Aga's Fascinating Tales and Special Tradition
In the serene Japanese countryside, where quiet towns often have few residents, stories and legends continue to thrive. Among these intriguing narratives lies the charming town of Aga in Niigata, with around 11,000 residents, known for a unique annual tradition.
Over time, villagers have shared captivating stories of witnessing lights resembling flickering lanterns on Mount Kirinzan. The steep terrain, almost like a cliff, appeared impossible for humans to climb, leading these mysterious lights to be attributed to the enigmatic foxes prevalent in Japanese folklore.
Every year, on May 3rd, the town buzzes with the vibrant Kitsune no Yome-iri Gyoretsu, a colorful fox wedding procession that brings the community together. Participants paint whiskers on their faces and wear elaborate makeup, while a fortunate engaged couple takes on the roles of the fox bride and groom. As evening falls, the couple sets sail on a small boat, disappearing into the misty embrace of Kirinzan, a mystical blend of tradition and allure.
每年的5月3日，这个小镇都会举行充满活力的狐婚游行，这是一场整个社区都参与的 “狐狸娶妻” 祭典。参与者在脸上画胡须，化上精致的妆容，而一对幸运的订婚夫妇则扮演狐狸新娘和新郎的角色。夜幕降临，这对夫妇乘着小船扬帆起航，消失在雾气缭绕的传统与魅力的神秘交融麒麟山中。
Kaetsu Shuzo's Legacy and Exciting Flavors in Niigata
Aga's appeal extends beyond its captivating legends; it's also home to two acclaimed nihonshu breweries, with Kaetsu Shuzo standing out. Established in 1880 by Eitaro Sato, the brewery was initially named Kanbaraya, reflecting the county's origin. Today, under Shunichi Sato's leadership, Eitaro's great-grandson and the current president, Kaetsu Shuzo's legacy lives on. Shunichi's family has a rich sake heritage, as his mother played a significant role in Aizu-Wakamatsu, a neighboring town in Fukushima. Yoshiko Sato, Shunichi's wife and Director of International Business, also has a sakagura lineage, strengthening the brewery's deep ties to this time-honored tradition.
阿贺的吸引力不仅源于其神秘传说，这里还有两家备受赞誉的日本清酒酒造，其中下越酒造尤为突出。1880年由佐藤栄太郎创立，最初以地名命名为蒲原屋。如今，在荣太郎的曾孙、现任社长佐藤俊一(Shunichi Sato)的带领下延续着着下越酒造的传承。俊一家族有着丰富的清酒传承，他的母亲在福岛邻近的会津若松町有着重要影响。俊一的妻子、国际业务总监佐藤芳子(Yoshiko Sato)也有酒蔵背景，这也体现了该酒造有着历史悠久的传统。
At Kaetsu, a devoted team of brewers crafts a range of unique sake varieties that honor tradition while embracing innovation. Fresh mountain snowmelt flows through lush Niigata forests, providing the prefecture's famed gentle water. Local breweries use this pristine water to carefully craft the distinctive tanreikarakuchi sake style, known for its crisp, light, and dry qualities that capture the essence of the region's sake-making tradition.
Introduced in 2005, the Kanbara brand (derived from the original company name) deviates from the usual Niigata flavor. Kanbara Bride of the Fox, a junmai ginjo sake made from Gohyakumangoku rice, defies tradition. With its rich, full-bodied character and an alcohol content of 16.5%, this exquisite sake offers streamlined cleanliness, complemented by hints of nuts and a gentle fruitiness that evokes the Japanese landscape. Notably, this unique brew has gained international recognition, particularly resonating with enthusiasts in the United States.
2005年推出的蒲原牌(源自最初的公司名称)偏离了通常的新泻口味。蒲原Bride of the Fox是一种用五百万石大米酿造的纯金酒，它违背了传统。这款精致的清酒酒体醇厚，酒精度为16.5%，具有流体型的洁净度，辅以少许坚果和柔和的水果味，令人联想起日本的风景。值得注意的是，这种独特的清酒已经获得了国际认可，尤其是在美国的爱好者中引起了很大共鸣。