When it comes to a home party one always looks for a sake which is not only tasty and easy to pair at all temperatures but also reasonably-priced.
The other day I did participate to a big home party with old mates and I had the perfect present to bring with me!
Hatsukame Brewery in Okabe, Fujieda City produces this extravagant honjozo called “En/縁”！
When you read the specs you will realize that some breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture are spoiling their customers!
Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 65%
Dryness: + 4
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Brewed in September 2015
Bottled in November 2015
Clarity: very clear
Color: faint golden hue
Aroma: dry and fruity. pears, banana, rice, greens
Taste: Dry and fruity attack.
Complex: oranges, custard, chestnuts.
Lingers only for a short while before departing on a still drier note with oranges, custard and coffee beans.
Becomes milder and lighter with food before finishing on a drier note.
Oranges and custard in particular will come back once again away from food.
At lukewarm temperature/”nurukan”, tends to become lighter and less complex, but still very pleasant on the palate.
Overall: I conducted that tasting in a light-hearted manner with my friends before he alcohol took the best of them. We all agreed it was simply extravagant considering the ridiculously cheap price!
This is the kind of sake you can bring to any party any time of the year when you can savor it on its own or with any food, at room temperature or warmed up!
The kind of sake you won’t let inside the bottle very long and a great introduction to beginners!
Yesterday on my way to Anzai Bridge across the Abe River in Shizuoka City, I decided to cycle along a die road on a whim and discovered this small Shinto shrine in Ta Machi!
Upon seeing the name plaque on the torii/sacred gate I wondered how the kanji for “water/水”, that is “mizu” would be pronounced.
Luckily enough a neighbor had just come out and I decided to ask him and get some more information!
The locals pronounce the name “wata”!
And apparently it is a very old if small shrine, dating back to Edo Era!
Although their roofing is recent the hand washing stone basin are very ancient.
Two of them in such a small shrine is indeed rare and the neighbor indicated me through their engravings that they had been erected in totally different eras!
Two large stone lanterns and two smaller ones stood along the short path with mountain and clouds carvings!
I noted an interesting difference between the two deers!
The one above has its right foreleg raised!
But not this one!
A smaller stone lantern between two venerable trees!
The “haiden”/worshipers hall!
Unusually the lion guards/shishi are not represented as stone statues, but as wooden carvings abovehead!
I pointed out the fact to the kind neighbor relating the history of the shrine and I had the pleasure to notice his surprise!
Money offerings are unusually thrown though the door instead of inside a box placed outside!
Side view of the “haiden” and “honden/deity abode”!
The enshrined deity is male!
A side view of the completely isolated “haiden”!
The trees inside the shrine are dwarfing the building proving its ancient origins!
A very interesting and reasonable way to taste sake is to acquire one-cup sake!
They also make for cute collection of glasses or cups!
Now, this is the sixth tasting of the second batch of Shizuoka Prefecture One Cup Sake I obtained at Matsuzakaya Department Store in Shizuoka City!
Shidaizumi Brewery-Nyan Cup Shidaizumi Junmai Ginjo!
Actually, this is the original Nyan Cup which has now 4 different types all with different sake inside!
If you look at the inside of cup once empty you will find out that the cats look at with different eyes!
Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 16 degrees
Bottled in July 2015
Clarity: very clear
Color: very faint golden hue
Aroma: assertive, dry and fruity.
Banana, pears, custard, green apple.
Body: fluid, a little sirupy
Taste: dry and very fruity attack backed up with puissant junmai petillant.
Complex. Bananas, dry oranges, faint almonds.
Lingers only for a little while before departing on a drier note with drier chocolate, custard and mandarin oranges.
Oranges and coffee beans will make a surprise appearance once in a while.
Turns drier with food with faint coffee beans appearing.
Stays dry all the way through with plenty of junmai petillant.
Overall: very elegant and extravagant one cup sake!
I wonder if people understand its real value as a premium sake and as a splendid souvenir!
