Everyone is familiar with Japanese sake (酒, pronounced SAH-kay, never “saki”), the distilled rice wine known as “spring water” to Yamato/Star Blazers fans. Sake has been made for millenia, from 6000 years ago in China and 2000 years in Japan, and is one of the world’s oldest fermented beverages. Sake is often served hot, called atsukan, and it tastes great heated with a camping stove while sitting under the cherry blossoms in the spring. As with wine in the West, sake has always been associated with religious ceremonies, and when we built our J-List office, a Shinto priest came out to purify the ground with sake and salt to ensure that we would have good luck in the future. If you’re interested in trying some sake, the staff of J-List recommend you consider Koshino Kanbai, Hakkaisan or Shira-Yuki, and always avoid the inferior (but often well marketed) brands Sho Chiku Bai, Ozeki and Gekkeikan.
Sake is a famous image of Japan.