Taste Translation

Delicious Japanese to English translation for sake, wine, tea, coffee and chocolate


Arline Lyons

Nihonshu and bubbles, but not sparkling sake

Niconico News covers a bubbly sake product, but maybe not the one you were expecting. It’s sake soap. The Mutenka Sekken (無添加石鹸, literally “soap with no additives”) brand from the 63 year old Marubishi Sekken company uses traditional Japanese ingredients… Continue Reading →

Hiroshima opens its own sake university

The Sankei West site reports on a new initiative by the town of Higashi-Hiroshima to open a “sake university”. Perhaps spurred into action by Niigata University’s new sake studies course and Sakeology centre (see Niigata University founds Sakeology Centre and… Continue Reading →

Sake in the time of warring states and beyond

In the last of three posts based on a Nikkei Style article about the history of sake, we quickly pass through the Japanese “warring states” or Sengoku period (1467 – 1603 AD), where Oda Nobunaga’s party trick was to serve… Continue Reading →

The long history of sake

Continuing with the Nikkei Style article on the history of sake, wet-field cultivation of rice reached Japan between the Jomon (14,000 – 300 BC) and Yayoi (300 BC – 300 AD) periods. Fermentation could have been first discovered in the… Continue Reading →

The etymology of sake

Nikkei Style has another interesting article about sake, this time based on its history and inclusion in the book 30の発明から読む日本史 (Japanese history seen through 30 inventions). It traces the history of sake back to the Yayoi period (which is very useful… Continue Reading →

A pair of products made for pairing

The Sankei Biz site features an article by the Hakutsuru brewery PR team, which introduces some new products but also has some interesting information. It first touches on the fall in consumption of sake and the reasons why: an ageing… Continue Reading →

Taste the sake, see the people

The Mainichi newspaper site reports on a tactic to raise the profile and increase consumption of sake made in Hokkaido – showing the faces and telling the stories of the people who made it. The “sake with a face” project… Continue Reading →

IWC 2018 trophy winners and category breakdown

A quick look back at the 2018 International Wine Challenge (IWC) sake division, this time with a Sankei Biz article that names the trophy winners and gives numbers for entries in each category. The trophies were announced at an awards… Continue Reading →

Where to buy sake in Zurich

Although the sake tide seems to be rising in Europe in general, there are still just a handful of places in Zurich. (Geneva has a larger Japanese population and a much better selection, so I often end up going there… Continue Reading →

Spiced sake, and it’s not just the tasting notes

The Kahoku Online News site covers a spicy sake – not just with hints of spice picked up by an expert taster, but actual spice added during brewing. Fonia Terra is another launch from experimental venture company Wakaze, based in… Continue Reading →

Old traditions and new dishes: Work experience at a Kyoto brewery

The Fushimi Keizai Newspaper reports on a collaboration between the Saitō brewery in Fushimi and the Umedai Garden Internship company, set up in April 2018 to offer work and study programmes for students aged 18 to 28. It is currently placing… Continue Reading →

A sake that costs as much as wholesalers want to pay

The Fukui Newspaper Online site reports on a brewery with an unusual wholesale pricing strategy – bidding. The article claims the Kokuryū (black dragon) brewery is the first ever to set wholesale prices this way, as it prepares to put… Continue Reading →

The kids are all right: Niigata university students take on sake

The Fukushima Minyū site looks at attitudes towards sake among university students in Niigata Prefecture. The article starts off in a place you may already have seen photos or video of – the sake/coin vending paradise that is Ponshukan Niigata… Continue Reading →

Sake, Italian style

Tatsuya Iida reports on the Zakzak site about a sake bar pairing the Japanese drink with Italian food. There are a warren of narrow back streets in the Sangenjaya area of Tokyo, crammed with bars and known as the “golden triangle”… Continue Reading →

Prize prefectures at the Annual Japan Sake Awards 2018

The Sankei West site reports on the Annual Japan Sake Awards 2018, and sees which prefectures came out on top. More literally translated as the “national new sake appraisal”, the competition is held jointly by the National Research Institute of… Continue Reading →

A naturally cool way to mature sake: go underground

The Iwate Nippo site reports on a brewery with a “natural refrigerator” used to mature their sake at low temperatures. Iwate is famous for the Ryūsendō limestone cavern, one of the three largest in Japan, found near the town of… Continue Reading →

French sake in Japan: Report from Kamigata Nihonshu World 2018

The Cookbiz Soken site covers the Kamigata Nihonshu World 2018 event held in Osaka, including some special guests: sake brewers from France. Held on 28 April 2018, the event is hosted by sake brewers and sake-loving bars and restaurants. This… Continue Reading →

Return of the phantom rice

Looking at the Mainichi Newspaper site again today, this time for a story about a rice that disappeared from Yamagata Prefecture… and then returned. One wet cultivation variety once dominated Yamagata by area, but disappeared before WWII. The village of… Continue Reading →

Why you don’t find sake from the north of Honshu in China

The Mainichi Newspaper has an article looking at how sake is being enjoyed in China – and the mysterious absence of sake from the north of the main island of Honshu, traditionally a very strong area as seen by Fukushima’s… Continue Reading →

State of play: report on the sake industry in 2017

I’m going back to the Teikoku Databank December 2017 special report on the sake industry, which has lots of interesting factoids about the state of play in 2017. The report also says something that Takuma Inagawa’s interviewer mentioned, that overseas… Continue Reading →

The top 20 sake breweries in 2016

Not news as such this time, but something I looked into after watching the interview with Takuma Inagawa of Wakaze giving advice to sake brewers who want to export. A ranking of sake breweries by sales was briefly shown on… Continue Reading →

Sake ahoy: matured for six months underwater

The Kahoku Online News site reports on bottles of local sake and wine being sunk into Hirota Bay in Iwate Prefecture to mature. The plan was hatched by a group of organisations calling itself Burari Kesen (ぶらり気仙, “swaying” Kesen) including… Continue Reading →

Three Kyoto bars where you can order sake tasting sets

A post relevant to many of my interests! The Oricon News site reports on bars and cafes offering tasting sets of sake, beer and coffee. Crediting a Kansai Walker article of 8 May 2018 with the information, the article claims… Continue Reading →

Event report: Kura Master tasting 28 May 2018

As you know, I complain all the time about the limited choices for sake in Zurich (I just found another place that stocks small brewery sake!) even compared to Geneva. For a really good choice, I thought I had to… Continue Reading →

Moving up: Saitama aims to go from fifth to fourth largest sake producer

The Sankei News site has a look at at a prefecture you might not immediately associate with sake – Saitama. Often seen as a commuter bedroom town and food supplier for the sprawling Tokyo metropolis on its doorstep, the prefecture… Continue Reading →

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