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Published: October 9th 2016
Today, it was Kobe Sake tasting tour! YAY
When Rebecca arrived, she joined an International group which is organising events in Osaka and in the region nearby. This group was organising a Sake tasting tour on Saturday and she asked if I could join as a guest.
I had then to wake up early on Saturday morning (9.30 am lol) in order to take the train to go to Kobe. We had to meet the others at 12 in Kobe station. Rebecca joined me at the Kujo station and after purchasing ticket we were on our way for 1h ride with one change. I have to say that compared to the train from the airport, this one was fully in Japanese and we had to ask our way for the change as we couldn't find the right track to Kobe 😉
Arriving in Kobe station we met the group which was constituted of 1 Japanese girl and 5 Americans. The guy who is organising the tour is an American living in Japan for 15 years, and he seemed really into Sake :P
But first, we needed to eat, so he brought us to an udon restaurant. Udon
is a specialty of japan which is a type of noodles, served hot or cold with different soup / sauce. As well, you can take some tempura to go with it.
Arriving to the udon restaurant, I asked the Japanese girl , Fumi-chan, what should I take. She advised me the Tororo-udon, which is something really traditional Japanese. So I followed her advice and took 2 tempuras to go with it. The tororo is actually something made from a special potatoe and which is really sticky... but tastes really good. The meal was perfect, and I didn't expect to get so full with a small ball of noodles, but when I got up, I regretted that I got the tempuras :P
And there we were on the way to the first sake factory. On the way, Fumi-chan told me that she is from Hiroshima, and that she lives in Kobe since only 1 year after coming back of almost 3 years in Australia... That explained her good english :D
Arriving at the first sake factory, it was here only a shop where we could taste sake. After a short introduction of what different types of sake are
available and a bit of advices, we started the tasting. It was actually way different from the sake I had last night, and I learned that the sake from Okinawa is very specific and one of the strongest... Maybe that is why I liked it last night :P
On the second Sake factory was a museum where I learned a lot about how sake is made, and how the different types of sake depend of the rice and the polishing of it. YES, maybe you didn't know but sake is way more complicated to make that just fermenting rice... You have first to polish the rice, and you can do so to remove from 30% to 70% of the rice mass by polishing it. The more the rice is polished, the best quality the sake will be. Then there is a full process of washing, fermenting and pressing to produce the sake. This museum was really nice as it was using the old sake factory to show us how sake was made in the old time and as well some video to show how it is all automated today... and everything was in english!!! YAY
The sake in
this factory was much better than the previous one and we got to try some yuzu (Asian lemon) liquor which was great... but the guy who is organising told me to hold my horses before buying as another factory later will be much better :D
The third factory was just a shop and nothing much was discovered there. The 4th factory was the best, and even if it was only a shop as well, the tasting was brilliant. It was made by an old guy who is one of the sake maker, and he was really happy to refill our glasses every 30 second until we said we had enough (see picture). I tried there all the sake which can exist + some plum wine + some yuzu liquor which was indeed the best we had and I ended up buying a bottle 😊
As we left this place, 2 guys of the group decided to stay at the bar of the factory and have some other sake there... so we got on our way leaving them to drink lol
The last factory had a restaurant in it, but open only for lunch. It was really cute
and traditional and I heard the the restaurant is great as well... maybe I will go again for some food there.
After 4h of sake tasting, we got back with the train. When I arrived home, I met Bon-chan in the living room and made food...well she made food and I microwaved something :P Then, Yumi-chan arrived while we were eating and we started to have a Japanese course for me 😊 As I was struggling, they had a lot of fun but they were really nice and taught me a lot about basics in Japanese for house living.
As Bon-chan is making massage, she needs to practice new technique on people. Yumi-chan was the candidate last night, and while I was on my computer, Bon-chan was giving her a massage in the living room. It was not what I expected as Bon-chan seems to do more thai massage with streching and other technics that I was hearing Yumi-chan "suffering" but she said it was good :D
Then Reina-san arrived and try to massage Yumi-chan as well, which was more walking on her lol From this point, they were just having fun, and I learned that Bon-chan
is really tickelish as when Yumi-chan massaged her, she couldn't stop laughing really hard. It was a really fun evening :D
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