月別アーカイブ: 2021年8月


Have You Ever Been to Kochi Prefecture and Tried Sake from the Oldest Brewery in Kochi?

Have You Ever Been to Kochi Prefecture?

Kochi Prefecture is located on the island of Shikoku. The prefectural capital is Kochi City. The prefecture’s former name is Tosa. Tosa and its local hero Ryoma Sakamoto played an important historical role towards the end of the Edo period, and is considered to be one of Japan’s national heroes, remaining in the people’s memory for bringing peace to the land.


Kochi is a natural paradise, with plenty of sunshine days and calming waters in the shape of clear rivers and lengthy coastlines. In addition to top sightseeing destinations and historic sights, it is also famous for its informal and folksy local markets and rustic food halls.

If you’ve ever had a chance to visit Kochi Prefecture, there’s a chance you might have visited the historic monuments such as Kochi Castle and Ryoma Sakamoto Museums, and the scenic nature places such as Katsurahama Beach and the gorgeous turquoise-colored Niyodo River. After enjoying these activities,  you might have tried delicious seared bonito or yuzu flavoured foods washed down with some local sake, which might have been from Tosatsuru, the biggest brewery in Shikoku. Excellent water, carefully selected rice, home-grown yeasts,  and traditional techniques to make dry sake -  that is what “Tosatsuru” is well known for.

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Tosatsuru Tokubetsu Junmaishu

Tosatsuru Brewery is located in Yasuda-cho, Aki-gun in the eastern part of Kochi Prefecture, with a distant view of Cape Muroto, and the Yasuda River, a clear stream flowing with sweetfish, runs right beside the brewery. Upstream of the Yasuda River is one of Japan’s three most beautiful cedar forests, the Yanase, and the rich forests and abundant summer rainfall provide the high-quality water, which can be called the “life of sake brewing”. The brewing water drawn from the brewery well is soft, and the well-balanced minerals in the water help the yeast to ferment healthy and strong.

We recommend Tosatsuru’s Special Junmai sake, which is a bit luxurious with a silky mouthfeel that is easy to drink. Enjoy it slightly chilled in a glass with your favorite dish. It goes well with dishes with creamy and robust flavors, such as avocado salad, pizza margherita, and shrimp fritters. The mellow fullness of this special junmai sake will make your precious moments a little richer than usual!



Nakano Sake Brewery: Cutting-edge Technology and Traditional Craftmanship

Sake Making That Combines Cutting-edge Technology with Traditional Craftmanship

Nakano Sake Brewery is located in Handa City in Aichi prefecture on Chita peninsula of Central Japan. Their brand Kunizakari was founded in 1844, with a blessed natural environment, a precious history and tradition essential for local sake, and the momentum of thriving sake brewing. Kunizakari translates to “flourishing along with the growth of Japan”.

Nakano Sake Brewery consistently follows the idea of “creating a rich food culture through Japanese sake”. The brewmasters strive to create high-quality Japanese sake that not only adhere to tradition but introducing new methods to create a new distinct type of sake.

Nakano Sake Brewery aims to improve quality by using cutting edge technology in brewing sake. In the past, where human intuition and experience were heavily relied on for determining temperature and moisture for adjusting and controlling. Nakano Sake Brewery has developed technology to help facilitate and substitute for some of these processes. This allows brewing masters to focus on processes that require traditional craftmanship and their use of five senses to create the finest products.
By using technology and cutting-edge machinery as tools to help create databases for analyzing data and case-studies, along with the combination of traditional craftmanship, the brewery  are able to create consistently high-quality products.
Recommended Sake
Toraji no Uta Happou Nigori is a naturally carbonated unfiltered sake.  What impresses us the most about “Toraji no Uta” is it’s plesant fizziness. When you take sip, you feel a swoosh and sourness in the mouth, which is a world apart from regular old sake. To put it simply, it’s like carbonated beverage, but with the faint aroma is that of sake. The carbonation makes it very light and refreshing to drink. The alcohol content is low, but you can still enjoy the aroma of sake.
It is certainly a good sake to pair with fatty meals such as yakiniku (“grilled meat”). Nakano Shuzo actually wanted to create a product that could compete with sake in order to break the common sense of “beer with yakiniku”.