To take with you on any trip and to forget the crowds!
No wonder it sells out so quickly!
Christmas is around the corner and Aoi Brewing in Shizuoka City has put out or the second year running a special craft beer to commemorate the event!
Hollyhock Christmas Ale!
“Hollyhock” means “Aoi” or “Tachi Aoi” in Japanese and is the symbol flower of Shizuoka City!
Actually I had suggested that name myself when Aoi Brewing was looking for names for its beers back last year in June!
The truth is that the secret name given to that Strong Belgian Type Ale is “Dozen Roses Ales” as it includes 12 different main ingredients!
Served on tap
Barley, Maris Otter malt, Munich malt, Crystal malt dark, Chocolate malt, Australian Galaxy hop, Styrian Golding malt, Coriander, Orange peels, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla beans, Sugars, live yeast.
Production: 450 liters
Bubbles: very fine bubbles. Shortish head. White color
Clarity: slightly smoky (normal considering live yeast and being unfiltered), very clean
Color: dark amber
Aroma:Light, dry and fruity. Biscuits, citrus
Taste: Soft, deep and dry attack with only a little acidity.
Complex: oranges, citruses, honey, cinnamon, biscuits.
Big gap between aroma and actual taste due to high alcohol contents.
lingers long enough for true tasting before leaving on more dry honey, citruses and cinnamon.
Citruses and persimmons surging back with every sip.
becomes even more complex as its temperature rises.
Overall: generous and extravagant ale!
Very deep and complex craft beer.
Although tasted fist only slightly chilled, performs best at room temperature .
To be savored slowly!
Should please both genders of any age in spite of its alcohol contents!
Suggested pairings: pickles, salami, cheese.
To be expected every year before Christmas!
Beer Junkie MOTEL
420-0035 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken Cho, 11-5, IMAKKOKO Bldg. 1F
Opening hours: 17:00~25:00, 17:00~26:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesday
Parties welcome FACEBOOK
Aoi Brewing Co.,Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyagasaki Chyo, 30
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00 (Monday~Friday), 15:00~23:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesdays
COD, Cash On Delivery only for all orders. MAP FACEBOOK
AOI BEER STAND
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 4-6, Den bill, 1F
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Credit cards OK FACEBOOK
Some Aoi beers are also available at Aoi Brewery’s restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely
420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamachi Naka Building, 5F
Opening hours: 17:00~25:00 (Mon.~Thurs.), 17:00~27:00 (Fri & Sat.), 17:00~24:00 (Sun.)
Parties welcome (reserve!)
