Can you tell what this eye-catching white bottle decorated with bright red patterns is supped to be? While the look isn’t exactly conventional, this is actually a sake product called NISHIKIGOI, and the bottle is artfully designed to look like a beautiful colored carp.
If you’re someone who loves the sunshine and hates the cold, you’re probably feeling a little down that we’ve now undeniably entered autumn. Maybe you’re doing your best to look on the bright side by enjoying some tasty seasonal produce, like delicious Asian pears, or maybe you’re just trying to brace yourself against the advancing chill in the air with a stiff drink.
But why rely on just one of those coping strategies when you can employ both by whipping up an easy and delicious batch of Japanese-style sangria with fruit and sake?
Nails, nails, nails. Some people flip out when they chip a nail, while others could care less about the state of their fingertips. Whether you’re a salon regular or a chronic nail biter, the Japanese internet has a few tricks to share about how to achieve healthy and beautiful nails. The absolute best part is that you don’t need to go out and buy anything fancy–in fact, you can probably just waltz into your kitchen and find everything you need!
Moon watching parties and festivals abound the world over—and with good reason! There’s nothing quite like drinking in the light of a full moon, is there? It’s magical and fun in just the right proportions. And now, thanks to the Korean design company Tale, you can buy the perfect glasses for your next moon viewing party!
These beautiful Moon Glasses mimic the phases of the moon as they’re filled, going from a new moon to a full moon as your pour in your liquid of choice.
On September 2, Kurand Sake Market opened a new shop in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. This location is a sister branch to the original Kurand Sake Market which opened earlier this year in Ikebukuro, where sake lovers can sample 100 varieties of sake for 3,000 yen (US$24.64) per person with no time limit.
The Asakusa branch invited curious members of the media in for a sneak peek before its grand opening to the public, so we promptly sent our sake-loving reporters Mr. Sato, a veteran of the Ikebukuro shop, and Sailor Venus-cosplaying reporter extraordinaire Yoshio to check things out. But rather than write their opinions for each of the 30 individual brands they sampled, which would undoubtedly become tedious after a while, they decided to create a handy visual guide so that you can gauge their reactions to each cup with a picture, thus eliminating any language barriers in the process. Let the sake festivities begin!
One of the things you may notice when you come to Japan is how much drinking seems to be going on. Certain Japanese societal circles (the workplace, university clubs, etc) run more smoothly with the help of alcoholic lubrication in the form of after-hours “drinking parties” to facilitate team-building and bonding—it’s called nomication (or nominication), a portmanteau of “nomu” (to drink) and “communication”.
So we were quite surprised to discover recently that Japan’s level of alcoholic beverage consumption is actually way, way down. But why?
If you’ve ever wanted to wander the streets getting drunk in broad daylight without arousing suspicion, Japan has a solution for you – pouch alcohol. Instead of carrying around an obvious bottle or can, you can now get your alcohol in a little pouch like the kind you get vitamin jelly or kids juices in. You can slip it into your bag and discreetly sip on it like you’re just enjoying a low-calorie snack. You can do it on the train, in the park, or even at work! No one will ever know! Of course, these are just examples, and we don’t recommend you actually do them. The RocketNews24 staff would certainly never endorse drinking on the job.
There are many lovers of nihonshu (often called sake in English) in Japan, but a challenge of a true nihonshu fan is finding that perfect brand to suit their tastes. With the hundreds of different kinds each with their own flavors and ways to serve, you might drink for years without being able to settle on a type to call your favorite.
In addition to time, it can also be a burden on the wallet to go through bottle after bottle searching for that right one. Luckily, Mr. Sato stumbled upon something that might help speed up and cheapen the sake selecting process.
It’s a sake taste testing machine in Osaka International Airport that sells cups from nearly 30 different brands for only 100 yen (US$0.81) each.
We’ve written a lot about nihonshu, also known as sake, here at RocketNews24, but it’s not (just) because we love all things alcoholic. Nihonshu is an integral facet of traditional Japanese culture and, although it may be going through a bit of a rough patch right now, it’s still very much a part of Japanese society today.
Nowhere blends the old and the new better than Japan and, while of course technological advances have made production safer and easier, many breweries still mainly use traditional techniques to preserve the special flavour of their beverages. This video gives a glimpse into the production process today at Matsumoto Sake Brewing Co. in Kyoto, which has been making sake since 1791.
