Author Archives: hakkaiedit

Hakkaisan at SXSW 2020! Reviving Japanese Sake, Food, and Farm Traditions Panel

The 2020 South by Southwest Panel “Reviving Japanese Sake, Food, and Farm Traditions” was not held in person due to the Pandemic and cancelling of the SXSW Festival. The Panel, featuring Hakkaisan’s Global Brand Ambassador Timothy Sullivan, was, however, recorded and is now available online for on demand viewing.

About the Panel:
Japan’s population, along with the vitality of its rural areas, are in decline. Farmers and brewers are aging out, often with no one to follow in their footsteps. Against this bleak backdrop, who are the young innovators injecting new life into ancient traditions? In the world of sake, a new generation of young heirs is experimenting with techniques borrowed from French winemaking and reintroducing a lost regionality to the beverage by reviving local heirloom grains. They’re also inspiring a crop of international sake brewers. We’ll also hear about how rural farmers and food producers, by collaborating with experts in agriculture and other fields, have successfully launched a profusion of value-added products, giving their local culture and economies a new lease on life.

Visit the SXSW Panel page:

Visit the Panel On Demand Video:

FREE Hakkaisan Amasake Webinar

Zoom Hakkaisan Amasake Webinar: Thursday July 23, 2020, 8PM ET

Sign up for free Registration here.

Have you heard of Hakkaisan Amasake before? This nutritious, non-alcoholic rice drink with no added sugar is ubiquitous in Japan, but not yet well known in the States. It is healthy, delicious and a great example of a beneficial fermented food.

It is rich in nutrients including vitamin B1, B2, B6, folic acid, dietary fiber, oligosaccharide, cysteine, arginine and glutamine and it has an all natural sweetness from the use of koji rice with aboslutely no added sugar. Some even go so far as to call Amasake a “drinkable IV!”

Join Hakkaisan Global Brand Ambassador Timothy Sullivan as he introduces you to Hakkasian Amasake in a fun and delicious free webinar. Registration and participation are open to all. Come learn about how Amasake is made and all the health and beauty benefits you’ll enjoy by drinking amasake.

How to Join the Webinar:
1) Sign up for free Registration here.

2) If you live in the NYC area and you’d like to taste along, you can order Hakkaisan Amasake for home delivery.
Use Coupon Code “Amasake20” to get 20% off your amasake order from MTC Kitchen. This coupon is good until July 23, 2020.

If you’d like to taste along with Timothy During the Seminar and you live in New York City, you can order Hakkaisan Amasake before the seminar.

Historically amasake has been a summer drink to combat fatigue, so this is the perfect time of year to learn about it! You can enjoy Hakkaisan Amasake chilled, warmed and even as a mixer for smoothies, coffee and many other drinks. It brings an all natural sweetness to any beverage or dish.

New Product Announcement: Hakkaisan Daiginjo and Junmai Daiginjo will be released soon.

We will release a new Hakkaisan Daiginjo and Hakkaisan Junmai Daiginjo on August 20th, 2020.
Based on our philosophy “Better Sake for All,” we have been working to improve the quality of everyday sake. However, in recent years, weʼve seen shifts in consumer trends in sake.

Previously, sake was consumed more as a simple, everyday drink, but nowadays, consumers are using sake to celebrate and enjoy the extraordinary times in everyday life. We would like to support those who want to celebrate and enjoy those special moments in everyday life with our sake, so we decided to improve the overall quality of higher classification sake meant for enjoying every day, in addition to our philosophy of “Better Sake for All.”

Hakkaisan Junmai Daiginjo and Hakkaisan Daiginjo are being released with this new focus in mind. We will utilize state of the art equipment and also, use all our brewing skills and craftsmanship to create these sakes that will both enhance any cuisine while still having good umami. Hakkaisan Daiginjo has a mellow, clean taste, and an elegant, gentle sweetness. Hakkaisan Junmai Daiginjo has a pronounced clarity, a clean taste, and an elegant, gentle sweetness as well.

