This winter season, enjoy some fine Japanese art along with your beer!
In Japan, we have a custom of gift-giving in the summer and winter seasons, and stores across Japan are now beginning to promote their winter gift (oseibo) packages for this year. When it comes to these seasonal gifts, beer has always been a popular choice, and Mitsukoshi Department Store’s winter gift line-up includes some delightful beer selections that not only quench your thirst but entertain your eyes!
That’s right, two of the beer items they’re offering this year come in cans decorated with artwork by ukiyo-e master Utagawa Hiroshige from his famous series of woodblock prints, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.
The first item is the Asahi Beer Dry Premium Hojo that comes in a can illustrated with Hiroshige’s Nihonbashi, Clearing After Snow. It depicts the bridge of Nihonbashi in Tokyo during the winter season, a fitting choice for a gift offering from Mitsukoshi, as the department store was first founded in the Nihonbashi area.
▼ A gift package of 12 cans is available for 3,240 yen (US$31).
The second item is the Suntory The Premium Malt’s which they’re offering in a can featuring Hiroshige’s Plum Park in Kameido. The print is among the most popular of the Views of Edo series and is also famous for being one of the ukiyo-e works copied by Vincent Van Gogh. Since the Japanese plum flower is a symbol of spring, the can makes the beer appropriate for gatherings and special occasions in early spring.
▼ Suntory’s The Premium Malt’s is also priced at 3,240 yen for a set of 12 cans.
Both items are available through Mitsukoshi’s online store and are also available in 20-can packages for 5,400 yen.
So, what do you say to a gift that lets you enjoy a beautiful picture of winter or early spring while having some tasty beer? And in case any of you beer lovers out there are wondering, no, there’s no rule against buying some for yourself. Cheers!