August 25th Is Instant Ramen Launch Anniversary! Celebrate with Echigo Rice Lager!

August 25th Is Instant Ramen Release Anniversary!

August 25th marks the 63rd anniversary of the market debut of instant ramen. The noodles were first marketed on 25 August 1958 by Ando’s company, Nissin, under the brand name Chikin Ramen.

The company’s founder, Momofuku Ando (1910-2007), came up with the idea of frying the noodles in oil using the instantaneous oil-heat drying method, and succeeded in commercializing the product after meeting five requirements: it had to be delicious, easy to store, inexpensive, and safe to eat. Initially, due to its price and novelty, Chikin Ramen was considered a luxury item, as Japanese grocery stores typically sold fresh noodles for one-sixth their price. At the time when a bowl of udon cost 6 yen, a bag of Chikin Ramen (85g) was 35 yen, but it soon became an explosive hit because it was so easy to prepare: just pour boiling water over it and eat it in three minutes.


In Ikeda City, Osaka Prefecture, where Ando was born, there is the CupNoodles Museum Osaka Ikeda (formerly known as the Instant Ramen Invention Museum). The museum has an instant ramen workshop allowing visitors to make their own “fresh” instant noodles (fresh as in just made). Worth a visit if you’re in Japan!

Celebrate with Japanese Rice Lager

Speaking of instant ramen, it is hard to avoid mentioning beer. In Japan, the bond between ramen and craft beer is unbreakable. People enjoy a beer with a bowl of ramen for lunch, or drink beer at an izakaya followed up with some ramen to finish off. And what could be better than a bowl of instant ramen with the beer from the very pioneers of Japanese craft beer scene?

Echigo Beer was the first to open a brewpub and brew the first domestic craft beer in Japan after the laws were amended to significantly lower the minimum production volume required to obtain a beer manufacturing license. Their flagship rice lager is made with Koshihikari rice, a short grain rice regarded as the best quality and flavor in all of Japan. Echigo Koshihikari Beer is a rice style lager with a pale golden color that comes out of the bottle, and a strong head that quickly fades. It has a slightly acidic tang to the regular lager flavour, but it is not too overpowering.  Perfect balance with instant ramen!

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August 24th Is Love of Sake Day! Celebrate with Premium Junmai Daiginjo Sake!

The Great Tanka Poet Bokusui Wakayama

Bokusui Wakayama was the pen-name for a Japanese author noted for his poetry in pre-World War II Japan. Wakayama was born in Togo, Miyazaki, (now part of the city of Hyuga as the eldest son of a doctor. He became interested in poetry from middle school, taking the name of “Bokusui” from the age of 18.

Bokusui’s poems, according to the Japanese translator and literary scholar Donald Keene, were “filled with romantic expressions of grief and longing” but they also possessed something quite distinctive: “a vitality and a feeling for nature that set his work apart.” Bokusi traveled widely throughout Japan and Korea during his lifetime, composing a great many tanka along the way.

The famous poet Wakayama Bokusui was also a great lover of alcohol. He wrote many poems related to sake, such as the one saying that “There are many pleasures in this world, but without sake, what is the point?” In honor of this great lover of sake, August 24, his birthday, has come to be known as Love of Sake Day.



Celebrate With the Finest Sake!

This is a great occasion to enjoy some premium Junmai Daiginjo! Junmai Daiginjo is a very special brew sake made only from highly-polished (polished to 50% or less) rice, water and koji, without any additives. This is a sake that is made to enjoy slowly – junmai daiginjos have complex flavors and aromas, and are usually served chilled to bring out the best of them.

