Known as the “navel” of Shikoku, Ikeda-cho, Miyoshi city, Tokushima prefecture is located right in the middle of Shikoku.
It is known as an area where delicious Sake is brewed, and an annual festival is held in Ikeda-cho celebrating the fact.
The Shikoku Sake Festival:
Sake lovers come from near and far to attend the festival. In addition to being able to compare the flavors of 40 varieties of Sake brands from each region of Shikoku, one can also visit 3 local long-established Sake breweries that open their doors for study tours. The last time the festival was organized, it was extremely popular – over 15,000 people visited.
Though the countryside is suffering from a declining population, it bustles with life resembling a big city at festival time!
And, the 16th Shikoku Sake Festival is to be held on February 21st (Sat) 2015.
Between 10-16.00 the tasting of Shikoku’s local Sake is held on the 3rd floor of Sunrise in Ikeda-cho, so head there first.
It’s a once in a lifetime chance to taste 40 varieties of Sake brands from all over Shikoku. Try all the varieties! … Is what we would like to do, but trying all 40 will probably make us dizzy, so don’t try too hard and enjoy the Sake at your own pace.
In addition, a Sake tasting competition is held at the same event hall. Many enthusiasts take up the challenge!
Next though, it may be fair to say that this is the headline event of the Shikoku Sake Festival.
Between 11-15.00, the local sake breweries open their doors for free viewing. After eleven, a long line stretches in front of the breweries.
The three breweries that open their doors are Komachi, Miyoshikiku and Hosui.
The air inside these historical breweries, which were established over 100 years ago is impressive.
Here you can listen the chief brewer’s explanation while carefully studying the interior of the brewery and the brewing process.
And then, believe it or not, you can enjoy a taste of fresh brew that is usually limited to the taste buds of the brewery workers!
“The new brew you drink here is completely different from the usual one.”
“So this is what freshly brewed Sake tastes like… it’s too delicious…”
Tour participants utter these and other such comments in admiration.
Naturally, you can buy Sake to take home with you.
Try to find one bottle to your liking.
When buying the tickets for the Shikoku Sake Festival, it is better value to buy them in advance. (Purchasable at Seven-Eleven convenience stores all over Japan *Details on the official home page.)
Dear reader, if you love Sake, you will surely regret missing this event!
The 16th Shikoku Sake Festival:
Place (Event hall for local Sake tasting): Sunrise 3rd floor, 2183 Machi, Ikeda-cho, Miyoshi city, Tokushima prefecture
Tel: 0883-72-0143 (Awa Ikeda Chamber of Commerce & Industry)
Date & Time: Feb. 21st (Sat) 2015, 10.00-16.00
Homepage: http://www.shikoku-sakematuri.com/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
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