Have you heard that every year in late May, brewery workers from all over Japan gather in Hiroshima?
The “Zenkoku Shinshu Kanpyokai” (Annual Japan Sake Awards) is a nationwide sake competition that began in the Meiji era. (*From here on, we’ll refer to it as the ‘awards event’.)
This one-of-a-kind awards event is held at the National Research Institute of Brewing, which is located in Higashi-Hiroshima city. It’s a huge event where the ‘gold prize’ is decided from among as many as 1000 sakes created during the year in question. It is said to be the gateway to success for brewers!
First held in 1911, and therefore with more than 100 years of history, the aim of the awards event is to contribute to the improvement of sake quality.
However, it is thought that through competing in this awards event, sake-brewing techniques have improved so much that the event has actually led to Japan’s current world of sake being built.
Every year, with media representatives from all over Japan in attendance, the event receives a lot of attention.
This year, the event was held on May 27th.
Visitors could taste the sake that won the ‘gold prize’ as well as many others on display. Anyone could participate in the event!
All the sake on display is created with the awards event in mind. Sake brewers apply their skills during winter and create their product with absolute sincerity.
The display of numerous ‘creations’ could even be called ‘a compilation of techniques’.
Though the event begins at 10am, brewers from all over the country, sake vendors and regular visitors alike stand in a long line from early in the morning to taste the ‘golden prize’ sake.
During this season, sake fans arrive in Hiroshima from all over Japan. Before and after the awards event, their purpose is to taste the winning sake at events held at hotels, etc. as well as the event venue.
Here, one can enjoy one’s fill of prize-winning sake that is not on sale or is hard to find.
Experiencing the prize-winning sake being poured by the brewers and chief brewers who actually made the sake is a rare treat~ ♪
For those of you who love sake, you really must come to Hiroshima during this season!
National Research Institute of Brewing (NRIB)
Address: 3-7-1 Kagamiyama,Higashihiroshima city, Hiroshima prefecture
Contact details: http://www.nrib.go.jp/index.html (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writers: Makoto Esaki & Yoko Suganami (Rainbow Sake Co., Ltd.)
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Yoko Suganami Rainbow Sake, Inc. After an extended stay in Hawaii, in 2011, I returned to my hometown of Kure, Hiroshima. Having worked at advertising companies in both Japan and Hawaii, I founded Rainbow Sake - a PR company with the goal of spreading Sake abroad. I hope that sake will ""bring the people of the world together"" and that I can be a part of that. I often travel abroad, and mostly to Hawaii and Singapore. Every time I come back home, I rediscover the beauty of my hometown and the happiness the easygoing, calm, fresh and simple sea and mountains of Setouchi bring. http://www.rainbowsake.com
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