Biwako Hotel in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture Introduces the Hyakunin Isshu Cocktail

27.January.2022 | FOOD / SPOT

Biwako Hotel in Shiga Prefecture is now selling two original cocktails inspired by the Hyakunin Isshu poem anthology until March 4, 2022. Originally created in 2021, these drinks will be available at the Bel Lago Bar. 

 

Biwako Hotel began selling a series of Hyakunin Isshu-inspired cocktails starting in 2017 to commemorate the 1350th anniversary of the relocation of the capital to Otsu. In 2019, the location opened a 100-person sweets buffet, and in the spring and fall of 2021 the hotel offered an afternoon tea set based on the 100 famous poems. By 2021, the hotel had come up with 35 cocktails, but due to the spread of COVID-19, this was put on hold. Two of the best cocktails are now back for a limited time.

 

Menu

Minano-gawa
“Feel the love deepen over time, like the stream widening into a river as it descends Mount Tsukuba.”

 

Poem 13, Retired Emperor Yozei
This poem compares the poet’s ever-deepening and melancholic love to the course of the Minano River. 
This drink includes layers of colorful liqueurs. The delicate color of the border reminds guests of the complexity of love.

 

Osaka no Seki
“Truly, this is where travelers who go or come over parting ways–Friends or strangers–all must meet: The gate of “Meeting Hill.”


Poem 10, Semimaru
This poem speaks of the Osaka Barrier, which was located on the boundary between present-day Kyoto and Omi, now known as Shiga Prefecture. 


The author, Semimaru, had a hermitage near this famed border. The mellow green color of the beverage evokes the image of a traveler passing by on a mountain road in early spring.

 

What is the Hyakunin Isshu? 

Those who have seen the anime series Chihayafuru will be very well acquainted with the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, a collection of 100 famous poems in Japanese history collected from the early tenth to the early thirteenth century. These poems are said to have been selected by Fujiwara no Teika, a poet and critic of his day. In the Edo period, these poems were illustrated and became popular among the general public. Students in Japanese schools memorize many of these poems at a young age. 

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