The Yomiuri Online site reports on a Golden Week campaign by the Saijō Honmachi tourist office in Higashi-hiroshima to make sure everyone knows it's a sake brewing area - even non-drinkers and children.
The answer to their problem - as it is to many of the world's minor problems - is cake.
This is the sixth time the tourist office has made good use of the Golden Week mega-holiday to intercept visitors, with the special treats on sale from Thu 3 to Sat 5 May. They rallied the town's 16 sake breweries and confectioners into coming up with a grand total of 44 products made with sake or its derivatives. The sweet fruits of their labour include:
- Cake containing sake
- Caramels made with sakekasu
- Amazake tart
- Daiginjō rusks
- Sake manjū
All the products were evaluated by tourists visiting the town's sake brewing area.
Atsuko Okumura, a 92 year old former kimono school instructor visiting from Kakogawa in Hyōgo Prefecture, commented that sweets were something everyone could enjoy together - as she bought four sake cakes. Noe Nakamura, an 18 year old first year university student visiting from Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture, tried and then bought the amazake tart. She smilingly commented that she was still to young to drink (you have to be 20 in Japan to drink, smoke or vote) but liked sweets and was drawn to the gentle aroma of amazake.