Kampai for 2024!

The best year is yet to come for sake

In 2022, Japan submitted an application for traditional Japanese sake brewing techniques, including Japanese sake, honkaku shochu and awamori, to Unesco’s intangible Cultural Heritage.  We are all waiting for the good news to arrive during the year of 2024 with big celebrations.

Meanwhile in the UK,  the sake market has been showing a remarkable growth over a decade with some fluctuations after the pandemic, and we believe this is the beginning of a new stage for sake globalisation.  Please watch this space as many exciting events are on the way.

With very best wishes
Rie Yoshitake

The Japan Society Xmas party 2023

7th December 2023

The Japan Society in the UK (www.japansociety.org.uk) has been closely associated with Sake Samurai UK over a few years as Rie Yoshitake being the trustee of the organisation.  Sake and Shochu seminars and dinners were offered to the members regularly.  On the 23rd December at the ball room of the Embassy of Japan, the annual Xmas Party welcomed 150 guests with a vigorous and elegant sparkling sake MIO generously sponsored by Takara Shuzo.

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Sake maker wins The Drinks Business Green Awards

6th December 2023

We are pleased to inform that the vice-president of Sake Samurai Association, Ken Kojima of Kojima Sake Brewery in Yamagata, won two major awards for the sustainability at The Drinks Business Green Awards.  The announcement was made on the 6th December in London attended by Mr Ken Kojima and many representatives from world wine, beer, whisky and spirits industries. Kojima sake brewery won two significant titles of ‘Green Launch of the Year’, and ‘Renewable Energy Implementation Award’ with the new brand Toko with green.

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Rugby, friendship and sake

24th – 25th November 2023

Huge congratulations to Mr. Reg Clark for receiving the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese government for his contribution to promoting Japan and UK relationship. Reg was the closest rugby friend of late Ambassador Katsuhiko Oku who was killed in Iraq 20 years ago. Since then, Reg has been organising Oku Memorial Trophy rugby match every year, and passionating devoting himself to strengthening UK-Japan friendship through rugby.

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Sake Pairing seminar by Marie Chiba

Kampai Brewery, London, 20th November 2023

Marie Chiba, Japan-based sake sommelier and a Sake Samurai, gave her first sake pairing seminar in the UK, and sake experts and enthusiasts were invited at London’s new site of Kampai sake brewery.  Marie is known as a leading authority of sake and food matching which is becoming an increasing popular subject especially in overseas market.  Marie, paired up with another Sake Samurai Natsuki Kikuya, gave shared her invaluable depth of knowledge with the attendees of the eve, and proved sake’s enormous compatibility with universal cuisine beyond sushi.

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Sake at the launch of ‘The Bridge’ to a future renaissance

Florence, Italy, 23rd Oct 2023

Sake Samurai UK has been endeavouring to outreach new audience for sake in various fields besides drink industries such as sports, arts, music, fashion, entertainments, etc.   In October, I was given a rare opportunity to introduce sake to the world influential musicians and artists at the launching of ‘The Bridge’, a project to strengthen a partnership between two cities of Florence and Kyoto.  A Japanese pianist Aisa Ijiri founded this meaningful project to kick off next year.

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IWC 2023 finalist sake tasting at the Japan House

7 October 2023

Celebrating World Sake Day at Japan House has very much become “celebrating in style” in London. This event, organised by Sake Samurai UK and Japan House, is open to any consumers interested in trying IWC winning produce. Being a fantastic opportunity to drink award winning sake for free, many Londoners were extremely keen to gather in Japan House for such an event.

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Sake Samurai in Rome

5th October 2023

Early this year, I visited Rome and rather surprised how slowly sake has been spreading amongst Romans compared to other major cities in Europe.  I took a liberty and organised a series of sake promotion event in the hope to generate sake awareness with the collaboration of the local sake importers.

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La Sake Vita – Sake Promotion event in Rome

4 October 2023

Sake exports to Italy has increased significantly of late, with the country securing fifth position in the sake export value in Europe. As such, Sake Samurai UK had organised a large scale sake event named “La Sake Vita” at a famous 5 star Cavalieri Hotel in Rome. The event was successfully executed with the kind help of Italian Ambassador Mr Tetsu Suzuki, who was very keen to promote sake in the country.

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La Sake Vita – Sake meets Roman cuisine

3rd October 2023

Prior to the main event at the Cavalieri Hotel, sake delegates from Japan, UK, France and all over from Italy are united at a traditional Roman restaurant Volpetti for a networking dinner. The Japanese ambassador Mr. Suzuki welcomed us with both ‘kampai ‘and ‘Cin-cin’ as proverb goes, ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’.

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Japan Matsuri 23

1 October 2023

One of the biggest Japanese events in the UK returned after a 3 year hiatus due to the pandemic. This Japan Matsuri was held in Trafalgar Square; London’s iconic and bustling tourist area.

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