Minami Uonuma in Niigata Prefecture is a region subject to torrential rain and renowned as the growing region for Japan’s most delectable rice, koshihikari. The famous Hakkaisan brand of sake, which sparked the regional sake boom, epitomises Niigata’s sake rice wines. It is so famous that even if it is not your preferred regional brew, you are likely to have heard of it. Melded with the softness and the tanrei crispness and dryness characteristic of Niigata sakes, it has the characteristic sake umami and its signature style, with superb edge, is typical of a sophisticated Niigata ginjo.
Hakkaisan boasts a broad product line up, but Junmai Ginjo is its only junmai pure rice preparation. The Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo is a precious drop of which even the brewer says he never tires. Each time he drinks it, he reports, he is moved by how much it ‘makes sense’.
Among the tanrei crisp and dry Hakkaisan products, Junmai Ginjo stands out as having a clearly defined flavour. The aroma is subtle, with a consummate balance of acid and umami, to be enjoyed both for the umami from the rice and the ease with which the sake glides down the throat. This drop does not overstate the characteristic sake flavour, and its sophisticated and polished appeal, which sets off a meal to perfection, makes it a popular product at home and abroad.
THE EPITOME OF HAKKAISAN ENJOYMENT – SENNEN KOUJIYA
On the first floor of COREDO Muromachi 2 in Nihonbashi in Tokyo, you will find the new style Hakkaisan Sennen Koujiya. The store features the full Hakkaisan product line up, and offers a bounty of foods featuring rice, koji and fermentation, where koji is the mould on rice that kick-starts the fermentation. Food offerings include limited edition sweets such as a baumkuchen cake made with select ingredients; dai- ginjo sake and wasanbon sugar.
Another attraction at the store is the Sake Bar. Customers can seat themselves at the counter to enjoy some sake time, selecting from the ‘Marriage of Sake and Food’ themed lunch and bar menus, which match dishes with Hakkaisan sake. Customers may also enjoy Hakkaisan sake to their heart’s content by partaking of the ginjo, junmai ginjo and dai-ginjo taste testing set. In addition to Hakkaisan Sennnen Koujiya in Nihonbashi, there are two sister stores in Tokyo and Kanagawa; the Kagurazaka and Shonan Sennnen Koujiya outlets. Popular at both stores are koji drinks, including a sweet amazake made of koji mixed with coffee or matcha powdered green tea.