• Sake Buddha

My Entry Into the World of Sake


The first sake I ever had.  (Photo from http://www.hakutsuru-sake.com)
Hakutsuru Draft Sake

As I start this blog, I guess should talk about what got me interested in sake. Like most people in the US the first time I had sake was at a Japanese restaurant. I believe it was Hakutsuru Draft Sake. (I bet this sake is probably one of the most sold in the US at sushi restaurants.) I remember being asked if I wanted it cold, warm, or room temperature. I went with cold since it was July in Pennsylvania. I remember thinking that “It wasn’t bad”. I wasn’t hooked, but I did know I would try it again.

Fast forward a little bit. I was enlisted in the Navy and ended up stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. I would drink sake occasionally when out in town. I still did not know anything about the drink. I just drank whatever I was served and would try it at different temperatures depending on my mood and the weather. I still was not “hooked” but I did start to enjoy it more and more.

As a little bit of time went by, I married a wonderful Japanese woman. She knew I liked sake, and one day on our way home from a day out she asked me if I “wanted to get a bottle to bring home.” I said “yes” and right next to our train stations there was a sake shop. We walked into the store and my wife began talking to the man running the store. He began asking about what kind of sake I liked. I had no idea. That is when he started asking if I liked it sweet or extra dry or did, I like it warm or cold? I answered the questions and he went to the shelf and grabbed a bottle and we brought it home.

We opened the sake and I took my first sip. It was amazing. It didn’t taste like any sake I had before that. I was truly amazed. I would keep venturing back to the sake shop and I would try new things. I still wasn’t well-informed on sake. I would just pick bottles based on how the label looked (when I was there a lone because I couldn’t really speak Japanese) or if my wife was there, she would talk to the employee and get a recommendation.

Then we moved from Yokosuka to Sasebo. While living in Nagasaki prefecture that is when we (my wife and I) started visiting sake breweries. I would see how it was made and become more fascinated by sake. That fascination is

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