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Delectable! Japanese sake

What is Japanese sake?

Japanese sake is a brew of Japanese origin in which rice, koji and water are the main ingredients. It is also known as “sasa” in ancient Japanese language, “hannyato” in hidden jargon among Buddhist monks, and “kichigai mizu (crazy water)” during the Edo period.
Japan’s Liquor Tax Act stipulates that the alcohol content in Japanese sake must be below 20 percent.
Sake that uses brown rice bearing a 3rd category or above rating in the rice crop test or white rice milled from such brown rice, and with the ratio of rice koji at 15 percent or above, is known as “tokutei meisho shu” and is further classified into 8 categories based on conditions such as the origin of rice and the brewing method. All other Japanese sakes are called “futsushu” or “sanzoshu”.
The commonly known “Junmai”, “Ginjo”, “Junmai Ginjo”, “Junmai Daiginjo” etc. are all part of “tokutei meisho shu”.

About the types of Japanese sake and brewing methods

The grade of Japanese sake is generally determined by the percentage of rice that is polished off ahead of the brewing process. The more the rice is polished away, the higher the grade because of the extra time and effort required.

Ingredients of Japanese sake

There are many variations of water, rice, koji and yeast -- the basic ingredients for Japanese sake, so different combinations can yield an infinite variation of sake. Each of the different combinations therefore becomes the unique taste of each brewer across the country.


Rice that is suitable for brewing sake is known as “Shuzo kotekimai.” The grains are larger than rice for ordinary consumption, with the center of the grain, called “shimpaku”, being relatively large, and it contains less protein and ash content. In Japan, there are at least 90 kinds of shuzo kotekimai, with Yamadanishiki, Miyamanishiki, and Omachimai among the most famous.


Water is extremely important in the process of sake brewing. It is called “shikomi mizu (mother water).”
Water hardness is another important element that affects the taste of sake. Soft water produces softer tasting sake with slower fermentation, while hard water yields harder sake with enhanced fermentation.
This is because the amount of minerals in the water affects the yeast activity.


Koji is steamed rice and also known as koji-kin, or koji mold spores. Its role is to break the starches in rice into sugars when placed in the moromi.
In comparison, the production of wine does not require this process of turning starch into sugar as grape juice already contains glucose.


In the process of sake brewing, yeast turns the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
There are several tens of thousands of varieties of yeast in the natural habitat, and each of the broad varieties has its own impact on the sake’s taste and aroma. 

Limited availability of Japanese sake that are immensely popular among sake lovers in Japan but are not yet available in Hong Kong
The products will be sold under a shopping club distribution system

For overseas orders, products will be available only to Hong Kong under the shopping club distribution system.
Under the shopping club distribution system, customers will receive deliveries of the sake they purchased over several occasions (about 3 deliveries) over a pre-determined period (around 6 months) to match the timing when each sake is at its best.
Customers will be charged the total sum for all the products upon the purchase.
To maintain sake quality, all products will be delivered via refrigerated "Ta-Q-Bin" courier service all the way from the brewer to the customer.

Oishii Japan offers customers with a selection of carefully hand-picked premium Japanese sake with the cooperation of Hasegawa Saketen Inc.
Cancellation due to the customer's personal preference or circumstances etc. will not be accepted.

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