月別アーカイブ: 2019年8月

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Celebrate Awa Odori with Echigo Koshihikari Beer!

The History of Awa Odori

Tokushima City’s Awa Odori is the most famous of many dance festivals held across Japan during the Obon season between the 12-15 August. Groups of choreographed dancers and musicians known as ren dance through the streets, typically accompanied by the shamisen lute, taiko drums, shinobue flute and the kane bell. Performers wear traditional obon dance costumes, and chant and sing as they parade through the streets.

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The earliest origins for Awa Odori is the dances that Buddhist priests performed during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). However, the modern dance grew out of the traditional dance of Obon, the Buddhistic festival of the dead where it is believed that the spirits of deceased ancestors come to visit.

It is said that Tokushima is the place where the biggest Obon party was thrown a few centuries later. Awa Odori’s independent existence as a huge, citywide dance party is popularly believed to have begun in 1586 when Lord Hachisuka Iemasa, the daimyo of Awa Province hosted a drunken celebration of the opening of Tokushima Castle. The locals, having consumed a great amount of sake, began to drunkenly weave and stumble back and forth. Others picked up commonly available musical instruments and began to play a simple, rhythmic song, to which the revelers invented lyrics.

Over time, Awa Odori has spread across the country and now it is the largest dance festival in Japan, attracting over 1.3 million tourists every year.

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Have a Party with Echigo Koshihikari Beer!

Beer is the most popular drink during Obon festivities. It is refreshing and easy to drink so it great for parties!

The beer we recommend is Echigo Koshihikari Rice Lager. Lagers are  clean, crisp, smooth and bubbly and are inherently drinkable – the perfect drink for festivities.

Echigo Koshihikari is a rice style lager with 5% alcohol. It’s a pale golden color that comes out of the bottle, with a strong head that quickly fades. It has a slightly acidic tang to the regular lager flavor, but it is not too overpowering. The beer has a crisp and refreshing flavor, and exceptionally soothing and smooth quality.

Have a Party with Echigo Koshihikari Beer!

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August 4th is Beer Hall Day in Japan!

Japan’s First Beer Hall

Beer was first introduced in Japan during the 17th century in the Edo period. It all started when Dutch traders that were stationed in Nagasaki opened a beer bar for sailors. And to this date, beer remains to be the most popular alcoholic drink in Japan. It is commonly consumed at homes and drinking establishments.

Japan’s first beer hall, Ebisu Beer Hall was opened in 1899 on the Shinbashi Bridge in Ginza, Tokyo. The area was 35 tsubo (around 116 square meters), with a counter on the left side from the entrance, the floor was linoleum, the chairs and tables were made of beer barrels, and the beer was served in glass mugs, which made it a very modern store for that time. The design had been entrusted to the architect Tsumaki Yorinaka, who is credited with the design of many significant Meiji era structures in Japan.

Despite the fact that it was opened on the second floor of a rental two-story brick building,  Ebisu Beer Hall had a very extravagant interior, decorated with mural paintings of Kobayashi Shuko, which was a famous lithograph artist at that time. It became popular quickly, and the number of visitors per day reached 800 on average. Some people even came from distant areas by a carriage.

500 ml of beer was sold at 10 sen at that time (the yen was divided into 100 sen and into 1,000 rin until 1954, when these tiny denominations were removed from circulation). In those times, it was about 1 to 2 sen for a cup of coffee, and 5 to 6 sen for a loaf of bread.

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August 4th is Beer Hall Day in Japan!

Now, Ebisu Beer Hall has grown into a large company called Sapporo Lion with beer halls all over Japan. On the 100th anniversary of Sapporo Lion in 1999, August 4th was established as the Beer Hall Day. August 4 is also the founding day of Sapporo Lion.

The beer we recommend is Echigo Koshihikari Rice Lager. Lagers go well with any food because they’re clean, crisp, smooth and bubbly and are inherently drinkable – not too hoppy, malty or bitter.

Echigo Koshihikari is a rice style lager with 5% alcohol. It’s a pale golden color that comes out of the bottle, with a strong head that quickly fades. It has a slightly acidic tang to the regular lager flavor, but it is not too overpowering. The beer has a crisp and refreshing flavor, and exceptionally soothing and smooth quality.

Celebrate Beer Hall Day with Echigo Koshihikari Beer!

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