Tonight, and the rest of the week probably, is time for sake.
On Saturday my partner and I visited Utsunomiya, the capital city of Tochigi prefecture just north of Tokyo.
After stuffing our faces full of gyoza and local beer for most of the day, We stumbled into the basement of the Tobu department store while trying to kill the last hour before our long train ride home.
There, we met with the most delightful and helpful young lady. She was a representative of the Azumarikishi nihonshu brewery (清酒東力士株式会社)and she proceeded to help us lighten our wallets with the aid of her generous sampling policy.
Tonight we cracked open the one bottle we didn’t get to taste out of the several that we bought. It is also the largest, and was the cheapest. We noticed it for its marketing gimmick and bought it without fear due to our guide’s previous generousity (we were quite drunk by this point, which was a great sales tactic, sober us would not have lugged all those bottles back home).
Tonight, and the next few as well, we drink トロピカル純米酔夏 or Tropical junmai Suica
The pun in its name was what caught our eye.
Of course suica is the Japanes word for water melon, hence the nice picture on the lable. However it is normally written as スイカ or perhaps in the less common kanji varient 西瓜.
The sake writes its name as 酔夏. Which, while read with the same sound as watermelon, suica, is, as far as I know, a made-up word with the benefit of roughly meaning “drunken summer.” We are suckers for this kind of stuff.
Luckily for us it’s quite good, lightly filtered, slightly dry, and very smooth to drink when cold(the recommend way to drink this bottle)
Our 1,400 yen got us a very drinkable 1.8L bottle (the traditional isshou bin 一升瓶). I am glad it is good, finishing one of these you don’t particularly enjoy can be a bear.