Niigata Prefecture Unveils Rurouni Kenshin Collaboration Sake

16.November.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

Rurouni Kenshin is one of the most popular anime and manga series around the world, hitting the scene in Japan back in 1994. Original manga author Nobuhiro Watsuki spent most of his childhood in Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture, an area known throughout the country for its delicious rice. Harasho, a liquor store in Nagaoka, has announced a new collection of Rurouni Kenshin-themed sake to celebrate the series. 

 

The Rurouni Kenshin manga series was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1994 until 1999. The sequel, Rurouni Kenshin: The Hokkaido Arc, is currently ongoing in Jump Square. The series has been a smash hit, selling over 72 million copies and inspiring both animated and live-action film adaptations and an anime series. 

 

The sake will be produced at three distilleries in Nagaoka city, and each of the three will feature unique characteristics. Each label features imagery from the manga series and would make the perfect gift for fans (as long as they are of age!) 

 

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    The company’s interest in creating a new sake culture led them to develop &Soda, a delicious sake made to be mixed with soda. This may be helpful for those who don’t know much about sake, or who may feel intimidated by the many different types. Being able to mix it with soda will make sake drinking feel more casual. 

     

    Sake Made Exclusively for Mixing with Soda Water, ‘&Soda’

    “Many people may like to mix sake with soda water or drink it on the rocks. By doing this, however, a nice sake may lose its flavor, and the drinker might be wasting a nice sake for the sake of a more easy-drinking beverage. &Soda was made exclusively to be mixed. Using Asahi Rice, a specialty in Okayama Prefecture, and water from the brewery, we’ve created a sake that has the proper aroma and sweetness. These characteristics will come through even after being mixed! The alcohol content has been increased to 18 percent, and the package will make the product easy to find and understand,” a statement from the brewery reads.

     

    For more information on how to enjoy &Soda, please see the special website below!

  • Japan’s Largest Sake Event TOKYO SAKE FESTIVAL to be Held in Shinjuku in October

    22.September.2022 | FOOD / SPOT

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    Tokyo Sake Festival 2022 is bringing together forty carefully selected sake breweries from around Japan, including Inoue Seikichi, winner of the Champion Sake award at IWC 2022. Tonoike Sake Brewery, winner of Kura Master 2022’s President’s Award, will also be in attendance. The full lineup can be found on the official website.

     

    Popular influencers and artists from Raphael to BOYS AND MEN and Ukon Takafuji will take the stage during the event, so be sure to swing by if you’re a fan of Japanese spirits!

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    Luxurious Wagyu and Sea Urchin Sushi

    Early Summer Plate to Enjoy with Seasonal Flowers

    Selected Extra-thick Beef Tongue Steak Made with Refined Attention to Detail

    Grilled Spiny Lobster Made on a Charcoal Grill

    The Playful Yamashina Wagyu Slider

    Melt-in-your-mouth Sweet Amala Tomato (Vegetable of the Day)

    Hand-selected Omi Beef Steak

    Truffle Omurice

     

     

    Japanese-style Teppanyaki

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    The wide variety of meat can be enjoyed in a number of different ways, whether it be raw, grilled, stewed, or properly cooked. From tongue and rump to filet and sirloin, you won’t leave hungry. Visitors can also enjoy seafood and seasonal Japanese vegetables along with their meat, and the flowers and leaves that adorn each plate will change depending on the time of year.

     

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    Japanese-style Yakiniku

    For those looking for a more private experience, guests can enjoy yakiniku in a completely separate room. Each private room has a grill that will cook meat to the perfect temperature, and only at Honten Yamashina can you enjoy fully-matured Omi beef. The signature cutlet sandwich is made with chateaubriand cooked at a low temperature and deep-fried in a thin batter, then served on crispy bread with a soft, fluffy interior.

     

    Teppanyaki and yakiniku are typically thought of as meat-based dishes, but the restaurant can accommodate vegetarian guests if contacted in advance. 

     

    When Japan opens up to tourism, will you be visiting this incredible restaurant in the heart of Tokyo?

  • Long-Established Sake Brewery in Yamagata Prefecture Helps Create SAKE COLA

    13.July.2022 | FOOD

    Aiming to create a new kind of drinking culture, Aika in Gunma Prefecture has started preorders for SAKE COLA, a new cola liquor, on the crowdfunding site Makuake. 

     

    People love cola for its strong carbonation, sweetness, and distinctive spicy flavor. SAKE COLA has a complex, multi-layered aroma and refreshing sweetness offering a unique taste that no one has tasted before.

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    Rokkasen’s authentic rice-based shochu Goujoppari is brewed in the cold like sake and distilled like a ginjo sake. It has a beautiful citrus aroma and tastes similar in sweetness despite having zero sugar.