Credit Cards OK FACEBOOK
Himekari/姫光: a rare deep sea fish found in Suruga Bay near Numazu City
Hirame/平目、鮃、比目魚: sole, flatfish
Hiramasa/平政: yellowtail amberjack
Hirasaba/平鯖: chub mackerel, Pacific mackerel, blue mackerel
Hirasoudagatsuo/平宗田鰹: auxis, variety of bonito, bullet tuna
Hirasuzuki/平鱸: a variety of sea blackbass
Hokke/𩸽: Okhotsk atka mackerel, Arabesque greenling
Honkamasu/本梭魚、本梭子魚、本魳 (also called Akakamasu/赤梭魚、赤梭子魚、赤魳): red barracuda, sphyraena pinguis Gunther
Honmaguro/本鮪 (also called Kuromaguro/黒鮪): bluefin tuna
Hoshigarei/星鰈: “Star Turbot”,verasper variegatus (Temmink and Schlegel)
Houbou/方々: red gurnard, red robin
Ibodai (also called Ebodai)/ 疣鯛（えぼ鯛）: Japanese butterfish, Melon seed, Wart Perch
Ikanago/玉筋魚: Japanese sand lance
Indomaguro印度鮪 (also known as Minamimaguro/南鮪): Southern Bluefin tuna
Irako anago/伊良子穴子: a cheap variety of Anago/穴子: conger eel, synaphobranchus kaupii Johnson
Isaki/伊佐木、伊佐幾、鶏魚: chicken grunt
Ishidai/石鯛: striped beakfish, barred knifejaw
Ishigaki-Ishigakidai/石垣-石垣鯛: spotted knifejaw
Ishigarei/石喰霊: stone flounder
Ishimochi/石持: silver croaker, white croaker, silver jewfish
Iso kasago/磯笠子、磯瘡魚: a variety of rockfish
Iwana/岩魚、嘉魚、鮇: char, charr
Kaiwari/貝割: whitefin trevally
Kajikimaguro/梶木鮪・旗魚鮪 (also known as Makajiki/真梶木・真旗魚): spearfish (blue) marlin
Kagokakidai/駕籠担鯛: Stripey, Microcanthus strigatus (Cuvier)
Kanpachi/間八、環八: greater amberjack, Japanese amberjack
Karasugarei/烏鰈: Greenland halibut, Mock halibut, Bastard halibut, Black halibut, Reinhardtius hippoglossoides (Walbaum)
Karei/鰈: righteye flounder
Kasago/笠子、瘡魚: False kelpfish, Marbled rockfish
Kasugo/春子鯛: young Madai/真鯛: Japanese seabream
Kawahagi/皮剥: filefish, leather jacket
Kibinago/黍女子、黍魚子、吉備女子、吉備奈仔: silver-stripe round herring,
Kibire/黄鰭: yellowback seabream
Kihadamaguro/黄肌鮪 (also known as Kiwada/キワダ(Tokyo, Wakayama), Gesunaga/ゲスナガ(Shizuoka), Mashipi/マシビ(Osaka, Kochi) and Kinhire/キンヒレ: yellowfin tuna
kijihata/雉羽太(also called Akou/茂魚,石茂魚): redspotted grouper
Kinki/金色魚: Thornhead, Idiot, Sebastolobus macrochir (Gunther)
Kinmedai/金目鯛: splendid alfonsino
Kintokidai/金時鯛: red bigeye
Kisu /鱚、鼠頭魚: sand boarer
Ko Aji/子鯵: very young horse mackerel (also called Mame aji/豆鯵)
Kohada (konoshiro)/小肌（鰶・鮗・鯯・鱅）: dotted gizzard shad
Koi/鯉: carp (fresh water)
Konoshiro (kohada)/小肌（鰶・鮗・鯯・鱅）: dotted gizzard shad
Korodai/胡蘆鯛: a cheap variety of snapper, diagramma pictum
Kose/コセ: A variety of Stripped jack, also called Shima aji/縞鯵!
Koshinagamaguro/腰長鮪 (also called Bakemaguro/化け鮪): longtail tuna, longtailed tuna, spot-side tuna (the smallest tuna in Japan)
Koshyo (Koshiodai)/胡椒鯛: crescent sweetlips
Kuchimidai/口美鯛 (also called Menada/目奈陀・目魚): haarder, redlip mullet, Liza haematocheila (Temminck and Schlegel)!
Other names I will have to add to the lexicon!