You can choose from a variety of junmai daiginjo from our shop, including famous brands such as Dassai, Ichigin, etc. So how about having a evening with some Japanese tanka and the finest sake?  Here’s some of of Bokusui’s Wakayama’s poetry to enjoy while slowly sipping on junmai daingijo of your choice!

Wondering how many
mountains and rivers I should
cross to reach the place
where solitude finally ends –
I start traveling again today

How should I
answer if someone asks
why I am so
out of my mind with it –
this sake’s exquisite flavor

Some distance away
thunder roars divinely
yet here rainless –
under crimson sunset clouds
I keep heating sake alone

––––Translations by Gregory Dunne and Goro Takano




Quick and Easy Order Pick Up at Our Gold Coast Shop

Our Gold Coast shop is located in a very convenient place, right next to the motor way so there is no chance of getting stuck in the traffic jam!

Order pick up is easy and convenient! With pick up, you can take the product home right away, and there are no shipping fees.

Location of Ichiba Retail Shop (Gold Coast)

24 Activity Crescent
Molendinar QLD 4214
07 5574 4200
Pick Up Day and Time (EST)
[Mon – Fri 9am – 4pm]
[Sat 10am – 3pm]
Except Public Holidays

There is a spacious parking area in front of the entrance of the shop and trolleys are available to use if you are planning to grab something else from the shop. Please feel free to ask our friendly staff if you need any assistance, they are happy to help you with anything!

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We look forward to seeing you at our Gold Coast shop!

Sakeonline Gold Coast Team



Ki Bai Chu: A New Type of Shochu Distilled from Umeshu

Nakano BC Was the First to Distill Umeshu

Nakano BC is best known for their premium umeshu and their high quality sake brand “Chokyu”. The company also produces supplements using extracts of plums, made using the same process as alcoholic beverages, and they are constantly working on the development of various other products.

In search of new product ideas, the brewery decided to try distilling umeshu, using their knowledge and years of experience in making ume products and utilizing their research department for distillation. Nakano BC was actually the first in the industry to distill umeshu.


Umeshu is a rather sweet drink that is easy to drink, but it has a characteristic that makes it difficult to take root.  They idea to distill umeshu was born when the brewery wanted to make umeshu more enjoyable for people who don’t like sweet liquors. After much research on the distillation method, they succeeded in removing the sweetness while retaining the aroma. The result is umeshu that retains its gorgeous aroma but has a refreshing taste that can be enjoyed by all. As usual for all Nakano BC products,  distilled umeshu is made from 100% highest quality Nanko ume plums. Using a method of distilling under reduced pressure removes unfavorable taste and gives Ki Bai Chu a mild flavor of ume and the clear, uncluttered taste of distilled shochu.

Ki Bai Chu has already gained popularity among the Japanese drinkers for its unique taste. At first glance, people tend to think it is a sweet shochu liqueur judging by the aroma, but it is actually very refreshing and, and the gap between the two is really enjoyable. The lingering taste of umeshu is a bonus point!

This novel shochu-type spirit is definitely a must-dry for both shochu and umeshu drinkers, as well as those who are looking for something unique to try!






August 10th Is Highball Day! Celebrate with Kizakura Yuzu Highball

Origin of Highball

A highball is a mixed alcoholic drink composed of an alcoholic base spirit and a larger proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer, often a carbonated beverage. Highballs are popular in Japan, often made with Japanese whisky as a haiboru (ハイボール), or mixed with shochu as a chuhai (チューハイ).

Highball is especially popular with the Japanese as an alcoholic beverage to enjoy while eating, since it’s hard to drink straight whiskey during a meal. Adding soda water and ice dilutes it enough to eat without food without killing the liquor’s flavor.

The origins of the term “highball” are disputed, but there are several plausible theories. One theory is that it comes from railroads of the past that used to display the train order signal at an open station in the form of a ball mounted on a stanchion. It the ball was at the top, that meant “Highball” and there were no train orders to be picked up or the track ahead was clear.  Alternatively, the name may have come from bartenders who used to call whiskey drinks “balls”, and tall or “high” glasses were used for the drink.


