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.

Each event night we served seven different varieties of sake, ranging from traditional to yuzu sake, sparkling, or even earl grey tea infused sake, to the fascination and delight of our many guests. As a result, sake has successfully outreached a vast number of the general public through the Key Garden’s network.

The profile of our participants were extremely varied; from young to old with a host of differing occupations; students, scientists, officials, professionals, the retired, the disabled, and more.  This made a good contrast with those at previous similar events that are often dominated by sake lovers as well as Japanese audience. Many of the group had not had the opportunity to try sake in the past despite their huge interest in Japan and Japanese culture.

It was apparent that sake was served to the “true consumers”. Tasting is believing! And for us,  nothing was more rewarding than hearing the excited reactions and seeing the broad smiles. Many of those present changed their perception of sake as they became more familiar with it. This was indeed the busiest and most awakening sake event Sake Samurai had witnessed to date.