Sake Day Out
Juhi GoreAssistant English Teacher, KITANO Senior High School
Last month I was delighted to attend an organised tour around a sake factory with some members of the Kitano Rikuryo Alumni. I was particularly grateful for the opportunity when I heard that traditionally, women were not allowed to enter such sacred places for fear of incurring the wrath of God.
The factory belongs to the Ueda family and is located in Nishinomiya city in Hyogo Prefecture. We visited the factory on a gloriously sunny day and spent the first half an hour receiving an introduction on the history of sake. We were also briefed on some of the processes required to make it. The sake making processes sounded and looked complicated and included techniques such as "steeping", "koji-making", and "filtration".
Inside the factory, huge tanks and cables were attached to smaller electronic devices. My favourite area was a large room that had several tanks built into the floor, Each tank was filled with sake in various stages of its initial production process. We were encouraged to try the delicious, bittersweet mixture in several of the tanks.
The atmosphere of the day was definitely something to remember as everybody was eager to see how sake was made. I remember repeatedly hearing the words "sugoi" and "oishi" and listening to various other delighted exclamations. As the Kitano alumni and myself completed the sake quiz whilst eating a tasty meal, we reflected on a very enjoyable time. Afterwards we watched the winners and losers of the quiz collect their prizes. The day ended with the Kitano graduates linking arms and singing their school song.
I left the factory clutching a large bottle of sake and with a big smile on my face. The entire day was an interesting and memorable experience.Last Update : Apr.23,1998