Kue/九絵、垢穢: longtooth grouper
Kurodai/黒鯛: Japanese black porgy
Kuromaguro/黒鮪(also called Honmaguro/本鮪): bluefin tuna
Kuro Mebaru/黒眼張、黒眼張魚、黒鮴/Black Japanese sea perch
Kuromutsu/黒鱫、黒鯥: Black gnomefish
Kuro shitabirame/黒舌平目: Black Sole
Kyuusen/九線・九仙 (also called Bera/ベラ): halichoeres poecilopterus (Temminck and Schlegel) a cheap variety of snapper in Eastern Japan, but an expensive one in Western Japan
Maaji/真鯵: Japanese jack mackerel
Ma anago/真穴子 (also called Maru anago/丸穴子): a cheap variety of Anago/穴子: conger eel, conger myriaster (Brevoort)
Madai/真鯛: Japanese seabream
Madara/真鱈: Pacific cod
Magarei/真鰈: flounder, yellow striped flounder, turbot, halibut
Makajiki/真梶木・真旗魚 (also known as Kajikimaguro/梶木鮪・旗魚鮪): spear fish (blue) marlin
Makubuu/マクブー (also called Shirokurabera/シロクラベラ): Okinawa Blackspot tuskfish, Choerodon shoenleinii (Valenciennes)
Mame aji/豆鯵: very young horse mackerel (also called Ko Aji/子鯵)
Mandai/万鯛 (also called Akamanbou/赤万包): Opah,Moonfish
Maruaji/丸鯵: “round horse mackerel”, decpterus akaadsi Abe
Maru anago/丸穴子 (also called Ma anago/真穴子): a cheap variety of Anago/穴子: conger eel, conger myriaster (Brevoort)
Marusoudagatsuo/丸宗田鰹: auxis, variety of bonito, frigate tuna
Masunosake/鱒の介: king salmon, chinok salmon
Matoudai/的鯛、馬頭鯛: John dory, St Peter’s fish
Matsukawagarei/松川鰈: An expensive variety of Japanese Karei/鰈: righteye flounder, verasper moseri Jordan and Gilbert
Mebachi/目鉢・眼撥 (also known as Mebachimaguro/目鉢鮪・眼撥鮪or as Bachimaguro/鉢鮪・撥鮪): big-eyed tuna
Mebachimaguro/目鉢鮪 ・眼撥鮪(also known as Mebachi/目鉢 。眼撥or as Bachimaguro/鉢鮪・撥鮪): big-eyed tuna
Mebaru/眼張、眼張魚、鮴: Japanese sea perch, Japanese rock fish
Medai/目鯛: an expensive variety of Japanese snapper, hyperoglyphe japonica
Meichidai/目一鯛: an expensive variety of Japanese snapper, Gymnocranius griseus
Meitagarei/目板鰈: Frog-flounder, Finespotted flounder, Seriola quinqueradiata Temminck and Schlegel
Mejina/眼仁奈: largescale blackfish
Mejiro/目白: young Buri/鰤: yellowtail
Mekajiki/眼梶木・眼旗魚: swordfish, broadbill
Menada/目奈陀・目魚 (also called Kuchimidai/口美鯛): haarder, redlip mullet, Liza haematocheila (Temminck and Schlegel)!
Menuke/目抜: a Japanese variety of rock fish/sea perch, “flame fish”, sebastes flammeus (Jordan and Starks)
Minaimaguro/ 南鮪 (also known as Indomaguro印度鮪): Southern Bluefin tuna
Mizukamasu/水魳、水梭魚、水梭子魚: a variety of Japanese barracuda
Namazu/鯰: catfish (fresh water)
Nanyoubudai/: blunt headed parrotfish, parrotfish, Chlorurus microrhinos (Bleeker)
Nodokuro/喉黒 (also called Akamutsu/赤鱫、赤鯥): Rosy seabass
Noresore/のれそれ: conger eel whiting
Oaka Aji/尾赤鯵:Red tail horse mackerel
Okimebara/沖目張 (also called Usumebaru/薄目張): sebastes Thompson (Jordan and Hubbs): a variety of Japanese sea perch, Japanese rock fish
Okoze/虎魚、鰧: velvet fish
Onaga/尾長(also called Hamadai/浜鯛): flame snapper, longtailed red snapper, Onaga
Onigochi/鬼鯒、鬼牛尾魚/a variety of sand borer
Onikasago/鬼笠子、鬼瘡魚: Devil scorpion fish
Renkodai/連子鯛: Yellowback seabream
Saamon torauto/サーモントラウト: salmon trout
Sagoshi/サゴシ/Another name for Sawara/鰆/Japanese Spanish mackerel
Sake, Shake/鮭: salmon
Samegarei/鮫鰈: roughscale sole, clidoderma asperrimum (Temminck and schlegel)
Satsuki masu/皐月鱒: Red spotted masu trout, Satsukimasu salmon
Sakura masu/桜鱒: seema, cherry salmon, masu salmon
Sanma/秋刀魚、青串魚: mackerel pike
Sappa/鯥: Japanese shad
Sawara/鰆: Japanese Spanish mackerel
Sennendai:千年鯛: Emperor red sanpper
Shiira/鱪、鱰: mahi mahi, dolphinfish
Shimaaji/縞鯵・島鯵: striped jack, white trevally
Shimanagatsuo/縞鰹: Striped butter fish (not to be confused with Suma/縞鰹: a variety of bonito found in South Japan/same kanji characters!)