We will continue to strive for excellence by delivering Hakkaisan sakes that are a true expression of our best efforts and craftsmanship.

In addition to the above, we have changed the specification of Hakkaisan Snow Aged Junmai Ginjo 3 years to Hakkaisan Snow Aged Junmai Daiginjo 3 years.

Discontinued Products:

Current Stock Only
■Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo (Daiginjo level 50% polishing rate)
Expected final sales would be end of July 2020.
■Hakkaisan Ginjo (Daiginjo level 50% polishing rate)
Expected final sales would be end of July 2020.
■Hakkaisan Snow Aged Junmai Ginjo 3 years
Expected final sales would be end of July 2020.

We would like to support those to want to celebrate and enjoy those special moments in everyday life with our sake, so we decided to end the sale of Hakkaisan Ginjo and Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo and release our new Hakkasisan Daiginjo and Hakkaisan Junmai Daiginjo.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude for over 30 years of patronage and love for these products.

Product Details

Product name: Hakkaisan Daiginjo
Category: Sake
Ingredients: Rice, Koji Rice, Brewer’s Alcohol
Polishing ratio: 45%
Alcohol content: 15.5%
Available sizes: 180ml, 300ml, 720ml, 1800ml
Storage recommendation: Keep it cool in a dark place.
Launch date: August 20th, 2020

Product name: Hakkaisan Junmai Daiginjo
Category: Sake
Ingredients: Rice, Koji Rice
Polishing ratio: 45%
Alcohol content: 15.5%
Available Sizes: 180ml, 300ml, 720ml, 1800ml
Storage recommendation: Keep it cool in a dark place.
Launch date: August 20th, 2020

Product name: Hakkaisan Snow Aged Junmai Daiginjo 3 years
Category: Sake
Ingredients: Rice, Koji Rice
Polishing ratio: 50%
Alcohol content: 17.0%
Available Sizes: 280ml, 720ml
Storage recommendation: Keep it cool in a dark place.
Launch date: August 20th, 2020
*JAN Code and package indication of Hakkaisan Snow Aged Junmai Daiginjo 3 years will be changed; however, polishing rate and other specifications, as well as the price will remain the same.

Art direction & Design: Mr. Kenya Hara from Nippon Design Center, Inc.
Label calligraphy: Mr. Kyuyo Ishikawa



[Hakkaisan Snow Aged Junmai Daiginjo 3 years]

If you have any questions, please contact a salesperson from the Hakkaisan Brewery International Marketing Department.

View the full Press Release

Hakkaisan LIVE Webinar with the Sake School of America

Hakkaisan VP Masato Nagumo joins Sake School of America educator Timothy Sullivan in a one hour webinar live from the Hakkaisan Yuki Muro or Snow Storage Cellar. The hourlong presentation is part interview with Nagumo-san, part tour and part guided tasting. If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the replay right here. Please enjoy this video if you want to learn more about Niigata Prefecture and about Hakkaisan general.

Hakkaisan is Joining the Live Broadcast “The New Japan Islands 2020” via YouTube Live

The South by Southwest festival was cancelled this year, but it was decided that the exhibition of “The New Japan Islands 2020” will now be broadcast live from Tokyo this weekend. The New Japan Islands executive committee is a project team which consists of the Ministry of Economy, private entities, scientists, artists, and intellectuals who got together to explore the intersection of Japanese traditional crafts, industries, and culture.

We at Hakkaisan Brewery have cooperated with this project, which was supposed to be delivered at South by Southwest, but we will now support it by joining the live broadcast this weekend. The live interview session will connect our brand ambassador Timothy Sullivan in NYC and our master brewer Shigemitsu Nagumo in Niigata in a live discussion of Hakkaisan’s sake making philosophy, as well as explore the point of view an American Sake Educator’s thoughts of sake’s current situation in the world. Please join us to explore the connection of culture and sake with this special live broadcast.

