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On June 5th, 2007 was held the 15th Annual Shida Heiya Bishu Story (Japanese title for « Shida Plain Beautiful Sake Story ») at Hotel Ambia Syofukaku Hotel by 6 Breweries located in the Shida Plain Area in the centre of Shizuoka Prefecture: Shidaizumi (Fujieda City), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery, Fujieda City), Hatsukame (Okabe Cho), Suginishiki (Sugii Brewery, Fujieda City), Isojiman (Yaizu City) and Wakatake (Oomuraya Brewery, Shimada City).
As I had taken the afternoon off, I took the opportunity to look around the city to see if I could discover local sake casks at shrines. Unfortunately, the only ones I found were all from Nada Breweries distributed by Hiraki Co….
On the other hand I noticed a piece of history on the sign of a defunct izakaya which mentioned Kikugenji Sake from Izu Peninsula! (Bottom right corner) Kikugenji was acquired by Bandai Brewery 3 years ago.
Back to Yaizu JR Station, I had the pleasure to meet Eriko Kanda who runs a great blog (Japanese) about Shizuoka Sake and slow food in Hamamatsu City.
I did well to meet her as it was a scramble to find a seat at the party!
The event is a good-humoured affair (a bit expensive at Y6,000, but worth it) with little officialdom and so may opportunities to meet people.
Talking of which, I had not the faintest idea that John (John Gauntner) would attend. Imagine my surprise when he came to say hello to me! It was the first time we actually physically met after all these mails we exchanged!
It proved a very useful day, as I secured promises for interviews from all the Breweries, finally met new friends and tasted some beauties!