ハワイ生まれの日本酒イベント The Joy Of Sake / A Hawaiian-Born Japanese Sake Event


海外の日本酒愛好家らで2001年に開催されて以来、ニューヨーク、ハワイ、東京で毎年開かれる一大日本酒イベントが The Joy Of Sake です。日本酒のイベントが海外で生まれ、しかも東京に逆輸入されたところがおもしろいですね。

The Joy of Sake is an annual sake event that has been held in New York, Hawaii, and Tokyo ever since its inception in 2001 by overseas Japanese sake enthusiasts. That this is an event with an overseas origin that was subsequently reimported into Japan is what’s so interesting about it!


There were actually 360 types of sake being offered in the venue, and you’ll also get to enjoy cuisine from famous restaurants as you sip sake to your heart’s content! Any Japanese sake fan would want to go!

参加費は8,000円で安くはありませんが、当日はなんと800人ものSake Loversが集まったそうです。「日本酒って海外でも人気があるらしい」とはこれまでにも聞いたことがありますが、ここまで大規模なイベントがあったとは驚きです。

The entrance fee, though not exactly cheap at 8000 yen (~US$100), did nothing to deter 800 sake lovers from gathering that day. We’ve heard that Japanese sake is quite popular overseas as well, but an event of this scale is quite frankly mind-blowing.


And thus, the development team set off for the Tokyo venue pronto, to conduct research and fieldwork for our Japanese sake app-in-development.


It was sake, sake, and yet more sake as far as the eye could see. Tables like these had been placed all over the venue. The sight of a few hundred types of sake all lined up in one place was truly overwhelming.


In front of the sake bottles were large sake cups. I’ll be filling my sake cup with a dropper now!


There were English explanations too, as to be expected for an event that originated in America. Quite a few participants were Westerners, too, and it was nice to see that some were garbed in traditional Japanese apparel.


There’s also a special corner for the people who’d prefer a more generous helping of the sake, since, you know, “you can’t get drunk with a dropper!”



Behold, the Dassai. This mildly sparkling sake was very tasty. I thought sparkling sake are only available in early spring, but apparently they’re being brewed all year long in large, temperature-controlled refrigerators. This Junmai Daijingo is truly luxurious, made with rice milled to 23% its original size. Our engineer @mah_lab kept asking for seconds!

According to sake brewer Asahishuzo, the Dassai accounts for 10% of Japanese sake sales in France. Its taste, of course, is a contributing factor, but more than that, this is apparently the results of aggressive marketing. How wonderful, right?


Cuisine from the Italian Alporto to well-known Tokyo restaurants were being offered, using a stamp card system where your card is stamped before you receive the food (all the cuisine became free half an hour before the event ended!).


It was a spread, to say the least, with assorted dishes from Japanese, French, Chinese, Spain, and much more. As Japanese sake is brewed from rice and water, it goes well with everything! My personal favs are the duck meat from Shirogane  BARU and the spiny lobster and steamed scallop  from Chung King Hotel.


This is the cool-looking label of Kusumi brewery’s Seisen sake. The labels of Japanese sake are exquisitely designed and I think that’s what makes them so awesome. Looking at it from that point of view is kind of interesting too!


We’d prepared some namecard-sized flyers to promote our up-and-coming Japanese sake app, which we introduced to the various sake brewers as we did our rounds. It was very well-received! We were greatly impressed and humbled by some of the feedback. The Sawanoi (Sawanoi Sake) sales manager even went, “Whoa!! This is the kind of app I’ve always wanted!” Looks like we’re going in the right direction with this app!


また来年も是非参加したいです。そのときは SakeLover が Joy Of Sake のスポンサーに!なんてメンバーと話していました。


The event had blown us our minds away. Now we’re even more eager than ever to spread this wonderful Japanese sake culture to more people in the world!

We’d love to be a part of next year’s event too! As a sponsor! Or, so the team hopes!

Finally, a big thanks to the event organizers, for a great job well done. Kampai!


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