Broadcast Details:
Title: Invitation to Japan’s Sake Heartland: Uonuma
Live Interview with Hakkaisan’s Master Sake Brewer

Live Streaming URL:

Event Time:
New York EST: Sat. March 21, 8:45pm – 9:15pm
Tokyo JST: Sun. March 22, 9:45am – 10:15am

Hakkaisan sake receives gold in the TEXSOM 2020 International Wine Awards

On March 6th, 2020, the TEXSOM International Wine Awards announced the winners for 2020. We are pleased to share that Hakkaisan received two Gold Medal awards. One gold for Hakkaisan Clear Sparkling AWA Sake and a second gold award for Hakkaisan Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake.

Of all the entries received only 12% received a gold medal award. We are delighted to have Hakkaisan recognized by this prestigious award again in 2020.

Hakkaisan Week at Mimi Japanese Restaurant in NYC

New Sake Event in New York City!

Visit Mimi Japanese Restaurant in NYC to try your choice of Hakkaisan sake and delicious appetizer at a special price. You can mix and match to find your perfect sake pairing! Check out the details below.

Hakkaisan Restaurant Week at Mimi Japanese in NYC
January 22 – Feb 3rd
at Mimi Japanese Restaurant, 566 Amsterdam Ave at 87th ST in New York City
open 5-10pm Tuesday- Sunday closed on Mondays.

AWA Clear Sparkling Sake Launches in the US!

Sparkling Sake is nothing new, but Hakkaisan has challenedged itself to raise the bar and create a premium sparkling sake of note. The result is Hakkaisan’s AWA clear Sparkling Junmai Ginjo sake, which made it’s debut in the US market on June 5th. AWA means bubble, and that is the starting point that explains why this sake is different. Hakkaisan uses an in-bottle secondary fermentation to create CO2 through natural fermentation. This produces a fine and elegant bubble that can best be achieved in this way. The sake is lightly sweet up front with a clean finish and an overall light impression. Perfectly refreshing!

Hakkaisan Arrives in the USA
Hakkaisan AWA arrived in the USA with a special guest – Mr. Shigemitsu Nagumo, the Toji or Master Brewer at Hakkaisan Brewery. Mr. Nagumo came to New York to introduce the locals to Hakkaisan’s new and premium sparking sake. The launch event was held on the St. Cloud rooftop bar of the Knickerbocker hotel in Times Square. In his short remarks to the guests, Mr. Nagumo told everyone that this event in New York was one of the most fun events he has attended in his career and with a sincere thank you, he got the event off to a great start with a hearty “Kanpai!” (cheers!). It was a beautiful summer’s evening at sunset as guests gathered to try AWA served chilled and crisp into flutes which helped all to enjoy the aroma, taste and presentation of this new premium sparkling sake. Guests commented on the light taste and balance of this new premium sparkling.

How can you serve and pair AWA? Hakkaisan’s AWA clear sparkling sake can be served as you would a sparkling wine, but also in new ways as well. Enjoy AWA as an aperitif before dinner to enliven the palate and wake up the taste buds. AWA also pairs beautifully with appetizers and light salads as well as seafood and shellfish with a special recommendation for oysters. Given the light sweetness on the palate, you can also try AWA with desserts, a favorite match up being a light-as-air chocolate or matcha macaron.

AWA will be available in both 360ml (12 oz) and 720ml (24 oz) sizes. If you are a fan of sparkling wine, AWA will give you an entrance into the world of sake! Welcome and kanpai!

Hakkaisan Week at Sake Bar Method in NYC: May 15-20, 2018

May 15-20th, 2018, come to dinner at Sake Bar METHOD in Hell’s Kitchen. We are offering a one week special on Hakkaisan 3 Year Snow-Aged Junmai Ginjo. This is an aged sake unlike any other you have tried! Matured in stainless steel for 3 years in our frosty snow storage cellar (Yuki Muro), you have to experience this sake!

Order this sake by the glass, carafe or bottle. Try it warm or cold. Customers who order a bottle of the Hakkaisan 3 Year Snow Aged Sake get a special gift from the brewery while supplies last!

Sake Bar Method: 746 10th ave. New York

Hakkaisan at Ginza Six!

