top of page

For the full access to the all blog posts, Premium Membership is required.

If you have the membership, please log in.

Posts limited to members are more about details about Japan, histories, legends, and deep cultural point of view.

Posts including photos of temples' and shrines' paid area are always for free in terms of their rights and publicity.

About Japanese Sake/日本酒について

Hello Tabiomushi followers!


I am Gordon Heady, a teacher and sake export consultant (and formerly a sake brewer) living and working in Japan for several years and specifically in Kyoto since 2018.


I am contributing ideas about how to enjoy Japanese sake. After 30 years of drinking it, I still get a kick out of sharing it with others. After all, sake tastes better when it is shared!


Gordon Heady

Nihonshu is a 2,000 year old beverage that has evolved from humble beginnings to becoming a well-received beverage around the world.


It is said that sake exports from Japan have tripled in the last ten years as the world starts to dive deeper into how premium sake can be enjoyed not just with Japanese cuisine, but with anything that can be paid with a beer or a wine.


With over 24,000 sakes brewed in Japan each year, if you have yet to find a sake you don’t love, then it is possible that you need to experiment more on your own to find a sake that makes you smile!


Some readers might need a refresher: Japanese sake, or nihonshu, is a fermented beverage whose origin is unique to Japan and Japan alone.


It is brewed like a beer, but with a higher alcohol more like a wine. It typically has four ingredients: rice, water, yeast, and koji -- which is a mold called aspergillus oryzae that is propagated onto steamed rice as part of the sake production process (and not just sake, but miso and shoyu and other incredible things).



sake rice 酒米

The alcohol percentage level (Alcohol By Volume %) is typically between 12% and 20%, but commonly near 15%. It can be served at room temperature, warmed, hot, or as I usually prefer, chilled.


Try drinking it from a wine glass which sometimes captures aromas of fruits, herbs, flowers. Try it at home, or at a restaurant.


Kyoto is one of the most important prefectures for sake.


Please consider buying from a specialty retailer, of which Kyoto boasts several.

If you don’t know what to buy, a good place to start is to buy local.


If you don’t live in Kyoto, every prefecture makes sake and there are 1,200 active breweries across the nation from which to choose!


Gordon Heady

translated and edited by Yuri

168 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page