Kizakura Yuzu Highball

Highball, the soul drink of Japan, is a fusion of alcoholic base spirit and soda, while highballs are often made with Japanese whisky, shochu and sake also make great highballs. On this Highball Day, we recommend trying sake-style highball!

Kizakura Yuzu Highball is one of new series of Japanese RTD (ready to drink) sake cocktails. This highball is made from Yuzu infused in Kizakura semi dry sake and carbonated to give extra refreshment. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit which is tart and sour flavor, with a bit of bitterness and highly aromatic rind.



The Best Selling Sake in July Was Choya Green Tea Umeshu 720ml!

The Best Selling Sake in July Was Choya Green Tea Umeshu 720ml!

The Choya Ujicha Umeshu is umeshu that that combines the traditional Japanese beverage “tea” and the traditional liqueur “umeshu”. The ingredients are carefully selected Uji tea leaves from Kyoto with a fresh aroma and umeshu with an elegant flavor.

The city of Uji, located between the two ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara, is blessed with the quality of soil and surroundings needed for growing green tea plant. Tea cultivation in Uji can be traced back to the early 11th century, and this tradition has been kept in the utmost standing until today.


The packaging is a cylindrical bottle that resembles a bamboo tube, with a delicate gradation of green, the color of tea, to express the luxurious and calm impression of this Green Tea Umeshu. The refreshing aroma of Uji green tea, elegant sweetness, and crisp aftertaste will appeal to a wide range of people, regardless of gender, as an alcoholic beverage.

Choya uses their original manufacturing method called Komireisen that brings out the original sweet and refreshing scent of Uji tea. When Uji tea is brewed in umeshu, it is slowly extracted at a low temperature to suppress the astringency that comes out when tea is brewed at high temperatures.

Drink it chilled straight or on the rocks!



Have You Ever Been to Niigata Prefecture?

Have You Ever Been to Niigata Prefecture?

Niigata Prefecture is located along the coast of the Sea of Japan in the Chubu Region. It is famous for its high quality rice, beautiful coastal and mountainous sceneries, skiing in winter and hot spring bathing around the year.

Amongst the Japanese, Niigata is regarded as one of the country’s best culinary hotspots because of its quality rice and sake. Niigata Prefecture boasts the largest number of sake breweries in Japan, with 89 breweries and one of the highest production volumes in the country. Niigata has been long recognized for having the some of the most refined rice cultivation techniques in all of Japan.

If you have ever visited Niigata Prefecture, after enjoying ski resorts and many breathtaking views, and trying local delicacies, such as hegi soba (soba noodles with smooth texture made with funori seaweed), noppe (traditional stew filled with bountiful ingredients), sasadango (mugwort flavored dumplings) you might have had a cup of Niigata produced sake. For those who would like to try Niigata sake, we have the perfect recommendation!


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Shirataki Sake Brewery

Shirataki Sake Brewery is nestled in the gorgeous mountains of Echigo Yuzawa area in Niigata Prefecture, where the moderate humidity and cold of winter are ideal for controlling bacteria growth and slowing fermentation to brew the finest premium sake.

Yearly, up to 15m of snow melts slowly into the earth and becomes minerally charged, impurity free groundwater 40-50 years later. This water not only tastes amazing, but when thoughtfully brewed with local rice, their sake delightfully embodies the natural notes of Echigo Yuzawa.

Our recommendation is Tanrei Uonuma Junmai, named after Uonuma area of Niigata Prefecture which is famed for its natural beauty. The kura-bito (brewery workers) have a long history of affection for the Uonuma area due to its production of excellent rice crops, and this is shown in Uonuma sake. It has a smooth, mellow mouth-feel with a delightfully savory-acidic balance that more than pops. Crisp, dry, and chuggable on the hottest of days.