IWC 2022 Award Winning Sake Tasting at the Embassy of Japan

8th July 2022

On the 8th July, the following day of the IWC Awards Dinner, Sake Samurai Association  hosted the annual IWC Award Winning Sake Tasting at the Embassy of Japan in London. This was the first physical sake event at the embassy since the pandemic started, and 11 sake makers including both champions from 2022 and 2021 flew to UK despite remaining travel restrictions back in Japan. The event was co-hosted by the Sake Samurai Association lead by Mr. Kazuhiro Maegaki and the Embassy of Japan in the presence of the Ambassador Hajime Hayashi and his wife.

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IWC Announces 2022 Sake Champions

7th July 2022

On the 7th July in London, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) announced its three sake award winners, including IWC 2022 Champion Sake, this year’s overall winner.

The 16th IWC sake judging is the most extensive competition of its type in the world and judging took place over four days in April at the Kia Oval in London. This year, despite remaining travel restrictions in some countries, the world’s most respected 53 sake experts flew in from 14 countries to judge 1,732 sake entries, which is the largest IWC sake competition held since it started in 2007.

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Sake meets new audience at the British Library

25th May 2022

On the 25th May, Rie Yoshitake was invited to take part in the panel discussion ‘Sake, Umesh and Yuzushu’ in the Food Season pavilion at the British Library, London. This was the first time sake was introduced to the audience of this established organisation, and the result was beyond expectations and greatly appreciated by both organisers and attendees. Tom Wilson from Kampai London and Risa Ishikawa from Umeshuya joined Rie to share their knowledge and personal stories of sake. We feel the interest in sake has accumulated faster over last two years during Covid while people were isolating and quietly appreciating different types of alcohol at home.

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Sake hosted art lovers

Kyosai exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts

15th March 2022

Kyosai Kawanabe, a Japanese ukiyo-e painter in 19 C, was an eccentric genius who had a reputation as a heavy sake drinker with a reckless spirit. Quite righteously, sake was served at the opening party to the distinguished guests to celebrate the artist’s intoxicating talents. JFOODO kindly sponsored this long-awaited Japanese exhibition, and a selection of sake was showcased at the reception and sold at the in-house shop.

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Hanami party at Fukushima Garden

18th May 2022, Holland Park London

Sake Samurai UK proposed a traditional Hanami (Cherry Blossom viewing) party to Fukushima Prefecture Association in London and supported organising it on the 18th May, inviting the local dignities and people who supported the recovery of Fukushima. This quintessential Japanese ritual of the Hanami party was held in the well maintained Fukushima Garden which was built in 2012 next to the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, London to commemorate the support of the British people to the Japanese people following the natural disaster occurred on 11th Martch 2011.

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Toasting the recovery of the Tohoku Sake Industry

Seminar at Japan House for the 11th anniversary of Great East Japan Earthquake

11th March 2022  at Japan House London

UK Sake Samurai representative Rie Yoshitake was invited to present the success stories of Tohoku sake makers to mark the 11th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and with Asami Tasaka from World Sake Imports, online lecture and tasting with audience were live-streamed to Japan and other countries.

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Sake export thrives despite Pandemic

Overseas market growth of sake and other Japanese alcoholic beverages

March 2022

According to a study by the Japanese Ministry of Finance, exports of sake reached a new record high for the twelfth consecutive year in terms of value. On a volume basis, exports totalled about 3.7 million cases (8.64 litres), and the value exceeded 40 billion yen for the first time. Year-on-year growth in volume and value was 147.3% and 166.4%.

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Webinar on the difference between British and Japanese mentality and attitude towards alcohol

21st January 2022

On the 21st of January, the Japan Local Government Center London (CLAIR London) organised an online seminar addressing differences in the mentality between the English and Japanese which made a good contrast during the pandemic. Sake Samurai UK was honoured to participate as one of the panelists and discussed the differences in relation to the alcohol industry. The seminar was held in the evening in Japan and morning time in the UK with a large attendance from both countries.

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Sake, Rugby, Sakura and Friendship

Oku Memorial Rugby Cup and Sakura Cherry Tree Project

27 November and 17 December 2021

Sake Samurai UK has been supporting UK-Japan friendship through sports and rugby is the one of them. Reg Clark, who is the recipient of Japanese Foreign Minister’s Award, and his team continue to build a strong friendship with Japan through Rugby, and we have been honoured to support their social tournaments and events since 2013.

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Japan Festival at Kew Gardens

Sake bar installed during the Japan Festival in Kew Gardens

2nd – 31st October 2021

Kew Gardens celebrated the fascinating horticulture, art, and wider culture of Japan from the 2nd to the 31st October. With four dedicated evenings set over two weekends, sake was served as a part of the Japan Evening. The event was sponsored by JSS and Japan House London. Sake Samurai was most honoured to be appointed by the event advisor, duely installing a sake bar within Temperate House, serving sake to 800 guests a time.

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