Shinko/シンコ: young Kohada (konoshiro)/小肌（鰶・鮗・鯯・鱅）: dotted gizzard shad
Shirauo/白魚: white bait
Shirasu/白子(Namasirasu/生白子 if raw): sardine whiting
Shirokurabera/シロクラベラ (also called Makubuu/マクブー): Okinawa Blackspot tuskfish, Choerodon shoenleinii (Valenciennes)
Shiro mebaru/白眼張、白眼張魚、白鮴: white Japanese sea perch-rockfish
Shirosaba Fugu/白鯖河豚: a variety of globefish/puffer fish, lagocephalus wheeleri abe, tabeta and kitahama
Shishamo/柳葉魚: Shishamo (meaning willow leaf fish, a kind of Japanese smelt), Spirinchus lanceolatus
Soi or Kurosoi/曽以, 黒曽以: a variety of black rockfish, sebastes schlegeli, 1880
Sujiara/筋𩺊 (also called Aka jinmiidai/赤仁羽鯛): red-spotted rockcod, blue spotted grouper, plectropomus leoparadus(Lacepède,1802)
Suma/縞鰹: a variety of bonito found in South Japan. Not to be confused with Shimanagatsuo/縞鰹(same kanji characters!): striped butter fish
Suzuki/鱸: Japanese seabass, Japanese dace
Tachiuo/太刀魚、魛: scabbard fish, cutlass fish
Tai/鯛: Seabream (in Japan, it means the best variety!), red snapper
Taiseiyoumaguro/大西洋鮪: Atlantic (including Mediterranean) bluefin tuna
Takabe/鰖: Yellowstriped Butterfish
Tobiuo/飛魚: flying fish
Tonbomaguro/蜻蛉鮪(also known as Binchoumaguro/鬢長鮪 and Binnaga/鬢長): Albacore
Tsubodai/つぼ鯛: pentaceros japonicus Doderlein (seabream variety)
Ugui/鯎、石斑魚: a Japanese dace, fresh water minnow
Umazura/馬面 (also called Umazurahagi/馬面剥): black scraper, Filefish, Scraper, a large variety of filefish
Umazurahagi/馬面剥(also called Umazura/馬面): black scraper, Filefish, Scraper, a large variety of filefish
Unagi/鰻: eel (only cooked)
Urumeiwashi/うるめ鰯: round Herring
Usumebaru/薄目張 (also called Okimebara/沖目張): sebastes Thompson (Jordan and Hubbs): a variety of Japanese sea perch, Japanese rock fish
Utsubo/鱓: moray eel
Wakasagi/公魚、鰙、若鷺: pond melt, Japanese melt (fresh water)
Yagara/矢柄: trumpet fish
Mr. Osamu Kurosawa, a very old friend of mine, decided after retirement as an officer at the Shizuoka Municipal Library to buy an old farm house in Ieyama, Shimada City for a meaningful life, now that he has plenty of time not only to really enjoy it but to make other people also share his pleasure.
Osamu is actually the recognized expert on Shizuoka, especially Shizuoka City, history and culture and has already published a number of books and papers on it.
He does not intend whatsoever to rest on his laurels and has embarked on a mission to promote the town he is presently living in.
He has just registered his home a member of Japanese Airbnb under the name, “Shimada Ieyama Shounso”, to provide cheap accommodation with all necessary facilities for people and tourists wishing to experience the real Japanese rural life in the “outback” of Shizuoka Prefecture!
