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Sake Bloggers Summit in Shizuoka

What do sake bloggers talk about when they finally meet in person? At the unofficial 2008 Sake Bloggers Summit, only two things filled our entire day for oh…. about 15 hours, non-stop. Sake, of course, and Shizuoka.

When the Sake Samurai, Tim, said he was coming back to Japan for this year’s Sake Samurai ceremony, Robert-Gilles from Shizuoka Sake, suggested Tim and two sake bloggers in Tokyo, Melinda and I make a trip to his proud home prefecture, Shizuoka. In October, we four intrepid sake bloggers finally met in the land of tea at the foot of Mt. Fuji where Robert-Gilles kindly scheduled two brewery visits and and showed us two of his favorite restaurants.

We met up with Robert-Gilles at the station, seeing him in person for the first time in my life. As soon as this Frenchman, who is a long term Shizuoka resident, greeted us at the station, our sake conversation from the train was put on hold and we were all immersed in Shizuoka facts. Did you know that Shizuoka City has the largest police force per capita in the country? Or, that Shizuoka produces over the half the himono, or dried fish, in Japan? The continuous flow of his wisdom was occasionally interrupted by other activities, such as brewery tours at Wakatake and Kumpai, and tasting sessions.

Please visit Tim, Melinda and Robert-Gills posts to read all about our visits to these two excellent breweries who kindly hosted our group that day out of their busy schedule when getting ready for the sake production season.

Sake bloggers at Wakatake
At Wakatake: Tim, Melinda, Robert-Gills with Mr. Matsunaga and Mr. Hibino

Throughout the day, we switched back and force between the two subjects: sake and Shizuoka. Then, finally, we finished the Bloggers Summit by beautifully integrating the two into a single, harmonious whole. At the end of the day, we were at Tomii sipping sake and having a good time. Eight different sake from Shizuoka were served in geographical order from west to east, paired with fresh sashimi, assorted tsumami dish, grilled fish and tempura. To top it off, Shizuoka style hospitality from the okami-san, the lady of the restaurant, made the day with the fellow sake enthusiast so memorable.

On the Shinkansen back to Tokyo that evening, I sat quietly, feeling good about the whole day with sake friends and about the place I grew up. I knew there were so many Shizuoka sake fans out there, but now I see why. It’s not just good sake, but the whole package that attracted us there!

Guys, thanks for the opportunity to finally meet! It was really fun and hope we can do this again, soon! Robe-chan, arigato gozaimasu!

okami "Et-chan" and chef at Tomii
Tomii: Chef and Okami, Et-chan

hatsukame at Tomii
Tomii: Hatsukame and Bai Gai

chinmi at Tomii
Tomii;ika+karasumi, tako no shiokara, hoya, ikura

Sakura Ebi-no-yoseage
Sakura ebi no yoseage, sakura ebi shrimp tempura ball
Sakura ebi from Shizuoka is the best!


7 Responses to “Sake Bloggers Summit in Shizuoka”

  1. Dear Etsuko!
    The pleasure was all mine!
    By the way, “Sakura ebi from Shizuoka is the best!” because it is caught in Shizuoka only!

    Posted by Robert-Gilles Martineau | November 23, 2008, 5:36 pm
  2. Hi Robert-Gilles,
    Thank you again for the wonderful day to sample best of the best.

    Posted by et-chan | November 24, 2008, 9:36 am
  3. Nice post, Etsuko! I think you really captured the (endearing) Shizuoka-otaku side of Robert-Gilles.

    That trip was so much fun -I can’t wait to do it again!


    Posted by melinda | November 25, 2008, 7:17 am
  4. Hi Mel,
    Yup, the whole Shizuoka package was nice! So, what’s our next destination…?

    Posted by et-chan | November 25, 2008, 9:26 pm
  5. …New York?! I’d love to be as house proud as Robert Gilles, and show you all around the hottest sake spots New York City has to offer! maybe someday.

    Tomii was fantastic and I can’t thank Robert Gilles enough for the beautiful dinner. I would love to return there on my next trip to japan!

    Posted by Timothy | November 26, 2008, 9:23 am
  6. Hi Tim,
    I am so looking forward to seeing everyone in NY.

    By the way, do you have moromi tattooed on your arm????

    Posted by Et-chan | November 29, 2008, 10:23 pm


  1. […] states, is Wakatake Onikoroshi, I just had to try it. Also, it was only last year that we had our sake bloggers’ summit right there at Wakatake in […]

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