Our Recommended Spring Sake List

It is the season of cherry blossoms now. Everywhere you can see people enjoying the delicate blossoms. However, winter is still here, too, trying to catch a glimpse of them. However, someone also recently observed that outside the rain was mixed with snow. Such is spring here.

Speaking of hanami (cherry blossom viewing), some things are indispensable, and that means drinking! There are many sake brewers in Japan, and each has its own special characteristics such as taste and manufacturing method. It is also a field that is deeply innovative, and brewers often make recommendations as to what kind of meal or food a sake pairs with best.

Dai-ichi Takimotokan is proud to have Junya Sasaki, a sake sommelier and restaurant manager, on hand. (He looks rather serious in this photo, but normally he welcomes guests with his exceptionally warm smile.)

A sommelier is a professional who understands sake in all its intricacies and, based on customer preferences and requests, can recommend the best way to enjoy it. Although Sasaki had been interested in sake for a long time and was well informed, he took the examination for sommelier last June. His goal was to learn even more so he could better help people enjoy his favorite beverage. He spent several months deepening his knowledge of sake, tasting it, learning how to best serve it, and discovering that he loved this traditional beverage even more than before.

“Getting this qualification was really just a starting point for me,” Sasaki says. He continues to spend time visiting sake brewers to see their operations for himself and taste their products for himself. He takes his job seriously of finding something that these local craftsmen make that will appeal to our guests. Sasaki believes that it is this kind of every day practice that helps him hone his skills as a sommelier and inspire him.

Below are Sasaki’s curated list of sakes for making the most of this hanami season.

Sasaki particularly recommends the sampler set that allows guests the chance to enjoy and compare three different types of sake.

Our guests at Dai-ichi Takimotokan enjoying the buffet dining in Genshirin or Yukiguni should not hesitate to ask Sasaki for a recommendation. Who knows? He may also tell some of the great stories he knows about these selections. Enjoy!
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Dai-ichi Takimotokan, Noboribetsu-onsen, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan 059-0595
Tel. +81-143-84-2111

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