The Kankō Keizai Shinbun (Tourism Economics Newspaper) surveyed 100 people online between 16-22 October and asked them if they knew about days celebrating various forms of alcohol in Japan. The survey was only given to people who said they drank alcohol.

Do you know what day 11 November is? Sake Day? Honkaku Shōchū and Awamori Day? Maybe Whisky Day?

The correct answer is – Tachinomi Day. [立ち飲み, drinking while standing] Why? Because 11-11 looks like a line of people standing and drinking, of course. There are plenty more alcohol-related days, but how many do drinkers actually know?

The survey listed the following special days:

  • 11 January, Taruzake Day
  • 2 February, South African Wine Day
  • 1 April, Suntory Akadama Day
  • 23 April, Jibiru/Craft Beer Day
  • 13 May, Cocktail Day
  • 2 June, Italian Wine Day
  • First Thursday of June, Aperitif Day
  • 11 June, Umeshu Day
  • 25 June, Namazake Day
  • 1 July, Iki Shōchū Day
  • 4 August Beer Hall Day
  • September: Mid-Autumn Moon (can fall in October), Tsukimi-zake Day
  • 1 October, Sake Day
  • 4 October, Sugar-Free Day
  • 8 October, Kaku High-Ball Day
  • 10 October, One Cup Day
  • 19 October, Gin and Tonic Day
  • 26 October, Doburoku Day
  • 1 November, Honkaku Shōchū and Awamori Day
  • First day of Winter (around 7 November) Nabe and Okan Day
  • 11 November, Tachinomi Day
  • 30th of every month, Sour Day

Out of all these alcoholic days, the top place was easily taken by Sake Day on 1 October which over 50% of respondents had heard of. The date was chosen because back in the Edo Period, when sake was brewed only in the winter, the beginning of October marked the start of the brewing season. “Nihonshu de Kanpai” [Cheers with Sake] events are held all over the country on this day every year.

Honkaku Shōchū and Awamori Day on 1 November took second place.  Shōchū brewing starts in the summer, but the first newly brewed shōchū of the year is released around the beginning of November.  A “Honkaku Shōchū and Awamori Collection 2019 in Roppongi Hills” event was held in October to advertise the special day.

Third place was taken by Suntory Akadama Day. Originally known as Akadama Port Wine, now renamed Akadama Sweet Wine, the key brand celebrated it 110th anniversary in 2017.

10% of people had heard of Tachinomi Day on 11 November and Sour Day on the 30th of every month, and all other days had less than 10% recognition.

The survey also asked how many respondents drank the alcohol in question on its special day, and sake came out on top again with 40% drinking sake on Sake Day. Nihonshu de Kanpai events have been used more and more in recent years to create opportunities to drink sake on the day.

Looking outside of Japan, 100% of survey respondents had heard of Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Embargos on the newly brewed wine are lifted on the third Thursday in November, the day with probably the highest consumption of wine in Japan.

Although 46% of respondents said the new wine they most wanted to drink this year was Beaujolais Nouveau, there is a challenger. 43% were instead looking forward to tasting Yamanashi Nouveau, made from indigenous Koshu and Muscat Bailey A grapes, was released on Sunday 3 November in the middle of a long weekend. [Culture Day falls on the weekend so Monday 4 November is a bank holiday in Japan.]

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The translations/summaries of Japanese language news articles and other content provided on this site are part of a personal project to increase the amount of information about Japanese sake available in English.

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All translations/summaries are © 2017-2019 Arline Lyons.

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