I think it is fair to say there is no shortage of places to go shopping in Tokyo. You can drop big bucks on electronics in the Akihabara district or shop for cutting edge, mismatched outfits in Harajuku. However the epicenter of serious retail therapy is without a doubt in Ginza. The Ginza district is famous the world over for high end boutiques, Towering department stores, and an endless parade of Ladies Who Lunch.

The latest addition to Ginza’s retail arena is known as Ginza Six which opened to much fanfare in April 2017. If the rest of Ginza is cool, Ginza Six was built to impress even more. With 421 stores in over 500,000 square feet of space, Ginza Six is one of the biggest shopping complexes in Ginza. Entering, you’ll see the central atrium outfitted with a stunning polka dot sculpture designed by arguably Japan’s most famous living artist, Yayoi Kusama.

Ginza Six Atrium

Ginza Six Atrium

Almost Every Japanese department store has an over-the-top food court on the basement level, this is known as a “depachika” (a mix of “depato“, which means department store, and “chika“, which means basement). Most visitors to Japan will easily remember their first visit to a depatchika as the vast selection and stunning presentation of foods is hard to forget. Ginza Six also has a basement food floor on the B2 level, but they really kick it up a notch.

My recent visit to Ginza Six was to check out their basement food floor to enjoy Hakkaisan’s new Ginza Sennenkoujiya shop.

Hakkaisan's Ginza Sennen Koujiya.

Hakkaisan’s Ginza Sennen Koujiya.

Sennen Koujiya is Hakkaisan’s retail shop that sells all of the Hakkaisan sake, but also food and other fermented items from Niigata. The Ginza Six branch is the latest to open.

I visited for the first time on a rainy Saturday. My first impression of Ginza Six was how popular it was. Shoppers were everywhere, even on a rainy day. Lots of people are curious about this new shopping complex and it seemed that every shop was busy. I headed down to the B2 level and took a look around for Sennen Koujiya.

Lots of Hakkaisan Sake for sale at Sennen Koujiya

Lots of Hakkaisan Sake for sale at Sennen Koujiya

Hakkaisan Ginjo Funaguchi

Hakkaisan Ginjo Funaguchi

The shop has a beautiful open wood panel design. Along the left wall, there is a full range of Hakkaisan Sakes, but the refrigerator in the corner contained something special. This shops sells some limited sake that is not for sale anywhere else! These include rare Hakkaisan ‘Funaguchi sakes’ – that is sakes right from the sake press! Fully unpasteurized and non-charcoal filtered. Each bottle is labeled by hand.

Another rare sake that you can only find at Ginza Six is Hakkaisan Ultra Premium Kouwagura 25% Junmai Daiginjo. This is an outstanding sake that has the rice milled to 25% remaining and is aged for 2 years at 0˚C. Super rare and delicious!

Hakkaisan Fermentation goods including Amasake.

Hakkaisan Fermentation goods including Amasake.

The back wall of the shop contains space for all of the perishable fermentation goods including Amazake (a sweet, no alcohol koji rice drink), as well as koji, shio koji as well as koji marinated meats and veggies.


Along the right side wall is a small tasting counter. Guests can order a limited menu of bites and small appetizers and a sake pairing. I was excited to try, and I was able to enjoy a unique and wonderful pairing! I tried the Snow Aged Junmai Ginjo 3 Years served in a beautiful antique glass along with the recommended pairing of Fukinoto (spring mountain vegetable) Miso paste along with sour cream and a drip of lemon. It was a beautiful savory and rich pairing with the Snow aged Junmai Ginjo.

Tasting bar and Ginza Sennen Koujiya.

Tasting bar and Ginza Sennen Koujiya.

If you get a chance to visit Tokyo, don’t miss the chance to stop into Ginza Six! A delicious sake and snack is waiting for you at Sennen Koujiya. Pick up some sakes and niigata foods while you are there. You’re friends back home will have depatchika envy!

Ginza Six is popular even in the rain!

Ginza Six is popular even in the rain!