     

    Using Goujoppari as a base, malted rice is used to produce a mild, natural sweetness, and the spices added to the drink meld with the citrus scent to create a flavor defying imagination.

    The flavor and aroma of SAKE COLA spread in the mouth, with the spices and herbs lingering on the tongue. The spices were mixed by Hayashi Oki, who studied in Alsace, France before working as a pastry chef at one of Tokyo’s top patisseries. 

     

    Mace, the key spice, is characterized by its sweet and somewhat pungent aroma. It’s used to recreate the caramelized taste that is found in most cola.

     

    Along with that, tonka beans, containing the natural sweeteners Vanillin and Coumarin, were blended into the mix to create a soft, lingering flavor. Customers are sure to enjoy it from the first sip to the last.


    SAKE COLA can be enjoyed at any time. It’s perfect for enjoying as an aperitif, and it can also be enjoyed with a meal, like beer or wine. 

     

    Like whiskey, it can also be enjoyed while relaxing after a meal. At Christmas time, it can be added to warm red wine or served as an affogato with ice cream and a splash of liqueur. How would you like to try this unique creation?

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    23.May.2022 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Last year, Hatsukame Sake Brewery, a staple in Shizuoka Prefecture, released a collaborative special edition sake featuring Papa Hiroshi from the anime series Chibi Maruko-chan. The collab makes sense, as the anime series takes place in Shizuoka Prefecture. Bottles sold out incredibly fast, so it’s no wonder that the brewery has now opened orders for the 2022 batch! The special products will be available on June 4, just in time for Father’s Day. Customers can choose from the Junmai Ginjo or Junmai Daiginjo varieties.

     

    Junmai Ginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022

     

    Junmai Daiginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022

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    ©さくらプロダクション/日本アニメーション ©Hatsukame Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. ©Nexus Co., Ltd.

     

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    19.May.2022 | FASHION / FOOD

    Two incredible new Junmai Daiginjo bottles, the highest-quality sake, have been released in limited quantities. Hitou ASCENDING and Touka ILLUMINATING were made by sustainable means and incorporate NFT art to share the process of sake creation with the world.

     

    While sake companies keep traditional Japanese production methods alive, some are seeking to solve problems in the sake industry by turning to current technology, like the blockchain and NFTs. In this age of convenience and automation, this particular sake maker is aiming to show the true value and authenticity of Japanese craftsmanship to the rest of the world. 

     

    Certain types of sake can only be made and enjoyed at certain times of the year, as they are not suitable for storage at room temperature and can only be consumed for a brief period to get the best taste. Many sake fans around the world might not be aware of this, so the new NFT collaboration aims to educate!

     

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    Story

    Rice / Tobe Rice
    In Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, farmers have been cultivating this unique brand of Koshihikari rice without the help of pesticides or fertilizers for over two decades. The rice is called the best in all of Japan, and one-third of its yield is used to make sake.

     

    Water / Pure Groundwater

    The Japan Median Tectonic Line, also known as the ‘Dragon’s Vein,’ is a massive fault line that is home to numerous sacred sites, including  Suwa Grand Shrine, Toyokawa Inari Shrine, Tenkawa Benzaiten Shrine, Ise Grand Shrine, and the Koyasan Mountain. The groundwater found here is some of the purest found in Japan and flows from the Bungui Pass in Ina, Nagano Prefecture. The pass has been featured in many publications as one of the most famous power spots in Japan.

     

    Brewing / Ono Brewery

    While dealing with some of the harshest winter weather in Japan, the brewery has continued to create sake the old-fashioned way–with human hands. For the creation of these two bottles, the brewers took on the challenge of making a very small amount of sake, something they had never done before. Based on the concept of “making the most of the environment,” the rice was prepared in a special room with no air conditioning under the watchful eye of the master brewer.

     

    Bottle Art/ Ukiyo-e Artist, Shun
    The art displayed on the bottle is printed in a unique way, allowing it to be put on display separately. The Japanese-style art is perfect for the collaboration and was inspired by one specific hope: that a new path will open to those who work hard after the many difficulties and troubles caused by the pandemic.

    Bottle Making / Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works

    The circular label symbolizes the moon (water) and the sun (fire), each representing a world where different values are not only accepted but welcomed. Hand-painted and made with pure platinum and gold leaf by the talented craftsman at Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works in Shiojiri, Nagano, these advanced painting techniques are sure to impress.

     

    Each Bottle Features the Brewing Year, Number Printed in Lacquer

    Marked with a unique serial number, all proceeds from the sales of these special sakes will be used to maintain and promote sustainable agriculture, support sake brewers, and bring traditional Japanese craftsmanship to the world.

