rice up to Junmai Ginjyou level.

Mr. Yuuji Miyata with Mr. Hiromi Ikegaya of the JA Ooigawa

It has become serious business as from this year the Yaizu JA Agricultural Association (governmental) will assume the responsibility for the sales of Homare Fuji Sake Rice grown in the Yaizu City area!

The personal help of Mr. Ryohei Miyake of the Shizuoka Prefecture Shida Haibara Agriculture & Forestry Bureau was certainly welcome to deal with all these farmers and JA representatives!
Messrs. Miyake and Miyata were kind enough to pick me up at Fujieda Station and take care of me for the whole day!
They took me to 3 different paddies including that of Mr. Muramatsu mentioned above and introduced me to the JA Ooigawa Representative and other personalities of the business!

In every paddy Mr. Miyata took out a rice stalk to painstakingly open it with his nails to show me the grains already developed inside and to tell me thus exactly when the rice would appear and would be harvested by the day!

The second paddy was that of Mr. Matsumura (20 acres), Higashi Mashizu, Yaizu City, where planting and harvesting events are regularly held!

Homare Fuji Sake Rice has two big qualities:
its stalks are shorter and harder and will not break under heavy winds, even those of typhoons. Moreover, their rice contains a lot less proteins than others, which allows for an exceptional maturing of sake!

Yaizu soil is of two types whether the fields are on the former bed of Ooigawa River with a high concentration of sand like the above-mentioned two paddies or of a clay type if closer to the mountains. Naturally the soil quality has to be taken in account for each paddy!

The Homare Fuji Rice stalks are comparatively short (25 cm shorter that those of Yamada Nishiki) , but the proportion of the leaves and bottom stalks (“saya”) are longer and the very foot (“fushi”) shorter and thicker.

The third paddy I was taken to is the “heart of the Homare Fuji Sake Rice” as Mr. Toshirhiro Umehara has taken charge of growing the rice for the grains only to be re-planted elsewhere for the last 3 years!

This 30-acre paddy is located in Hirajima in Fujieda City!

The grains will appear in about 10 days and the rice will be harvested in October!

This is rural Japan!

The men behind our regional sake, Mr. Yuuji Miyata and Mr. Toshihiro Umehara!

This is what is going to grow into full-fledged rice thanks to these farmers and later become the nectar of Japan (and Shizuoka Prefecture) thanks to our brewers!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Agriculture: Akihiro Matsushita: Organic Sake Rice Grower in Fujieda City!

Akihiro Matsushita/松下明弘, Yuuji Miyata/宮田祐二 and Densaburou Aoshima/青島傳三郎!

Akihiro Matsushita is a true pioneer!
No less than 17 years ago he decided to grow all his rice organically, a revolution at the time that did not please many people in the very closed world of Japanese farming!
Fortunately things have changed since then…

15 years ago Akihiro contacted Densaburou (Sake Brewmaster’s name) Aoshima of Aoshima Sake Brewery in Fujieda City to aks him if he would be interested in creating sake with truly organic rice. Densaburou is also a true pioneer in his own closed Japanese sake world who gladly accepted the challenge.
And it certainly was a challenge!

Aoshima Brewery in Fujieda City! Kikuyoi/喜久酔 is their main brand name!

I’ve known Densaburou for quite some time now, and the fact he speaks fluent English does help when I introduce him to foreign fans of his nectars!

Yuuji Miyata/宮田祐二, Ryohei Miyake/三宅良平 and Densaburou Aoshima/青島傳三郎
Whatever the occasion, this is Japan, and nothing will start before business cards have been exchanged!

The fact I know quite a lot of people in the Japanese sake world in Shizuoka Prefecture even helps with my Japanese friends and colleagues.
Before meeting Akihiro Matsushita in his farm, Yuuji Miyamata, the man in charge of the development of Homare Fuji Sake Rice in Yaizu City and Ryohei Miyake, an official from the Shida Haibara Agriculture and Forestry Bureau joined me to visit Densaburou at his brewery as we were all going together to Akihiro’s place. Densaburou does not use the Homare Fuji Sake Rice in his brews but he entertains warm relations with all people concerned with the sake business in his region.

Akihiro is a shy gentleman who will nonetheless quickly open and talk passionately about his trade.
And you certainly need to be passionate and extremely knowledgeable to convince people in one of the most conservative regions of Japan!

Keeping his own fields separated from non-organic growers is no longer a problem, but it was open conflict when he started his venture. He does not remember how many times he had to clean his own fields of mountains of rubbish thrown into them during the night…
But since then Akihiro has been recognized and accepted as a true grower as amply proved by his JAS Organic Grower Recognition and his Shida EM Organic Agriculture Association Chairmanship!

Not only his fields, but surrounding areas have to be kept clean of any chemicals and unwanted materials.
Even so, rice growing within a few meters of the perimeter of his fields will not be sold or used!

Yamada Nishiki, the most famous sake rice variety in Japan! The grains will appear end of August!
The soil being part of the Ooigawa River bed is sandy. The same sand is river sand formed by the constant rubbing of stones.

A single look at the water and soil will tell you this is organic environment with all these bugs and snails!
Akihiro and Densaburou had once thought of ducks to keep their fields clean of bugs. Unfortunately the local stray cats put an end to the trials!

Although Mr. Miyata’s field is not concerned with Yamada Nishiki Sake Rice, his expertise is always welcome!

Akihiro’s fields of organic sake rice and those or normal edible organic rice occupy a lot of land here and there. I asked him if he would be interested in exporting some. He replied that he wouldn’t have enough land to do so! An unequivocal proof of his peers’ and customers’ recognition!

Everyone soon forgot me so passionate their discussions had become!

For all his extremely busy life, Akihiro still finds enough time for constant research: organic black rice!

This passion and thirst for new solutions just proves that Japan and its people, for all the cataclysms that regularly visit them, might bend now and again but will never break like the stalks of their rice!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery