If you are in Tokyo for the cherry blossoms in early April, I highly suggest checking out Craft Sake Week. For a week and a half, they highlight 10 different breweries each day. I really wanted to attend the day celebrating Female Sake Brewers but I ended up attending the day where they hosted the ten best Sake breweries according to a sake rating app called Sakenomy. The drinks did not dissapoint.
To start, 3,500 Yen gets you six chips that you exchange for food and drink at any of the vendors. The sake prices ranges from 1-3 chips depending on how much the sake rice was polished before brewing. The bottles with only one chip were Junmaishu which means that 30% of the rice used for milling was polished away. Two chip sake was Ginjoshu meaning 40% of the rice was polished away and sake worth 3 chips was Daiginjoshu meaning 50% was polished away. You must have the same question I did: what does milling away the rice do for the sake? The alcohol in sake comes from fermenting the sugar. Whereas in wine made from grapes the sugar naturally occurs in the fruit, the sugar in sake comes from the starch from the inner kernel of the rice. Therefore polishing the rice is seen as removing the "impurities" or the outer shell that would take away from the pure flavor of the rice.
I started off trying all the Junmaishu sake's from the different breweries. The flavors ranged from tart to sweet. I slowly moved my up the chip later. I have to say I prefer the taste the Ginjoshu sakes' the best. They had the perfect balance with a light delicate flavor.
Craft Sake Week also had little games one could play in between their sake tastings.
Craft Sake Week is a great way to get a taste of the different varieties and types of Sake that Japan has to offer. I was excited to broaden my knowledge of sake to something outside of sake bombs.