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Niigata Sake Brewery Hakkaisan for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project

    29.March.2022 | FOOD / MUSIC

    Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is staying active in 2022. The artist will perform at this year’s Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, and released her first full-length album in three years ‘Candy Racer’ in October 2021.  On January 16, Kyary embarked on the largest tour of her career, ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ which will see the singer performing 30 shows across Japan. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities, and has been attracting major attention. Kyary’s tour is scheduled to wrap in Niigata on March 27, and the details of her next collaboration have been revealed!

     

    Hakkaisan, founded in 1922, is one of the most well-known sake breweries in Niigata Prefecture. Kyary will be collaborating with a special slightly sweet non-alcoholic Malted Rice Amazake made by the company. Amazake was extremely popular during the Edo Period as a drink to keep cool in the heat, so this is a perfect product to grab for the upcoming season.

    The special collaboration logo was inspired by Kyary’s 2014 hit Yumeno Hajima Ring Ring. The song is popular for graduation ceremonies with the theme of parting ways, making it appropriate for the current time, as graduation season in Japan is in late March. 

    A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. The shirt is available on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website for two weeks only. 

  • Booking.com Reveals 4 Best Lodgings with Outdoor Baths for Snow Viewing

    16.March.2022 | SPOT

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    Zao Kokusai Hotel (Zao Onsen, Yamagata Prefecture)

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    Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa (Date, Hokkaido)

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    Akakura Kanko Hotel (Myoko, Niigata Prefecture)

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    Satoyama Jujo (Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture)

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    Each season in Japan offers uniquely beautiful scenery. How would you like to enjoy winter in one of these luxurious baths?

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    16.February.2022 | FOOD / SPOT

    To commemorate the opening of the 60th Anniversary Sanrio Exhibition: The Beginning of Kawaii in Niigata, Hotel Nikko Niigata has also opened a collaboration cafe on the 31st-floor Panorama Lounge. The cafe will be open until April 10 and feature an adorable menu and incredible view!

     

    The Hotel Nikko x Sanrio Exhibition Collaboration Cafe will feature dishes, desserts, and drinks based on seven different Sanrio characters, including Hello Kitty. Each menu item comes with a random original coaster. 

     

    Characters whose birthdays fall during the cafe period will be featured in special designs. From March 1 until March 11, a drink inspired by Cinnamoroll, whose birthday is on March 6, will be available.

  • Snow Garden Opens at Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture

    14.February.2022 | SPOT

    Want something to do at a ski resort but not a fan of skiing? No problem! Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture has opened the new Snow Garden, a complex filled with cafes and activities held in transparent dome tents and terraces. Visitors can relax in an open space overlooking the gorgeous landscape without breaking a sweat. The Snow Village will be open until March 27, 2022.

     

     

    Enjoy the panoramic view of the snow-covered Uonuma Plains and Niigata’s breathtaking mountains while enjoying a warm beverage and wonderful company. 

  • Rurouni Kenshin Gets New TV Anime Project from LIDENFILMS

    26.December.2021 | ANIME&GAME

    Announced at Jump Festa 2022 on December 19, a new Rurouni Kenshin anime project is coming soon! The series is being led by studio LIDENFILMS, known for working on Tokyo Revengers and Blade of the Immortal.

    More details will be released soon!

     

    Rurouni Kenshin Teaser Trailer

  • Japanese traditional confectionery brand OKOSHIYA TOKYO opens in Marunouchi Building

    20.December.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Japanese traditional confectionery Okoshiya Tokyo, a brand specializing in okoshi (rice cake), opened in the Marunouchi Building on December 15, 2021.

     

    OKOSHIYA TOKYO is a brand specializing in okoshi, operated by a small Japanese confectionery manufacturer in downtown Tokyo which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. OKOSHIYA TOKYO opened in Tokyo’s Marunouchi Building as a store where customers can directly purchase the long-established okoshi, which has been sold only through the online store.

     

    OKOSHIYA Maple Almond(60g)

    aun 18 pieces (6 types x 3 pieces)

     

    OKOSHIYA TOKYO’s crispy okoshi is a new texture that can be eaten easily. The sweetness is kept low so that you can enjoy the natural flavor of the ingredients. It has a nostalgic and comforting taste.

     

    Marunouchi (3 types x 3pieces) *Marunouchi Building Limited Edition

     

     

    There are many theories about the origin of the word “okoshi”, but it comes from the word “koshi”, which means “to rise”, and has been eaten as a confectionery for good luck. It can be used as a “friendship blessing” for friends who meet again after a long absence, a “cheering blessing” for those who are working hard towards their dreams and goals, a “love blessing” for a beloved partner, or to ” bring good fortune” to newlyweds who are starting a new chapter in their lives. Let’s convey not only the delicious taste but also your feelings to your loved ones through OKOSHIYA TOKYO’s okoshi.

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