The small farmhouse has been completely refurbished for comfort and everyday life at a walking distance from Ieyama Station along the Oigawa Railway Line extending from Kanaya, Shimada City to Ikawa in the Japanese Southern Alps!
The view from the first floor entrance!
It stands by real tea fields of Kawane, producing top-class green tea in Japan!
The entrance itself gives a good indication of what to expect inside!
Ask Osamu to translate his own life’s philosophy!
I have already described the interior during my first visit and second visit.
The place has been considerably reformed since, especially the kitchen and the tatami room here above!
The guest room on the second floor! Sorry, it was a bit dark when I visited it!
It has its own terrace!
A real Japanese atmosphere!
The place is still full of artifacts and real history and antiques that Osamu will have a pleasure to introduce to all!
But my favorite place is still the Japanese traditional hearth (irori/囲炉裏), whatever the season!
Always ready for a cooking fire!
A landscape pot made with local wild plants!
Osamu went as far as to create his own coasters and under-plates!
For that particular visit I had brought a very unusual sake from Niigata prefecture for Osamu who is a great lover of good food drink!
We shared around a barbecue of enormous chicken wings cooked over charcoal!
Looking forward to the next visit!
Do visit Osamu Kurosawa on his FACEBOOK blog as he is fluent in English and Spanish!
Shimada City, Kawane Cho, Ieyama, 763-2
Service: very friendly, attentive and informative Equipment & Facilities: Spotless clean. Superb washroom. Entirely non-smoking! Prices: Reasonable to slightly expensive Strong points: Ju wari/100% soba/buckwheat noodles. Tempura. sake list!
Kishigami Soba Restaurant is located in a celebrated touristic area of Shizuoka City in Utsunoya famous for its many Edo Period houses and inns along the Old Tokaido Road.
It makes for the perfect stop for refreshments in the middle of nature!
It is not that difficult to reach actually.
Just take the bus to Fujieda City at platform 7 in front of Shizuoka JR Station north exit and get off at Utsunoya just before the Fuijieda Tunnel.
Cross the road and take the paved street on the right side snaking up the mountain and you will discover it in the middle of an Edo Travel Inn Village!
The menu is waiting for you outside!
100% buckwheat noodles!
Have a good look inside before choosing a table!
A traveling artist actually drew this picture of the restaurant during his only visit!
The spotless clean kitchen manned by two generations!
A real wood fire stove!
All warm wood!
Although it is open only at lunch time the menu is really extensive!
The elder daughter, Ms. Kayoko Kishigami/岸上香誉子さん is very knowledgeable with sake and a seasonal brew by Sugii Brewery (Fujieda City) was on offer that day!
The Japanese sake from nearby Fujieda City!
The big bonus is a menu in English in no less than 4 pages!
Elegant earthenware and glassware!
My friend’s order!
Ten Oroshi Soba!
Kamo/Duck Oroshi Soba!
The sobayu/buckwheat noodles boiling water to add to the leftover soup and wash it all down!
A meal is not complete at Kishigami without their superb tempura!
What do we have there?
Soba Dango/Buckwheat balls!
Green leafy vegetable!
Maitake/hen-of-the-woods, ram’s head and sheep’s head mushroom!
Another very special treat is this homemade ham prepared every year by Kayoko’s father!
It is made with whole legs of pigs raised in Mikkabi, Western Shizuoka Prefecture which are salted, cured and smoked for a whole month to obtain a succulent ham which is neither raw or cooked! A discovery!
A very original dessert: buckwheat balls with hot sweetmeat/anko shiru!
SOBADOKORO KSHIGAMI SOBA RESTAURANT
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Utsunoya, 232-2
Opening hours: 11:00~14:00
Closed on Mondays and 3rd Tuesday of the month (next day in case of a national holiday) HOMEPAGE (Japanese) Entirely non-smoking!