Friday, February 28, 2014
Kyushu (and other regions) gets punked by their own government.
How unfortunate such ignorance comes from JNTO in presenting sake to the world. Such claptrap.
Some of the best sakes in the world are found in my adopted home of Kyushu, yet the Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO) doesn't consider Kyushu (and other regions such as Shikoku, Chukugo, Hokkaido, etc) worthy of mention in their list of the best sake brewing regions:
This awkward attempt at "promotion" is offensive, ignorant and dismissive to the rich culture, historical significance, and beautiful sake of Kyushu. They should amend this oversight and offer an apology.
By ignoring the entire region of Kyushu, (eight prefectures, 13 million residents, 100+ sake breweries) JNTO models rudeness and stupidity. This is akin to the government of France presenting French wine and ignoring Provence and Alsace or Scotland presenting scotch whiskey to the world and ignoring Islay and Speyside.
In closing, may I suggest a few sakes from Kyushu that are significant and worthy of your consideration?
Please try Amabuki sakes from Saga. Their yeast is derived from flowers such as Begonia, Sunflower, Marigold. Or you could enjoy sake from Koro— maybe their Junmai Ginjo from Kumamoto. Koro is the birthplace of the most famous the most successful Ginjo grade yeast ever Kore Kobo #9. Nishinoseki in Oita is another sake brewery worthy of mention. Please also try the koshu my own brewery brews called "Ai." It's a brown rice koshu and, chances are, most of you have never enjoyed a decent koshu before. And the list of worthy sake brewing regions that are slighted goes on and on and on.
The government struggles mightily to figure out how to effectively promote sake as a delicious choice instead of wine or beer abroad as well as properly encourage sake-related tourism to Japan. What a shame. Italian wine exports are 20x great than Japanese sake exports to the USA. Clumsy, ineffective promotion is one reason why the sake category suffers.
Our koshu, pictured below, aged five years.