Okay, Rocketeers, time for a pop quiz: what is Japanese sake? Turns out the question is actually a little more complicated than it looks on the surface.
As the weather starts to get warmer in Japan, many people will cope by cranking up the air conditioner. But there’re also traditional options for beating the summer heat, such as whipping out a folding fan, and also psychological cooling tricks such as listening to the soothing sounds of a wind chime or taking a few moments to gaze at a tank of water filled with gracefully swimming goldfish.
If that last idea sounds like your kind of thing, you’re in luck, as the Art Aquarium exhibit is returning to Tokyo this July with its unique combination of artistic displays, DJ performances, fine sake to sip, and late-night viewings of aquatic life.
It seems like every time you look, there’s some sort of new fad diet or superfood, all purported to be the best thing you can do for your health or to improve your natural beauty. But the good news is, this one’s actually fun to partake in.
Researchers at a university in Japan have now put sweet Japanese sake to the test, and have found it to have a number of positive beauty benefits, including improvement to under-eye health!
Late spring is one of the few universally pleasant times to spend outdoors in Japan. The cold of winter and the heavy pollen counts of early spring are gone, and the heat and humidity of summer are yet to make their appearance.
Of course, some would say that no matter how nice the weather is outdoors, it’s even more comfortable to have a drink in hand. Next month, you’ll be able to scratch both those itches at once with the Shibuya Sake Festival in Tokyo’s Miyashita Park, where you can spend a day drinking as much as you’d like of more than 100 different kinds of sake.
As imports of Western drinks increase, interest in Japan’s native alcoholic beverages has been declining. There have been efforts to bring drinkers back to traditional drinks such as sake and shochu, but they face tough competition from the likes of wine and champagne, which evoke fashionable, sophisticated images in the minds of Japanese drinkers.
One way to revive interest could be to apply Western fermentation techniques to Eastern beverages such as sake, Japan’s “rice wine”, to create unique twists on traditional drinks. “Champagne sake” is an example of this done deliciously right.
A lot of bars and restaurants in Japan offer special deals where you can drink as much as you like for a certain amount of time, usually about two hours. The downside is these packages often don’t give you access to the full beverage menu. While beer and basic cocktails are generally included, if you’re in the mood for sake, you’re generally restricted to whatever the house brand is.
So we were excited when we heard about a new watering hole opening up in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood that lets you pick from 100 different types of sake for its all-you-can-drink plan, and even better, there’s no time limit.
There’s a widespread belief in Japan that if you want to achieve educational or economic success, you come to Tokyo. As a matter of fact, it’s such a common move that Japanese even has a verb for it, joukyou, or to “move on up to the capital.”
But for some people, always-lively Tokyo is just too bustling. It’s not just the elderly who feel the appeal of a rustic lifestyle, either. Even some residents in their 20s find themselves wanting to move away from the constant hum of the big city, and a recent survey reveals the top 10 rural regions of Japan that Tokyoites would like to move to.
MOVIE LIFE KYOTO is a video series which aims to introduce Japanese culture to foreigners in a light-hearted and humorous fashion. With English narration and Japanese subtitles, they’re filled with little factoids and hilariously on-point observations that will be of interest to foreign visitors and a source of much ‘that’s so true!’ amusement for Japanese people, too!
No matter how scholastically talented you are, it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach. Even the bright minds at Tokyo University, Japan’s most prestigious institute of higher learning, need to take a break from studying and grab some chow now and again.
Of course, it’s hard to give yourself a mental recharge eating bland cafeteria food. Thankfully, that’s not a concern for the students of Tokyo University’s Kashiwa Campus, who’re lucky enough to have an amazing sushi restaurant right on the school grounds.
Like with wine, there are variations in flavor between different types of Japanese sake. However, it can be kind of tough to pick up on the subtle differences unless you’re drinking them back to back. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for prices for anything other than the house sake at restaurants to start at about 800 yen (US $6.75), so putting together your own sampling set can get pricey.
But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to dip you toes in the wide, wonderful world of sake, convenience store Family Mart is here to help, with its new lineup of affordably priced canned sake.